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University of Kentucky - 2017

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Engineering Information

Student Projects

Student Design Projects Description

*WEIGHTLESS WILDCATS:
The Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program provides a unique academic experience for undergraduate students and educators to successfully propose, design, fabricate, fly, and evaluate a reduced gravity experiment of their choice over the course of six months. The overall experience includes scientific
research, hands-on experimental design, test operations, and educational/public outreach activities.
OBJECTIVES:
To provide students and educators with an outstanding educational opportunity to
explore microgravity.
To attract outstanding young scholars to careers in math, science, and engineering in general.
To introduce young scholars to careers with NASA and in the space program in particular.
To provide a platform for students and educators to understand how microgravity affects research and testing of serious science and engineering ideas.
To provide an opportunity for both the general public and school children to discover educational and professional opportunities available at NASA.


*SOLAR CAR TEAM:
Gato del Sol is the 1982 Kentucky Derby winning thoroughbred and the namesake for our car. Stone Farm, who raised Gato del Sol, has been a longtime supporter of the University of Kentucky Solar Car Team. Gato, meaning cat in Spanish, and Sol, meaning sun in Spanish, is a very fitting name for Wildcats racing on the power of solar energy.

All majors are invited to join. No prior experience necessary.
Electrical Team â€" Makes the car go
•Integrates the solar array, maximum power point trackers, batteries, and motor controller.
•Sends data from the solar car to chase vehicle’s computer via the telemetry system.
Business â€" Makes the car possible
•Coordinates sponsorship from generous corporations and individuals
•Manages budget of nearly $500,000
•Plans outreach events and produces media (UK Ch. 50 Videos, Website)


*BIG BLUE BAJA TEAM:
Baja SAE consists of three regional competitions that simulate real-world engineering design projects and their related challenges. Engineering students are tasked to design and build an off-road vehicle that will survive the severe punishment of rough terrain and sometimes even water.

The object of the competition is to provide SAE student members with a challenging project that involves the planning and manufacturing tasks found when introducing a new product to the consumer industrial market. Teams compete against one another to have their design accepted for manufacture by a fictitious firm. Students must function as a team to not only design, build, test, promote, and race a vehicle within the limits of the rules, but also to generate financial support for their project and manage their educational priorities.

All vehicles are powered by a ten-horsepower Intek Model 20 engine donated by Briggs & Stratton Corporation. For over twenty-five years, the generosity of Briggs & Stratton has enabled SAE to provide each team with a dependable engine free of charge. Use of the same engine by all the teams creates a more challenging engineering design test.


*RGAN ENGINEERING BUILDING SOLAR PV INSTALLATION:
A referendum was passed in the 2006 Univ of KY Student Government elections that asked students if they would be willing to pay a fee in order to support the development of renewable energy on campus. This fee currently results in about $150,000 per year in funds that are allocated by the UK Student Sustainability Council to promote sustainability on the UK campus. Working with leaders of this group it was determined that the campus should have some PV installed and engineering students could have a significant part in the design of that system as part of their coursework.

A semester project is assigned each year in the EE/BAE Solar Devices and Systems graduate level class. The objectives of the project are to gain analytical and numerical modeling skills for modeling and designing a photovoltaic system and to understand the integration, installation, performance evaluation, and economic issues related to PV systems. In 2013, the class was divided into four teams that each evaluated potential campus locations for the installation of a small, expandable, solar PV array and then did a complete design and economic analysis for a system installed in that location.

These designs have subsequently been used by the Student Sustainability Council in coordination with the UK Physical Plant to inform the bid documents for the installation of a 112-panel, 14kW system on the roof of the Ralph G. Anderson Engineering Building. The system is to be installed in December 2014 and will be operational for monitoring by classes during the 2015 spring semester.


*AVENUE OF CHAMPIONS DESIGN CHALLENGE:
CE 429, Civil Engineering Systems Design, is the capstone design experience for the Civil Engineering program. Students take this course in their final semester before graduation; it is intended to provide the students a project-based introduction to the planning, assessment, and preliminary design of civil engineering projects.
Currently, the seniors are working with the UK Office of Sustainability to study design options for the Avenue of Champions corridor. With the recent and ongoing construction of residential halls and the new Student Center along this corridor, the potential for pedestrian and vehicle conflicts has increased. The students are challenged to develop and assess alternative scenarios for closing all or portions of the corridor for a pedestrian plaza; design considerations must include traffic impacts, safety improvements, site layout, environmental considerations, construction cost, and others.


