Graduating students tackle real-world problems

Jeff Bilek, Larry Sandhu, Aaron Marson and Connor Holowachuk display their fitness-based wearable Friday, July 26, 2019 in the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation. 

More than 100 industry and community members came to the University of Windsor Friday to learn more about student engineering projects that have real-world applications and the potential to advance technology.

The fourth-year capstone projects ranged from fitness-based wearables, autonomous vehicle technologiesand sensor systems for monitoring greenhouses to the optimization of the Chatham Water Pollution Control Plant and building energy retrofitting.

"Our project allowed us to explore a variety of practical solutions to real-world problems,” says Olivia Byrne, whose team placed second in the Water Environment Association of Ontario's annual student design competition for its optimization of the Chatham Water Pollution Control Plant. “Coming up with a competitive solution required intense dedication and organization.”

Byrne, Alexandria Provencher and Dakota Ellis’s economic, environmental and social impact analysis included implementing low energy mixers, changing controls within the plant’s tanks and implementing a process that turns nutrients into fertilizers. The fertilizers made with the process the team recommended last longer than conventional fertilizers and help end the cycle of nutrient runoff that harms surrounding ecosystems. 

Jeff Bilek, Connor Holowachuk, Aaron Marson and Larry Sandhu created a fitness movement tracker that help users prevent injuries and track progress. Sensors placed on the body track movements and notify the user through a cell phone application if they are performing an exercise incorrectly. The team’s design is portable, lightweight, easy to use and cost effective. 

Capstone projects are team-based projects that are the culmination of the undergraduate program and a requirement for degree completion. Students combine the technical skills and hands-on experience acquired during their program and design a project related to their chosen discipline.