By Liz Dominguez
Can you believe we’re already in our 4th week of school?! I can’t believe it’s already been a month! Needless to say, I’m already up to my neck in assignments, projects, and meetings. I had my first exam of the school year yesterday – I think it went pretty well. I’ll get my grade on Thursday, so here’s hoping I made a 100! I just wanted to take a bit of time to tell everyone about my senior design project.
But first, I want to formally introduce myself. My name is Liz Dominguez and I am a senior, mechanical engineering student from Dallas, Texas. I am also in the 4+1 Master’s program here at the university, so I’ll graduate in May of 2013 with my Master’s in Mechanical Engineering! EXCITINGGGGG! But ok. Back to the project. One of the requirements to graduate from the Lyle School of Engineering is a senior capstone project. This senior design project is a one year interdisciplinary project that focuses on different engineering disciplines. Each project has a different faculty advisor, a different customer, and a different budget. And I’m sure you’re wondering what my project is…..
I, along with 2 other mechanical engineering students and 2 electrical engineering students, will be working on the Hunt Institute Design Challenge. Our customers, the Hunt Institute for Engineering Leadership, are asking for a design that solves a major global issue – the transpiration of blood plasma in the developing world. Blood plasma needs to be kept at a safe temperature or it becomes unsafe to inject in the body. The transpiration of plasma from major cities to remote villages poses a challenge due to the lack of roads, refrigeration, and advanced technologies. The Hunt Institute is asking that we design a backpack-like device that can transport 5 gallons of blood plasma for 3 days with NO EXTERNAL POWER. We are competing against another team, and both will be tested here during Engineering and Humanity Week. Each device will have 5 gallons of simulated blood plasma and will be closed for 3 days. At the end of the 3 days, the plasma will be extracted and the team with the LOWEST temperature will win.
THESE ARE THE KINDS OF GLOBAL ISSUES THAT YOU WILL ADDRESS HERE AT THE LYLE SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING!!!
This is just one of the many projects up for grabs with the seniors. Some students are designing a lunar rover that is going to be tested and judged at a competition held at NASA, some students are going to be working on a 3D iris scanner, and some are teaming up with students in the Meadows School of the Arts to design an instructional kinetic sculpture. The opportunities are endless, and I am so excited to be a student in the Lyle School of Engineering! My team and I have already met with our customers and we’ve already started researching different options for the design.
Just think, you too can solve major global issues. BE A MUSTANG! That’s what we do!