Projects Involving Mechanical Engineering

2022-23 Projects

Find out more about a project

ENSC-40 Incentive Spirometer

Team Members: Gage Bockenstedt, Jaspreet Kaur, Yuchen Huang, Joshua Santiago
Faculty Advisor: Shane Pacini
Sponsor: Lung Technologies LLC
Following many upper abdominal surgeries, there is an increased risk of pulmonary (relating to the lungs) complications. A device called an “incentive spirometer” is used patients to perform exercises with the intent of increase lung volume and reducing post-operation complications.
Project: Design, build, test, and characterize an improved incentive spirometer system that allows doctors to easily track more diagnostic information about patient use of this piece of medical equipment.

ENSC-43 Helical Antenna Array Feed Network

Team Members: Christopher Chock, Joshua Sonn, Michael Erickson, Colin Guy, Jared Marshall
Faculty Advisor: Bob Conley
Sponsor: SARL (Smart Antenna Research Lab)
Helical antennas have the unique ability to provide omnidirectional circular polarization. Combinations of these elements can provide any possible polarization, based on the signal processing. Developed and developing networks consists of printed circuit boards which need to provide a signal to the antenna elements, as well as structural integrity for the helices. Several attempts have been made to provide a signal to the antennas, the most functional of which is a coaxial cable feed. Unfortunately coax cables are high cost, so a PCB design is preferred which would make the technology more accessible.
Project: Research, design, analyze, prototype, and test a feed network (electrical paths use to deliver signal) to a helical antenna array by using the technologies associated with printed circuit board design in order to lower the costs associated with traditional coaxial cable feeds. This interdisciplinary project will have notable focus on electromechanical modeling as well as design for manufacturability.

ENSC-50 Weld Testing/Inspection Equipment

Team Members: Carter Roth, Nicholas Ellison, Tyler Adams, Jacob Delger
Faculty Advisor: Andy Johnston
Sponsor: Keytronic
Keytronic produces a line of products that contain weld/solder joints that require inspection and system testing for their integrity. Welded and soldered joints have a variety of internal and system level issues that than effect performance of a product and typically need to be inspected and/or tested to verify quality. This inspection & test can often come at high cost especially when performed manually.
Project: The team will develop, prototype, and test a set of semi or fully-automated inspection equipment to perform tests on a welded or soldered product to verify its quality and performance. These tests will tentatively include thermal and vacuum integrity testing.

ENSC-52 Respirable Crystalline Silica Collection Cassette

Team Members: Megan Giacobbi, Lake Etsitty, Jacob Weston, Alexander Zerfass
Faculty Advisor: Dave Parks
Sponsor: NIOSH/CDC
Airborne particles generated in mining operations can be hazardous to workers, especially those containing respirable crystalline silica (RCS), which can cause acute and chronic health issues for miners. To protect workers, the mine safety and health administration (MSHA) regulates allowable levels of RCS in the mine air. The RCS is typically measured by collecting an air sample and sending it to lab. Since it may take days or weeks to get results, the data are often not useful to help deploy exposure-prevention strategies. To address this problem, NIOSH is developing new field-portable methods for measuring RCS. One such method is to utilize light scattering technology to quantify the mass concentration of particles in the air. A shortcoming of employing light scattering is that the dust must pass over a sensitive detector, which eventually becomes “clouded” or “polluted” by dust particles, causing the calibration to “drift”.
Project: Design, build, calibrate, and test a prototype dust monitor that employs a micro-dilutor to reduce the dust concentration by a known fraction in order to enable the monitor to collect data 24-7 for a long period of time in dusty environments without significant calibration drift.

ENSC-53 Fastener Push-In vs. Rivet Gun Installation

Team Members: Adan Saldana, Karcz Karcz, Beraca Luboya, Van Rivas
Faculty Advisor: Sam Shoemaker
Sponsor: Boeing
For interference fit fastener installation, the insertion force in various coupon structures such as AL, Ti, composite is established utilizing an Instron system producing constant rate force. However, in production we install fasteners utilizing a rivet gun which provides a few interrupted blows (prefer multi smaller blows vs one big blow).

  • Investigate the force from a couple different mass rivet guns when driving specific bolt diameters at a specific interference fit level.
  • Investigate the push in force generated by the Instron for the same fastener dia/grip length.
  • Investigative any correlation between the two methods of installation.

