Santa Clara University


2014 Senior Design Conference Session Winners

Congratulations to the following student teams, whose projects were voted best of session by the Senior Design Conference judges.

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Bioengineering Session 1 (tie):

Electrolysis Powered Micropump Utilizing Planar Check Valves
Aleen Michaelian, Connie Truong
Advisor: Unyoung (Ashley) Kim

To address the growth of point of care (POC) diagnostics, we have developed a low-power, low-cost, and compact micropump that easily integrates with lab-on-a-chip devices in POC applications. Powered by electrolysis and controlled by a planar membrane and check valves, this micropump supplies precise microliter amounts of fluid.

TALENs: Genome Surgery
Carson Harms, Serena Lerkantitham
Advisor: Leilani Miller

Utilizing a novel genome editing technology to elicit targeted gene integration opens possibilities for a new and more effective approach to gene therapy. Using this approach to introduce a GFP-tagged transcription factor at its endogenous site will also allow for more accurate real-time monitoring of gene expression.


Bioengineering Session 2:

IAP Inhibitors as Potential Tools for Ovarian Cancer Therapy
Aditi Bellary, Marko Buljan
Advisor: Zhiwei (Jonathan) Zhang

We aim to better understand epithelial ovarian cancer by investigating a signaling pathway that allows tumor cells to evade death. Our research examines how agents that inhibit cells’ inherent pro-survival proteins can mediate their sensitivity to drugs, especially in cell lines that have developed a resistance to certain chemotherapy regimens.


Bioengineering Session 3:

Electrochemical Detection of Arsenic Using a Microfluidic Sensing Platform
Ben Demaree, Allie Sibole, Jessica VanderGiessen
Advisor: Unyoung (Ashley) Kim

Arsenic contamination of water sources is a global health concern affecting up to 200 million people. This proposed device, consisting of a three-electrode system and disposable substrate, allows for point-of-use detection of arsenic when integrated with an electrochemical analyzer and mobile application.


Bioengineering Session 4:

Designing a Biomimetic Primary Cell-Based 3D Culture System for Neurotoxicity Screening
Teresa Cauvel, Jessica Kost, Nicolo Mendoza
Advisors: Prashanth Asuri, Christelle Sabatier

The goal of this project is to develop a hydrogel scaffold that replicates the physiological environment of spinal cord neurons, and optimize the system to promote primary neuron survival, maturation, and axonal outgrowth in vitro. The most immediate application of the project is improving cytotoxicity testing in early stage pharmaceutical development.


Civil Engineering Session 1 (3-way tie):

Rainwater Catchment System at Walden West Outdoor Science School
Jessica Bolanos, Melissa Crapps, Alessandro Folchi
Advisors: Steven Chiesa, Edwin Maurer

At Walden West, children learn science as it relates to the environment and sustainability. We designed a full-scale bioswale to capture and reuse the rainwater runoff on the site. To provide an educational tool for campers, we built a model bioswale and performed water quality analyses.

Life Water
Colin Boyle, Scott Hanson
Advisor: Edwin Maurer

Design and implementation of a rainwater collection, purification, storage, and distribution system for an orphanage in Kigali, Rwanda. Project team traveled to site for construction of system components. This water system will enable the orphanage to become more self-sufficient and independent of municipal water, which has proven to be unreliable.

Design of a Low-Impact Wastewater Treatment Solution for Siladen Island in Indonesia
Kyle Astill, Charles Rymer, Joseph Sarmiento
Advisor: Steven Chiesa

Design of a low-cost, centralized wastewater treatment system for Pulau Siladen, a tiny undeveloped island in Indonesia without a sustainable sanitation method. The chosen design was based on technologies that can be used to solve sanitation issues in similar communities and potentially provide recycled water to offset potable water demands.


Civil Engineering Session 2:

Design and Evaluation of a Home-Scale Arsenic Removal System
Megan Alferness, Alex Casares
Advisor: Steven Chiesa

Arsenic contamination in groundwater is a global health concern. Our goal was to develop an affordable household arsenic filter using electrocoagulation technology that reduces arsenic concentrations to safe levels. This may lead to manufacturing the filter in Southeast Asia and other regions, including the United States.


Civil Engineering Session 3:

Ductile Bamboo Structures
Tommy Baldacci, Jonathan Chimento, John Drayton
Advisors: Mark Aschheim, Tonya Nilsson
The goal of the project is to be able to provide a structurally stable connection from masonry wall to bamboo structures in order to sustain earthquake loads of large magnitude. Areas such as Southeast Asia and Haiti have had recent large-scale earthquakes.


Civil Engineering Session 4:

Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta Levee Remedial Design
Amanda Kimi, Brandon Powers
Advisor: Sukhmander Singh

Evaluating a section of levees in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta in order to prevent future failures. The levees will either be designed to be retrofitted or redesigned.


Computer Engineering Session 1:

Text to Learn
Melissa Bica, Elizabeth Donahue
Advisor: Silvia Figueira

Text to Learn is a training tool developed for social enterprises in emerging markets. It uses SMS to distribute training materials to users’ mobile phones, and it provides social enterprises with a Web-based dashboard to upload and send training materials, manage users, and create SMS-based quizzes to assess users’ progress.


