SDSMT students showcase technological senior capstone projects

Published: Apr. 25, 2017 at 4:49 PM MDT
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Seniors at the South Dakota School of Mines showed off a year's worth of technical research and achievements at the annual Design Fair.

Black Hills FOX Reporter Katrina Lim gives us a look at some of the projects on display on Tuesday.

The Surbeck Center Ballroom was filled with nearly 50 senior capstone projects.

Michael Kelly and his team created a wheelchair test track for a non-profit organization called Free Wheelchair Mission.

Mechanical Engineering Senior Michael Kelly says, "So basically our system tests four wheelchairs at a time and allows them to get data to improve their designs. They need some way to get around so by us making this testing system, it kind of makes you feel good. You get to use your engineering knowledge to help better other people's lives around the world because every time we make a design improvement in a chair, it's going to keep them off the ground for longer in their life."

Taylor Evans and her team made a new design for the Black Hills Energy facility.

They presented the layout through virtual reality goggles, which even I got to try on.

Industrial Engineering Senior Taylor Evans says, "In the whole facility we have furnaces, water heaters to tankless water heaters - any of their products and services that they have. We have a kids area and an ergonomic desk. Overall we wanted to make the space opening and inviting for the customers that are coming into Black Hills Energy."

And Henry Wegehaupt built an automated livestock feeding system.

Electrical Engineering Senior Henry Wegehaupt says, "We're going to save time, save labor, and a big thing here in South Dakota. I mean we're facing an aging farming population so decreasing labor, increasing the amount of production for each farm is going to be a big thing so potentially if we can install a system like this on a farm, we can feed cattle with a push of a button."

Many of the senior projects receive sponsorship from private industries, government agencies, and local businesses.

Katrina Lim, Black Hills FOX News.