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Senior Design Expo 2012: VCU Event Aims to Raise Awareness to Middle and High School Students

Virginia Commonwealth University School of Engineering presents Senior Design Expo 2012, an annual event where teams of engineering students share their innovative research and design prototypes with the greater Richmond community.

The event will take place on Friday, April 27, at 9:30 a.m., in the rotunda and adjacent rooms of the Science Museum of Virginia located at 2500 West Broad Street.

An awards presentation will be held at 2:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The Senior Design Expo aims to raise awareness of engineering, science, and technology to middle and high school students living in the greater Richmond community with more than 200 expected to attend and discuss projects with engineering student team members and learn more about studying engineering in a university or college setting.

This year, the event is being held as part of VCU’s Student Research Week, a series of events that bring together undergraduate and graduate students from across disciplines to celebrate research and creative and scholarly projects.

The Senior Design Studio has been part of the School of Engineering curriculum since 1999 and is a requirement for graduation. The capstone class teaches leadership and design skills in a collaborative environment and provides students the opportunity to develop projects that may lead to product innovation for the benefit of society.

This year, 215 students in 64 student teams participate in the Senior Design Expo from the departments of Biomedical Engineering, Chemical and Life Science Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering.

Projects focus on alternative energy solutions; bio-fuel development; advances in microelectronics, aeronautical, aerospace, and automotive engineering; and development of medical devices and drug-delivery systems that aim to improve human health.

Projects this year include organic solar cells designed for the consumer market; production of bio-butanol as a source of alternative energy; predictive tools to identify and predict fraud, waste and abuse in Medicare claims; remote controlled unmanned aircraft; drag reduction using synthetic jet actuators; a functional synthetic small diameter vascular graft replacement for treating vascular disease, an electronic board game that teaches sustainability; and a nuclear reactor simulator based on the specifications of the North Anna Nuclear Power Plant in Virginia.

Article content provided by: Joan Izzo, VCU School of Engineering

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