7:00 a.m.


7:00-8:15 a.m.


8:30 a.m.

STUDENTS: Briefing – Illinois Room (stage area)

JUDGES: Sign-in & breakfast briefing (Cardinal Room)

9:00 a.m.

EXPO OPENS for general public

9:30-11:30 a.m.


11:30 – Noon

COLLECTION OF VOTING BALLOTS Attendee/Participant voting ends at noon!

Be sure to vote for your favorite project!

12:00 Noon

ROBOTICS DEMONSTRATION (Illinois Room) Engineering Design Team

12:00-1:30 p.m.


1:30-2:30 p.m.

AWARDS (Illinois Room)

General Chair:

Chris Kuypers, Undergraduate Administration, COE

Technical Chair:

Houshang Darabi, Ph.D., Department of Industrial Engineering

Student Chair:

Stephen Drake, Engineering Council

Award Tabulation:

Jim Muench, Undergraduate Administration, COE


Mary Larsen, Undergraduate Administration, COE

Cover Design

Lara Ansari, Undergraduate, Department of Bioengineering


Manor Press, Elmwood Park, IL

Terry Layton, Ph.D.

Department of Bioengineering

Karl Rockne, Ph.D.

Department of Civil and Materials Engineering

Jeff Perl, Ph.D.

Department of Chemical Engineering

Vahe Caliskan, Ph.D.

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Carmen Lilley, Ph.D.

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering


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Jake-cycle /Jake’s Bike

Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

David Garon, Jeremy Hass, Scott Timme, Satheshku Makayee, Lukas Satas, Masin Ouksel


Jake is a disabled 11-year old boy who wishes to ride a bicycle. However due to his physical disabilities, which include an amputated left leg, right arm and hand weakness, right leg weakness, and heart conditions, it is nearly impossibleATD for Jake to ride a conventional bicycle. The focus of this project will be to design and build a bicycle based on Jake’s needs and also his desires. We will focus on building a visually appealing bicycle while keeping safety a top priority. The bike will include numerous safety features which will include a three wheel design, with foot and hand harnesses, all breaking and gearing apparatus to be on the left handle bar, and an orbital three- speed gearing for easy transition to any gear even if he is stationary. The frame design will be able to support Jake as he grows during his adolescent life, and will also accommodate his small stature and allow for him to easily mount the bicycle.


Soap Dispenser Buddy,

Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

John DiNofrio, Sherman Robinson, Raul Rodriguez, Daniel Tyiran


Worldwide, the hotel industry supplies single use quantities of soap, shampoo, and conditioner to its customers. While convenient to the short stay customer this practice results in the disposal of tons of plastic bottles annually. Providing customers a means of dispensing these products in a less wasteful manner was made possible through the design of a mechanism that mixes liquid soap, shampoo, or conditioner in a device installed in the shower. By incorporating three large, separate, and refillable dispensers customers are able to use as MDDmuch as they want while having no bottles to throw away. This project includes the design, prototype manufacture, market study, and manufacturing process for a product used to manually pump liquid soap, shampoo, or conditioner through a shower head. The product was designed to use existing plumbing and adapt universally to any residential or commercial shower. A target market was analyzed to determine the overall need and estimate a number for production thereby enabling a cost analysis per unit. Materials were chosen to make the product cost effective, corrosion resistant, and maintenance free. Our design will not only revolutionize the way we shower but it will also cut down on shower time leading to less water consumption.

Metra Train Station-Pedestrian Tunnel Lombard IL,

Civil Engineering

Robert Churchill, Kyle Cussen, John Helfric, Mark Seaquist, Zach Smith


The state of Illinois has the second-highest number of railroad crossing accidents in the nation. A new rule by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) requires the ten states with the most crossing collisions over the past three years to come up with specific solutions for improving safety. The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) utilizes the three-track Union Pacific owned railway to run consistent commuter trains to and from the City of Chicago. Options outlined by the FRA include shutting down crossings or building bypass structures, such as overpasses and tunnels. In order to CIimprove safety and accessibility at the Metra station in the Village of Lombard, a pedestrian tunnel is proposed. This project will investigate the design and construction of this structure along with the layout and planning of the surrounding area. A pedestrian tunnel was chosen due to the existing conditions of the area. The existing pedestrian grade crossing is located approximately ten feet above the adjacent access roads. The Metra station is located in the heart of downtown Lombard and poses unique challenges in implementing construction which must be considered. The structure must meet the unique loading criteria caused by the commuter and freight train traffic. The downtown area is vital to the local economy and therefore must not be affected adversely during the construction process. This project provides instrumental advancements in safety and functionality to the commuters of Lombard.

