University of Rochester

EVENT: University of Rochester Students Showcase Innovative Solutions

April 29, 2013

Seniors at the University's Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have been spending much of the school year in problem-solving mode. In many cases, the students have been partnering with local companies and institutions over the past year to solve real-world engineering problems in the fields of medicine, alternative energy, optics, communications, and more.

Their innovations will be on display Thursday, May 2 from 10 1 p.m. in the Munnerlyn Atrium of Robert B. Goergen Hall during the annual Hajim School Design Day.

Their projects include:

  • VenAer: a device that detects air bubbles in the heart to reduce the risk of life-threatening complications from certain types of surgeries
  • Extended Communication: an ad hoc system that extends communication signals over challenging environments
  • Small-Scale Wind Turbine: a portable turbine that provides power via a USB connection
  • Whey to Ethanol: a fermentation process that produces ethanol from whey, a waste product of the cheese and dairy industry

Two of this year's project teams, UV Swarm and URead Braille, will be among the 30 teams from 18 universities competing in the second annual Cornell Cup USA engineering competition next week at Walt Disney World, FL. UV Swarm's innovation makes use of a robotic system and ultraviolet light to sterilize hospital floors, wrestling mats, and astro turf. URead Braille aims to create a prototype display for a table top device that acts as a screen reader for the blind, converting pdf files to Braille.

A device developed by students last year has already been marketed to help people with certain disabilities. The MonoMano team designed a control system that enables stroke survivors, amputees, and others to control a recumbent tricycle with one hand. The team's design earned them the international Student of da Vinci Award, presented last month by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Michigan Chapter.