2018 AME Senior Project Showcase Undergraduate Students Enrolled in AME 441a show off their semester's work

On November 30, the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering hosted USC’s second annual AME Senior Project Showcase where students enrolled in AME 441a “Senior Projects Laboratory” display their semester-long effort.

In choosing their senior project, students took inspiration from previous experiences in student build teams like USC Racing and the USC AeroDesign Team, suggestions by faculty members, and their own research interests.

“These classes are designed to make engineers out of students,” said Julian Domaradzki, department chair, of the first event in 2017. “It’s not just studying a particular subject in class and solving problems on paper, but implementing knowledge that they acquired in regular classes into building something.”

Topics ranged from robotics...

"Quantifying Drift in Reactive Robotic Arm" by Kiera Salvo, Matthew Vera, Ryan Klauer and Alexander Kreisher

"DragonFly: Flapping Micro Air Vehicle" by Hugo Villafana, Amelia Talverdi, Sanders Li and Alexander Torres

To aircraft systems...

"Helicopter Brownout Mitigation through Wing-tip Airflow" by Bennett Hazlegrove, Ryan Fox, Donghoon Kim and Ross Boothroyd

"Efficiency of Spiroid Winglets" by Jackson Liu, Zeno Turchetti, Kevin Zhao and Darren Chan

To energy generation...

"Effect of Blade Geometry on Vertical-Axis Wind Turbines" by Alex Tovar, Mario Portillo, Joshua Pollard and Jacquelyne Tan

To spacecraft systems...

"Particle Containment Assurance" by Kevin Decker, Justin Gaither, Jonathon Swan and Shehan Parmar

"Microbe Resilience to Simulated Spacecraft Planetary Entry" by Carlos Marin, Noe Silva, Alejandro Fernandez and Adam Ernst

Top to bottom: "Rotational Substrate Holder for Plasma Sputtering" by Khoa Dang, Jesus Ojeda and Edson Hernandez; "Propulsion Analysis of a Flapping Fin" by Clifford Lester, Cole Pernitsky, Aarya Suryavanshi and Pooja Moolchandani; "Alternative Wing Loading Distribution to Minimize Induced Drag" by Ana Gabrielian, John Hochschild, Ethan Strijbosch and Ramiro Mendoz; "Analysis of Cape Gannet Plunge-Diving Form" by Kestrel Grevatt, Sofia Sobotta and Hannah Stefaniak; "Biogas Bubble Column Utilization for Breakup & Digestor Mixing" by Nick Abey, Samantha Ko, Ford Noble and Andrew Cecola

Faculty and industry professionals judged each project on its originality, experimental and mechanical design, scientific rigor, presentation display and verbal communication.

Right: "Particle-Jamming Soft Robotic Gripper" by Priscilla Pan, Margaret Field, Lacy Schneemann and Sarah Price

And the winner is:

"SWAP: Surface-Water-Air Propulsion System" by Luke Stevens, Joshua Ancheta, Sierra Dean and Darian Wood, who proved that air-to-water drones would perform better with a gearbox system rather than a direct-drive propulsion system.

Created By
Ashleen Knutsen


Ashleen Knutsen

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