Lessening the pressure drag on trailers can increase fuel efficiency in long haul semi-trucks. Clarkson University and Composite Factory, Inc., are jointly developing a drag reduction device that could cut fuel consumption by 5%, potentially saving US truckers about $2 billion per year.
Update: This project has spawned several graduate degrees, undergraduate research projects and received a grant from NYSERDA for over $300k. The team also made the news:
This course in technological entrepreneurship is part of a new program in technology entrepreneurship within the school of business. The course reaches over 200 freshmen and involves mentoring by senior students, seminars and visits to J&J plants. Business plans and presentations are the main deliverables. The course is well-supported by faculty and the administration, with plans proposed to fully fund it after its second year.
UAB's current senior design curriculum is based on mechanical engineering design teams solving industrial-based problems. The problems are formulated by industrial clients who must be satisfied with the final product offered by the design team. This NCIIA-funded program keeps the current client/team format of the design process while adding to selected teams a business component comprised of a marketing team member from the MBA program or Engineering Management program at the UAB School of Business and a patent attorney mentor from the local community.
Projects selected for E-Team design must develop a business plan, conduct market research, and perform a patent search. The design team incorporates the business plan and results from the market analysis and patent research into product design. The team submits the written reports on the business plan, market analysis, and patent research, demonstrates how these plans and studies were incorporated into the product design, and explains how the design was affected by these inputs. The team also builds a prototype of the product and provides test information demonstrating its effectiveness in meeting the design goals
This team is developing an ultrasonic scanning system that scans and creates an image of the exterior of human body parts in three dimensions. The initial uses for the device will be medical applications such as the development of orthodic devices. Using new ultrasonic transducer technology, the team is funded to assemble, develop, and test a scanning helmet or barrel that will provide a CAD compatible output of the exterior surface of the scanned person or object.
The team plans to patent and license the technology. The technology should be of comparable quality to laser-based scanners, easy-to-use, portable, and less expensive than existing products.
The faculty advisor has assembled a group of advisors from the medical industry, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical and aeronautical engineering, as well as an expert in business and entrepreneurship. The students working on the project are recruited from a design course that he instructs.
This E-Team created Obsidian Cyclops, a novel high end mountain bike front shock. Aimed at the downhill segment of the mountain bike industry. Obsidian originated from a Lehigh University design project in the Integrated Product Development course. The project explored the possibility of and then prototyped a single blade suspension fork to improve on existing fork designs.
Unlike most scales that sit on the floor, this scale replaces the seat of a toilet, thus combining the function of the scale with the form of a toilet seat. The team researched, invented, designed, constructed a prototype of the scale, and demonstrated both the functionality and the appeal of the product. The scale is designed to function and mount, via hinges, onto a commode just as a standard toilet seat.
The Toilet Scale may be sold as a novelty gift, home improvement item, or as a health care device.
Proposal requests renewal of funding for E-Teams in Lehigh IPD program. Program is multi-disciplinary design and business development program run in conjunction with the Ben Franklin Incubator. Funding would enable 2 teams to develop prototypes and marketing & business plans. Teams are well supported and the IPD courses offer very good support for E-Teams including lectures and connection with industry and business mentors and access to the incubator center for successful projects.ITEM $ Requested $ Approved E-Team Prototype Development $4,000 $3,000 Technical services 2,000 1,000 Support services 4,000 1,000 Summer stipends for students 2,600 0 Equip 1,000 1,000 Supplies 200 200 Travel 200 200 Patent & legal 200 200 Market analysis 200 200 Business plan development 200 200 Posters, presentation mtls and reports 400 200 $15,000 $7,200 The proposal is very well rounded and likely to produce good E-Teams. The funding requested is quite high although the teams work on projects which are often quite complex and involve elaborate prototyping. Recommend funding at $7200 based on comparable expenses in the programs with the removal of internship expenses. Encourage applications for advanced support for summer fundingFund at reduced level of $7200.