Saturday, October 25, 2014

Engineering students present blueprints to Liberty

Students of Liberty University are often found pacing the hallways of DeMoss minutes before class, checking the building’s carefully hung signs, the room numbers causing the corresponding arrows to spin wildly. One student of ENGR 481 (Engineering Design I) decided to address this frustrating layout, offering an engineering solution to Liberty. This semester, the students of ENGR 481 were instructed to identify a problem around Liberty then construct an engineering solution, submitting the idea’s blueprint as their final exam.

“Practical application of learned theory is essential to an engineer’s success. This project affords the students an opportunity to demonstrate mastery of design, crucial to future employment in their chosen fields,” Valda Rowe, assistant to the dean of the School of Engineering and Computational Sciences, said.

According to Rowe, other examples of engineering solutions include a financial model and aircraft parking plan for Freedom Aviation and Liberty University School of Aeronautics, a Nebulous Environment Management and Observation System (NEMO), an electrochemical analysis device, a Liberty parking monitoring system, a simulation lab recording system and a hard surface weather monitoring system.

For this project the students were split into seven teams to search the campus looking for possible engineering problems to address. Given such a broad assignment topic, students were able to be creative.

“This project is a vehicle for the application of design principals mastered in ENGR 381 (Engineering Design Introduction) to real-life challenges,” Rowe said.

According to Rowe each student participating in this project is a senior, applying three semesters’ study of design theory to the pages of the detailed blueprints they submit. The next step of the project will take place during the seniors’ spring semester in ENGR 482 (Engineering Design II) when the students will be asked to construct a prototype of their original blueprint.

This project carries the weight of more than just a final exam grade for the students. According to Rowe the students gain the right to be heard through their projects, as problems seen on campus and their possible solutions are offered to Liberty.

“The opportunity to positively affect a system or process within the Liberty University community benefits everyone,” Rowe said.

For these dedicated students, the unveiling of so many hours of hard work comes with much anxiety.

“Please come by on Wednesday to see firsthand how Liberty’s engineering students are training to impact the field of engineering,” Rowe said.

As the highlight of the students’ work, the School of Engineering and Computational Sciences is inviting all of Liberty to view the students’ hard work displayed on the back hallway of DeMoss Dec. 12 from 10:50 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.

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