*WILDCAT PULLING TEAM:
The ASABE International 1/4 Scale Tractor Student Design Competition gives students a comprehensive perspective on what it takes to design, build, test and market a product. Each year, universities across the United States and Canada compete for top honors in design and performance categories. Teams are also judged by a panel of industry experts on a written report and an oral presentation. All teams are given a 31 hp Briggs & Stratton engine and a set of Titan tires â€" the rest is up to them.
The University of Kentucky Wildcat Pulling Team has fielded an entry every year since 1999 and won the competition in 2012, 2014 and 2015. The latest designs have used a custom-tuned continuously variable transmission in series with a 3-speed manual transaxle to maximize power transfer while keeping the tractor safe and easy to drive. The diverse team includes students across multiple departments from the College of Engineering and the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.


*SPEEDFEST (two teams)
Speedfest is a flight competition started by Oklahoma State University to provide an industry practical alternative to the established AIAA Design Build Fly competition. Each year, Alpha (or collegiate) class teams are given a statement of work to respond to, which, for the past two years, have been performance oriented designs involving a turbine engine. The winning alpha class entries have been complex composite aircraft capable of speeds exceeding 150 mph.

* SAFETY PLATFORMS (Infiltrator Water Technologies):
Design and construct large safety platform(s) that will provide access to two large plastic injection molding machines


* AIR/WIND/WATER TEST WALL (Sun Windows):
This system needs to be designed to test window and door and the tests would be controlled solely from a computer and all readings would be recorded by the computer.


* SURFACE INSPECTION DOOR PANEL (Toyota):
System would be installed immediately prior to the surface inspection light booth to greatly improve TM capability to visually detect surface defects.


* WINDOW PRIMER SKIP DETECTION (Toyota):
Develop a method to detect any skip or void in the primer application path prior to urethane application without adding machine cycle time.


* STAMPING BLANK SIDE PILER (Toyota):
Develop a concept and prototype of a side piler that could be capable of stacking blanks consistently, within 2mm and handle blanks with large amount of variation in size and shape.


* NUT WELDER SAFETY (Toyota):
Provide protection to prevent activation of the feed unit or welding pressure while any object thicker than sheet metal is present (no fingers or hands).


* HDA WEIGHT IMPROVEMENT (Toyota):
Develop a Handling Device Attachment design that is lightweight, fixed dimensionally, and has internal plumbing.


* GREASE PUMP (Murakami):
Develop grease delivery system that removes air pockets, oil/grease separation, and eliminates redundant equipment.


* OPTIMIZE DIFFUSION OF AHU FAN (Trane):
Reduce Air Handler cost by optimizing the unit diffusion length between the discharge of fans and downstream components to ensure proper airflow through downstream components.


* EXPLOSIVE VAPORIZATION (UKME â€" Dr. Grana):
Design and build an experimental set-up to achieve far-from-equilibrium conditions to visualize explosive vaporization.


* DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF TIRE MOUNTING FIXTURE (UK Solar Car):
Develop mobile fixture to change and balance solar car tires that is safe and requires minimal effort.


• HUMAN POWERED VEHICLE CHALLENGE (ASME):
Redesign and improve HPV to compete in annual challenge, including steering, aero, and rollover protection.


• AUTOMATED TOOL LOCKER (UKME â€" Mr. Kerr):
Design and build automated and modular tool locker. Develop software interface for swipe card or RFID reader and automate locks.


• NASA ROBOTIC MINING COMPETITION (Joint project with EE):
Design and build a mining robot that can traverse the challenging simulated Martian terrain. Team will redesign some mechanical aspects of previous robot to compete in 2018.


• AUTOMATED SOLI CONSOLIDATION SYSTEM (UKCE â€" Dr. Bryson):
Design and fabrication of an automated, incremental pressure controller for performing incremental consolidation and one-dimensional swell tests for soil samples.


* LIGHT ALIGNMENT/CHECKING SYSTEM (Bardstown Airport â€" Jere Roche):
Develop an automated system to check lights at the Bardstown airport and keep runway clear of wildlife.


* IDENTIFICATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF COMPRESSED AIR REDUCTION OPPORTUNITIES (Novelis Aluminum):
Determine and implement the processes, methods, equipment, etc. to provide the necessary compressed air for pulsing the baghouse bags but minimize the overall compressed air usage.


• DIRT DETECTION METHOD FOR PAINTED SURFACE (Ford):
Design a portable system that can be used at various places within the paint shop to find and quantify the number of small dirt particles or contaminants on a vehicle panel (door, fender, hood, roof, etc).


* FAN ISOLATION ATTENUATION DEVICE (Trane):
A fan array is a popular plenum fan configuration as it provides redundancy in the event a fan fails. A fan isolation device is needed to prevent backflow if a fan fails.


* APPARATUS FOR CONTINUOUS CHAIN LUBRICATION (HYSTER):
Create a modular mechanical apparatus that will provide lubrication to ANSI BL544 through BL866 main leaf chains in order to eliminate the need for the technician to lubricate chains manually.


* VEHICLE LIFTER ENERGY RECLAMATION (Toyota):
Design a simple system to reclaim and reuse gravitational energy on lifter to reduce electricity consumption.


* SIMPLIFIED DOOR CHANGING SYSTEM (Toyota):
Design a manufacturing station to lift and swing an automobile door.


• THE CRANKSHAFT KEY AND PIN PRESS BACKUP MACHINE (Toyota):
Design, fabricate, and test a working prototype to back-up the mass production crankshaft key and pin press machine.


* DEVELOP UAV FOR ATMOSPHERIC TURBULENCE RESEARCH (UKME â€" Dr. Bailey):
Design, build, and fly an autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle for measuring distributed boundary layer properties as part of a swarm of aircraft.


* EVAPORATOR BOX TEMPERATURE REGULATION (Thermoking):
Design a new evaporator box which will maintain a constant temperature.

*E-VOLE COMPUTER GAMING MOUSE:
The gaming industry keeps growing and expanding every day. When it comes to gaming everyone wants to go along with latest styles and the best gaming mouse on the market for different reasons. The player doesn’t want to have disturbance of accuracy or having a less responsive gaming mouse that destroys the joy of playing. The goal of creating the gaming mouse is to give the player the optimal experience that is available. According to Rantopad a gaming mouse has to be comfortable for long periods of use regardless of which of the three grip types the player uses; palm grip, the fingertip grip, or the claw grip. In the gaming community, another important aspect of the mouse is that of the sensitivity. Due to the importance of this characteristic, the e-Vole team decided to build a high-end precision gaming mouse.

The objective of the team is to design and build a computer gaming mouse that utilizes optical sensors to track and detect movement and rotation of the mouse.


*CAMS: CAMERA ALIGNMENT SYSTEM --- ALIGNMENT IS EVERYTHING
Image processing using multiple cameras has applications in image reconstruction, high resolution capturing, and many others. Implementing singular functionality with multiple cameras manually, however, is both convoluted and imprecise. An automated system seeks to promote accuracy and to facilitate ease of use. High quality cameras have become available at reasonable prices for hobbyists to enjoy. However, high precision mounting and adjustment systems are still expensive. There is a market need for cheaper, high precision alignment systems, so that hobbyists can maximize performance of their cameras. Users also may be able to replicate the performance of a high-end camera through an x number of cheaper, easier to obtain, cameras. 3D scanning technology takes advantage of multiple camera captured images to recreate tangible models of components, and even to replicate and improve those whose designs are lost to time. For example, 3D scanning was used to recreate and re-engineer a fault-prone gearbox for a classic Ford GT40 [1]. A high precision alignment system has potential to be used for similar projects by individuals who may not necessarily have access to more expensive 3D scanning measures.

The objective of this project is to provide a functioning, scalable, and marketable alignment control system for an array of cameras.


*ÎŁ CYCLE: DESIGN AND TESTING OF A STATIONARY ELECTRIC BIKE
The University of Kentucky SPARK Laboratory is a research laboratory affiliated with the Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky, specifically in the areas of renewable energy technologies, electric machines, power systems, electromagnetic devices, and smart grids and buildings. The lab has purchased an electric bike kit and needs a test bench that uses LabView for data acquisition to test the motor and other components of the kit. In addition, the University of Kentucky Electrical Engineering Department needs a product they can display at E-DAY, or Engineers Day, an event devoted to promoting and showcasing engineering projects. This product needs to be available for years to come that will attract young students to the STEM field. This project combines these two needs into a singular focus: the design, construction, and testing of a motorized electric bike, both stationary and mobile, that can be presented for Engineers Day.

