Tuesday, April 23, 2024

UTSA engineering students partner with local organizations to solve challenges

UTSA engineering students partner with local organizations to solve challenges

APRIL 19, 2022 — The Margie and Bill Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design (Klesse College) at UTSA will host the Spring 2022 Tech Symposium from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 21.

Students will gather in the Convocation Center on the UTSA Main Campus to showcase their ingenuity, as teams from each of the college’s engineering disciplines present their senior design projects. This semi-annual event is free and open to the public.

The Tech Symposium represents the culmination of undergraduate study for students of Klesse College. Over the two final semesters of their undergraduate studies, engineering students develop a solution to a real-world problem. In many cases, the teams partner with companies and organizations to help tackle a business challenge.

“The Tech Symposium and the senior design projects it highlights are a huge part of student development at Klesse College.”

The Tech Symposium, produced by the Klesse College’s Student Success Center, is one of the many key aspects of the college’s commitment to helping students build their pathways from classrooms to careers. Other key initiatives include career guidance, tutoring services, guest speakers from leading employers, personal and professional development workshops, resume and interview preparation and more.

“We’re dedicated to helping our students achieve great things,” said Jill Ford, assistant dean of the college and director of its Student Success Center. “From our students’ very first day on campus, throughout their college career and beyond graduation, we are here to ensure our Roadrunners can access all needed resources to excel in the classroom and stand out when applying for employment or further educational opportunities.”

Beginning in fall 2022, the college will require all incoming students to complete a Signature Experience prior to graduation. Students will choose between an internship, a study abroad experience, a research project or a service-learning project. These opportunities promote hands-on experiential learning that sees students challenged to apply skills and knowledge beyond the classroom and preparing them for real-world application of their desired professions.

In one example of a project partnership on display at this year’s symposium, mechanical engineering students Talley Barnes, Evan Forester, Bosco Madassery and Garrett Parker teamed up with San Antonio-based Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) to develop their Advanced Mobility Crawler (AMC). The AMC is a remote-controlled device developed to remotely maneuver through and maintain dark, cramped and dangerous locations that would otherwise require a human to physically access. Their project was inspired by the need to maintain buoyancy chambers in naval vessels, which must be cleaned regularly to reduce accumulated debris and water.

The UTSA Unmanned Systems Laboratory sponsored a project by electrical engineering student Joshua Barron; computer engineering student JD Wilson and Ruben Castillo, who is doubling in both majors. They are developing a modular drone named Modi-Fly. They developed the system with customization in mind, allowing users to quickly and easily adjust the components to meet their specific-use and case needs.

Additional project sponsors at this semester’s event include H-E-B, the San Antonio Water System, the San Antonio River Authority and many engineering firms.

Learn more about the Klesse College.

“The Tech Symposium and the senior design projects it highlights are a huge part of student development at Klesse College,” said JoAnn Browning, who is dean of the college. “It’s important to our college, and UTSA more broadly, that students are presented avenues to apply the knowledge they acquire throughout their degree and to positively impact others around them. In doing so, they emerge from their undergraduate studies equipped with hands-on experience, project and teamwork skills, and an instilled capacity to persevere and solve engineering problems that prepares them to excel in the workforce or in an advanced degree program.”

Previous participants in the college’s Tech Symposiums have gone on to turn their project prototype into a business upon graduation. Once such student, Ryan Saavedra ’20 developed a bionic hand prosthetic for below-elbow amputees. Since graduating, he launched his own company, Alt-Bionics, and recently secured investment from locally based Alamo Angels.

Rory Dew

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of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

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UTSA Today is produced by University Communications and Marketing, the official news source of The University of Texas at San Antonio. Send your feedback to news@utsa.edu. Keep up-to-date on UTSA news by visiting UTSA Today. Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.



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