Railway Track Foundation Design Using Recycled Materials,

Civil Engineering

Paulius Gurklys, Dylan Johnston, Milja Pekic, Martin Todorov


A growing demand for construction aggregates is depleting sources of natural aggregates. Therefore, large scale civil engineering applications of recycled materials are becoming more prevalent. With increased government support EECfor railway network expansion, recycled materials in railway track foundation design should be considered. Currently, most of the recycled materials are used in highway construction applications. Minimal consideration is given for its use in railway track foundations. The primary goal of our project is to design a new railway track foundation for Metra trains using locally available aggregates blended with appropriate recycled materials. Track foundation primarily consists of three stratums: ballast, sub-ballast, and subgrade. For ballast and sub-ballast design, requirements include choosing appropriate recycled materials which are compatible with aggregates and comply with AREMA specifications for performance of materials. For subgrade soils, requirements include obtaining data for required ASTM tests. The performance of materials used for ballast, sub-ballast, and subgrade was tested at UIC Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering Laboratory where we acquired the necessary data for our design. This data allowed us to evaluate the chemical compatibility, durability, mechanical properties, and behavior of recycled materials blended with aggregates. It was determined that certain recycled materials can successfully be blended with aggregates to provide satisfactory performance for ballast and sub-ballast in railway track foundation design. Our design demonstrates that application of recycled materials can be expanded to construction of railway track foundations, thus preserving natural aggregate resources and freeing landfills.

Integration of Radiant Heat and Flexible Concrete in Bridge Decks,

Civil Engineering

Shraddha Adhikari, Rose Sadlier, Raguez Taha


According to the United States Department of Transportation, icy pavement causes an average of 366,000 car crashes per year (Pissano et al., 10). Bridge decks in particular, are common locations for accidents, as they are more susceptible to colder air temperatures and lack proper insulation. State transportation officials currently use salts and chemicals such as Calcium Chloride, Magnesium Chloride, Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA), and Potassium Acetate (KAc), sand, sensor systems and geothermal heating for SSDdeicing. Chemical deicers, currently in use, have detrimental effects on the surrounding environment. Additionally, chemical deicers intensify freeze- thaw cycles causing the concrete to crack and corrode the reinforcing steel there by reducing the life span of bridges. An alternative to chemical deicers is radiant heat preventing the formation of ice. With the integration of flexible concrete, a more durable, less permeable, and more sustainable bridge can be achieved. To determine the feasibility, radiant heat and flexible concrete will be applied to the Old Orchard Road Bridge located in Skokie, Illinois. Finite element modeling will aid in the comparative analysis among radiantly heated bridge decks composed of: conventional concrete, conductive concrete and flexible concrete.

District Housing for Haitian Homeless,

Civil Engineering

David Alvarez, Dao Nguyen, Kris Salvatera, Jeremy Stull, Stephen Wong


One year after the devastating Haiti earthquake, there are still over a million people left without adequate shelters and safe drinking water. The reconstruction process will undoubtedly take years and billions of dollars before every Haitian will have a permanent home. Our goal is to design a fast track shelter system that is able to withstand not only earthquakes, but also take advantage of the heavy rainfall that occurs in Haiti. The design of ourEI shelter system was inspired by honeybee hives known for their extremely efficient geometry that maximizes volume while using the least amount of material. These hexagonal shaped shelters are constructed using a one piece fabric roof and six steel framed walls and will be able to sleep 8 to 10 people. Because of the uniformity of the design, production cost will be low as there are few parts that need to be produced. During rain, the water will be retained and channeled through the connected roofs into a nearby reservoir and then treated for use. In addition, electric energy produced from wind farms will distribute enough energy for lighting. Ultimately, communities will develop consisting of our shelters with water for life and electricity for safety. Our goal is to bring the cost of each shelter down to an affordable price where more fortunate families can make a donation to provide this shelter for at least one family. This design is sustainable in that it can be disassembled and used elsewhere.

Personal Automated Note Digitizing Application (P.A.N.D.A.),

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Marios Fanourakis, Mayur Patel, Patrick Scannell


In the ever expanding technology industry the demand for automated user friendly digital data entry systems has been consistently increasing. Existing systems such as LaTeX and Microsoft Word are cumbersome and lack automation. Users of such systems must manually input data to form complex CDobjects such as mathematical equations. The proposed system will provide a more efficient and simple means of digitizing user data ranging from handwritten notes to complex formulas. P.A.N.D.A. provides a universal environment requiring no proprietary or specialized hardware. Required input data is collected using a typical computer webcam or other image capturing device such as a scanner and is processed through a sophisticated handwriting recognition application. P.A.N.D.A. is designed and implemented using MathWorks‘ powerful programming environment, MATLAB. A simple graphical interface interacts with users to help automate the process. Testing a variety of handwritten characters with algorithms such as Optical Character Recognition (OCR) produced poor results. Further testing of our design using Support Vector Machines (SVM) and neural networks produced much more desirable results. Further developments using P.A.N.D.A. could consist of an automated mathematical environment with the ability to solve complex equations from the digitized handwritten user input. Such technology could find widespread use in the fields of mathematics and engineering.

