The computing program (BSC) is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org. The engineering program (BSE) is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org.
The 2018 Stryker Engineering Challenge took place March 22-23, 2018. Student teams of four engineering sophomores competed against... read more >
2018 Stryker Engineering Challenge
The 2018 Stryker Engineering Challenge took place March 22-23, 2018. Student teams of four engineering sophomores competed against each other. The students worked from Thursday at 7:15 p.m. to Friday at 2 a.m., then on Friday from 6 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. The vehicle competition began Friday at 2:30 p.m.
This year there were six teams:
Western Michigan University
Notre Dame University
Miami University (Ohio)
Michigan College Alliance (MCA)
The MCA team consisted of three Andrews University students and one Calvin College student: Eric Anderson (Andrews), Darrick Horton (Andrews), Levi Vande Kamp (Calvin), and Justin Wiley (Andrews).
The event started March 22 around 3 p.m. with a tour of some of the Sryker's facilities followed by a product demo. At 6 p.m. the teams were served dinner, and while they were eating, a panel of Stryker engineers answered questions the students had submitted during the tour.
The engineering challenge started around 7 p.m. when the teams were asked to build a tower from toothpicks and marshmallows. There were also technical challenge questions and homework that could be submitted for points before the vehicle competition began.
The main event was to design and construct a remotely controlled vehicle. The vehicle had to traverse an obstacle course, find and pick up Lego figures and bring these figures back to their pit area. Only figures brought back to the pit area counted for points.
Stryker employees had constructed models of several downtown Kalamazoo buildings grouped in three areas accessible through an obstacle -type course form each team's assigned pit area. Spread out in the building areas were small Lego figures with magnets glued to one side. Some Lego figures were easily accessibe in the open, while some were hidden behind closed doors. Most doors were opened by shining a light at a light sensor. The Lego figures were assigned points according to how difficult they were to pick up. Each team had an opportunity to transport a VIP Lego figure - if the figure was transported within an assigned three-minute window, 20 points were awarded.
The vehicle competition had two parts. Part one involved 20 minutes of picking up Lego figures. Part two was a time trial obstacle course race where each team had to use three different drivers.
Michigan Tech had a clear lead after the technical challenges and the homework and was followed by Miami and Purdue. MCA shared fourth place with Western.
Purdue won the "pick up Lego figures" portion of the challenge and moved from third to first place, followed by Michigan Tech and MCA sharing second place. The vehicle race was won by Michigan Tech, followed by Western then MCA in third. This resulted in Michigan Tech winning the challenge overall, MCA finishing in second place and Purdue placing third.
Gunnar Lovhoiden, a professor of engineering at Andrews University, supported Andrews students at the competition. He says, "I think our team worked really well together. Their design worked well and they represented MCA with honor. Second place - how about that!"
-This article was writting by Gunnar Lovhoiden, professor of Engineering.
Thomas Zirkle, our recent alumni and graduate student at Notre Dame, received the NSF GRFP fellowship grant last... read more >
Alumnus, Thomas Zirkle receives fellowship
Thomas Zirkle, our recent alumni and graduate student at Notre Dame, received the NSF GRFP fellowship grant last year and recently was the recipient of the 2017-2018 STEM Chateaubriand Fellowship. We look forward to hearing about his experiences, when he returns from France.
Hyun Kwon, chair of the Department of Engineering & Computer Science, Padma Tadi Uppala, professor of public health,... read more >
NSF grant awarded to three professors
Hyun Kwon, chair of the Department of Engineering & Computer Science, Padma Tadi Uppala, professor of public health, nutrition and wellness, and Rodney Summerscales, assistant professor of computer science have been awarded a research grant by the National Science Foundation in the amount of $249,198.
“Many mobile devices have built-in sensors—cameras that can serve as detectors for biosensors,” says Kwon, primary investigator on the project. “We are developing an ECL sensor utilizing existing mobile technology, transforming what was traditionally an expensive and bulky biosensor into a portable and affordable one.”
ECL sensors work when a small voltage is applied to an ECL chemical and the chemical emits lights in the visible spectrum. The small voltage can be provided by the mobile device itself and the emitted light can be captured by the cameras, the resulting images of which can be analyzed by a mobile app.
“Our goal is to make this new sensor platform equivalent not only in performance to that of existing high-end biosensors,” says Kwon, “but also more affordable and for many different biosensor needs.”
The ECL biosensor can be used for diagnosis of biomarkers of various diseases, including breast cancer.
“These sensors have significantly improved the sensitivity of detecting low molecular weight biomarkers present in early stages of cancer,” explains Uppala. “This is important because of the prevalence and mortality rates of the disease.”
Both undergraduate and graduate students will participate by conducting experiments, running simulations, analyzing data, programming mobile apps and designing and prototyping sensor hardware.
“Revolutionizing existing sensors with the latest mobile technology fascinates me,” Kwon says. “It’s the inevitable trend in biosensor instrumentation.”
Though there have been attempts to develop ECL sensors with cell phones in the past, they have been limited to demonstrating feasibility of detecting very high concentrations of reactants without having any specific target molecules.
“This means no innovation has been made to the level of detecting proteins at clinically relevant levels,” the team says in their proposal.
“I am very excited to see this research taking a multidisciplinary approach,” Uppala adds. “To improve the health of the public is very fulfilling and I appreciate this avenue to serve the public and make the world a better place.”