Solar disinfection system wins CECS Fall Capstone Design Fair

A solar-powered water disinfection system for use in rural Uganda was awarded first place in the College of Engineering and Computational Sciences’ Fall Capstone Design Trade Fair on Dec. 5.

Team Uganda Solar also won the fair’s Humanitarian Engineering Award for the sustainable and economic point-of-use water disinfection system, which utilizes ultraviolet LEDs instead of the traditional mercury vapor lamps. According to the 2017 Progress on Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene report, prepared by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, nearly 22 million residents living in rural areas of Uganda lack access to safe, clean drinking water. 

Members of Team Uganda Solar were Cole Alexander (mechanical engineering), Barron Keith (electrical engineering), Shao Liu (environmental engineering), Chad McFarland (mechanical engineering) and Caitlyn Smith (environmental engineering). 

Second place went to Team Dentium Engineering for their project, Dr. Sluggo’s A-45 Oscillator Toothbrush. Team members were William Cullum (mechanical engineering), Matthew Lewis (mechanical engineering), Duncan Melton (mechanical engineering), Brock Morrison (engineering physics), Cesar Navejas Garcia (mechanical engineering) and John Kater (mechanical engineering).
 
A first-place award was also given out to the top Human-Centered Design Studio project, Team 13e’s Motocross Foot Positioner. Primary team members were Rheana Cordero, Lauren Harrison, Kayla Hounshell and Megan Koehler, all studying mechanical engineering. 
 
Judges evaluated the projects based on poster and display, discussion, problem definition, design analysis and overall impression. 

In the essay contest, Chris Olsen (mechanical engineering) earned first place for "Prosthetic Misconceptions." Michael Sonnabend (electrical engineering) came in second with "The Smartphone Revolution and Its Unintended Consequences" while Kristen Smith (mechanical engineering) placed third for "How Safer Playgrounds are Harming Your Child."

"For two semesters these teams have been putting to use everything they had learned during their engineering studies to solve a client's problem and the trade fair is the proof in the pudding,” said Kevin Moore, dean of CECS. “Trade Fair is where we can showcase partnerships between Mines and the outside world, as well. This fall's winning team, Uganda Solar, with their project titled ‘eMi Solar-Powered UV Disinfection’ is a perfect example. Partnering with support from an NGO and with a co-client who also had in-country NGO experience, the team put together an amazing humanitarian-motivated solution to a real problem, a true ‘project that matters.’”

2017 Senior Capstone Design Trade Fair

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Emilie Rusch, Public Information Specialist, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3361 | erusch@mines.edu
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 | ramirez@mines.edu