Green Breeze,

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Tomasz Pikul, Sujit Shah, Carlos Torres, Justin Tullos


Green Breeze was engineered to safeguard putting greens from adverse climate conditions, preserving the most crucial and costly component of a golf course. Without air circulation, a hot and humid layer of stagnant air remains on top of the putting green, not allowing evapotranspiration to occur, which in turn kills the grass and causes golf courses to completely replace the putting green. ECResearch has shown that grass exposed to temperatures above 90 degrees and relative humidity above 90% for long periods of time is the main cause of damage. At Green Breeze we have constructed a system that will replenish the air circulation on a putting green. Our solution is implemented using readings from a motion detector (to not disturb a game), a thermal/humidity sensor (to know at what point to trigger the fan on), and an HCS12/9S112 microcontroller (which controls and regulates the speed of the fan automatically). Our fan has its own housing to protect it from adverse weather conditions as well as to seclude it from the playing field. The fan is connected to PVC pipes which run underground to transport the air to the putting green through ventilators. This results in a system that is completely discrete and provides the proper amount of air circulation for a healthy putting green. Green Breeze is not only more efficient at providing adequate air circulation, compared to the current industry standard of a box fan, but is also more eye pleasing to the landscape.

Endotracheal Tube Securing Device,


Carl Funk, Pratik Patel, Rishil Patel, Sweetu Patel


Premature removal of the endotracheal tube, known as unplanned extubation, is a main cause of tracheal damage and pneumonia for intubated patients. The main reason for unplanned extubation is the standard use of tape as the only securing mechanism to hold the endotracheal tube in place. The existing MDsolution to this problem is to add an attachment to the endotracheal tube. As an alternate solution to this problem, Apna Inc. integrated an endotracheal tube and a y-junction adapter into one unit with a dual purpose of simplicity and securing. The goals are to allow for a secondary attachment of the endotracheal tube to the cheek and to indentify an angle to maximize air flow while minimizing area between the curved port and jaw. The purpose of a minimized area under the curve is to allow for the reduction in dead space and prevention of appendages or equipment from hooking onto the curved port. The optimal angle is determine through an ALGOR simulation to identify turbulence in air flows ranging from 30 ̊ to 90 ̊ curvature, concluding that minimum turbulence was at a 45 ̊ angle. Modifications were done using Autodesk Inventor. Using Autodesk inventor, modification of existing parts was done to make the existing design more efficient. Through simulated and applied testing of the prototypical design, in contrast to initial designs, the results were within an acceptable range of the required specifications. Future direction of this prototypical design for Apna Inc. will be laboratory testing and clinical application.

Tie for First Place

Rational Design of Decision-Making Tool for Brain Surgeons,


Cierra M. Hall, Brian Henry, Nicolas Vaicaitis


Cerebral vasculature diseases are difficult to diagnose and treat due to the inaccessibility of the human brain and the unpredictability of medical intervention. However, advances in medical imaging allow improved experimental measurements of cerebral blood flow in arterial networks. These measurements along with rigorous mathematical modeling provide the means MA1to assess optimal treatment strategies for individuals at risk of developing ischemic stroke and other cerebrovascular disorders due to aneurysm or arterial blockage. To this end, computer models of cerebral vasculature which capture patient-specific hemodynamic properties were constructed using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data combined with automatic vessel generation techniques. Fluid flow equations are used to compute the blood flow and pressure distribution throughout the reconstructed network. The patient-specific models were validated using experimental blood flow measurements from real patients. The tool we developed permits a quantitative analysis of cerebral hemodynamics and may lead to a more fundamental understanding of a patient’s disease state and improved assessment of available treatment strategies.

Indirect Gasification of Municipal Solid Waste,

Chemical Engineering

Eleftherios Avtzis, David Garcia, Bryan Isles, Zack Labaschin, Alena Nguyen


The world today has a growing problem of garbage. In the US alone, each person generates approximately 4 pounds of trash a day – that’s 1460 pounds per person per year. The US annually produces 220 million tons of trash, which sits in landfills decomposing and emitting methane to the atmosphere becoming both an environmental and public hindrance. Utilizing the indirect CPgasification process developed by Taylor Biomass Energy (TBE), the production of synthesis gas from MSW is a profitable, sustainable, cost-effective system that provides valuable synthesis gas to Chemical Production plants. The TBE process stands apart from conventional gasification processes due to the three major unit operations that drive the process: the gasifier, the combustion reactor, and the gas conditioning units. The heating agent, Olivine is cycled to supply the energy for gasification and cleanup reactions while increasing the amount of hydrogen gas. The use of steam as the oxidizing agent is known as indirect gasification, which is a cost- effective and an eco-friendly process because it produces minimum amounts of NOx, no dioxins, limits the environmental impact of landfills, and provides clean energy. The TBE process will be applied to the Newton County Development, a 267 acre landfill in Brooke, IN. By reducing accumulated MSW, greenhouse gas emissions will be minimized, valuable metals will be recycled, and synthesis gas will be provided to the exact specifications of a joint gasoline production facility. This design is a stimulating endeavor for the environment’s tribulations.


