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Student Engineers Tackle Real-World Challenges

Students in the Picker Engineering Program will present their real-world projects Friday, May 5, during the third annual Design Celebration, a showcase of collaborations emerging from the yearlong Engineering Design Clinic.

The showcase will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Campus Center Carroll Room (see schedule below).

The Design Celebration has grown significantly since its first year, as has the clinic enrollment, says Susannah Howe, Design Clinic Director and visiting professor in engineering. The daylong event will include nine presentations.

View a gallery of photos of this year's Design Clinic teams

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Design Clinic students collaborate over two semesters with sponsoring organizations from industry and government in researching and completing their design projects. Participating companies and organizations include Ford Motor Company, General Electric, the Northampton Department of Public Works, and vanZelm, Heywood and Shadford, an engineering design firm in West Hartford, Conn., and others.

A primary goal of the students’ projects is public benefit, and the resulting designs focus on cost-effectiveness, environmental impact, availability of resources and quality, among other considerations. The Engineering Design Clinic allows students “to approach engineering holistically and recognize that good engineering design requires a balance of technical acumen and other skills,” Howe says. “In addition to producing a design solution or product for their sponsors, students also learn first-hand about the design process in an applied setting.”

The Design Celebration gives the students an opportunity to demonstrate their findings for a large audience, Howe says. “The students also come away with an understanding of engineering design problems and an increased confidence in their abilities to both undertake large-scale projects and also communicate their results.”

This year Smith will graduate the third class of engineers in the Picker Program. Established in 1999, the Picker Program was the first engineering program at a U.S. women’s college.

Design Celebration Program
Friday, May 5, Campus Center Carroll Room

10-11:45 a.m.

Northampton DPW
Design of a Storm Drainage System for the Elm St. Brook Region in Northampton.

Ford (New Mobility)
Design of an Environmental Impact Quantification System for Transportation in London

DEP/Roberts Lumber
Sustainable Design for Lumber Company Power Generation

Lunch 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

12:45-2:30 p.m.

General Electric
Redesign of a Dewatering and Conveyance System for Wastewater Treatment Sludge

Natural Resources Conservation Service
Design of a Fishway for the War Memorial Park Dam in West Bridgewater, Mass.

Fuss & O'Neill
Design of a Mobile Hazardous Materials Treatment Unit

Break 2:30-3 p.m.

3-5 p.m.

vanZelm, Heywood, and Shadford
Renewable Fuel Design for Smith College

Ford (Running Board)
Design of a Blow Molded Running Board for Ford F-150 Trucks

Design of a Robotic System to Identify Mis-Shelved Library Books

Closing Remarks

Reception 5-6 p.m.

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