Capstone Design Projects
(2008 Most Marketable Design)
Authors: Melissa Caputo, Kristen DiCarlo, Brandon Haws, Chris Pell, Christian Smith
Sponsor: Professor Libe Washburn, Marine Science Institute, UCSB
By studying wave statistics, marine ecologists and oceanographers can better understand marine ecosystems and the way they respond to climate change. The Wave Height Pressure Sensor measures pressure data in a leak proof and robust casing. The design withstands a bio extensive environment, provides ease of use, and is designed for low cost, high volume, and quality fabrication.
Authors: Sam Chapple, Rory Hofstatter, Kamala McNaul, Chris Prax, Colin Webb
Sponsor: Student Organization
The 2009 Baja SAE® Design Series is a three day event which challenges student teams to design and build an off-road vehicle and pitch the design as a start up company. Our team focused on developing a lightweight, yet robust chassis. The tubular chassis has been optimized to meet performance and safety requirements while remaining lightweight. After conducting literature reviews, physical testing and FEA analysis we produced a final design that met our goals and performed competitively, placing 36th out of 95 teams.
(2009 Most Marketable Design)
Authors: Cris Goebner, Janine Hicks, Ashley MacInnis, Timothy Reed, Jeffrey Tse
Hydrocephalus is a condition where excess cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) accumulates in the brain, causing death when left untreated. Medtronic Neurosurgery produces shunt valves that appropriately drain the CSF with an adjustable mechanism that varies flow rates. The automated system tests valves by automatically completing the current Medtronic testing procedure. A LabVIEW program is initialized with one click, which then runs all pressure and flow tests, adjusts performance settings, and outputs data to a spreadsheet.
(2010 Best Technical Presentation)
Authors: Jose Alcala, Linda Allen, Francisco Ayala, Wil Haynes, David Murphy
Sponsor: Northrop Grumman Corporation
Due to the confining holding bays of launch vehicles, satellites are often designed to be launched in a stowed configuration then deploy into a functioning configuration. The success of the mission depends on the success of the deployment mechanisms. Teamed with Northrop Grumman, this project concentrated on producing a simulative passive deployable hinge mechanism designed to function in a typical satellite mission environment. A design was developed through extensive research, modeling, and prototyping. With analysis and physical testing, our product proved to meet all design requirements set forth by our industry partner.
Authors: Nolan Pasko, John Heineken, Adrian Basharain, Zuhair Hasan, Trung Le
Sponsor: Applied Silicon Corporation
Silicone breast prostheses are made from a two part silicone oils mixed at 1:1 ratio by weight. Upon mixing and cooking this mixture the molecules crosslink creating a non-flowable gel. This is necessary to prevent silicone from seeping into body tissue if the prostatic membrane were to rupture. Currently these oils are measured, mixed, and injected by hand. This process is labor intensive and prone to human error which can result in expensive wasted material. This goal of this project was to create an automated device to improve mixing accuracy, reduce processing time, eliminate the need for skilled labor, and decrease material waste of the breast prosthesis manufacturing process.
(2011 Most Innovative Design)
Authors: Brian Gibson, Diego Rico, Jose Lopez, Todd Strand
ATK Space Systems builds lightweight deployable structures for spacecraft using long, thin carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) rods. These rods undergo non-destructive tests for internal defects and the current testing method requires technicians to listen by ear for any acoustic emissions from the CFRP rod as it is strained to 1.2%. This method is prone to inconsistencies due to the variance in the human threshold of hearing and due to human fatigue. It was ATK’s desire and the project objective to build a system capable of testing the CFRP rods for internal defects, while ensuring accuracy, reliability, repeatability, and robustness.
Authors: Alex Russell, Louis Van Blarigan, Andrew Crumrine, Jason Frash, Miguel Zepeda-Rosales
Sponsor: Professor Sumita Pennathur, ME, UCSB
The purpose of this project is to design and build a test system capable of autonomous regulation of pressure differentials to a nanofluidic device. The device is to be used to verify the theory of electrokinetic energy conversion by applying a pressure differential which forces an electrolyte solution through a nanoporous membrane. The LabVIEW controlled device exceeds all performance requirements with respect controller rise time, setting time, and steady state error.
