Penn State Harrisburg

Students awarded for Capstone Design projects

First place winners, pictured here with Dr. Rafic Bachnak and Dr. Shashi Marikunte, created a virtual reality educational game.

First place winners, pictured here with Dr. Rafic Bachnak and Dr. Shashi Marikunte, created a virtual reality educational game.

Penn State Harrisburg’s School of Science, Engineering, and Technology (SSET) recently recognized student projects presented during the annual Capstone Design Conference, a culmination of the students’ undergraduate studies and an opportunity to combine classroom learning with real-life applications, as well as collaborate with industry sponsors.

Awards were given to outstanding group projects based on the criteria of communication, ability to design, teamwork, contemporary issues, and modern engineering techniques/tools.  The judging committee consisted of Dr. Susannah Gal, associate dean for research and outreach; Kevin Harter, director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship; and Dr. Ronald Walker, associate professor of mathematical sciences.

Winning projects included:

First Place

Project: Planet Foobar - Planet Foobar is a virtual reality educational game designed to teach the player fundamental programming concepts such as conditionals, loops, functions, input/output, and more. The premise of the game is that the player is an astronaut that has crash landed on planet Foobar. The player must now program their spaceship’s robot to collect the missing pieces of their ship that came off during their descent through the atmosphere. The player uses the game’s drag-and-drop language, LINK, and its interpreter to navigate their robot through the maze-like levels.

Group Members: Kamal Amouarak (Lemoyne, Pennsylvania), Long Bui (Hummelstown, Pennsylvania), CJ Hernaez (Orange Park, Florida), Matthew Mericle (Nottingham, Pennsylvania), Varun Patel (West Palm Beach, Florida)

Faculty Adviser: Dr. Omar El Ariss

Program: Computer Science

Second Place

Project: Pick and Place Machine - This project is a robotic pick and place machine for populating printed circuit boards with surface mount components, intended for low volume, high mix manufacturing and prototyping applications. A modified 3-D printer provides the basis of a 4-axis motion control platform, and the open source OpenPnP software package is used to control the machine. A multi-camera machine vision system is used to allow for precise placement of components as small as 0.040” x 0.020.”

Group Members: Edward Gilbert (Hanover, Pennsylvania) and Vernon Weaver (Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania)

Faculty Advisers: Dr. Javad Khazaei and Dr. Scott van Tonningen

Program: Electrical Engineering and Technology

Third Place

Project: Formula SAE Structure and Vehicle Dynamics - The group was responsible for the design and fabrication of the front and rear wheel assemblies, braking system, suspension, chassis and composite body for Penn State Harrisburg’s 2017 Formula SAE racecar. An overall aim to optimize designs for reduced weight and sufficient strength was employed throughout the full design cycle. The group will attend the 2017 Formula SAE competition in Michigan, where they will compete in several categories including auto-cross, endurance, skid-pad, design and cost.

Sponsor: SAE Student Club

Group Members: Shubham Annaldas (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania), Cody Franssen (Montrose, Pennsylvania), Athreya Nagesh (Middletown, Pennsylvania), Thomas A. Palmer (Hummelstown, Pennsylvania)

Faculty Adviser: Dr. Ma’moun Abu-Ayyad

Program: Mechanical Engineering and Technology

Fourth Place

Project: Coppermine Athletic Facility with Rooftop Field - Proposed is a three-story expansion of the Coppermine Field House in Baltimore, Maryland, which will include an indoor gymnasium and basketball courts, and feature a rooftop multi-use sports field. Accessible from the outside of the facility and by elevator, the full-size field will extend past the edges of the building and will include seating for spectators. A climbing wall will be installed below the roof along the eastern edge of the building.

Sponsor: Coppermine Field House    

Group Members:  Shakir Cohen (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Evan Foster (Aspers, Pennsylvania), Trung Nguyen (Lancaster, Pennsylvania), Melissa Orlandini (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania), Ryan Schuster (Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania), Jordan Wenk (Biglerville, Pennsylvania), Howard Wilson (Middletown, Pennsylvania), Robert Zenzal (Greenfield Township, Pennsylvania)

Faculty Advisers:  Dr. Shashi Marikunte, Dr. Saravanan Gurupackiam, and Dr. Roger Subramanian

Program: Civil Engineering