During the fall and spring semesters of their senior year, engineering and aviation students at the Saint Louis University School of Science and Engineering participate in a capstone experience called Senior Design.
Students form teams to research, design, and even produce a prototype of an original system of their own design. These courses bring together many concepts that were introduced in the undergraduate curriculum.
2022 Senior Design Projects
Robert Holzer, Brett Morgan, Tinevimbo Ndlovu, Martin O'Leary, Hunter Pritzlaff
Project H.E.A.T is developing a hybrid rocket engine test bed to demonstrate safe handling and reliable data acquisition to aid future hybrid rocket research and development at SLU. Overall, this project is one stage in a multistage process to achieve a spaceshot here at SLU, ideally by Park's College Centennial Anniversary. Currently, the overall project is in it's early stages where Project H.E.A.T. is helping to develop the engine that will power the spaceshot. Later, a rocket will be designed incorporating the lessons learned for Project H.E.A.T. and will be sent to space.
Unmanned Aerial Systems require intelligent control technology which must be able to adapt to different flight conditions and environments. Whether the system is able to effectively react to unforeseen events such as an impact is key to ensure their mission is carried out safely.
Real-time structural health monitoring can be useful to determine whether an impact has occurred, what the extent of the damage is, and how the control system should adapt to overcome these changes. One of the methods used to address this damage is measuring the resulting structural strain produced by the impact through the use of Strain Gauges. However, accurately measuring strain over the whole airplane structure at a high frequency is costly due to the sheer amount of data to be acquired and processed.
Here we show how a size, cost and power efficient high-speed data acquisition system was developed to read from more than 100 strain gauges at a sampling rate higher than 2kHz in a time-synchronized manner and send the real-time data to a main computer to be processed, as well as a method to find the proper strain gauge locations to optimize the number of sensors required.
Justin Pointer, Hugo Holley, Wesley Hawkins, Christopher Bale, Adam Walker, Elliott Platz, Trevor Akers, Jack Wahl, Brendan Muldoon, Nicholas Morrow
Project HummingBird is a fully autonomous fixed wing aircraft with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities, designed specifically for long duration flight to aid missing persons detection and geolocation in a heavily forested area. This mission statement is derived from The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) UAS 3.1 Triple Challenge. The purpose of the challenge is to advance Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) technologies by building and flying a UAS designed to assist first responder search and rescue operations in heavily forested areas. Specifically, the team is tasked with creating a UAS that can autonomously locate multiple missing persons in said forested area with the use of improved image detection and navigation techniques. This mission will effectively lower the search time and save more lives.
Apogee Precision Engineering (APE): Adis Beganovic, Antonio Bunao, Micah Reichardt, Ryne Sandler, Tristan Stricklin
Apogee Precision Engineering (APE) is developing a rocket to compete in the Spaceport America Cup. The team is participating in the student researched and developed 10,000 ft. AGL category, which sets the rocket's target apogee at 10,000 ft. The rocket, titled Project Silverback, is a single stage M-class solid propellant rocket. Much of the rocket, including propellant, avionics system, and fuselage, will be manufactured in house. The competition is scheduled for June 21-25, 2022, where APE will showcase their hard work and dedication by reaching the target apogee of 10,000 ft.
VULCAN: Declan Byrne, Scott Elliott, Jarrett Irwin, Claire Jacobs, Jeremy Ling, Patrick Sullivan
The VULCAN mission attempts to investigate the feasibility of employing additive manufacturing techniques in an on-orbit, space environment. The mission examines the potential impacts and consequences that a 3-D printer payload would have on a spacecraft in low earth orbit. This investigation is performed using two methodologies. The first investigation is the study and design of a theoretical small satellite mission with a 3-D printer payload and is done through thermal, structural, and attitude determination and control simulations. The second investigation is conducted through a series of hardware tests using a thermal vacuum chamber with the goal of characterizing the performance of a 3-D printer in a near-vacuum, space like environment. The VULCAN mission, and the corresponding research, is still ongoing, but the most recent findings are presented herein.