Plasma Gasification of Municipal Solid Waste,

Chemical Engineering

Tien Diep, Kevin Estacio, Sebastian Iskra, Linda Quan, Felix Velazquez


In recent years, there has been a world-wide movement to reduce global warming. A variety of different environmental awareness programs have spawned from this pivotal issue. The Chicago blue bin program and the decline in plastic bag use in supermarkets are examples of government and corporation change respectively. In 2008, the EPA documented that recycling has reduced the amount of waste produced by 7% from 2007. However, Illinois PMFlandfills accepted more than 15 million tons of solid waste in 2008 and 69.5% of that waste came from the Chicago Metropolitan area. In 2003 there were 50 landfills in Illinois accepting waste; by 2008 there were only 45 landfills. It would be prudent to act quickly and decisively. The objective of this design project is to build a 5,000 tpd (tons per day) municipal solid waste (MSW) plasma gasification plant that produces useful and safe products. Currently there are several of these units in operation around the world. These plants produce steam and hot water which can be used for power and heat generation, slag which can be sold as building material, pure N2 gas which can be sold to other companies, sulfur which can be used in the production of fertilizers, and synthetic gas which can be used to produce methanol. Not only is this design project an eco-friendly way to utilize unwanted MSW and produce reusable and environmentally safe products, it also reduces the amount of landfill waste in Illinois and provides feed components for other industries.

Windy City Wind Farm,

Civil Engineering

Andy Ahern, Heriberto Hernandez, David Sitko, Charles Wurl


Improving air quality while maintaining energy generation to meet the needs of a growing population has been identified as one of the key design challenges of the next century by the National Academy of Engineering. Of primary importance in the realm of air quality are green house gas (GHG) emissions and their role in global warming. Currently, 40% of GHG emissions are generated by fossil fuel powered electricity plants in the USA. In order to cut GHG emissions, it is clear that markets for alternative forms of renewable energy generation must be developed. The two most prevalent renewable sources ranked by total energy generation capacity in the USA are water and wind. Currently the state of Illinois has employed wind as the main renewable energy source due to its lack of topographic and water resource features necessary for a large hydropower infrastructure. However, it is clear that Illinois lags well behind in the production of wind energy compared to other states with similar wind resources such as Iowa (Illinois has <40% of the capacity of Iowa). This design project focuses on bridging this gap in the urban environment of the city of Chicago. While an intensely urbanized city provides a challenging environment for a major infrastructure project, its location adjacent to Lake Michigan provides an ideal site. Offshore locations produce energy more efficiently due to higher and steadier wind speeds than land-KAbased sites. We predict that a feasible wind farm goal will be to replace the coal power plant capacity operating in the City of Chicago. Current technology supports this hypothesis. The largest offshore wind farm produces ~300 megawatt-hours of power annually; in comparison, the second largest coal powering plant produces ~326 megawatt-hours. Replacing this plant would lead to substantial reductions in GHG emissions and other pollution, while matching power demands of the city of Chicago. Creating a wind farm would also help achieve the national goals for renewable energy capacity of 20% by 2030. The current design will focus on allocating the wind farm to optimally meet energy needs due to daily and seasonal fluctuations in the sustained wind speed and direction on Lake Michigan. Structural components of the design include anchoring the windmills to the Lake sediments. Finally, design of the power transfer system will be presented.

GuitArduino – Self Teaching Electronic Guitar,

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Andrew Garza, Mamlook Jendo


It may be difficult for some to teach themselves how to play guitar. Many ANApeople tend to be visual learners and reading sheet music, guitar tablature, or scales, can be tricky. The GuitArduino offers an additional user interface to a guitar that helps new guitar players. The GuitArduindo has a light display throughout the neck of the guitar, this tells the guitar player where to hold their fingers. For instance, if the user wants to learn a C chord, the GuitArduino will light the finger placement of a C chord. The same goes for scales and eventually songs. By installing LED’s throughout the neck of the guitar and determining where the guitarist’s fingers are placed, a micrcontroller can add additional interfacing to a guitar. We are ultimately creating a different and new insturement, while still maintaining what makes it a guitar.