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18th annual expo awards ceremony

2012 EXPO Award Winners

Booth & Exhibit Awards

Exhibits are judged based on interviews with team members. Specific criteria include: thoughtful use of design methodology, knowledge of appropriate engineering standards and constraints, awareness of potential project impact on society and development of life-long learning skills in the course of the project.

Power Management Chip

Power Management Chip

The uMax chip is a low-power integrated circuit for harvesting energy from low-power, low-voltage sources using a maximum power point tracker (MPPT) and power management system.

Team Members:

  • Anthony Kanago - Computer Engineering
  • Valerie Barry - Electrical Engineering
  • Benjamin Sprague - Computer Engineering
  • John Sandmeyer - Computer Science

Sponsor:

  • VLSI Sensors Research Group

Advisers:

  • Dr. Gregory Donohoe, Dr. Touraj Assefi

Mentor:

  • Dr. Suat Ay

U of I Finger Therapy Robot

University of Idaho Finger Therapy Robot

We are developing a robotic device to administer and investigate movement therapy following impairment due to stroke. The robotic device provides assistance as needed during computer therapy games while simultaneously monitoring and recording patient performance. The goal is to better understand the factors that promote functional recovery.

Team Members:

  • David Gardner - Mechanical Engineering
  • Kyle Gray - Mechanical Engineering
  • Curtis Bower - Mechanical Engineering
  • Keith Denney - Mechanical Engineering

Sponsor:

  • National Institute of Health

Adviser:

  • Dr. Eric Wolbrecht

Feasibility of a Large-Scale Hydroponic Growing Operation

Feasibility Analysis of a Large - Scale Hydroponic Growing Operation

This project analyzes the energy and economic cost that would be required to feed a global population using hydroponic growing techniques. This analysis includes a survey of human nutrition, an investigation of available lighting sources and efficiencies, and a proposal for the treatment of fruit and vegetable waste.

Team Members:

  • Josi Lemke - Chemical Engineering

Adviser:

  • Dr. David Drown

Mentor:

  • Dr. David MacPherson

Infinity Planting: Conceptual Precision Seed-planting System

Infinity Planting: Conceptual Precision Seed Planting System

We are adapting iO DuPont’s patented variable - speed transmission for use in the precision agriculture industry, by providing a prototype of an automated variable - rate seeding mechanism. This will enable an optimization of the input to output crop yield and a reduction in the environmental impact of farming.

Team Members:

  • Kendra Hildreth - Mechanical Engineering
  • Douglas Kippes - Biological and Agricultural Engineering
  • Kara Kleppen - Biological and Agricultural Engineering
  • Zack Wuthrich - Mechanical Engineering

Sponsor:

  • Tony Dupont, founder of iO DuPont

Adviser:

  • Dr. Jay McCormack

Mentor:

  • Curtis Bower, Daniel Mathewson

Rear-Drive Snowmobile

Rear Drive Snowmobile

The team created a rear drive system for the clean snowmobile in order to improve its efficiency and handling.

Team Members:

  • Neil Miller - Mechanical Engineering
  • Jeremy Nichols - Mechanical Engineering
  • Chris Hill - Mechanical Engineering

Sponsor:

  • National Institute of Advanced Transportation Technology

Adviser:

  • Dr. Karen DenBraven

Mentor:

  • Drew Hooper, Austin Welch

Technical Session Awards

Technical sessions are judged on the ability to communicate concepts to a technical audience. Specific criteria include: clear statement of purpose, organization of supporting content, appropriate style/format of presentation and use of visual aids.

Purification of Molten Salts via a Potassium Drawdown Reaction

Purification of Molten Salts via a Potassium Drawdown Reaction

Molten salt mixtures are used in an electrorefiner to separate constituents of nuclear waste streams. A potassium drawdown reaction was tested for its viability to recycle the molten salt solution and increase the overall efficiency of the electrorefining process by selectively removing heavy metals.

Team Members:

  • Neil Sing - Chemical Engineering/Chemistry
  • Michael Christenson - Chemical Engineering/Chemistry
  • Nicholas Eimers - Chemical Engineering
  • Jacob Bow - Chemical Engineering/ Mathematics

Sponsors:

  • University of Idaho Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Idaho National Laboratory

Adviser:

  • Dr. David Drown

Mentor:

  • Dr. Supathorn Phongikaroon

Power Management Chip

Power Management Chip

The uMax chip is a low-power integrated circuit for harvesting energy from low-power, low-voltage sources using a maximum power point tracker (MPPT) and power management system.

Team Members:

  • Anthony Kanago - Computer Engineering
  • Valerie Barry - Electrical Engineering
  • Benjamin Sprague - Computer Engineering
  • John Sandmeyer - Computer Science

Sponsor:

  • VLSI Sensors Research Group

Advisers:

  • Dr. Gregory Donohoe, Dr. Touraj Assefi

Mentor:

  • Dr. Suat Ay

NASA Steckler Flywheel Storage for Lunar Colonization

NASA Steckler Flywheel Storage for Lunar Colonization

Funded by the NASA Steckler Space Grant, our team is developing a flywheel energy storage system. Flywheels provide an efficient, reliable, and low maintenance method for storing renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. NASA hopes to use a flywheel system to power a lunar colony.

