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Outside view of Engineering Systems Building.

Senior Design Projects Will Be Showcased During ESPEX 2023

By Sherry DiBari

One of the innovative senior design projects this year is the design and construction of an Underwater Unmanned Vehicle (UUV) containing a gimbal-mounted sensor platform for underwater structure inspections. The five-student team built the vehicle with six underwater thrusters mounted to a 3D-printed hull made of non-conductive plastic material and a watertight plexiglass enclosure for the electrical systems. The vehicle uses sonar to generate a 3D map and an optical sensor to photograph the structural environment. The information can then be transferred to a local computer for data processing.

The UUV project will be just one of the many senior design projects showcased during the Batten College of Engineering and Technology engineering student project expo (ESPEX). The event will be held April 25 in the Engineering Systems Building from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

This year's projects cover a wide range of categories including autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, wireless communications, medical innovations, practical engineering solutions and industry competitions.

One of the practical projects this year is the design and construction of a novel painting machine for residential structures. The device, consisting of two parallel roller heads and a built-in spray nozzle attached to an existing spray gun pole, is designed to spray paint between the rollers as it moves along the surface. The students' goal was to reduce paint overspray and increase efficiency.

Industry partnerships will also be highlighted. One team partnered with Symbiotic Aquaponic in McAlester, Oklahoma, to create an all-in-one solution to monitor key data points in water chemistry for aquaponics - a food production system combining aquaculture and hydroponics. The result of the senior design project is an increase in the efficiency in monitoring and regulating the water chemistry for the health of plants and fish.

Several teams senior design projects included participation in competitions like the Big Beam Competition, sponsored by the Precast Concrete Institute and the 30th Annual Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition.

Many of the projects such as the Baja SAE vehicle, build upon the previous year's design. This year the Baja team will compete in Washington State while also designing the next vehicle to begin fabrication in fall 2023.

For more information, visit odu.edu/eng/ESPEX.

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