ENSC-54 Sustainable Aircraft Deicing System Design

Team Members: Claire Martin, Avery Steward, Olivia Tufte, Thomas Wigfield
Faculty Advisor: Alireza Toghraee
Sponsor: Boeing
The initial project focus will be on developing an on-aircraft deicing system that mitigates the cost and environmental impact of aircraft deicing and its affect on flight schedules. The team will identify current industry technology and design a system to prevent/remove frozen contaminants from adhering to aircraft structures.

ENSC-55 Sustainable Airplane Seat

Team Members: Emily Andresen, Micah Donald, Hannah Dunn, Brady Jurgens
Faculty Advisor: Andrew Asper
Sponsor: Boeing
Team will take an existing economy class airplane seat, break down each element, and determine ways to make the seat more “sustainable” through the whole lifecycle, from material selection, manufacturing processes, to aftermarket recycling.

ENSC-56 Future Passenger Service Unit

Team Members: Patricia Graterol, Sarah Jones, Tristan Caryl, Ryan Hardinge
Faculty Advisor: Marc Baumgardner
Sponsor: Boeing
Students will study technology and market trends to design a new PSU that will meet the needs of the future passenger and improve production stability, and reduce impact to reconfigurations and transitions.

ENSC-57 Temporary Walking/Working Surface Panels

Team Members: Nathan Gerken, Molly Peters, Zachary Tyree, Cameron Wright
Faculty Advisor: Brandon Sargent
Sponsor: Boeing
Investigate and recommend new materials to be used as temporary panels to create safe walking/working surfaces. The current material (aluminum clad plywood) is durable, but the weight of the material poses challenges to maintain the safety weight limits. The previous attempts to find alternate materials have resulted in materials that, while lighter, do not have adequate durability. Some materials have been found that meet the durability, but are cost prohibitive.

ENSC-58 Recycled Thermoplastic Composites

Team Members: Andrew Kelley, Nolan Miller, Samantha Ward, Michael Wiest
Faculty Advisor: Jeff Nolting
Sponsor: Boeing
Collaboration with ATC Thermoplastics. Continuation of previous projects on Recycled Thermoplastic Composites to further develop the stability and quality of the stamp forming part production process and part evaluation.

ENSC-59 Fire Extinguishing System

Team Members: Alexander Delgado, Brandon Duff, Bryce Eppler, Brian Applonie
Faculty Advisor: Damon Taam
Sponsor: Spokane Waste to Energy
Fires are common in waste disposal facilities due to exothermic and flammable materials accumulated in storage pits and on tipping floors. When fires occur at the Spokane Waste to Energy plant, there are deluge suppression systems that are effective in keeping the fire from spreading, but not for extinguishing it. A much higher concentrated extinguishing system is necessary for putting out the local fire. Traditional fire extinguishers are single use and high cost for the reoccurring risk associated with waste disposal areas, and full fire-fighting vehicles are over-kill and too expensive relative to the need.
Project:Design, analyze, prototype, and test an aimable stationary fire extinguishing system which can apply a large flow of water to a concentrated area for extinguishing local fires.

ENSC-60 Document Lift System

Team Members: Michael Ashe, Diana Garcia Diaz, Alexander Jones, Andrew Wilson
Faculty Advisor: Dan Harmon (Past)
Sponsor: Transitions (
The Transitions not-for-profit recently created a fire-safe room in the basement of one of their facilities to store required records such as contracts, personnel files, board documents. However, to get these documents down the stairs presents a safety risk. Despite recent stair improvements, a simple lift system to lower boxes would be advantageous and safer for all.   
Project:The team will attempt to design, analyze, build, and test a document lift system for the facility that can be safely operated by the Transitions administrators in order to reduce the risk of injury that may come from otherwise carrying documents up and down the stairs.

ENSC-61 Roll Table Polishing Sled

Team Members: Andrew Breemer, Chase McSweeney, Matthew Mikita, McCallister Wahl
Faculty Advisor: Colleen Nolting
Sponsor: Kaiser
During the production of aluminum plate, the slabs of aluminum are reduced in thickness by a number of rolling mills until the desired thickness is achieved. The slabs are transported between these mills utilizing transport tables consisting of powered rollers. Over time, minor surface damage and aluminum pickup on the rollers leads to damage of the bottom surface of the slabs. To avoid this the rollers are polished using a “polishing sled” that allows an abrasive material to be held against the rollers while they are turned. The current sled suffers from a number of performance issues and requires the use of an overhead crane to manipulate and hold the sled while the rollers are turned. This results in reduced polishing effectiveness and side loads the crane that is being used. A preliminary design for a new sled is complete but needs validation and certification as a below the hook lifting device.
Project: The objective of the project is to finalize and certify a final sled design along with a deployment system or its use which will involve understanding the existing process and design, working with an engineering firm, evaluating alternatives, build planning, and interacting with customers and vendors.

