Annual Exhibition Highlights FIT Student Projects

By  //  April 13, 2013

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At Clemente Center On April 19

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – In an annual exhibition of academic achievement and scientific endeavor, Florida Institute of Technology College of Engineering and College of Science students will display their design and research projects next week.

Florida Tech College of Science Associate Dean Michael Grace congratulates Nathan Mertins, a showcase winner. (Image courtesy of Florida Tech)

The 2013 Northrop Grumman Engineering & Science Student Design Showcase at the Charles and Ruth Clemente Center will be conducted from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, April 19, and comprises more than 100 projects. The community is invited to browse the student work.

For more than four decades, Florida Tech engineering students have been required to complete hands-on, detailed senior projects before graduation; science students begin working as early as their freshman year on independent, cutting-edge research projects, or engage in group research as part of Florida Tech’s Quality Enhancement Plan program.

In 2009, a generous $1 million endowment gift from Northrop Grumman Corporation provided continuing support for the students’ work. Northrop Grumman officials will present two special “Best in Show” prizes; one for the College of Engineering and one for the College of Science.

This year’s engineering projects include the Baja off-road race car, Formula open wheel rave car and the MAVRIC concept car; a Lunabotics robot to mine lunar dust; the HullBUG Bio-inspired Underwater Grooming system to clean ship hulls; sustainable housing construction, emergency shelter; autonomous logistic robot; concrete canoe; Bus System, a real-time bus stop monitoring system; and Smart Power, a complete home power system.

Students from the Department of Marine and Environmental Systems will exhibit posters on their research in such areas as oceanography, environmental science and meteorology.

Science research projects explore a variety of topics.

These include identification of nuclear contraband using muon tomography; construction of novel fusion proteins for research on fertilization and contraception; using coronal loops to understand the superheating of the Sun’s corona; fractional calculus: the Schodinger equation applied to quantum mechanics; mathematical modeling of coral reef dynamics in a time of rapid environmental change; evolution of ultra-luminous infrared galaxies; chemical modification of the molecules of vision; mechanisms regulating the timing of DNA replication; historical climate change in the Amazon; motivating students through self-regulation to increase performance on assessments; using electrostatic force microscopy to understand surface activities of molecules; and the use of machine learning classification to analyze eclipsing binary star systems.

Engineering senior design projects are the capstone to the students’ engineering education, while science students conduct novel, hands-on scientific research. All students apply theory, think creatively and develop practical skills, such as teamwork, professionalism and leadership.

The Clemente Center is on University Boulevard near the corner of Babcock Street.

For more information, call 321-674-8020.


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