Six projects win awards at undergraduate research poster symposium

Six College of Technology projects won awards at the annual Undergraduate Research Poster Session March 26.

Awards, winners and their abstracts were:

First place in Innovative Technology / Entrepreneurship and Design
Colin Stearns, Hyung-Kyu Kim, Joe Gnilka, Jason Baile

Augmented Reality on mobile devices is an emerging technology which has exciting opportunities in areas such as marketing, gaming, and education. Currently, there has been limited research into mobile augmented reality and its relation to education. Mirage Interactive is seeking to explore how augmented reality can be applied to mobile educational games and what effect it will have on the game’s ability to teach new concepts. Research is currently ongoing. This leads to the question: How can applying augmented reality to a virtual educational game effect the game’s ability to teach new concepts? Using a qualitative research method, this study aims to validate using Augmented Reality as a possible teaching method

Second place in Innovative Technology / Entrepreneurship & Design
Lisa Tryon, John Brown

The Cogent Management System is an artificial financial system. It gives students in Computer Graphics Technology a chance to explore business finance in a controlled environment. Students can hire and be hired by other students for and buy company stock. The system culminates in CGT 411/450 where students form companies that create a real-world product. Unfortunately, the old system had an unacceptably high administrative overhead. Since the biggest time consuming activity was approving common financial transactions we elected to automate their approval. After surveying previous financial transactions, we determined several categories that could be automatically approved. Our research focused on testing these automation procedures to ensure that the automation neither allowed fraudulent transactions to be approved nor separated the administrator too much from what the students were engaged in. By finding the balance between automation and human supervision the Cogent Management System became a more effective and efficient tool for teaching students.

Third place in Innovative Technology / Entrepreneurship & Design
Spenser Souerdike, Mitchell Bruhn, Layne Carrington

U.S. Steel is a company that aims to be the superior producer in steel manufacturing. One of their manufactured products is a pipe that ranges from 28” to 42” in length and has an inside diameter of 2.192” and 3.255”, which is used in oil and gas production. The overall goal of this project is to design and build a measurement device that measures the internal ovality and straightness of these types of pipe, in accordance with standards set by the American Petroleum Institute. The measurement device determines, with a 20 second cycle time, if the pipe passes or fails the internal ovality and straightness tests within the given specifications. This solution is a Confocal white light measurement system with accuracy of up to one micron. Eight azimuthal measurements are taken of the internal perimeter along three axial locations of the measurement device. After measurement, the data is analyzed and generates a best fit calculation for an ellipse. The resulting eccentricity is be used to determine if the pipe is within the specifications set by U.S. Steel. This measurement device not only provides a more advanced way to complete the task at hand, but also allows for data for feedback.

College of Technology Dean's Choice Award
Keegan Hrybyk, Brian Rosensteel, Max Do

Our project is creating and defining how to make high quality architectural renderings. We chose to work on this project after speaking with the group sponsor, Scott Schroeder, who told us there is a need for a defined set of guidelines on the most efficient way to create photorealistic renderings utilizing such software as Autodesk Revit and 3D Studio Max. Just importing Revit files into Max and clicking “render” does not get you a photorealistic image. There is a lot of editing along the way, particularly the surface materials of the Revit file. In this project we are trying to figure out how best to solve these rendering issues. From our research and our experience in testing the capabilities of rendering Revit models in 3DS Max, we have discovered that another major factor in producing quality pictures is adjusting the indirect lighting. Even after adjusting all the materials and lighting (both direct and indirect) we found that you might still have to further manipulate the rendering in Photoshop to achieve the quality you desire. So far, we have decided that before you set out to make these high quality architectural renderings, you must understand the limitations of your software, and budget time to work in both Revit and 3DS Max

College of Technology Students' Choice Award
Charles Walls, Elijah Staley, Ben Lutz, Mike Frey, Alex King

United States Air Force (USAF) Special Tactics Battlefield Airmen execute rescue and assault operations around the world. During these operations the Airmen are faced with a multitude of obstacles to traverse that can vary from mission to mission. These obstacles can include irrigation canals, crossing rooftops, crossing minefields, fast flowing streams, snow and glacier crevices, desert rock formations, unstable/collapsed structures, and compound walls. Currently there is no one system that can safely navigate all of these obstacles. The solution to this problem must be able to span a gap of 20 feet, hold up to 350 lbs, weigh less than 20 lbs, and be re-usable. The final design is an arch made of 10 modular pieces of high strength foam sandwiched between sheets on carbon fiber, which are coupled together using aluminum joints. End pieces have been designed that will couple ropes on either side of the device that run underneath the arch. These ropes have extremely low elasticity and account for the horizontal forces created by the arch shape. This design could see potential use across any branch of the military and could potentially save the lives of the operators using it

Honors College- Innovative Technology/Entrepreneurship and Design
Hilde Thayer, Tanner Huffman

Mathematical modeling is an essential practice of engineering design. Students in college engineering programs and expert engineers spend time modeling in the design process. Additionally, high school technology and engineering education students spend time modeling during design challenges. While studies have found college students, experts and high school students are modeling, the National Academy of Engineering Committee on K-12 Engineering Education found that “Existing curricula do not fully exploit the natural connections between engineering and the other three STEM subjects”. One of these connections, mathematical analysis and modeling, was nearly entirely absent from the curricula the committee reviewed. Modeling, as defined by the National Academy of Engineering Committee on K-12 Engineering Education, included three distinctly different types of representations which include the creation of mathematical, graphical and physical models. While research has indicated that students are spending time modeling, the types of modeling the students are performing remains unclear. The purpose of this study is to shed light on the types of modeling students are engaging in. This study aims to provide evidence about student modeling behaviors which may lead to more informed decisions about how engineering design can be used as a pedagogical strategy in science and mathematics instruction.