Noteworthy Projects

My process starts with an open mind. I collect proposed ideas from the team to formulate an outcome that fulfills the goals of the project in intriguing and innovative ways.

And then I put a bow on it.

 

Senior Design : Unattended Laser Therapy Project with Enovis

Unattended laser

Goal

Develop a device that allows laser therapy to be performed unattended by a practitioner. This includes eliminating the human efforts and automating the process while maintaining the current effectiveness of the treatment.

Method

Utilizing a list of constraints and wants, I led a group of 4 student engineers in designing, constructing, testing, and presenting the culmination of this semester-long project. Constraints and wants included:

  • Safety: The device should not cause the patient any injury. It must also include an emergency stop for the patient to turn off the device in case of an emergency.
  • Effective Treatment: Patients have noticeable short term and long lasting effects from the treatment. The laser has to be powerful enough and positioned right to have instant noticeable pain relief.
  • Skin Temperature: To prevent skin damage and pain, the device must not allow the laser to be on one part of the body for too long.
  • Versatility: The device must be versatile enough to be used on multiple body parts and for people of all sizes.
  • Safety of Bystanders: The usage of proper eye PPE is required to prevent the laser from causing injury.
  • Adequate Mobility: The device should be easily moveable between and within rooms.
  • Clearance for Air Cooling: There should be a clearance space around the back of the device to allow for necessary ventilation.
  • Cost: The total cost should be under $4,000
  • Power: The device should be compatible with a standard wall outlet to provide an adequate supply of power.
  • Set Up Time: There should be a minimal set up time to prepare the device for operation.
  • Comfortable: The device should be reasonably comfortable for the patient for the duration of the treatment.
  • Cleanability: Cleaning of the device to a medical standard should be easily performed without damaging any components.
  • Low Cost: The device should be as inexpensive as possible to manufacture

    Results

    To be presented at 2023 Fall Showcase.

    Junior Design : Pill Bottle Filler Project

    Goal

    to create an autonomous monoblock pill bottle-filling machine that can effectively fill bottles with pills from small-scale “batch-based” pharmaceutical manufacturing. The machine should be compact, be able to set up and take down in between batches, as well as safe for a user to operate.

    Method

    Utilizing a list of constraints and wants, I led a group of 10 student engineers in designing, constructing, testing, and presenting the culmination of this 2 semester-long project. Constraints and wants included:

    • Safety: The design must follow all safety requirements including, but not limited to, meeting ISO, ASTM, and OSHA standards.
    • Storage: The system must be compact enough to fit in the given volume and storage area and be appropriate for batch-sized projects.
    • Automation: The design must be fully automated. It must also be able to process bottles in bulk.
    • Functionality: The system must have working conveyance of bottles, bottle filling abilities, and bottle capping abilities. The design must be able to accurately fill the bottles with the intended amount of pills and fully cap within the desired time.
    • Reliability: There must few or no system breakages and with a low percentage of error in the production process (i.e. little to no capping malfunctions and few pill-filling errors)
    • Set-Up: Two operators should be able to construct the system to working order from storage state in less than 10 mins.
    • Processing Speed: The system is intended to produce a batch of bottles more efficiently than manual production.
    • Waste Reduction: There is minimal product waste with material use and material loss (pills) during production
    • Design Practicality: The design should be easy-to-use for its users.
    • Design Appearance: The design is intended to have a professional and clean look.

    Results

    This project passed or preliminarily passed all wants and constraints and achieved the goals outlined.

    Refractometry at Home Project

    Goal

    to create at home chemistry projects suitable for first and second year undergraduate students as well as study the refractive properties of non-ideal solutions. The chemistry projects should be affordable and without the use of restricted chemicals. All chemicals should be available to the typical consumer.

    Method

    In my work on ternary phase solutions, I recorded the different refractive indices of non-ideal ternary solutions. I then graphed the solution’s concentration of each of the three components against its refractive index. The change in refractive index from concentration developed a hooked shape, instead of the general, straight line relationship of ideal solutions.

    In my work on general chemistry curriculum, I helped develop a home-lab using refractometry. The lab consisted of measuring the refractive index of various houshold liquids. The refractometer readout was then used to determine salt and sugar concentration for the liquid.

    This project resulted in a paper and poster presentation. The poster was presented at the American Chemical Society Undergraduate Poster Session in the spring of 2021. The paper can be found here: https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jchemed.1c00012

    Results

    This project resulted in a paper and poster presentation. The poster was presented at the American Chemical Society Undergraduate Poster Session in the spring of 2021. The paper can be found here: https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jchemed.1c00012

    Melissa & Doug Toy Design Challenge

    Goal

    to create a customizable music-themed toy that targets creative play and improves fine motor skills specifically designed for children between 3-5 years old.

    Method

    Utilizing a list of constraints and wants, I worked with a team of four other student engineers in designing, constructing, testing, and presenting the culmination of this semester-long project. Constraints and wants included:

    • Safety: The toy must be safe for ages 3-5 by meeting ASTM standard consumer safety specifications for toys.
    • Size: The toy should be designed for 3-5 year old large motor skills.
    • Number of Manufacturing Processes: The toy must be made using a minimum number of manufacturing processes.
    • Cost: $20 budget to cover materials not provided by the lab.
    • Developmentally Appropriate: The toy should be appropriate the associated types of play for 3-5 year olds.
    • Novel Toy Concept: The toy should appear new and different from other toys seen on the market for the target age group.
    • Consistent With Brand: The toy should look consistent with other toys made by the Melissa and Doug brand.
    • Inclusive: The toy should be inclusive for any gender and cultural background.
    • Musical Element: The toy should have a musical element to fill a gap in the toy market.
    • Encourages Creative Play: The toy should encourage creativity while playing with/assembling the toy.

