Team DiggerLoop wins CECS Senior Design

Team DiggerLoop, a group of 14 mechanical and electrical engineering seniors at the Colorado School of Mines, was awarded first place in the College of Engineering and Computational Sciences (CECS) Spring Senior Design Trade Fair on April 27, 2017. The team’s winning design was part of a national competition to design a pod that can travel on SpaceX’s high-speed transportation Hyperloop track—Mines recently became one of 27 teams to advance to the final competition weekend in SpaceX’s Hyperloop Pod Competition II.

"While we knew our project was already pretty awesome, we were a bit concerned about our success at the trade fair because our project is still just a design, while other teams had things you can touch and feel,” said Austin Genger, the team’s project manager. “Fortunately, our entire team knows the project inside and out, so that aided in us in talking our project up to the judges during the Trade Fair. Even still, we were pretty shocked to find out we won. It's quite an honor at a school like Mines!"

Team Hyperloop’s lead engineer also received a personal honor at the Trade Fair. Karl Grueschow received first place in the Broader Impacts Essay Contest for his paper, “Power Shortage: Social Impacts of Electric Transportation.”

“Winning the essay competition was completely unexpected,” said Grueschow. “My main focus over the last year has been the design competition with my team, but it is an honor to receive this individual recognition as well.”

Zachary Swanson received second place for writing on the “Impacts of the Tesla Model 3 on a Sustainable Future,” and Kenneth Larson received third place for “Natural Gas for the Environment.”

Other teams who received recognition include the Catalyst Designs team for their design of a portable generator system that can run on a wide range of continuously varying gaseous fuels, and the Efficient Energies team who were challenged to reduce the 2015-16 electrical peak demand level by 20 percent. The teams received second and third place honors respectively.

A newer tradition at the Trade Fair is the Humanitarian Engineering Award, given this year to team Banding Together for their masonry design to build earthquake resistant homes in Nepal.

“I am always very proud at the end of each semester to see the finished product of not just our seniors’ Capstone design projects, but their entire education at Mines,” said CECS Dean Kevin Moore. “These projects put all that they have learned into practical application, and I am continuously blown away by what they come up with. Congratulations to all of our seniors!”

Learn more about the Capstone Design Program at Mines by visiting Photos from this year’s event can be seen in the slideshow below.

Megan Hanson, Communications Manager, College of Applied Science and Engineering | 303-384-2358 |
Agata Bogucka, Communications Manager, College of Earth Resource Sciences & Engineering | 303-384-2657 |



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Colorado School of Mines is a public research university focused on science and engineering, where students and faculty together address the great challenges society faces today - particularly those related to the Earth, energy and the environment.