Quetziliken: Che-Hsien Lin, Jeremiah Polander, Jessica Smith
Quetziliken is a team of 3 Aerospace Engineering Senior Design Students creating an aircraft to compete in the SAE International Aero Design West Competition for Regular Class. The SAE Aero Design challenges engineering student with real world, engineering applications. Competing students will benefit from exposure and connections to industry professionals and will develop a fundamental understanding of aircraft design. In addition, they will become more experienced in: project management, budgeting, communication, resource management, team collaboration, applying industry rules and regulations, and developing, preparing, & presenting a technical report to customers.
Real-time Collision Avoidance for UAVs
Real-Time Collision Avoidance for UAVs a survey paper summarizes and compares the
most relevant obstacle detection and collision avoidance techniques and applications
for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
UAVs became an important part of human life. Originally the technology was developed for military purposes, but fast expended toward civilian’s applications. It is almost impossible to imagine a life without UAVs, however safety is the main concern for such a widespread use of it. Non-military UAVs have been often reported as causing hazards to aircraft, or to people or property on the ground. Regardless of operating conditions, a high level of safety must be maintained to achieve the same level of autonomy as cars, such as collision avoidance with highly dynamic objects.
Cell Proliferation on Chemical Vapor Deposition Grown Carbon Nanotube/Zinc Oxide Nanowire Heterostructures
Studies have shown the wide array of biomedical applications for nanomaterials like carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and zinc oxide nanowires (ZnO NWs). CNTs have varying mechanical, electrical, and optical properties, optimal for biomedical research. With these beneficial qualities in mind, CNTs have been used in targeted cancer therapy, biosensors, and substrates for neural growth. Zinc oxide also demonstrates biosafety and compatibility with cells, piezoelectric potentials, and antibacterial properties that may be applied to coatings. In this research, the goal is to combine the attributes of CNTs and ZnO by growing CNTs/ZnO NW heterostructures via chemical vapor deposition (CVD). PC-12 neuron-like cells will be seeded on the heterostructures to determine whether they aid in cell adhesion, spreading, and proliferation or show toxicity. It is anticipated that CNT/ZnO NW heterostructures exhibit both CNT and ZnO characteristics to applications such as regenerative engineering and drug delivery, just to name a few.
Drug Release of Docetaxel from Barium Hydrogels for the Treatment of Prostate Cancer
This project is based on the drug delivery of docetaxel from barium hydrogels that have a sustained release profile. The hydrogels contain barium so the gel is imageable under CT. Docetaxel is used for treatment of the cancerous cells and we are using it for the scope of prostate cancer. The hydrogel will be able to deliver the docetaxel steadily until the hydrogel fully degrades, which is approximately 1 month. We are aiming to test if the docetaxel released from the hydrogel will kill cells from diffusion.
In-Vitro Glioblastoma Model
Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) cancer is a vigorous and deadly brain cancer. GBM cells are very motile and infiltrate regions of the brain that are surgically inoperable which is why they’re so deadly. Research has shown that GBM cancer cells are present in the perivascular niche and migrate along areas of higher stiffnesses such as blood vessels and the white matter of the brain. The goal of my research is to develop a 3D model of the GBM microenvironment to study GBM cell invasion. In order to replicate this, U87 glioblastoma cells are encapsulated in a soft poly-ethylene glycol hydrogel. The stiff area of the “brain” is mimicked through a polyacrylamide fiber encapsulated within the poly-ethylene glycol hydrogel. The cellular movement of the U87 cancer cells in the hydrogel along the polyacrylamide fiber are observed.
2B Or Not 2B: Courtney Castle, Emily Deng, Brooke Hudson, Ivonne Larrea
Our project is a biosensor for the detection of opioid use episodes. In order to detect opioid use, the device will measure the patient’s electrodermal activity (EDA), acceleration (movement), and skin temperature. If all three of these parameters fall outside of the normal range, the device will be able to document this and send this information to an online database. Real-time data will be collected and would alert a counselor and/or physician, as well as provide the number and date of occurrences. The product is a wearable device placed on the non-dominant wrist of the patient to allow for easy use and comfortability. This product would allow for intervention after a drug use episode, as well as more accurate and less invasive drug screening compared to current methods. As a result, patients undergoing opioid addiction counseling would be provided the best care possible.
