SOE Engineer Magazine_Spring 2021

Engineering students Meheret Tadesse, Henry Martinson and Charles Lundquist pose with the “tactile diagram scanner” technology they developed, at the Minnesota State Services for the Blind.

food is grown for the nonprofit’s wellness center and grocery store. “It’s fun to see the diversity of projects every year,” Design Clinic Lead Dr. Tiffany Ling said. CONTINUOUS GROWTH When the Senior Design Clinic started in 2002, there were six projects and mechanical engineering was the only major represented. Electrical engineering was added in 2004. The number of projects has steadily increased as well, with close to 40 projects for the

“The team I am currently working with continues to find new and creative ways to innovate and meet project deadlines.” One team this academic year was sponsored by orthopedic surgeon

State Services for the Blind, a project that took three years, three teams and 13 students, with each team working on a portion of the project and handing it off to the next one. Students described the tactile diagram scanner’s purpose as “digitally preserving original tactile diagrams – tactile representations of visual learning components in textbooks such as graphs, pictures and maps. By saving digital versions of the original physical diagrams, they are protected from damage and are more easily shared with teachers and students across the country.” Another instance of nonprofit collaboration is work for north Minneapolis-based Pillsbury United Communities on a faster way of seeding the hydroponic farm where

Jay Davenport, of Davenport SAF-T Systems, to work on a

personal safety device designed to diminish the impact of falls. Teams also have worked with Pelvital, a medical technology company focused on women’s health that recently received Food and Drug Administration clearance for its treatment to help women with stress urinary incontinence. The work with nonprofits aligns with the St. Thomas commitment to the common good. One example was the development of the tactile diagram scanner for the Minnesota

2020-21 academic year. “The scale, rigor and the

accomplishments of the students has changed over the years,” said Don Weinkauf, dean of the School of Engineering. “We’re getting groups of students who are better

St. Thomas Engineer 2021 Page 7

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