Michigan Tech University holds 23rd annual Design Expo with wide project variety

Over a thousand students participated this year, with judges awarding teams based on the scope of their projects and their interactions with onlookers.
Published: Apr. 18, 2023 at 4:31 PM EDT
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - Dozens of Michigan Tech University (MTU) student teams gathered on campus Tuesday starting at 10 a.m.

The reason? For the university’s 23rd annual Design Expo. It is hosted by the university’s Enterprise program and College of Engineering.

The event showcases projects that range from recycling paint waste-water to programming robotic systems.

A panel of judges examines projects in two ways to determine which will receive awards.

“Our teams submit two pieces of information,” said MTU Enterprise Program Coordinator Briana Tucker. “They submit a video explaining their project and what it is they have been up to, the project scoping and how did they do their research. The other piece is actually being here in person to talk with community members, to talk with the Michigan Tech community, and our judges.”

The Wireless Communications Enterprise (WCE) team showcased several of their projects.

These included a timed pill dispensary for proper dosages, a smart window that opens and closes in response to weather data, and their own 5-G cell tower.

“A lot of Enterprise, at least with Wireless Communications Enterprise, is exactly what you put into it, you get out of it,” said WCE President Ryan Peckham. “And so there is a sense of reward, and the work we’ve done is exactly our own.”

13 first-year engineering student teams also participated in the expo, a first for the event, according to Tucker.

This included a group of four chemical engineering students from Engineering 1102, Andrew Brenner, Ethan LeGrave, Veronica North, and Bailey Wright.

They aimed to use their engineering skills to put together a plan to create a brewery with a 10-barrel system and taproom.

“It’s a very cool opportunity that we have, that I didn’t think I was going to get coming to Michigan Tech,” said Brenner. “I didn’t think that was going to happen. To have it displayed and to have people ask questions is something that I think is very cool.”

A reception and award ceremony was held at the Rozsa Center from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 to wrap up the expo.