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Drexel Student Teams Awarded at the Engineering Senior Design Competition

June 7, 2012 — After eight senior design teams presented projects to a panel of judges, three teams were recognized at the final awards ceremony during the last stage of the Senior Design Competition on June 6, 2012 at the Mitchell Auditorium in the Bossone Research Center. Here are the winners and the details of their projects:

Computer Science
First Place- Team VisAssist
There are many tasks that visually impaired individuals struggle with on a daily basis. Mobile applications can aid these individuals and enhance their quality of life. The VisAssist software suite is targeted at individuals with visual impairment ranging from legally blind to fully impaired. Team VisAssist worked closely with the Overbrook School for the Blind to develop requirements in order to create a suite of mobile application to solve these problems. VisAssist helps a visually impaired individual with accessibility of the device, navigation, color matching and getting information about their environment. The targeted platforms are Android, iOS and Windows Mobile.

Civil, Architectural & Environmental Engineering
Second Place- The Life Tower – Chicago Mock Firm Competition 2012
The 2012 Chicago Mock Firm Competition challenged students to organize a “mock” design firm for the purpose of conceiving, coordinating, constructing and commercializing a 100-story multi-use high-rise building for a project site in Beijing, China. The team competed against national college teams and presented their design to a panel of nine expert judges from architecture firms around the country over the course of three hours on a semi-formal basis. The students blueprinted the Life Tower, a structure meant to be utilized for retail, residential, commercial and hospitality purposes. In order to simulate a real world building design process, International Building Code 2009 was used to design all aspects of the project, including the building envelope, structural, HVAC, electrical, fire protection and plumbing systems. Both the building and site design incorporate sustainability, innovation and the traditional Chinese philosophy of Feng Shui. The design project has the potential to reach a LEED Platinum Certification rating if built, demonstrating the team’s commitment to sustainability.

Department of Biomedical Engineering
Third Place- Design of Improved Suction Catheter for the Removal of Particulate Matter and Liquid Prior to Emergency Intubation Team
In emergency airway management, fast and effective intubations are critical in preventing serious complications. Patients receiving emergency intubations often lack neurological reflexes putting them at risk for aspiration, mucosal damage and even hypoxemia. Therefore, there is a need for a device that can fully remove obstructing materials and accompanying liquid in an appropriate amount of time while counteracting clogging. The improved design should be able to clear the oropharyngeal cavity of particles up to 0.25 inches in diameter and fluid with viscosity ranging from 1-­‐14 centipoise, in less than 15 seconds. Our prototype outperforms the current clinical standard of the Yankauer in terms of clearance times. In addition, the increased ability of the device to suction larger particulate matter addresses a recognized need in the current clinical setting.

The annual Senior Design Competition, hosted by the College of Engineering, is a three-course sequence that is intended to simulate a professional work environment, to provide experience working on an open-ended problem and to develop information gathering and communication skills. For more details on the competition, click here to visit the official site and view the runner-up design projects.

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