The objective of this project is to design and build an electric bicycle that will primarily function as a test bench for the motor kit in the SPARK Laboratory and will be on display at E-DAY for years to come, encouraging young students to get involved in STEM.


*LIVEstock: IoT SURVEILLANCE OF DAIRY COWS
The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment operates a dairy cow research facility that demonstrated a need for a system that could collect and upload data about the dairy cows to a cloud based server.
Two primary reasons that dairy farms are in need of an IoT solution is to capture more frequent data and provide real time remote access to this data. Currently, the dairy farmers are using visual and tactile methods performed by humans to calculate body condition scores (BCS) of the dairy cows. With an IoT solution, data can be collected more frequently and accurately for dairy cow farmers to calculate body condition scores (BCS). Most importantly, providing real time remote access from the cloud enables farmers to better use the data and improve performance of the dairy farm.

The objective of this project is to design and implement an IoT device that can collect images of and identify dairy cows while actively relaying that data to a secure exchange wirelessly that approved users can then access.


*THE CYCLEPATHS: DEVELOPMENT AND TESTING OF A STATIONARY ELECTRIC BIKE:
The SPARK lab has a need for an exciting interactive display item that can be used as advertisement for the ECE department to create interest for prospective students to join the ECE field. The field of engineering is projected to grow over the next ten years and the SPARK lab wants to gain the interest of the best and brightest future engineers. Having an interesting piece of equipment that is easily displayed and used will help in recruiting future students to the ECE department at UK.

The objective is to design and construct an electric bike that can be both stationary and mobile.


*NetSol: DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF CELLULAR/WiFi/RADIO TELEMETRY SYSTEM FOR THE UK SOLAR CAR TEAM:
The University of Kentucky solar car team currently have an existing telemetry system that consists of a large, power-hungry telemetry modem with a limited range of 900 Mhz. While the current telemetry system is working as intended, it has a few disadvantages. The main reasons for the upgrade of the telemetry system is the high power consumption of the modem, limited range of signal transmission, and interferences of signal from other vehicles during the race is also an issue.

The objective of this project is to design and construct a cellular/WiFi/radio telemetry system that will replace the current University of Kentucky Solar Car Team telemetry system.


*AutoCats: INTELLIGENT GROUND VEHICLE:
Intelligent Ground Vehicles (IGV) are the future of transportation, self-driving cars that can automatically change lanes, navigate in more complex environment by detecting challenging obstacles, and with many other capabilities is what will revolutionize the auto industry. The Auto Kats will design and build an IGV with the latest technology impacting the industrial development in order to compete in the 25th Annual Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC) at Oakland University Rochester, Michigan. The IGV must navigate around an outdoor obstacle course laid on grassy area while maintaining an average speed of one mile per hour. During the course run the vehicle must carry payload, avoid collisions, and stay within the define lanes. The team design process will focus on meeting the competition requirement and needs in order to gain points from the judges and avoid from being disqualified.

The objective of this project is to design and construct a functioning Intelligent Ground Vehicle that can compete in the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition.


*HARDWARE HITS: FLOPPY MUSIC
As technological advancement continues to progress, an ever-growing surplus of antiquated electrical and mechanical devices has produced a need for non-traditional solutions for the reuse and recycling of outdated technology. In the interest of reusing a portion of the University of Kentucky’s obsolete hardware, while also providing the computer and electrical engineering departments with a user-friendly interactive installation, the creation of a music machine predicated on, but not limited to, floppy drives is being explored.

The objective of this project is to have a working apparatus that plays music using
floppy drives and possibly other noise making hardware.


*THE PERFECT RUNNER: MEASURING THE FORCE OF A RUNNING PATIENT
The purpose of this project is to design and build a device that measures and transmits force measurement data. This project is being developed for physical therapy research at the University of Kentucky. This device will have the ability to measure the force placed upon the tibia of the person wearing it. Stress fractures are one of the most common injuries among runners. Unfortunately, due to the lack of technology, it can be difficult to tell when and how these injuries occur. There needs to be a means of measuring and monitoring the amounts of force applied to the joints and bones of runners so that one can diagnose the problem. The monitor needs to be practical. This means that it must be accurate, simple to access the stored information, comfortable so that it doesn't affect the results, and more affordable than seeking professional lab equipment. In order to be justified, the monitor has to give the user information that can be used to prevent stress related injuries in the future. It needs to do all of these items in a repeatable, safe, and feasible manner.

