NOVEMBER 21, 2023 — Senior UTSA engineering majors showcased their solutions to many of humanity’s grand challenges at the Fall 2023 Tech Symposium. The trademark competition, hosted on Friday, November 17, by the Margie and Bill Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design, featured impressive projects and ideas. Ultimately, the top three winning projects in the Design II category were a water well system, a high-tech ankle brace, and a meal assistance robot.
Hydro Logic, featuring the work of Ben Ford, Dillon White, Dilpreet Kaur and Shane Lettine, took first place for their project “Smart Well.” The well replaces the traditional mechanical components of the water well control system with cutting-edge, digital, solid-state solutions. They came up with this concept after recognizing how many residential water well systems suffer from outdated and problematic mechanical control systems.
The student team will receive a $4,000 cash prize for its first-place finish.
Second place went to BMHJ Engineering, featuring Gage Brown, Juan Jeffers, Patrick Mochen and Michael Hernandez. After one of the team members broke his ankle earlier this year, the idea to create a “Pressure Sensitive Ankle Brace” was born.
This design helps to identify if the patient is putting too much pressure on his/her foot and includes a microcontroller with Wi-Fi connectivity capabilities. The students will receive a $3,000 cash prize.
The third-place winning team, Assistive Robotics, consisted of Sara Mustafa, Josie Torres, Elijah Guzman, Damario Harris, Rafael Robles and Caleb Champion. The “Optimized Meal Assistance Robot (OMAR)” is an assistive robotic arm that enables physically impaired individuals the ability to feed themselves without the assistance of caregivers. The team will receive a $2,000 cash prize.
“The work the students put into their project is really inspiring,” said Eric Brey, interim dean of the Klesse College. “This event teaches them how to take an idea from concept to prototype and gives them a chance to answer the hard questions that the judges and industry professionals ask. It is important for them to showcase their presentation skills just as much as their ideas. It is great to see the excitement that our alumni and industry judges have for what our students have been able to accomplish.”
The event was bustling with students, sponsors, local industry organization representatives and proud faculty and family members. Senior Design I students presented their concepts through posters. Like their predecessors in the competition, they will go on to use these posters to produce and present a prototype based on their concepts in the Senior Design II course.
All engineering entries were judged by professionals in each major category.
This semester, 87 projects (comprised of more than 350 students) were on display and $12,000 in cash prizes was awarded.
Three Design II teams also received awards of excellence at the symposium. The winners included:
Three Design I teams were also recognized as overall winners for their first-semester projects and received a $1,000 prize:
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