OBSense: A Wearable Biosensor to Detect Opioid Abuse Events
Afrida Atiar, Akbar Fidahussain, Davis Johnston, Elizabeth Redle
This project designs and proposes a non-invasive, wearable biosensor device for the detection of use of opioids. The device is intended to assist patients recovering from opioid abuse through self accountability and personalized intervention measures. The device can be worn around the wrist, and it would monitor the user’s heart rate, electrodermal activity, temperature and skin acceleration through the sensors mounted on it. The collected data would be transferred to a smart device app where it would be saved. The sensor modules would be programmed to detect deviations in the physiological signals from their respective baselines or equilibrium levels under normal conditions. Any significant deviation would be marked and saved as an event or episode corresponding to the use of opioids. A customisable alert system within the app would send notifications to the user and/or close contacts such as family members or caregivers for intervention purposes when needed. Currently, the gold standard for opioid screening is urine toxicology; physicians also rely on patients self reporting which may not always be accurate. Having access to the data in real time and being able to view the trends in occurrences of craving or relapse events, physicians would be able to tailor their treatment protocols specifically for the respective patients.
Seiz Ur Day
Joseph Capps, Connor Freeman, Andrea Regina Silva, Siyi Wang, Sherry Wisdom
Epilepsy is a neurological condition that is diagnosed when someone has had two or more seizures unrelated to another medical condition. Seizures are caused by disturbances in electrical activity of the brain and electroencephalograms (EEGs) are used as a diagnostic tool. The Seiz-Ur-Day device will utilize EEG technology to detect and monitor tonic, clonic, and atonic seizures. The device will use electrodes placed on the individual’s head to acquire their brain waves. Through analog and digital filtering components, the device will be able to isolate relevant information and patterns. The device uses an Arduino as a microprocessor to process and transmit the measured data. The data will then be subjected to machine learning so that there can be an improved accuracy in the detection of seizure-like data. The seizure data will then be sent through Bluetooth to an external device so that an individual can be alerted of the event.
The CPR JACK
Kathleen Botterbush, Colleen McLaughlin, Ariana Monma, Jahnavi Nadella
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a technique that can be used to restart one’s heart. It can be a life-saving technique, but when performed at the wrong times or incorrectly, it can cause more harm than good. To combat this, having CPR education more widely accessible is crucial. This app will allow more people to perform CPR during an emergency situation. The CPR JACK aims to provide this CPR education in an inexpensive and efficient way. It will be designed to help the user determine if CPR is required or not by running through the ABCs, as well as instruct the user on how to perform CPR by giving them step-by-step instruction with pictures to assist. One additional feature, an automatic 911 call, will also be integrated. Adalo will be used to develop this app. The end goal is to make CPR education more accessible and save more lives.
CPR Life +
Gabriella Kohring, Daniel Rojo, Alex Wendl
CPR Life + is an android compatible app that provides accurate CPR instruction according to the American Red Cross Guidelines. This app utilizes a user friendly lay out combined with effective visuals to enhance user confidence in performing CPR in real time.
Fall Prevention through IMU-Based Standing/Fall Detection
Cadont: Kelly Kulig, Connor McCormac, Michael Nickerson, Carl Pickhardt, Aneesh Reddlapalli
Patients falling is a major concern for various health-care settings, resulting in increased medical costs, risk of serious injury, or even death. Cadont is a fall prevention device utilizing an IMU-based standing/falling detection and alert system. Current solutions commonly utilize pressure-sensors, which are prone to false alerts and are limited to certain locations like beds and chairs. Cadont solves these problems by being a portable/wearable device that uses gyroscopic and acceleration data to detect when patients stand, the most common time for patients to fall, and alerts the appropriate caretaker. Use of accelerometers and gyroscopes allows for classification of movement potentially leading to less false-positive alerts, while still providing much needed protection for patients and peace of mind for caretakers and families.
