May 7, 2014 12:35 AM
When companies have engineering problems, they turn to Chico State students to help them find a solution. After nearly a year of hard work, the students got to show off their finished products.
Mechanical and mechatronic engineering students were at the Capstone Design Expo showing off their senior projects. "Students design, build, and test a solution to an industrial problem. They’re out here showing off their hardware and things that they've been working on the entire year," said Greg Watkins, professor in the Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering Department at Chico State.
Companies come to Chico State with their problems and ask groups of engineering students to find a solution. “They've got a specific design challenge that they're looking for a solution to and so we look at their problem and specifications they give us, come up with a design or two, analyze that design, and then take that all the way through fabrication and testing," explained senior Jonathan Davis.
They start working on the project in August and it isn't without a few bumps in the road. "Everyone has different opinions and there are so many ways to conquer one problem and trying to find a way where everyone is happy choosing the same method," said senior Kelly Womack.
With some groups, the machine that the students built is going to be used in the real world. “They were asking us when they would get the machine back because they're so excited to start using it. Our machine isn't a phase one prototype, phase two, or phase three. This is going directly into their production tomorrow morning," explained Womack.
Students say the hands on experience they receive through the design expo is something that'll give Chico State students an edge when entering the job market. "When I started this program, I knew what an engineer would do but I didn't know how they did that and what that day to day task was like. So, the problem solving we've done here and getting exposed to those different sorts of situations is unlike any of the classes I’ve taken," said Davis.
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