Solutions for Seedling Sunburn, Runaway Trash Bins and Other Woes

December 7, 2021

First-year design teams develop solutions for real clients with real problems, like crop loss and decreased mobility

Students present their

Anyone who has ever transplanted a seedling from a windowsill to an outdoor garden plot knows that tender young spouts can easily fry in direct sunlight. Organic farmers—including professor and client Nan Jokerst—are losing large amounts of seedling transplants due to excessive heat. Sophia Urbom, Sage Hirschfield, Sarah Kate Ashton and Bella Motsco created a

EGR 101, First-Year Design, gives Duke students an initial taste of what it’s like to work as a professional engineer. Students choose from a plethora of challenges that have been brought to instructors by clients in the community, and work in consultation with that client to design—and redesign—solutions that meet the clients’ needs, developing and honing communication skills alongside technical know-how. After the students make a final presentation to their clients, they must run a final gauntlet: answering questions from peers, professors and others, both inside and outside of the School of Engineering, about their prototypes at a public poster session.

These are just a few of the many ingenious projects that student teams presented in early December, 2021:

 

students demonstrate bin cart

 

students present their infant incubator to a bystander

 

students prevent a soil-water model featuring LED lighting to bystanders
 

student models a prototype cryo-glove to bystanders
Students present their blood flow model to bystanders
Bystanders photograph a prototype reflectance transformation imaging system

 

An animal keeper watches a porcupine investigate its new enrichment toy as zoo-goers look on

 

 

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