Michael Conlon, Serena Eck, Luke Kingsborough, Aaron Liekhus
The Gait Fall device would be attached to the top of the subject's ankle where the IMU components are located. If the subject becomes unbalanced or develops an irregular gait during their walk, the device will send an alert via sound and light to signal the user to correct their stance or walk. People who need this device are Elderly people who live on their own or in nursing homes and those who do not have adequate coordination or feeling in their feet. Through the use of IMU components, kinematic measurements can be taken and can provide multiple ways to detect when a person is about to fall. This device can analyze the normal walking patterns of an individual and send an alert to the individual when their gait is irregular.
LANAH: Seizure Monitoring and Alert Device
Anjaneé Kendall, Gabriel Prather, Eva Gierloff Romera, Ingrid Rosko
Our Design Project seeks to create a wearable device for people who suffer from seizures in order to improve their quality to life. Our device scans brainwaves to detect the onset of a seizure and then notifies the user in the advent of an episodic onset via an app. The group's device is a wearable brainwave sensor connected via Bluetooth to an app that allows the user to track their seizure activity. The app records instances of petit mal seizures and allows for long term tracking of seizure triggers.
Neuro-Act: Kelly Campbell, William Kinczewski, Maria Madgalena Pereira Lopez, Rahul Ravichandran
The goal of this project is to design a device with the capabilities of tracking and detecting brain activity to identify oncoming seizures. Our team would like to positively impact the lives of people that experience seizures to make their day-to-day life unconstrained. We plan to accomplish them by designing a device that will accurately detect seizures before they occur which would trigger an audible warning. This warning would alert the individual with the seizure and surrounding individuals that an epileptic event is about to occur so that proper safety precautions and actions can be taken. The device will be created using a series of EEG electrodes, Arduino microprocessors, Bluetooth connectors, and a speaker among other components. It will process the EEG data and send a signal via Bluetooth to the speaker to tell it to alert the wearer of a potential seizure.
Seizure Prediction Device
e6th Sense: Steven Bentley, Charles Krebs, Michael Leontiev, Deeksha Sarda
This proposal is for a wearable seizure detection device. Current seizure detection procedures require patients to be continuously monitored using electroencephalography (EEG) tests in a hospital. This process can be taxing to the patient as they have to spend multiple days and nights in the hospital with limited movement abilities. The proposed device will try to eliminate some of those problems associated with current seizure detection. To give the patient more mobility and comfort, the device will only be wired to a battery that can be stored on the patient and healthcare providers.
Spicer: Smart Home Product for the Visually Impaired
Adam Blank, Adrian Ortiz, Jaeden Sizemore, Caitlin Zoschke
The Spicer is the next smart home product that will measure and dispense your spices for you. Just tell Alexa what spice and how much you want, and the Spicer will put it in a bowl. "Hey Alexa, I want 1 tablespoon of salt!" It is that easy. This product is great for someone that is visually impaired or disabled as it helps give independence while cooking in the home.
StatNav: A hands free device, obstacle detection for the visually impaired
Colleen Corcoran, James David, Yuktesh Kalidindi
Implemented as an embedded system using ultrasonic sensors and haptic feedback, our device will be able to detect the distance between the user and someone or something in their path. There are motors that will vibrate at a certain frequency depending on the distance. The motors will vibrate at an increasing rate as the distance to an object decreases. We have learned that visually impaired people usually have their hands full as most have either a walking stick or guide dog in one hand, and their cell phone in the other giving GPS directions. As our device will help them avoid obstacles, we also wanted to free up their hands. This device is a hands free device, as it will be embedded into a fanny pack that can be worn across the chest or around the waist area.
The Effect of a Real-Time Compression Depth Feedback Smart Phone Application (CPR Guardian) on the Quality of CPR Performed by Untrained Laypeople: Results of a Within-Group Subject Trial
Casey Nichols, Claire Tomaw, Vlad Trifunovic
The American Heart Association states that more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of hospitals each year, and about 90% of those are fatal. With only 11% of Americans knowing how to correctly perform CPR, it is crucial to provide bystanders with the resources and training to provide high-quality compressions to improve outcomes. Current CPR feedback devices are primarily targeted to medical providers, fail to meet the needs of bystanders, are expensive, and are not intuitive. Moreover, most bystanders will not have the device on them at all times. Our app-based CPR device, the CPR Guardian, fills these needs, providing a CPR guide geared toward a novice, tempo guidance, voice commands directing the user through CPR, and an audio compression depth feedback system all contained within the user’s phone, ensuring it will always be with them. This novel development is the next key step in reducing out-of-hospital cardiac deaths.
