SOE Engineer Magazine_Spring 2021

and better at scoping projects, and groups of seniors who have accomplished more and more, which can communicate to sponsors that there could be more and more expected of our students. Outside sponsors have said that the quality of the results and the work, the technical prowess demonstrated by our students, the capabilities of our students have all been growing.” Numerous Senior Design Clinic projects have received patents, with students having the honor of their names listed on the patent. “Creating challenging projects transforms students into champions,” Weinkauf said. “They start off thinking, ‘This is a project for 3M, Medtronic or Mayo Clinic,’ and then in a few months, they truly champion the project and put their heart and passion into it. That’s when amazing things happen.” Another development over the years is the Global Summers program, which started in 2018. It’s an immersive experience for students, who spend seven to eight weeks in another country working with an organization. For the first Global Summers Senior Design Clinic project, five students spent seven weeks in Amman, Jordan, creating aspects of a dehydrator specifically for jameed, a dried yogurt that serves as the main ingredient of the popular Jordanian dish, mansaf. The project sponsor, the Jordanian Women’s Cooperative, sells jameed to partially fund their cooperative. It takes about a week for jameed to dry outside in the sun. “Our goal was to find a way to dry jameed faster, within maybe three days, so the women could output more and

Students Janelle Mueller, Darya Klimok, Cooper Gray and Joshua Niemeyer partnered on the Basic Utility Vehicle (BUV) project, which is based on the Institute for Affordable Transportation’s mission to “bring safe affordable transportation to every person on the planet.”

work year-round,” Kelly Mallon ’19, who worked on the project, told St. Thomas Newsroom in 2019. “That could potentially get them out of poverty and empower them.” Ensuing teams continued with the women’s cooperative. In 2020, a team worked on a plastic mulch anchoring system for the School for International Training in Jordan. That system is designed to optimize the use of water in agricultural processes. The Global Summers program expanded the previous year to Peru. The students collaborated with the Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development to design, test and build a machine that provides Peruvian farmers the option to reuse their corn and quinoa stalks for fertilization, compost and animal feed.

“The Global Summers program adds a level of difficulty in terms of delivery and listening to the customer,” Weinkauf said. Even through the pandemic, the Global Summers program has continued remotely, with teams required to complete cultural training modules online. “[The cultural training modules] enriched their experience and really helped them understand those cultural differences and how their design choices might change based on that knowledge of the difference in culture,” Ling said. A BETTER TYPE OF ENGINEER “The experience I had working on a Senior Design Clinic project was extremely useful in preparing me for the real world,” said Lindsey Falzone ’17, now a systems engineer

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