The objective of this project is to design and implement a device which can measure the force of impact of a runner’s foot on the ground.


*MicroKats MICROCONTROLLER SOLUTIONS: MICROCONTROLLER CONVERSION FOR NASA RMC:
The NASA RMC robot of the University of Kentucky’s NASA Robotic Mining Competition1 (RMC) Team currently uses the Arduino Mega for controlling the components for the robot in conjunction with the Raspberry Pi 3 for handling the communication between the Xbox 360 controller and the robot. The Arduino adds complexity to the system, as well as adds delay to controlling the robot. Another problem associated with the usage of the Arduino is that an error could be thrown before the task even begins, which requires reinitializing the Arduino and rewriting the serial connection code. For the reasons specified above, the Arduino Mega should be removed from the system.

The primary objective of this project is to remove the Arduino Mega from the NASA RMC robot,and condense the system, so that it only uses a Raspberry Pi 3 microcontroller for all of its functionality.


*LOUDNOIZ: ELECTRIC GUITAR
Music is still a cultural foothold of our society today, and continues to shape the way our culture develops. Music is constantly evolving with the new generations and with this change the instruments that produce the miracle of music must change as well. Instruments that have more unique play styles and accessibility will become the instruments used in the future of music development. Out of these instruments the guitar has seen very rapid improvements and innovations over the years. Even though it has seen much improvement, it is nowhere close to being done with its transformation. New and innovative ways to play the guitar will continue to change the way that the guitar is played.

The objective of this project is to design and create a guitar that can distort and change its sound through movement of the guitar and be able to be played over some device wirelessly from the guitar.


*THE CRYPTOS: FPGA BASED PHYSICALLY UNCLONABLE FUNCTIONS FOR SECURE KEY GENERATION IN EMBEDDED AND IoT DEVICES:
In 1999, Kevin Ashton coined the term “the Internet of Things”. He describes the Internet of Things (IoT) as an interconnection of a large number of networked smart devices that can sense things for themselves, amongst each other, gathering much more information than before when information was only put into computers via users. The IoT was officially “born” around 2008-2009, when the number of things and objects connected through the internet surpassed the number of people connected on it. Since then, companies have been vigorously producing “smart” devices connected through the IoT. With the increasing number of connections and information passing between objects, hackers and predators become an increasing threat. Ideally, no device should be vulnerable. If one device gets hacked, the rest of a network is vulnerable. Thus, the devices connected in networks such as the IoT need to be very secured. Commonly, devices have used secret keys to decrypt and encrypt data. The keys are stored in secure, nonvolatile memory. Nonvolatile memory is expensive, resource intensive, and has recently become more vulnerable to attacks. The concept of using Physically Unclonable Functions (PUFs) to generate secret keys has been around since the early 2000s, but only recently has it begun being implemented. PUFs are theorized to provide more security to the system, while decreasing the weight and the cost of the system.

The objective of this project is to create a chip that can be used in an Internet of Things (IoT) device to secure the device and prevent against hacking and other attacks. This device will generate a secret key using a physically unclonable function (PUF) that will be mapped onto an FPGA. The PUF has sets of challenge and response pairs (CRP’s) that will be unique to the device itself and used to authenticate the device with a server. This authentication includes the encryption of the key as it passes to the server, and the decryption as the server passes information back to the device.


*SBST: SMART BATTERY TESTING SYSTEM:
There currently exists no highly accurate battery model and it is this lack of an accurate battery charge/discharge model that makes the proposed use of large power banks in the power grid difficult to achieve. This applies to current methods of power analysis such that the operation of a battery and its system response is hard to predict effectively when the system is not in a steady state condition. It is for this reason that a battery model is essential for the proposed use of battery banks in the grid. A model for a battery’s behavioral characteristics is needed such that power analysis for large scale battery banks is made simpler and more accurate.

The objective of this project is to develop an accurate battery model that can used for future power system analysis. This model would serve to be a manner in which the discharging and charging operation of a battery could be predicted and controlled which changes and fluctuations in the power demand on the circuit and what impacts the battery has on the circuit itself.