Robots to duke it out today: Mechanical engineering students display their senior projects

By and

While many students are stressing out over finals, mechanical engineering students seem to have it worse.

Seniors must present their projects Friday at Design Day, which is free and open to the public.

“Education at universities tends to be compartmentalized because of its design, but real engineering is the synthesis of different tools required to solve problems. It’s a valuable experience to do this in a real way,” said Joe Klewicki, chairperson of mechanical engineering.

Students began working on their projects at the end of Spring Semester last year, and will try to best their classmates today.

The various competitions cover robot sumo wrestling, catapulting toy cougars and stopping eggs from splattering during “Egglympics.”

The robot competition has a new twist this year as robots must walk rather than be on wheels.

The student team who can push over the other robot within 75 seconds, shove it out of the ring or grab the center spot will escape their final exam in their mechatronics course.

Students will be graded according to how well their project works.

Students will also display posters explaining their projects, and they must turn in their final papers, which range from 30 to 50 pages, next week, Klewicki said.

Some of the competitions are funded by national engineering societies and others are funded by private companies.

One team designed a manufacturing process that will save a company “hundreds of thousands of dollars a year,” Klewicki said.

“It’s nice for the students to take the direct fruits of their education and turn it into something good for others, and it’s nice for professors to see their students succeed,” he said.

Klewicki said he hopes others will notice the students’ hard work by dropping by the Union today to check out the projects.

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Design Day Competition Schedule

Trebuchet Competition Center Ballroom 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

World Egglympics East Ballroom 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Sumo Wrestling Robots Competition Saltair Room 1 to 3 p.m.

Senior Design Projects Presentations Ballroom Corridor 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Microfabrication Displays West Ballroom 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.