Over the past few years, I have concentrated on optoengineering, instrumentation, and sensor based projects. Recently most of my work is sensors and instrumenation for Smart Grid applications. I prefer to work with inter-disciplinary teams from multiple engineering specialties. If you envision a project in this area, please read the proposal guide link below.
I frequently get asked to recommend a good project. For a good perspective on what is "a good project" read the following entertaining letter.
Solar Power - tracking photovoltaic system
Portable power station - Spring 2008
This senior design project was completed using lead acid batteries. Follow on work may include using electroochemical double layer capacitors, EDLC, or ultracapacitors as the energy storage device. One advantage of using a capacitor is there is no practical limitation on the number of charge/discharge cycles. Batteries are an expensive energy storage device with disposal hazards.
Optical Position Sensor - Space-borne platform attitude control. Spring 2008
This project was sponsored by the Aerojet Corporation. EEE students designed a variable thrust attitude jet controller that included an optical sensor which senses the position of the thruster actuator.
A.B.L.E.S. - Highway Safety Project
Spring 2010 - The EEE Department provided student support for this MET project.
Students from my EEE 165 class are designing an optical detection system which will determine if the car in front has applied severe braking.
Micro-Hydro Power Plant - start delayed indefinitely.
Status: Fall 2009 - Project postponed due to Dr. Dan Noren's one year posting to an industrial position.
We hope to return to this project in the Fall 2010 semester.
Project will design and build a water powered generator for later installation in an off-grid cabin in Idaho.
This project is going to incorporate a true multi-disciplinary team from the start.
Student backgrounds desired:
- Civil - site survey, trench layout, environmental issues
- Mechanical - pipe sizing, insulation, generator station construction, water head calculations, environmental issues
- Electrical - power concentration background - survey of resident's energy needs, generator head sizing, battery storage, inverters, chargers, power transmission to the house
- Electrical - instrumentation - track power generation, battery state, residential power consumption, stream water temperature, energy efficient appliances
Spring 2008 - Mechanical complete.
May 2009 - Labview based sensor data acquisition and control system complete.
System is now fully functional and user interface was well received by the ME faculty.
Commercial Heat Exchanger
This project is similar to the HVAC demonstrator but is a full-scale commercial system built and installed by professional contractors.
Fall 2009 - Commercial control devices from L&H Airco installed.
Mechanical system required significant effort to bring up to working status.
System electrical complete (9/30/09) and system tested successfully.