Computer Engineering Session 2:

H2OBot Control System
Amanda Chong, Noel Hardesty-DeMenge, Thomas Martin, Alec Shaffer
Advisor: Silvia Figueira

A mobile application built for the Android tablet to control an underwater robot. The tool enables researchers to obtain scientific readings and live feed, navigate the robot, and customize control options.


Computer Engineering Session 3:

Maziar Arjomand, Michael Hirabayashi, Tejender Singh
Advisor: Yi Fang

DigiKey is a modern solution to the outdated lock and key system. Using only a smartphone, DigiKey will utilize a database of digital keys that can be used to open a lock over a Bluetooth connection. Our project offers increased security and greater convenience than traditional systems.


Computer Engineering Session 4 (tie):

TAIL: Data Structures Tutorial Website
Lauren Jauco, Ian Parker, Allison Rodriguez, Tyler Upadhyaya
Advisor: Darren Atkinson

TAIL is a pseudocode-like language designed for programmers to easily create visual representations of data structures. The goals of the project are to design a comprehensive language, an accompanying compiler, and a website to utilize visual learning techniques focusing on teaching data structure concepts rather than tedious programming syntax.

Mobile Music Streaming via Multipeer Connectivity
Mickey Keeley, David Obatake
Advisor: Ahmed Amer

An iOS application that leverages existing core frameworks and hardware technology in order to stream audio between peers in a mesh network by creating ad hoc peer-to-peer mobile networks via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.


Electrical Engineering Session 1

Pb: Project Battery—A Portable In-Home Power System
Devin Blaney, Brian Fahey,
Amanda Tran
Advisor: Timothy Healy

We will design and build a portable in-home power system for a small village in a developing country. We plan to install solar panels that will charge many batteries, which will be placed in each home along with circuitry to power devices such as cell phone chargers and lights.


Electrical Engineering Session 2:

Luminant Display
JP Allport, Omar Rodriguez
Advisors: Radhika Grover, Shoba Krishnan

We have designed a large format LED display using printed circuit board technology. Our technology and design will result in a product that can be used for a broad range of commercial and hobbyist applications.


Mechanical Engineering Session 1:

AkaBot: 3D Printing Filament Extruder
Emily Albi, Kevin Kozel, Daniel Ventoza, Rachel Wilmoth
Advisor: Panthea Sepehrband

The AkaBot is a machine that intakes ground bits of waste plastic water bottles, melts them, and extrudes them as filament for a 3D printer. Our project is intended for Village Energy, an electronics business in Kampala, Uganda, which is experimenting with 3D printing its enclosures.


Mechanical Engineering Session 2:

Catherine Borst, Andrew Godin, Aaron Kakinami, Michelle La Bine, Stephanie Truong
Advisor: Mohammad Ayoubi

The Broad Range Aerial Vehicle Explorer (BRAVE) is a miniature aircraft modeled after the V-22 Osprey. Its propellers can telt upward for vertical takeoff, then transition forward into airplane mode for greater range and longer flight time. This project is intended to aid search-and-rescue missions.


Mechanical Engineering Session 3:

Santa Clara Human-Powered Vehicle 2013–2014
Peter Chester, Luis Flores, Ian Jones, Ryan Nakamura, Dylan Porter, Peter Stephens
Advisors: Drazen Fabris, Calvin Tszeng

Our team designed and manufactured a human-powered vehicle that is practical, sustainable, and efficient for short commutes. Key design features include a three-wheeled recumbent frame, aluminum tubing, a front fairing and rear tail-box, tilt steering, and cargo space. Our design was entered in the 2014 ASME Human Powered Vehicle Challenge.


Mechanical Engineering Session 4:

Smart Water Heater Controller
Rebecca Barney, Rachel Donohoe, Xavier Moya, Kerbasi Ugarte, Russell Williams
Advisor: Hohyun Lee

Our project is to design an artificially intelligent controller to reduce the energy consumption of domestic water heaters. The controller will log data from wireless sensor networks powered by thermoelectric modules and then implement a machine-learning algorithm to heat water based on homeowner usage patterns.


Interdisciplinary Session 1:

Wireless Impact Sensing Headband
Ryan Daly, Doug Furstinger, Tim Sashegyi, Nicklaus Schmidt, Mihir Shah
Advisors: Christopher Kitts, Shoba Krishnan

Athletes who suffer repeated Traumatic Brain Injuries face severe long-term health consequences. In an attempt to find a solution to this issue, our project is to design and test a device that can sense and alert an athlete of a dangerous head impact.


Interdisciplinary Session 2:

Mobile Satellite Communication Station
Javier Aguera, Paulo Borges, Andrew Clavijo, Michael Kunis, Alex Mulcahy, Kristopher Sanford
Advisor: Christopher Kitts

A station with the ability to communicate with satellites. Station is also able to relocate in order to better support satellite mission operations.

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