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News|College of Engineering and Applied Science

Freshmen Engineers Participate in Design Challenge

October 5, 2010 — Over 250 freshman engineering students working in teams of two or three students will participate in the 2010 Freshman Engineering Design Challenge on October 7 from 6pm to 9pm in the COE Library Atrium.  The course is required of all freshmen entering engineering to help transition them to the University and College environment.

The 2010 challenge is to create a robot powered by various motors, elastic bands, or other mechanical systems, that will climb a carpet suspended from the ground floor of the library. Robots are to be designed, built, and tested to optimize the team's point score, which also reflects their project grade. Groups of 2-3 students create their robots as part of the Introduction to Engineering class held during the fall semester. The successful robot model must make the climb up the wall created for the challenge, completing at least a two vertical feet climb to qualify.

The design challenge, organized by Dr. Charles Dolan, H.T. Person Chair in the College of Engineering and Applied Science, will give the freshmen class their first taste of engineering design. The challenge also provides an opportunity for freshmen engineering students to apply team work, creativity, problem solving, critical thinking, ethics, safety, and innovative designs related to their field in engineering or applied science.

On the day of the challenge, each group will have five minutes to make a successful run. The run must be completed to at least 50% of the average height of the five developmental trial runs. Each robot must function autonomously, meaning it cannot be touched or assisted by a group member while operating. Following the challenge, student groups will have an opportunity to comment on improvements to their specific design and the elements that contributed to their particular success in the challenge.

The event is open to the public. For further details about this and other design challenges, please contact the College at (307) 766-4253.


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