NOVEMBER 15, 2022 — UTSA innovation will be on display this week during an event that recognizes the bold strides of engineering students.
Hosted by the Margie and Bill Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design (the Klesse College), the Tech Symposium offers students the opportunity to showcase their ingenuity, as teams from each of the college’s engineering disciplines present their senior design projects.
The semi-annual event will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, November 18 at the H-E-B Student Union Ballrooms (HSU 1.104/106).
More than 300 students from every engineering major are participating in this culminating experience for their degree programs. The Tech Symposium is an excellent opportunity for students to apply their knowledge toward real-word solutions. It is also an effective way for students from the Klesse College to strengthen their relationships with the business community.
An example of the partnerships being formed as a result of the symposium is the project by mechanical engineering seniors Matthew Juarez, Adalicia Scimia, Alan Guerra and Sarah Sultan, who collaborated with Dr. Jeffrey Ebin, founder and director of Innovation Ebcore, to develop Ebin’s idea of Athrombic Pants.
The device will help prevent dangerous blood clots from forming by providing compression to a person’s legs to help promote blood flow and potentially catch a blood clot in its early stages through monitoring the temperature of the lower body. The team also made the device more mobile and aesthetically appealing than current methods of treatment.
“These types of projects are an enormous boon to our students and their future,” said R. Lyle Hood, an assistant professor in the UTSA Department of Mechanical Engineering and sponsor of the team.
It was in Hood’s class, which focuses on medical device design development, that Juarez discovered the intersection between engineering and medicine. His interest bloomed with the realization that he could help people by designing devices to improve their quality of life. It grew even more when the project became personal.
“My grandma was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis. Having the ability to use my engineering skills to develop a medical device that could potentially help many people like my grandma has kept my interest in the field,” Juarez said.
Selecting the group of UTSA students to help fabricate the idea was an easy decision for Ebin, who expressed his and Hood’s shared passion for educating the next generation of engineers. He praised the students’ ability to listen and adapt their project accordingly.
“Students working to realize the brilliant dreams of physician-scientists like Dr. Ebin have the potential to make a fundamental impact on the lives of patients,” Hood said. “More importantly, these students also receive tremendous benefit through having such an innovative project on their resumes that they can highlight to potential employers. These students and their work exemplify what it means to be a Roadrunner.”
Presentations are divided into two sections. Senior Design I is for engineering students in the first semester of their senior year. They present a practical concept related to their major, using a visual display such as a poster.
Senior Design II is for graduating engineering students in their second semester. They advance their idea from Design I and develop a prototype device. Professionals with an engineering background in each major category judge the entries.
The winners compete for cash awards. The first, second and third place Senior Design II teams receive prizes of $4,000, $3,000 and $2,000, respectively. The top three Senior Design I teams each receive a $1,000 prize.
Tech Symposium winners will be announced at the end of Friday’s event.
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