Engineering Design EXPO Showcases Student Innovation

Thursday, April 19 2012


MOSCOW, Idaho -- The University of Idaho Engineering Design EXPO -- the Northwest’s largest and longest-running interdisciplinary initiative, showcasing students’ engineering and technological innovations – will take place at the Student Union Building on Friday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Every U-Idaho engineering graduate participates in a senior capstone design course before heading to graduate school or into the workforce. This process challenges Idaho engineering students to tackle real world issues with the help of industry partners. This year’s EXPO will feature 57 student capstone design projects ranging from customized audio integration of various inputs while riding a motorcycle to an environmentally friendly bridge and stream design to evaluating water softening technology.

A recent EXPO project led to a cost-saving production breakthrough for The Boeing Company. Five U-Idaho engineering students created a prototype that accurately sets the zero-point on the head of cutting mills. Boeing engineers refined and installed the device in its production facilities around the world, including where Boeing 787 Dreamliners are produced. This device has saved the company millions of dollars, and it was in partnership with U-Idaho.

The National Academy of Engineering recently selected the EXPO as one of 29 examples in the nation that demonstrates successful, sustaining programs that infuse real world experience into engineering education. This national recognition is another proof of the uniqueness and significance of senior capstone experience and EXPO.

The EXPO also offers a “$200 for Teachers” contest, which gives 10-$200 awards for classroom use to math or science teachers in the Northwest. This prize money has been graciously donated by EXPO sponsors to encourage middle school, junior high and high school students to enter college to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) disciplines. For more information, go to www.uidaho.edu/engr/expo/200forteachers.

This year’s distinguished speaker will be Christopher Norris, President and CEO of Alta Devices. Alta is a venture financed solar company, which has raised over $100 million and has set world records for the highest efficiency solar cells and solar modules. Norris has seven patents, a BSEE degree from U-Idaho and an MSCE degree from Santa Clara University.

All EXPO events are free and open to the public. A full schedule of events and speaker biographies is available online at www.uidaho.edu/engr/expo.
# # #

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Learn more: www.uidaho.edu.