What do a race car, a sanitizing robot, a concrete canoe and a food waste-busting app have in common?  All these projects sprang from the minds — and hands — of graduating students from CSUN’s College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS). Just days before their graduation, the seniors showed off their projects at the 14th Annual Senior Design Project Showcase, May 12 at the University Student Union Northridge Center.

But the showcase isn’t just “show and tell.” Students from a variety of disciplines, including civil engineering and construction management, computer science and mechanical engineering — to name just a few — also have the opportunity for their capstone projects to be judged by alumni and other distinguished industry experts.

There are prizes as well — each department’s oral presentation and project display winners receive $500. A grand prize is also awarded — that team receives $1000. This year’s grand prize winner was the team that created the “Pure Shear/The Pure Shredder” from the Manufacturing Systems Engineering and Management department. The device shreds single use plastics into small, clean pieces that can be recycled through many venues.

Ryan Hernandez, a computer science major, presented his team’s project for the “C-Shuttle App,” designed to bring together information about the university’s on-campus Student Housing shuttle, Matador Patrol and L.A.’s Metro shuttles. The app’s primary goal, Hernandez said, is to allow users to track the shuttles in real time, which could be particularly useful for those who are on campus in the evenings.

“We wanted to make sure students could get to the [shuttle stop] at the same time the shuttle is arriving, to minimize wait time and promote safety,” Hernandez said.

The showcase featured oral presentations and displays of classic capstone projects, including the construction of a concrete canoe (yes, it can float!) and a (scaled-down) steel bridge. Both projects made previous appearances this year at the Pacific Southwest American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Student Symposium, which CSUN hosted March 23-25. It’s one of the nation’s largest events of its kind for engineering students, typically drawing more than 1,000 participants from universities in Arizona, California, Nevada and Hawaii.

Edwin Ilejay, a civil engineering and construction management major, was part of the steel-bridge construction team that took first place at the regional symposium. The group will head to U.C. San Diego in early June for the finals. Ilejay was the project manager for the team and said it was a worthwhile challenge.

“Taking up this project management position, I wanted to try and do something that was outside of my comfort zone and be able to lead a team,” he said. “Prior to this, I had no leadership experience whatsoever.”

The always-popular Matador Motorsports team was also on hand at the showcase, to share the race car they designed, fabricated and tested — a capstone project for mechanical engineering majors. The team was just a few days from departure to Michigan, for the national Formula SAE competition.

For more about the showcase projects, be sure to check out the brochure .

The list of winning projects for 2023:

Oral Presentation Winners (by department)

Civil Engineering and Construction Management – The Glass House
Computer Science – SwiftCheck
Electrical and Computer Engineering– Autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
Manufacturing Systems Engineering and Management – Pure Shear / The Pure Shredder
Mechanical Engineering – Human Powered Vehicle

Project Display Winners (by department)

Civil Engineering and Construction Management – Alpha Vision / 200 Vermont
Computer Science – Real-Time Traffic Monitoring
Electrical and Computer Engineering – CLEANBOT3000
Manufacturing Systems Engineering and Management – Pure Shear / The Pure Shredder
Mechanical Engineering – Smart Morphing Wing

For more on the college’s majors and degrees, check out the College of Engineering and Computer Science website.


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