Undergrads unveil innovations at capstone showcase

Posted: May 1, 2022
female engineering students standing in front of their capstone project poster

After a two-year hiatus, the 15th Annual Engineering Design Showcase returned to The Ohio State University campus on April 26, with nearly 1,000 undergraduate students unveiling their innovative solutions to real-world problems.

Hosted by the Department of Engineering Education (EED) and sponsored by Honda, the showcase is a culmination of senior capstone design projects from all engineering disciplines. Due to the pandemic, the showcase was canceled in 2020 and only offered in a virtual format in 2021. The return to an in-person event was welcomed by students, faculty and visitors alike.

“You could feel the energy and excitement from students and sponsors just being able to see and experience the prototypes and results of their hard work over this past academic year,” said Bob Rhoads, director of the Multidisciplinary Capstone Design Program. “Students benefit from the in-person experience by explaining their projects to visitors and gaining a sense of pride and accomplishment.”

capstone team of students stand in front of their autonomous football quarterback project

Previously located in the Ohio Union, this year’s showcase was held a little “closer to home” with projects spread out among several engineering buildings—Baker Systems, the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Complex (CBEC), Hitchcock Hall and Scott Laboratory. The last time the event was held on the engineering campus was in 2008 with just 55 projects and around 200 students.

“We wanted to give visitors a chance to experience our engineering buildings and the academic facilities our students have access to during their educational journey here at Ohio State,” said Rhoads.

“The ‘home turf’ feeling created a football-like atmosphere as if it were a fall Saturday at Ohio Stadium,” he added. “It allowed students to show off where they’ve spent many hours perfecting their prototypes with enthusiasm and dedication.”

As part of the College of Engineering’s focus on experiential learning, all undergraduate engineering students are required to spend one to two semesters tackling a real-world problem before graduation. Close to 200 projects were presented at this year’s showcase, including:

  • An autonomous robot quarterback which allows players to practice catching the football when coaches or teammates aren’t around.
  • A 3D-printed, customizable socket that can more easily meet the day-to-day challenges of patients with prosthetic limbs.
  • A next generation Honda car seat headrest that enhances the passenger experience via adjustable height and angles, memory foam padding, a rotating neck rest, and integrated speakers.
  • A minimally invasive surgical procedure for treating glaucoma—a condition that affects 60 million people worldwide—reducing the risk of tissue damage and post-operative complications.

For more information, including a full list of projects, visit the Engineering Design Showcase website. And check out photos from the event on Flickr.

by Meggie Biss, College of Engineering Communications | biss.11@osu.edu

Category: Students