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ESMD Program in Louisiana -- A Focus on Senior Design Projects The ESMD – Space Grant Program was initiated in Academic Year 2006-07 with : –Senior Design.

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Presentation on theme: "ESMD Program in Louisiana -- A Focus on Senior Design Projects The ESMD – Space Grant Program was initiated in Academic Year 2006-07 with : –Senior Design."— Presentation transcript:

1 ESMD Program in Louisiana -- A Focus on Senior Design Projects The ESMD – Space Grant Program was initiated in Academic Year 2006-07 with : –Senior Design Projects LSU Mechanical Engineering LaTECH Mechanical Engineering –Competitions SUBR -- Great Moonbuggy Race –Internships NASA Centers (6) Industry (4)

2 Senior Design Projects LSU Mechanical Engineering (Regenerative Fuel Cell) –3 undergraduates –RFC uses H and O as the energy storage medium –Unit that functions as both fuel cell and electrolyser was designed, constructed and tested (key technology is the bi-functional catalyst/electrode made from platinum black and iridium oxide) –No NASA POC for this approved project –Final presentation to senior ME students and ME faculty LaTECH Mechanical Engineering (Design of a Thermal Control System for Mars Rover) –4 Undergraduates, 1 female, 1 under-represented –Recruited thru senior capstone course; students review all projects, self- select in to teams, and ‘bid’ on the projects they would like to do. The four selected showed high level of interest in project. –Teleconferences with NASA POC – useful feedback for students –Built and tested prototypes –Presented project to review team at end of spring quarter

3 - Senior Design Students from Southern University’s Mechanical Engineering Department returned on Sunday from The Great Moonbuggy Race hosted by NASA on April 13-14, 2007 in Huntsville, Al. The students and their advisor Dr. Edgar R. Blevins endured cold and wet conditions to be the first team ever from Southern to compete in this national competition (25 college teams). Tina Jackson and Aaron Davis piloted the vehicle through 11 of 17 course obstacles before a component failure sidelined them for the competition. The group photo below includes the team members that traveled to the competition; they were from left to right Aaron Davis, DeCarlos James, Audie Stokes, Jullien Brannon, Tina Jackson, and advisor Dr. Blevins. Several team members were not able to attend but contributed to the design and construction of the moonbuggy. They were Desmond Fefee, Ashley Lewis, Joemaine Spears, Christopher Thompson, Jarvis Wagner, and Devin Washington. In addition, this project could not have been completed without the assistance of the Mechanical Engineering Lab Technician Mr. Rory Nettles and funding from a Louisiana Space Consortium grant. If you would like to know more about this project, please feel free to contact me or go to Competition – Moonbuggy Race – Southern University

4 Hands-on experience Exposure to real-world problems Meet/Interact with other student teams Build confidence / Team Spirit / Pride

5 Student Internships Summer 07 was a good year for Louisiana –NASA Academy at GSFC (1) Andrew Bechnel (ME student at LSU) –SAWDRIP at GSFC (1) – from SUBR –USRP at KSC (1) – from Dillard –USRP at MSFC (1) – from LSU –LARSS at Langley (2) – from LaTECH Reuben Oliver (Computer Science student at Southern University Baton Rouge) –L-M Michoud Operations (4) – two UNO; two LSU Three female; three under-represented

6 Student Internships (continued) Happenings / Lessons Learned –Some students applied for and were selected by more than one program; while some students were not selected at all –Many students have a choice, and some opted to go to other programs (e.g. REU) rather than wait for a NASA decision –Funding commitments often had to be made before student / project selection –Industry (in our case) preferred to handle all interns the same -- under their company program –Student and/or program feedback was ‘difficult’ to acquire in near real time Budgeting became a ‘guesswork’ game –Not all internship funds utilized

7 ESMD – SPACE GRANT PROGRAM AY 07-08 and AY 08-09 Elements Included –Student Internships –Senior Design Projects ‘Competitions’ Eliminated –SUBR team ‘turned on’ many students (overall 13 students were involved at some level) –SUBR wants to continue the Moonbuggy competition with new group of students –Need to shift the Moonbuggy project to regular Space Grant funds

8 ESMD – SPACE GRANT PROGRAM AY07-08 and AY 08-09 GOALS –Overall: Develop/train the skilled workforce of the future needed to implement the “Vision” –Provide ‘hands-on’ experiences –Expose students to ESMD topics / ’challenges’ for the future –Provide work experiences in Industry or NASA Centers –Excite students / influence career decisions

9 The Louisiana Approach The Experience –Students from a small state like LA are difficult to place in NASA/ESMD internships –Each internship affects, essentially, a single student –Industry placement (other than LMMO) is difficult for LA students plus the financial ‘hassles’ –Senior Design Projects involve a team of students –ESMD topics are exposed to more students than just those opting to work on the team – the whole class –Faculty expertise / available facilities must be included in design project selection  Focus on Senior Design Projects –Two-three Senior Design projects per year –Only 1-2 ESMD interns per year

10 Louisiana ESMD – SG Plan for AY 07-08 Senior Design at LSU – Mechanical Engineering –Topic: “Lunar Surface Habitat Thermal Control System Design: A novel sun shield using Electrospray based Nanotechnology” – from ESMD list –Student Team recruited –Project is getting underway Senior Design at LaTECH Mechanical Engineering –Topic: “Thermal Control Systems for a Mars/Lunar Rover ” -- from ESMD list –Team now being selected; will start work in coming weeks Another Senior Design at LSU-ME (student initiated) –A group of students with Aero interests asked if they could select a senior design project. I encouraged them and gave them the ESMD website with the project list –Topic selected: Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) –Students found a faculty mentor and wrote a proposal for the supplies needed to build the prototype –Believe that we can fit it in ’finances-wise’ One – two internships, as possible

11 Summary We shall see if the “Experiment” is successful during this Academic Year More Later Thanks for you attention Questions ?

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