Authors: Weston Wahl, Richard Corlett, Ruben Diaz, Lawrence Buss, Lily Li
Sponsor: Advanced Vision Science
Hydrophobic acrylic intraocular lenses (IOLs) are used to replace the eyes’s natural lens after cataract surgery. Over time, IOLs can form undesirable micro-vacuoles known as ‘glistenings’. The goal of this project is to accelerate the growth of these glistenings in a laboratory setting by varying temperature and pressure while recording images of their development. Through analysis and testing we have demonstrated that our design successfully fulfills all of the design requirements and have installed the test system in the AVS lab.
(2012 Most Marketable Design)
Authors: Kelly Lin, David H. Cordeiro, Erika Eskenazi, Adam Scott, Marcela Areyano
Sponsor: Student Organization
A sorghum press extracts a nutritious syrup from the stalks of sweet sorghum plants that can be processed to produce a molasses-like sweetener. Through this syrup production, business opportunities are created for the villagers of Dissan, Mali. A sorghum press design was made for this community by the Engineers Without Borders team in 2009. After this prototype was used for a season, the people of Dissan requested a new design that allows for increased sorghum throughput while maintaining ease of manufacturability and low cost. This year, a fully functional press prototype was made by February and a final press with design iterations was completed by May. The final press was proven to be fully manufacturable in Mali and has a throughput twice that of the 2009 press.
(2013 Most Marketable Design)
Authors: Daniel Huthsing, Jared Naito, Chris Nuñez, Luke Shaw, Danny Phillips
FLIR Systems is a leading thermal imaging company that develops products ranging from camera cores to full camera systems for both consumer and military markets. FLIR desired an exceptionally petite camera system that would exploit their smallest infrared camera core, the Quark™. The delivered functional prototype demonstrates the feasibility of a commercializable, small-scale pan-tilt infrared camera system.
Principal Investigator: Francesco Bullo
Presenter: Rush Patel
Authors: Rushabh Patel, John W. Simpson-Porco, Jeffrey R. Peters, Pushkarini Agharkar, Wenjun Mei, Sepehr Seifi, and Mishel George
Our research is a joint theoretical and experimental effort to tackle fundamental questions related to robotic coordination, power grids, social networks, cellular motion, mixed human-robot teams among various other network-related systems. Our group has a strong history of multi-disciplinary collaboration, both at UCSB and with external universities and institutions. Recent achievements include (i) synchronization in coupled oscillators, power networks and droop-controlled inverters in islanded microgrids, stochastic surveillance strategies for cooperative autonomous robotic networks, and novel results on opinion dynamics and on the evolution of social power in social influence networks.
Principal Investigator: Otger Campas
How do cells collectively create highly organized patterns? How are organs shaped? What rules do biological systems use to build such complex structures? Our goal is to understand how organization and patterns emerge in biological systems, and determine the role of mechanics in shaping biological structures. Solving these problems involves concepts from physics, multiagent systems, dynamical systems, mechanics, etc. We combine theory and experiments, as well as physics, biology, materials science and engineering, to obtain a global (or ’systems’) understanding of these complex problems. Our current interests span several topics such as embryonic development, tissue growth, cell shape, and morphological variation.
Principal Investigator: Frederic Gibou
Authors: Mohammad Mirzadeh, Arthur Guittet, Miles Detrixhe, Gaddiel Ouaknin, and Maxime Theillard
Accurate simulations and prediction of complex physical phenomena can lead to leap-frog technology in science and engineering. We develop and apply robust, versatile numerical algorithms that enable the solution of scientific problems that are otherwise intractable. Our computational methods address the following challenges: Irregular geometries and free boundary problems; spatially multiscale and multiphysics problem; development and implementation of parallel algorithms.
Principal Investigator: Robert McMeeking
Authors: Jonathan Berger, Chance Holland, Mattia Bacca, and Wenbo Xu
Research in the McMeeking group is in on mechanics of materials, exploiting theoretical and computational methods to understand structural and functional performance of engineering materials. Recent focus has been on ferroelectric systems, utilization of high temperature materials composed of ceramics and ceramic composites, actuating and shape morphing structures, protection of structures from high intensity blast waves and accompanying shrapnel, and thermal barrier coatings for gas turbine blades.
Principal Investigator: Eckart Meiburg
Authors: Edward Biegert, Senthil Radhakrishnan, Daan van Vugt
Sediment-laden flows play an important role in geophysical phenomena. Turbidity currents, which can be described as underwater avalanches, represent one class of these phenomena. These flows can transport cubic kilometers of sediment and are responsible for deep ocean deposits. As such, understanding the deposits they produce is of great use for oil exploration. While laboratory experiments and numerical simulations have shed much light on the behavior of turbidity currents, the underlying mechanisms behind erosion and sedimentation near the sediment bed are still an active area of research. We are building a code to resolve the fluid-particle interactions at high volume fractions via direct numerical simulation. The methods we employ will allow us to simulate thousands of particles, so that we can accurately observe near-bed fluid-particle interactions.
