Engineering Innovation Highlights ESPEX 2022 « News @ ODU – Old Dominion University

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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth
For the winners of the top prize at ESPEX 2022, tackling an important regional issue for their senior design project paid off.
The William G. Sykes Innovator and Entrepreneur Award, which came with a $2,500 prize, was presented to a group of Old Dominion University civil and environmental engineering and civil engineering technology students who collaborated with Hampton University architecture students in the development of adaptive design strategies to alleviate flooding in the Portsmouth’s Port Norfolk neighborhood.
The students attended civic league meetings, talked to community leaders and developed innovative green infrastructure ideas to alleviate flooding.
Using a Storm Water Management Model (SWMM), students proposed individual parcel and community-scale, low-impact development alternatives, including rain gardens, and below and above ground street interventions.
They also designed a green roof for the community center, identified all potential upstream storage sites to hold water until flood events subsided and provided cost estimations for their recommended strategies.
"Excellent work. Very good project," wrote Sykes on the judge’s notes.
"This was a different experience for them as they had to communicate and make decisions across the two disciplines beyond their training," said Mujde Erten-Unal, associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and director of the Sustainable Development Institute. "We think they get a great sense of accomplishment seeing a project come together to positively impact their community."
More than 70 student projects were presented at ESPEX, the Batten College of Engineering and Technology’s student project expo, held April 26 in Chartway Arena at the Ted Constant Center.
The undergraduate senior designs and graduate research projects covered a wide range of subjects including a bi-axial cell stretcher (a device that can analyze how cells respond to stretches in controlled experiments), an automated elevator system used in radiator manufacturing and a helmet sensor that can detect and alert coaches when an athlete has taken a hit indicative of a concussion.
This year, thanks to STIHL Inc. and alumnus Sykes, monetary prizes were offered for the best senior design and graduate research projects.
"STIHL’s relationship with ODU’s Batten College of Engineering and Technology has been a vital part of our success here in Virginia Beach," said Andreas Garstenauer, director of manufacturing engineering for STIHL Inc. "The college is known for its focus on innovation and is a source of new engineering talent for us."
The 2022 William G. Sykes Innovator and Entrepreneur Award
Adaptive Design Strategies to Flooding for Port Norfolk, Portsmouth
ODU Team Members: Brian Guertler, Stephen Kline, Connor Maceyak, Rebecca Rodrigez, Scott Sperlik
HU Team Members: Shadah Allah, Christian Galindo, Laona Hall, Anna Bernas-Kelly, Cedric Myles, Moffat Ngarimo
Advisors: Mujde Erten-Unal, Carol Considine, Mason Andrews (HU)
STIHL Inc. Choice Award
Bi-Axial Cell Stretcher
Team Members: Carter Lamb, Conrad Miller, Ian Fenn
Advisor: Venkat Maruthamuthu
Undergraduate Student Design Project Award
Super Radiator Coils Fin Stacker
Team Members: Raeburn Paulson, Andrew Perry, Tocara Simmons, Francis Chartier, Joey Cantrell
Advisors: Orlando Ayala, Nathan Luetke
Department Chairs’ Award for Undergraduate Senior Design Project
Pulsed Plasma-Based Light Source as Spectral Calibrator
Team Members: Ashley Razon, Dailon Donley, Krissy Kotvas, Zach Caudell
Advisors: Chunqi Jiang, Chung-Hao Chen
Graduate Research Project Award
Transfer Learning and Facial Landmark Feature Fusion for Classification of Child Facial Expressions
Team Members: Megan A. Witherow, Manar D. Samad, Norou Diawara
Advisor: Khan Iftekharuddin
Dean’s Graduate Research Award
Transparent Piezoelectric Surface Acoustic Wave Transducers
Team Member: Alexander Hatfield
Advisor: Tian-Bing Xu
Peoples’ Choice Award
Youth Sport Instrumentation
Team Members: Zaria Booth, Brian Johnson, Anna Leonor, Liam Lyons, Walter Mendoza Jesus, Kevin Seimetz, Jacob Tardif, Ryland Zywiak
Advisor: Stacie Ringleb
To view a list of all of the entered projects:
Due to a rainy forecast, graduates will arrive at the Constant Center for robing instead of the Webb Center. (More)
Jasmine Tutt utilized a partnership between ODU and Newport News Shipbuilding to earn her degree and immediately enter the workforce. (More)
The Strome College of Business professor was among those recognized at the Faculty and Administrative Service Recognition Luncheon. (More)
9/29/2022 | Virginia Business
9/28/2022 | NPR
9/27/2022 | WTKR
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Norfolk, VA 23529
Old Dominion University, located in Norfolk, is Virginia’s forward-focused public doctoral research institution with approximately 23,500 students, rigorous academics, an energetic residential community and initiatives that contribute $2.6 billion annually to Virginia’s economy.

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