By Caroline OstermanOver 550 attendees filled the MLK Pauley Ballroom at UC Berkeley on Friday, May 10, 2019 as the 8th Master of Engineering (MEng) cohort presented their completed Capstone projects to the public. These 85 teams represented ten different engineering tracks —from Advances in Manufacturing to Autonomous Vehicles — and have spent the past year developing innovative solutions to a variety of industry, market, and societal issues. This annual showcase provides MEng students the opportunity to engage a diverse set of stakeholders. Among this year’s attendees were program admits and alumni, faculty, advisors, recruiters, and industry partners. Students present at the event not only to promote their research and accomplishments from the past nine months, but to network and interact with a diverse audience as well. The space was bustling with energy as visitors strolled from table to table while MEng students encouraged them interact with their projects and bring their inner engineer to life. Many teams utilized prototypes, games, and physical simulations to convey the focus of their project and their solution to the problem it addressed. A full list of abstracts may be found on the event page: http://funginstitute.berkeley.edu/capstone-showcase-2019/. Here are a few highlights from the evening include:
Improving Bus Performance by Prioritizing Buses at IntersectionsRepresenting the “Transportation” track, this Capstone team spent the past year exploring ways in which they could enhance the public transit system by reducing travel time and improving reliability. “This will help make things greener by promoting the transition to using mass transportation over individual cars,” explains Priyanka Pandey, MEng ’19 (IEOR). “We hope that people will be more attracted to keeping in line with California’s efforts in sustainability.”
Pipette Aid: Affordable Virtual Assistant for Laboratory ExperimentRepresenting the “Health & Well-Being: New Tools & Therapies” track, this Capstone team hopes to prevent inaccuracy and wasted time in lab experiments by offering a virtual experience to reduce human error. Their realized solution is Pipette Aid, an LCD display that enlists a semi-automated Java algorithm to visually assist users during complicated tasks. “Reducing the stress and errors in these lab experiments is the key focus of this project,” commented Kevin Hong, MEng ’19 (BIOE).
Understanding Nuclear Interaction Uncertainties in Lead SystemsRepresenting the “Energy & Environment” track, this Capstone project’s mission is to improve nuclear data, one neuron interaction at a time. The mission: to investigate the uncertainties of how neurons interact with lead, to ensure greater confidence in nuclear reactor designs. To illustrate this concept, Kelsey Amundson, MEng ’19 (NE) provided visitors an interactive experience involving hands-on demonstrations with objects such as a Newton’s cradle. “Neutrons interact with materials in a variety of ways,” Kelsey explained. “The goal of this project is to minimize the uncertainties of these reactions.”
Velocity: Making Stationary Bikes Fun with Virtual RealityAlso under the “Health & Well-Being: New Tools & Therapies” track, this Capstone project aims to make exercise fun again with a fun an immersive experience. The Velocity Bike integrates a traditional exercise bike with virtual reality gaming, all while maintaining a safe environment. The team developed haptic systems to provide tangible feedback to the player, allowing them to feel every bump in the road. With pedaling and steering synchronized with game play, riders will be totally absorbed into the virtual environment. Team member Kristjan Sigurdsson, MEng ’19 (ME), was grateful for the teaming experience. He shared: “I was extremely lucky with my Capstone team. We complimented each other’s skills really well.” The night concluded with a presentation of the 2018–19 Capstone project and advisor awards. The recipients were:
Fung Institute Mission Award: IntelliCare: Machine Learning to Fight Alarm Fatigue in Hospitals Given to the team that best exemplifies the mission of the institute: “transforming scientists into leaders who can take risks and develop technical, social and economic innovations.” Team: Thomas Galeon, Xudan Luo, Oskar Radermecker, Clement Ruin, Yixun Tan, Wei Tan, Jidapa Thanabhusest, Sruthi Thomas, Jessica Wu Advisors: Prof. Gabriel Gomes, Prof. Xiao Hu, Prof. Michelle Pelter
Fung Institute Most Innovative Project Award: Exploring Post-Stroke Neural Recovery Via Exogenous Electromagnetic Field Therapy Most effectively demonstrates the relevance of the problem they are trying to solve, the originality of their proposed solution, and the potential of their project’s impact. Team: Yu-Shuo Chen, Kylua Chen, Matthew Kennedy, Paula Schultheiss, Jesse Yang Advisor: Prof. Syed Hossainy
Fung Institute Faculty Advisor Awards MEng Capsone Mentorship Award: Matthew Sherburne Honorable Mention: Koushil Sreenath Honorable Mention: Massimiliano Fratoni Honorable Mention: Michael Mahoney
Fung Institute Industry Advisor Awards Matthew Zebiak, MEng ’16 (ME), General Motors Honorable Mention: Kevin Feng, Beam Solutions Honorable Mention: Seth Hoedl, Post Road Foundation Honorable Mention: Damien Thioulouse, Asurion Honorable Mention: Douglas Hutchings, Squishy RoboticsThe 8th annual Capstone Showcase was overall a resounding success. Well done, engineering leaders — and thank you for all your valuable contributions in creating social impact! Thank you to all who attended this year’s Capstone Showcase! For more information on how to propose an MEng Capstone Project, please visit this webpage: Propose a Project. Stay up to date with the MEng program by following us on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.
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