Design Day is May 1, 2015

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April 23, 2015

College's largest ever Design Day to showcase innovation of 198 teams and 882 students

The Michigan State University College of Engineering Design Day showcases projects that not only offer valuable results for businesses and on-the-job experience for students, but also provides higher education partnerships. It’s a win-win for all involved. 

Design Day is the culmination of the senior level capstone courses that are required for graduation from the College of Engineering. The Spring 2015 Design Day is the largest ever hosted in the College of Engineering. It is Friday, May 1, from 8 a.m. to noon in the Engineering Building.

Spring 2015 Design Day -- Friday, May 1Whirlpool sponsored the team of Angie Sun, Sam Bentzel, Evan Swinehart and (standing) Alex Kambeitz to create Launder, a laundry room tablet payment system. Want to know if your laundry is done - Launder will text you.
• 198 teams
• 882 students

Capstone projects represent:
• 497 students
• 111 teams
• 68 projects
• 55 (81 percent) Michigan-based companies and institutions

Outreach programming includes:
• 4 schools
• 20 teachers
• 200+ students from 9-12 grades

Design Day Awards:
• 16 awards conferred to top Design Day teams
• Judges include faculty and corporate representatives
• Some winning teams receive cash awards or advance to national competitions

• 22nd Year for Design Day (began in 1994) – Largest Design Day ever!
• All 10 undergraduate degree programs represented
• Twice yearly event on last day of each semester (before finals week)
• Initiated in 1994 by the Department of Mechanical Engineering

The 15-week capstone courses are where students get to apply all their knowledge and experiences gained during their engineering education at MSU. Working in teams of four or five, seniors put their best efforts into solving real-world problems for big and small companies. At the end of each semester the teams make presentations at Design Day.

“Team members have to learn how to present their ideas to the client, defend their ideas and think on their feet, which is what is going to happen when they leave MSU and start their careers,” said Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and Executive Director of Design Day Wayne Dyksen. “Deadlines for the projects also are very demanding. Milestones must be completed on time – and graduation hangs in the balance.” 

See teams and their projects in the 2015 Design Day program guide:

Partnering for success: Design Day highlights strategic partnerships
From a college-wide standpoint, Design Day makes many contributions. 

“We are heavily engaged with companies in Michigan that invest in our state and our students,” said Leo Kempel, dean of the MSU College of Engineering. “Over 75 percent of our senior capstone projects involve partnerships with Michigan-based companies from throughout the state,” he added. 

Companies are enthusiastic about the benefits of sponsoring projects not only for the results but also as an avenue to build relationships with students. 

"Sponsorship of the MSU capstone projects began as a relationship building activity with the College of Engineering,” said Kandi Wood, employee services associate for United States Steel Corporation. “But it quickly became an avenue to watch the students’ creativity, which has led to some of their ideas being put to use in our steelmaking process.” 

Infections during surgery occur at a rate of 1.9 percent in the U.S. but almost 22 percent in developing countries. So the team (left to right) of Stephanie Le, Jose Carmona, Parker Mojsiejenko, Kasey Durkin, and Adam Stowe created a surgical tool capable of suffusing antimicrobials continuously throughout surgery to improve sanitation.

Ford Motor Company also has seen positive results. 

“I have been involved in the computer science capstone teams for at least 10 years, and we have done about 15 projects,” explained Michael Volk, application development supervisor at Ford and the recruiting lead for Ford at MSU. “We often have a capstone team do a ‘proof of concept’ to try out some of the latest technology. That way we get some lessons learned, which helps to accelerate some of our internal innovation and development.” 

The benefits are good business for students and the companies. 

“Our capstone courses help students become integrated with the companies – a benefit for all involved,” said Garth Motschenbacher, director of employer relations and career engagement for the college. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for corporations to support and engage with our students," Motschenbacher added.

Companies sponsor capstone projects, plus there are sponsorships of first-year projects, middle and high school events, and Design Day itself. 

“Because the team we sponsor makes presentations to all the students involved in the capstone course, it gives the whole class a different view of our company,” Volk of Ford said. “People tend to think of Ford as cars, and they don’t think about all of the technology needed to support the auto industry. It can be an eye-opener for students.” 

That aspect is especially good for Volk in his recruiting efforts. “It’s like a 15-week interview with the student team. Ford has often hired students who have participated in projects we sponsor.” 

More on Design Day

Design Day begins at 8 a.m. in the Engineering Building. Award ceremonies are at 1:15 p.m. in 1281 Anthony Hall, located on the east end of the Engineering Building.

This semester's Design Day sponsors include MSU Federal Credit Union and Urban Science, along with Auto-Owners Insurance, Blackstone Technologies, Bosch, Dow, General Motors, MSU Innovation Center, Quicken Loans, and Whirlpool.

Also on exhibit will be projects developed in the first year Cornerstone freshman-engineering course, EGR 100: Introduction to Engineering Design. The college-level course is required of all incoming first-year engineering students and an integral part of the Cornerstone and Residential (CoRe) Experience. Students are introduced to the engineering profession and design process through team-based assignments.

Approximately 200 students will attend activities at the Dart Innovative and Creativity Design Day for students and teachers in grades 9-12. The event enables interaction in hands-on robotic and structural support system activities and serving as judges for “People’s Choice” awards for the most popular projects.“Team members have to learn how to present their ideas to the client, defend their ideas and think on their feet, which is what is going to happen when they leave MSU and start their careers,” said Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and Executive Director of Design Day Wayne Dyksen.