Capstone Design Expo: Looking Back to Foresee What's Ahead

On April 24, 2014 at the McCamish Pavillion, more than 900 seniors from across Georgia Tech will showcase their final senior design projects at the Capstone Design Expo. The Senior Design (Capstone Design) course, a culmination of undergraduate education, teaches students about the design process and allows them one last opportunity to truly take advantage of Georgia Tech’s numerous resources to launch their own venture, solve a social need, or work with an industry sponsor. The innovation developed by these teams of students has immense real world value, as can be seen in many successful past projects.

Spring 2013 Capstone Design Expo winner, team Nuttin’ But Trouble, redesigned an industrial pecan cracking machine for their sponsor, Harrel Nut Company. As a result of the machine’s improvement based on the team’s solution, the company could save an estimated $7M annually."We are committed to bringing our customers complete satisfaction by delivering top quality products at the most competitive prices," says Harrel Nut Company representative. "So, after asking Georgia Tech students to come up with a more productive design to our cracking machines, we could not be more thrilled with the results and have implemented the new machines in our production lines. We can now deliver on our commitment to our customers with certainty and ease."

Two other 2013 Expo competitors, team Rent-A-Ride and team Integral Designs, worked with Rent-A-Ride, an Atlanta based entrepreneur, to create bicycle parking, sharking, and locking systems. Both teams took separate approaches, with great success with their innovative solutions. Thad Oviatt, Founder and CEO of Rent-A-Ride, states, “The Georgia Tech Capstone has been a great help for me and my business as a start-up in the start-up community here in Atlanta, to be able to get the infrastructure we need, done and accomplished.” Oviatt also goes on to praise the teams, in stating that “...they’ve been a wonderful help and they’ve actually thought of things that I’ve never even thought of before!

Working with Gladiator Garage Works – Whirpool, was team Gladiator, who created a device to maximize storage space in household garages. Paskell Miller, Project Manager of Gladiator Garage Works, states “...these guys have done a good job of getting us to that point where we can use something to develop this machine in order to get us that product that we need to get to.

Several other teams found success with their industry sponsored projects as well. Team Makeovers worked with Anisa International, Inc. to develop what their sponsor described as the “iPod of the Makeup Industry,” utilizing compressed gas to dispense their product.  Team Sink or Swim worked with National Instruments to develop a technology to help swimmers develop and improve their technique. Medtronic’s team partner, Lumber Mill, was flown out to Memphis, Tennessee, to tour Medtronic’s Spinal Division.

The innovative technologies created and developed by students of the past have surely set the stage for what promises to be an extremely impressive upcoming Capstone Design Expo on April 24, 2014. Here are two teams (of over 170) ready to showcase their prototypes.