Students Showcase Senior Capstone Design Projects at First-Ever Virtual Capstone Mini-Expo

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July 23, 2020 

On Tuesday, July 21, 11 teams showcased their senior capstone design projects at the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering’s first-ever online Capstone Design Mini-Expo. A record-breaking 150 attendees, including 24 judges, joined the annual summer event to hear innovative project presentations from over 60 Georgia Institute of Technology students.

Students from the Spring 2020 semester, who had to make aa sudden transition to remote work, had shared their tips on how to succeed while working remotely which indeed benefitted the Summer students. “This semester was unique since it was 100% remote including the team formation aspect of the course – which is one of the most challenging aspects for any design team project”, said Dr. Amit Jariwala, Director of Design and Innovation for the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering. “We accelerated development of our internal team formation platform, which served as a crucial communication tool to help students from teams and pitch projects despite being unable to meet in-person”. Due to Covid-19, the in-person on-site Spring 2020 expo had to be cancelled and faculty were determined to ensure that students have an opportunity to interact with the public during the expo, even if it was online/virtual.

The mini-expo was conducted virtually via social gathering platform and Georgia Tech startup Gatherly. During the event each team displayed a poster, shared a link to a short video describing their project, and gave a presentation every 15 minutes. There was also time for attendees and judges to participate in a Q&A session at the end of each presentation.

“This was more formalized than a face-to-face Capstone, in which presentations generally occurred on a more ad hoc basis, when one of more people stopped at a team and expressed interest,” said Capstone judge Carl Bedingfield. “In some cases, there were also sidebar conversations going on between an attendee and a team member.”

After hearing presentations judges used Georgia Tech startup RocketJudge, a mobile app for event judging in the real world and online, to select the winning teams. College of Engineering Dean Steven W. McLaughlin and Eugene C. Gwaltney, Jr. Chair and Professor Samuel Graham announced the winners at an awards ceremony immediately following the mini-expo.

Capstone Mini-Expo, CoE Dean

First Place and the $1000 Joseph L. and Luverne F. Smith Innovation Award was given to Hive Deliveries. Team members Carla Anon, Sydney Grell, Curtis Lary, Andrew Lippens, Amina Muhammad and Jesus Pacheco provided an infrastructure for the automatic swap of a drone's batteries, maximizing the useful life, flight distance, and cost-effectiveness of drone delivery. The team is planning to take this project forward to commercialization with support from the Georgia Tech’s Create-X program.

Second Place and a $500 award was given to Sanitation Assistance Machine (SAM), a team sponsored by Micron Technologies. Team members Joshua Batista, Myviet Nguyen, Pramod Philip, Daniel Reich and Alizay Shah designed an autonomous robot with germicidal UV light that disinfects common school surfaces including walls, floor, desks/tables, and chairs in K-12 schools.

People’s Choice Recognition was given to Hive Deliveries, Ultra Light (Chad E Foster, Audrey Elizabeth Gillen, Nolan C Gulledge, Clark Jacobs, Keegan Jeffrey Smeenk and William Tran) and Project Laundr-Eaze (Maria Del Garcia Chinchilla, Christina Griffo, Joseph Patrick Lobley, Haley Tam, Walter Ross Young and Stephanie Peng).

“In summary, the design and implementation of the meeting tool Gatherly was impressive,” said Bedingfield. “All in all, I would consider it a successful event.”

Read Carl Bedingfield’s full review of the virtual Capstone Mini-Expo:


All senior students in Mechanical Engineering culminate their undergraduate educational experience with the Capstone Design course in order to gain a firsthand experience at solving real world problems in a team environment. Students typically work in teams of four to six individuals and each team is advised by a faculty member. Companies interested in submitting a project for the Capstone Design Course may contact Dr. Amit S. Jariwala, at 404-894-3931 or via email at