The Feeling of Sight (TFoS)
Spencer Buchanan, Kauyen (Abel) Chen, Janssen Gamilla, Connor Odum
The Feeling of Sight (TFoS) is a supplemental assistive device intended to give a person with a visual impairment a better feeling of their surroundings. Using multiple distance sensors around the users waist and a haptic feedback system, the user can gauge the distance to obstructions around them. The TFoS system is designed to be unobtrusive to wear and easy to operate. Future additions could include turn-by-turn directions, environment descriptions, and other methods for feedback about the environment.
United Heartbeats: Application for on Hand CPR Guidance
Brady Beggs, Cecilia Besancenez, Yichen Fang, Nachi Rotte
According to the American Heart Association, immediate Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) can double or even triple the chance of survival after cardiac arrest. However, most Americans get certified with CPR training and may never revisit it again until a life threatening emergency arises. We are proposing a phone application that will provide CPR guidance in emergency situations. With our android app, millions of Americans will gain access to audio cues and verbal commands regarding chest compression frequency and mouth-to-mouth guidance, among other instructions, for the three main age groups. Ultimately, the goal of this phone application is to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of CPR performed by bystanders in emergency situations to significantly improve the chances of survival in cardiac arrest victims. This app will have a simple and user friendly interface but provide important, life saving information during hectic and unpredictable situations.
NEMO: Neptune Ecology and Marine Observatory
Sunken Structures Society: Katelyn Mannella, Jonathan Stodola, Meghan Stukel
The Neptune Ecology and Marine Observatory, NEMO for short, is a partially submerged forward station for marine study, as requested by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The NEMO station is a two-story, partially submerged structure located directly off the coast of the Virginia Key, Florida. The station will function as a research center and underwater observatory consisting of laboratories, recreational, and residential facilities to serve NOAA’s need for marine, climate, and oceanic studies. Complete engineering design of the two-story concrete structure was performed by the project team, featuring structural and geotechnical engineering analysis.
The Skywalk Apartments
JAWA Engineering: Abdulrahim Alhajaji, Julie Gaona, Abigail Grunenwald, Warren Radford
JAWA Engineering is designing a mixed-use building to be constructed on the corner of Parnell Street and St. Louis Avenue. The building, Skywalk Apartments, will house 32 apartments in its two upper floors, and 10 commercial units on the ground floor. The primary goal for this project is to design attractive high-quality residences in North St. Louis adjacent to the other developments coming to the area, such as the MLS stadium and the new NGA campus. JAWA Engineering aims to ensure that development occurring throughout the northern parts of midtown continues into adjacent communities that have historically been neglected and forgotten.
SLU Rooftop Garden
Green Roots: Matthew DiValerio, James Spriggs, Gabbie Kowalik, Mattie Zautner
The SLU Rooftop Garden puts the needs of SLU students and faculty at the heart of the design. Due to the lack of ground area on campus, the idea of rooftop construction was proposed and the roof of Morrissey Hall was selected as the optimal rooftop due to its accessibility, available space, and structural capacity. With the addition of a rooftop hydroponic greenhouse, SLU will be able to use sustainable farming practices to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to the community. Water conservation is made a key element throughout the design by using a closed loop water system in the hydroponic greenhouse and by collecting rainwater for other rooftop plants. A functional and aesthetically pleasing patio space will provide a safe space for students and faculty to enjoy nature and be in community.
Saint Louis University South Campus Tennis Complex
Gold Medal Design: Abby Cibulka, Adnan Malkoc, Danielle Miller
Gold Medal Design believes in providing state of the art athletic facilities to increase athletic success and saw a need for such facility for the SLU Division I tennis program. The tennis team currently must travel to an off-campus facility to practice and host tournaments; the Gold Medal Design team looks to remedy that with a new tennis facility on SLU’s south campus near the current track complex. The final project design includes six NCAA standard tennis courts, a large grandstand spanning 275 feet for optimal viewing opportunities, and a 10,000 square foot building featuring tennis and track locker rooms for both men’s’ and women’s’ teams.
