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New Mexico State University

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NMSU College of Engineering competition highlights student projects

New Mexico State University’s College of Engineering recently held its second annual Student Capstone Poster Competition.

Three men stand in front of a poster about engineering education.
The first-place winning team in the Student Capstone Poster Competition included (left to right) Colt Capurro, mechanical engineering; Mauricio Garcia, industrial engineering; and Javier Garcia-Mendoza, industrial engineering. (NMSU photo by Linda Fresques)

Capstone courses are required for all engineering students. Within the classes, students develop projects that encompass all material the student has learned over the past four years. The college held the first capstone design competition last spring.

A team of mechanical engineering and industrial engineering students came in first place. Their project design was a personal mobile device designed to transport users quickly over a short distance.

Second place was awarded to a civil engineering team for their project “La Union B Dam Design and Analysis: Designing an Earthen Dam to Accommodate Max Potential Floods.” The purpose of this project was to replace the failed La Union B Dam with a structure that could withstand large 100-year storm events.

Third place went to Team Magellan, a group of mechanical engineering and industrial engineering students. Magellan is a dragon used at the annual Las Cruces Renaissance Fair. The owners of the original dragon partnered with the College of Engineering to create a robotic, fire-breathing version of Magellan.

“The designs were very different across disciplines, ranging from prototype development to structural designs to process designs. The students did a great job,” said Martha Mitchell, assistant dean of research.

This year, around 12 teams competed. Alumni and professional engineers judged students on the presentation of the design process as well as the quality of the scientific poster they created. Winners received monetary awards.