Principal Investigator: Carl Meinhart
Assistant Researchers: Marin Sigurdson, Brian Piorek
Postdoctoral Researchers: Chrysafis Andreou
Graduate Student Researchers: Mehran Hoonejani, Nicholas Judy, Yu Wei Liu, Reza Salemmilani, Eric Terry
The Meinhart group focuses on the development and application of microfluidics for detection of trace chemicals, rare cancer cells, and manipulation of biological organisms. A combination of numerical simulations and experimental analysis is used to probe the relevant physics of these devices. Microfluidic devices enable rapid and cost effective chemical analysis of small quantities. We have developed microfluidic systems that allow for the detection of many types of analytes, whether airborne or in complex samples, based on surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS).
Principal Investigator: Jeff Moehlis
Authors: Michael Busch, Louis Van Blarigan, and Dan Wilson
We apply dynamical systems and control techniques to various problems of medical, technological, and social interest. In the medical realm, we are working toward better treatments for cardiac arrhythmias and neurological pathologies such as Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. In the technological realm, we are designing and analyzing broadband vibrational energy harvesters and studying the transition to turbulence for shear flows. In the social realm, we are using computational techniques to better understand networked animal behavior and information propagation through social networks. Taken together, the Moehlis Group’s research efforts demonstrate the power of dynamical systems and control for a variety of problems of fundamental and practical interest.
Principal Investigator: Sumita Pennathur
Authors: Dr M.T. Napoli, Dr. P. Crisalli, T. Wynne, T. Ray, J.T. Del Bonis-O’Donnell, N. Venkateshwaran, C. McCallum, M. Garcia, J. de Rutte. Past Lab Members: E. Shelton, J. Herr, J. Sustarich, J. Frey, A. Russell, M.B. Andersen, T. Driehorst, K.L. Jensen, J.T. Kristensen, and A.M. Crumrine
The Pennathur Lab focuses on novel studies of chemical and biological species within microfluidic and nanofluidic devices. We explore the fundamental physics underlying transport properties at the micro- and nanoscale towards developing exciting new integrated solutions for biotechnology applications. Our fundamental studies focus on developing an understanding the electrostatics of ionic solutions at solid-liquid interfaces. A robust understanding of this interface is essential for the control of electrokinetic transport, separation and signal amplification of chemical and biological species. This provides us the means to study fundamental properties of biomolecules, such as polypeptides and DNA, as well as novel nanomaterials with promise for bioanalytical applications, such as gold nanorods and silver nanoclusters. We also use our understanding of electrostatics at the surface of nanofluidic systems to develop novel sensors for highly sensitive and specific DNA detection.
Principal Investigator: Linda Petzold
Assistant Researcher: Bernie Daigle, Jr.
Postdoctoral Researchers: Brian Drawert, Stefan Hellander
Graduate Student Researchers: Ben Bales, Kasturi Bhattacharjee, Jin Fu, Rone Kwei Lim, Kirsten Meeker, Michael Trogdon, Sheng Wu, Tie Wu, Yuanyang Zhang, and Arya Pourzanjani
Computational science and engineering (CSE) is a multidisciplinary research area with connections to the sciences, engineering, mathematics and computer science. Our group focuses in particular on multiscale numerical algorithms for simulation and model development. Applications are varied, including modeling and data analytics in systems biology, ecology, medicine, materials science and even social networks. We also work on the development of high-performance computational software for the research community at large to work on important and challenging questions in biology and beyond. This development includes work with cloud computing applications and GPUs.
Principal Investigator: Kimberly Turner
Authors: Kamala Qalandar, Brian Gibson, and Lily Li
The Turner MEMS group primarily investigates nonlinearities in microelectromechanical systems. Nonlinear dynamics are exploited to improve mass sensitivity in mass sensing applications down to parts-per-trillion detection limit. A micromechanical frequency divider based on parametric resonance is designed to replace conventional electronic frequency converters that are present in many applications, including wireless communications. Nonlinearities in GHz range devices are explored as a method of improving phase noise at high frequencies.