Automated Pill Sorting
Robert McCormick, Timothy Metzger, Akash Sookun
The goal of the automated pill sorting machine is to improve pharmaceutical drug adherence by providing medications to patients/consumers pre-sorted at the pharmacy. This convenience will provide pharmacies an additional service for their customers while also improving the customers well-being. An additional goal of this project is to provide the product at an affordable price and in a relatively small form factor. The machine functions with the aid of a pharmacy technician loading pills into designated slots so the machine can then sort them into a days of the week bin. To achieve the retrieval and transport of pills several servos and pneumatic devices are used in a way similar to SCARA robotic arms.
Bicycle Rack on Rapid Transportation
Jordan Barrett-Elder, Joseph Cvelic, Peter Kickham, Jason Rohlfing
Worldwide urbanization has continuously pressured infrastructure to progress to support the masses. Rapid transit systems (trains/subways) carry the most passengers as many find it faster and cheaper than driving a personal vehicle. Bicycles are another efficient form of transportation, especially when travelling small distances (<3 miles). In utilizing both a bicycle and rapid transit, many could commute to and from their jobs in a significantly cheaper, faster, and more sustainable fashion. The purpose of this project is to make use of rapid transit by bicyclists more practical, increasing ridership and relieving stress of cyclists and pedestrians alike. The project deliverables will include a functioning prototype of a single bike rack compatible with a mass transit train car, as well as a project report analyzing the product and how it can impact the rapid transit system and bicycle industry in the United States.
Desktop CNC Router: Reimagining the Way You Tinker
Emerson Brazile, Nishil Condoor, Robert Selbly, Sean Walsh
In the CNC Router market, there has been a growing base of hobbyists who use these machines to create carvings and engravings made of wood and soft metals. There are several low-budget routers that can be found already, but several problems are prevalent including unreliable system-software integration, frequent device maintenance, and high cost for the product received.With a positive market outlook, a more cost effective and reliable machine is crucial in order to expand the ownership of these machines. Our proposed solution is a tabletop CNC Router that has enhanced portability, durability, and precision compared to that of the current machines.
Portable Tri-wheeled Electric Scooter
TriDent: Jose Acosta, Natalie Egherman, Sal Khan, Michael Luan
Tri-Dent is a three wheeled e-scooter, powered by an electric BLDC hub motor. It
provides a compact mode of transportation that is safe, reliable, convenient and environmentally
Tri-Dent is intended to be privately owned and the primary market is adults who commute short distances (<1 to 5 miles) and are seeking a more practical alternative than walking or driving.
It features a long lasting battery (4hr run time), a foldable design that allows it to be carried like a suitcase, and safety features like speed control, disc breaking, and headlights/horn.
Ryan Bjerke, Garret Domash, Barrett Kurmann, Zach Rogers
Our project is centered around the redesign of a racing go kart chassis. There is currently not an American manufacturer that makes a competitive 2-cycle chassis. We have partnered with an industry professional, who has agreed to sponsor our project and aid us in any way he can.
The Deicing Bot
Reagan Anspaugh, Grace Flaherty, Elaina Johnson, Crystal Kimama, Sarah Kirsch
In the United States, ice storms affect millions every year. This problem is only just beginning as ice storms have increased since the arctic is heating up, splitting the polar vortex. Homeowners are not seeing this change as positive as ice usually leaves damage and injuries in its wake. Interviews show homeowners desire to stay inside as much as possible when faced with icy conditions, and they are tired of risking injury. There is a need for a device that has the capabilities to distribute deicing solutions across a property without physical intervention. The device that has been developed is controlled using a remote control, ultimately limiting cold exposure and slip risk for the owner. The battery powered deicing bot can be used on varying terrains, distributing both rock salt and a liquid rock salt solution to avoid dangerous conditions for homeowners.