The nearly 300-member Virginia Tech mechanical engineering class of 2013 will be exhibiting their project designs Friday, May 3, as a final deliverable of the two-semester capstone design course. Thirty-eight teams have been working since August 2012 on projects ranging from bio-inspired locomotion to an electric powered motorcycle designed for a 140 MPH top speed.
The design teams are paired with a faculty adviser who is considered a subject matter expert in the design domain required of the project. These teams meet weekly with their adviser and more frequently among themselves to produce a “product realization” from an idea. The course is structured to take students from identifying customer needs, defining target specifications and generating concepts to analyzing candidate designs and finally building and testing their final products. Success is measured by how closely the tested product meets the original project goals.
Throughout the year the students are evaluated in written and oral presentations, with presentations given to a design review panel consisting of faculty and industry representatives. The inclusion of industry reviewers provides a balanced assessment of the teams’ work, where real world constraints of schedule and profitability are seen as important indicators of success.
The event kicks off at 1 p.m. at Hancock Atrium.