Team Members:

  • Sierra McFarland - Mechanical Engineering
  • Marcus Charles - Mechanical Engineering
  • Bridget Wimer - Electrical Engineering
  • Kevin Ramus - Electrical Engineering
  • Juliet Petersen - Electrical Engineering
  • Caitlin Owsley - Mechanical Engineering

Sponsors:

  • NASA Glenn Research Center, The Boeing Company

Advisers:

  • Dr. Joseph Law, Dr. Edwin Odom, Dr. Christine Berven, Dr. Matthew Riley

Mentor:

  • Christopher Mirabzadeh, Kysen Palmer, Dan Mathewson, Brent Kisling

Infinity Planting: Conceptual Precision Seed-planting System

Infinity Planting: Conceptual Precision Seed Planting System

We are adapting iO DuPont’s patented variable - speed transmission for use in the precision agriculture industry, by providing a prototype of an automated variable - rate seeding mechanism. This will enable an optimization of the input to output crop yield and a reduction in the environmental impact of farming.

Team Members:

  • Kendra Hildreth - Mechanical Engineering
  • Douglas Kippes - Biological and Agricultural Engineering
  • Kara Kleppen - Biological and Agricultural Engineering
  • Zack Wuthrich - Mechanical Engineering

Sponsor:

  • Tony Dupont, founder of iO DuPont

Adviser:

  • Dr. Jay McCormack

Mentor:

  • Curtis Bower, Daniel Mathewson

Poster Awards

Posters arejudged on the ability to communicate concepts to a technical audience. Specific criteria include: clear statement of purpose, organization of supporting content, appropriate style/format of presentation and use of visual aids.

State Highway 41 Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvements

State Highway 41 Pedestrian & Bicycle Improvements

Currently, a two - foot wide, dirt-worn trail exists east of State Highway 41 in Post Falls, Idaho near the Centennial Trail. We are developing a design for a ten-foot wide, paved trail to provide safer access for a variety of trail users.

Team Members:

  • Neil Walsky - Civil Engineering
  • Danny Ward - Civil Engineering
  • Greg Reince - Civil Engineering
  • Edwin Rubio - Civil Engineering

Sponsor:

  • J-U-B Engineers, Inc.

Adviser:

  • Dr. Fritz Fiedler, P.E.

State Highway 81 Southside Canal

State Highway 81 Southside Canal

The purpose of this project was to replace or improve the SH - 81 bridge over the Southside G Canal in Declo, ID. The existing bridge was constructed in 1938 and no longer met safety regulations. The team was responsible for all hydraulic, hydrological, geotechnical, structural, and transportation aspects of the design.

Team Members:

  • Jordan Reich - Civil Engineering
  • Michaela Petersen - Civil Engineering
  • David Zubizareta - Civil Engineering
  • Austin Petersen - Civil Engineering
  • Liz Warner - Civil Engineering

Sponsor:

  • Steve Tonks, Idaho Transportation Department

Adviser:

  • Dr. Fritz Fiedler, P.E.

Thermal Depolymerization of Used Tire Rubber

Thermal Depolymerization of Used Tire Rubber

Discarded tires take up significant space in landfills. Tires are difficult to recycle because of crosslinked polymer chains. However, Thermal Depolymerization can break down these chains into basic components, essentially crude oil. An energy analysis was performed to determine the cost effectiveness and the environmental impact of recycling tires.

Team Members:

  • Bryce Eaton - Chemical Engineering
  • Natalie Kirch - Chemical Engineering
  • Steven Sitler - Chemical Engineering
  • Nathan Wilkerson - Chemical Engineering

Sponsor:

  • Department of Chemical & Materials Engineering

Advisers:

  • Dr. David Drown, Dr. Mark Roll

Mentor:

  • Dr. Dave MacPherson, Dr. Thomas Bitterwolf, Charles Cornwall

People's Choice

This award is based on votes cast by all EXPO registrants (including exhibitors) and has no specific criteria.

NASA Tensegrity Robot

NASA Tensegrity Robot

We are creating a self - propelled tensegrity structure made of components that are only in tension and compression. The mechanical structure of this robot is inspired by a model of a spinal column. This NASA funded project will be transported to the Ames lab by University of Idaho graduate students for further research.

Team Members:

  • Andrew Davis - Mechanical Engineering
  • Danny Elsbury - Mechanical Engineering
  • Charlee Hendrickson - Mechanical Engineering
  • Alex Hanson - Mechanical Engineering
  • Joshua Plumb - Mechanical Engineering
  • Michael Wheless - Electrical Engineering

Sponsor:

  • NASA Ames

Adviser:

  • Dr. Jay McCormack

Mentor:

  • Dave Gardner, George Korbel