    Results

    This project passed or preliminarily passed all wants and constraints and achieved the goals outlined. It surpassed expectations and won Best in Show of all the toy designs presented.

    Robotics : Competitive Robotics Club

    Robotics Project

    Goal

    to create two robots to compete in the yearly VEX robotics tournament. The robots should be capable of intaking disks, shooting them into baskets, and expanding when the driver calls for it. Robots should also be capable of limited autonomous movement.

    Method

     A team of six designed, tested, and competed with two robots. These robots traveled to competitions.

    The robots worked together with drivers to score points by getting disks into goals of varying height differences from ground level. They fired disks with a fly wheel and intake. 

    The robot collected disks off the ground with the intake and ‘shot’ them with the fly wheel. There were also multiple spring loaded expansion devices mounted on the top of each robot. The devices would engage at the completion of the game to span as much ground as possible. Points were awarded for goals and the number of tiles covered at the end of the game.

    The robots are also capable of limited autonomous motion for a non-driver controlled portion of the competition. 

    Results

    The robots scored high enough to garner the team an invitation to the World Championships.

    Water Turbine Blade​

    Goal

    to determine the best material for construction of a Kaplan water turbine blade at minimal construction cost.

    Method

    The water turbine blade was modeled as a plate fixed at one end in bending. Using a list of constraints and free variables, we selected a material, determined the environmental impact and necessary manufacturing methods to make the turbine blade.

     

    • Constraints:
      Resist erosion
      Does not yield under load
      Does not deform or bend
      Rectangular cross-section area
      Solid (not hollow)
      No cavitation
      Energy generation

       

    • Free Variables:
      Material
      Geometric dimensions (l, w, t)
      Density
      Young’s Modulus E within reason

    Results

    This resulted in a material index equation. From this equation, the top materials for this problem were found. From this list, a single material was selected due to other limiting factors, such as material reactivity. Low alloy steel was determined to be the most effective material for this object. manufacturing and impact were taken into account in the calculations.

    Bone Fracture Plate

    Robotics Project

    Goal

    to design a fracture plate that can repair bone fracture.

    Method

    Utilizing a list of supplied design constraints, I led a team of 3 student engineers in designing, constructing, and testing a bone fracture plate of our own design. Designs factored concerns around the quality and function of bones.
    Constraints included:

    • 6-8 dynamic compression (DC) screw holes. Screw hole geometry
    • Plate must be symmetric about its horizontal and vertical mid-planes
    • Length 160 mm, width 15 mm, and thickness 4 mm
    • Outer surface radius 40 mm, inner surface radius 36 mm
    • Filleted long edges at R0.5
    • Inner surface must include one or more of the following three features:
      • semi-circular channels, parallel or perpendicular to the plate’s longitudinal axis
      • scallops along the exterior edges of the plate
      • oblong pockets
    • Factor of safety > 2.0 for yield under full weight-bearing of 800 N
    • Plate axial stiffness 150-450 N/mm
    • Plate bending rigidity 12-20 Nm2
    • Bone-plate contact area < 75%

      Results

      This project passed testing. It did not buckle under the applied compression and met all of the design requirements.

      Wooden Bike Race​

      Goal

      to design and build a full scale prototype of a wooden bike frame that is safe and functional and foot propelled for adult riders.

      Method

      Utilizing a list of constraints and wants, I worked on a team of 4 student engineers in designing, constructing, testing, and presenting the culmination of this semester-long project.
      Constraints and wants included:

      • Safety: The design must have an FOS > 1.5 for a 175 lb user for frame and bolt failure.
      • Material Constraints: The bike may consist of ½” Plywood 4 ft x 4 ft sheet, ¼-20 bolt assemblies max 50 ct, a provided front fork design, and 26” wheels.
      • Compact: The design must fit into a standard travel bike bag (50″ x 32″ x 9”).
      • Economical: The bicycle is the lowest cost possible, <$35.
      • Lightweight: The weight of the bike frame is as minimal as possible, not to exceed 25 lbs.
      • Easy to Assemble: The design should take <4 tools, <15 mins, and 2 people or less to assemble from its collapsed travel form.
      • Comfortable: The bicycle should not have splinters and should be ridden in a natural riding position.
      • Stylish: The bicycle design should be clean and stylish as surveyed using the Likert scale. 
      • Fast: Bicycle should be able to place in the top ⅓ in a bike race of its class.

      Results

      This project passed or preliminarily passed all wants and constraints and achieved the goals outlined.

      Solar Panel Engineering Kit

      Robotics Project

      Goal

      There is a severe lack of building projects for teenagers interested in engineering, especially ones geared towards young women. There are many options for young children interested in engineering, which are too simple and unstimulating for a young adult. There are even less renewable energy related projects for future engineers. Most currently available building kits are of gas powered car engines. The kits are all battery powered too, and have no usefulness after building. I aim to change this by creating a Build Your Own Solar Panel Charger Kit.

      Method

      Though primary and secondary research, a list of the necessary materials were compiled as well as a cost. With the help of a grant from the University of Delaware Innovation Fund, the materials were purchased. After several attempts to find the best method for creating a semiconductor with household products and kit materials, a method of producing a low quality semiconductor in a microwave was found. This was then wired into a frame and attached to an AC/DC converter chip. Anything hooked up to the solar cell would be able to pull power from the semiconductor and sunlight.

      Results

      This project was able to generate electricity and is considered a success. It was presented as a poster at the Delaware Innovation Fellows Spring Showcase.

      Sophia Waxman

      Please contact me if you have project that meets my skillset, if you want to explore ideas with me, or if you just want to say “hi.”

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