Apolonio Montejano, Paul Gray and George Keryakos spent hours working on the design of a highly efficient, electric, tankless water heater while juggling their course work and, in the case of two of them, full-time jobs. The work was part of a senior design project that gives engineering majors the opportunity to collaborate with local companies.
The students worked with Eemax, the nation’s leading manufacturer of commercial, industrial and residential electric tankless water heaters, trying to develop a cost-efficient design that would decrease the time it takes to reach optimal water temperature.
Another project included the development of a watch that operates with very low power consumption, using a rechargeable battery and energy scavenging technologies. Another group of students worked with the U.S. Department of Energy on the development of a skylight that generates heat and electricity. Most of the projects take place over the course of two semesters.
“This year we had even more companies sponsor projects and pose problems they wanted solved,” said Ron Harichandran, dean of the Tagliatela College of Engineering. Additional sponsors included Hamilton Sundstrand Aerospace Systems, Covidien, Sikorsky, Timex, Vitec Videocom, Tighe and Bond, Autoscript, FuelCell Energy, Laticrete and Phonon.
Ismail Orabi, the Senior Design Expo coordinator and a professor of mechanical engineering, said senior design projects have led to patents pursued by two companies, job offers and, most importantly, students developing the skillsets needed to thrive in the field of engineering, where innovation and teamwork are highly valued in the marketplace.
Bethany First Selectwoman Derrylyn Gorski asked UNH students to redesign the layout of the town hall. While Lauren Primovic and Todd Rake used a software program that simulated an algorithm that could produce different layouts, much of their work was done the old-fashioned way. The students analyzed work flow and interviewed members of the staff about their needs and hopes for a new space. The team came up with designs that Gorski said she is reviewing. While a change is not imminent, she called it “a positive experience for everyone involved.”