Engineering fair releases capstone projects

The off road vehicle was welded and constructed from scratch by the BYU ___ team.
The off road vehicle was welded and constructed from scratch by the BYU SAE team.

The BYU Engineering and Technology College hosted the engineering and technology capstone fair in the Wilkinson Ballroom for students to display eight-month industry projects on April 3.

“The program provides excellent educational experiences for our students and generates praise and comment from our industrial and university colleagues from around the nation,” said Engineering and Technology dean Alan Parkinson.

The capstone began at BYU in 1990 and has provided design experience for more than 3,400 students with more than 200 companies and organizations sponsored projects. The capstone allows juniors and seniors to apply for design teams sponsored by groups such as HP and Boeing and complete projects for their portfolios.

Industry sectors for design projects include aerospace, agriculture, government and military, consumer products and transportation.

This year’s capstone fair featured products such as gun safes, robots and upgraded medical equipment, as well as commissioned projects for Boeing and Blendtec, and all products were presented by design teams eager to describe their efforts.

Each team was supervised by one faculty coach, two instructors and one external relations manager.

One of the most popular presentations was given by an off-road vehicle team. The students plan to enter the Society of Auto Engineers Series competition. A  group of nine team members worked to perfect a high-performance off-road vehicle, and they plan to compete in just two months against 100 schools from around the world. BYU students have competed in the past, but this year is particularly exciting.

“There are seven areas that we are scored on like acceleration, hill climb, maneuvering, a design presentation and a four-hour driving course,” said Caleb Lystrup, a senior studying mechanical engineering. “I was in charge of the cost report, and we’ll get a ton of points for coming in way under budget.”

Their 328-pound car made of steel, aluminum, Kevlar and other materials has a high-clearance 13 inches off the ground for the competition.

At the capstone fair, the time and team commitment for students and the faculty involved is crucial to creating an impressive project. The off-road vehicle group has been meeting from 7 to 10 a.m., Monday–Friday since Fall 2013. Making it onto a top-performing team requires an application and interview process for each member.

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