ENSC-62 Aluminum Casting Tap Block Puller

Team Members: Alexander Babij, Gabriel Barahona Rapalo, William Bays, Murad Hummatov
Faculty Advisor: Chris Nicol
Sponsor: Kaiser
The production of aluminum plate begins by casting various alloy ingots, which are later rolled to desired thickness for subsequent heat treating and finishing. The ingots are cast using large Direct Chill (DC) furnaces. These furnaces have three main components consisting of the melter, where the raw materials are melted, the holder, where final alloying and processing is accomplished, and the station, where the molten aluminum is solidified in water cooled molds. Typically, the molten metal is transferred between these components using refractory troughs. Metal flow into the troughs is started and stopped by inserting or removing a plug into a “tap block” which installed in melter or holder wall. One of these tap blocks is depicted for reference.Over time the flow of aluminum will damage the tap block and they will need to be replaced. Currently, this is done by using either a robotic or manual jack hammer to break the tap block apart and remove it from the furnace wall. This process has resulted in multiple injuries from sprains/strains and flying debris.
Project: The objective of the project is to design a tab block “puller” to simplify and reduce the safety risks associated with tap block removal. The team will work to understand the existing process, develop a set of options, then design, analyze, prototype, and test the device and document findings.

ENSC-63 SAMPE Student Bridge Competition

Team Members: Andreas Andersson, Connor Lotzkar, Claire Powell, Aubrey Scott
Faculty Advisor: Rudy Lauth
Sponsor: Student Proposed, Materials Advantage Club
The SAMPE Student Bridge Competition presents an opportunity for student teams to design, analyze, and build their own miniature structural bridge of composite material and then compete the national contest with multiple evaluations.
Project: Design, analysis, build, and test of a bridge for the SAMPE using Interpenetrating Polymer Network (IPN) resin composite and attempt a novel technique for creating variable cross-sections along the length of the bridge. Team will be expected to follow all requirements of the completion including design proposal, qualification, and attempt to compete in the competition.

ENSC-64 Product Re-Design of Slumber Party Tent

Team Members: Camelon Bain, Cassie Eskicioglu, Natalie Ryan, Victoria Young
Faculty Advisor: Alireza Toghraee
Sponsor: Modern Dreamers Slumber Company LLC
Modern Dreamers Slumber Company is a local Spokane startup that produces slumber-party kits for kid's slumber parties. Their initial product line was designed quickly and has reached a broad audience. The owners (Gonzaga Alumni) are looking to design an updated version of their product to improve upon elements of the first design. They would like to maintain or improve the visual appeal while making the product easy to manufacture at larger quantities, quick to assemble, improve stability, and able to be packaged and shipped more easily.
Project:The team will perform a product redesign to on the frame with focus on production cost, packageability, and end-user assembly, aesthetic, and feel. Team will be expected to iterate on several rapid-prototype concepts with the sponsor.

ENSC-65 3D Printed Golf Putter

Team Members: Collin Beil, Devin Jenkins, John Marty, Dara Murphy
Faculty Advisor: Brandon Sargent
Sponsor: Student Proposed
3D printing of lattice structures and unique geometries in golf putters allow for a greater moment of inertia of the club due to a unique material & mass distribution. This moment of inertia increase provides significant stability and distance control aspects to a putter that aren’t available through traditional putter technology. Putters are arguably the most expensive clubs in golf, and a quality putter is a crucial aspect of improving one’s game. Currently, the only 3D printed putters on the market cost anywhere between $350 and $450.
Project: The team will research, design, analyze, prototype, and test one or more concepts for a 3D printed putter to determine if a lower-cost solution can be found. The preliminary concept will be nickel plating over a 3D printed plastic structure.

ENSC-66 Hydrogen Piston Engine

Team Members: Anthony Graves, Keegan Hilt, Luke Larson, Connor Nordell
Faculty Advisor: Marc Baumgardner
Sponsor: Avista
The team will research the challenges of internal combustion of hydrogen, design and perform analysis of one or more stable methods of performing the task. If time, feasibility, and safety are permitting, the team may attempt to demonstrate stable combustion of hydrogen gas in a small internal combustion engine.

Learn more about Gonzaga SEAS Senior Design program