Capstone Conference 2017 Winners

Each year, the Dalhousie Engineering Capstone Conference gives senior engineering students the opportunity to apply their skills and knowledge to solving real world problems from industry partners.

The Capstone Conference Judges identify the most successful project/presentation from each engineering discipline. Below are the winners from the 2017 DECC.

Industrial Engineering: Standard Operating Procedures for Nova Scotia Nurses' Union

Ahmed Rayyan, Amer Hussein, Arsalan Ali, and Sudarson Adhikari

The Nova Scotia Nurses' Union (NSNU) services 6,900 members by resolving grievances, addressing workload issues, and connecting members with opportunities for education and training.

As of 2017, they were still conducting service processing manually, with paper forms, which was inefficient, in addition to producing potential inconsistenties in data intake and tracking.

Rayyan et al. were tasked with conducting a feasibility study for case management software and developing high-automation standard operating procedures (SOP) to streamline grievance and workload processing.

To learn about the resulting SOP design and how it provided efficiency and reliability improvements to NSNU, see the group's poster [PDF - 1,082kb].

Mechanical Engineering: Automated Ring Removal for Medical Professionals

Patrick Hennessey, Mason Landry, Brad McKeal, and Callum Thompson

In urgent medical care situations, it is necessary to remove any jewellry the patient is wearing. Unfortunately, in the case of rings, removal is often difficult and time consuming due to swelling of the fingers.

Hennessey et al. were tasked with designing an automated system that could remove rings from patients in a safer and more efficient manner than current manual practices.

Their resulting design, the Automated Ring Removal Centre (ARRC), accomplishes the task of removing rings from patients' fingers safely, all while reducing the average engagement time demanded of medical professionals by over three minutes!

To learn more about the ARRC, see the group's poster [PDF - 1,192kb].

 

Civil Engineering: Six-Story Wood Building

Spencer Collier-Jarvis, Zachary Henry, Lindsay Kehoe, Keith Porter

Some things never change: Spring follows Winter, taxes are due in April, and buildings need to get built. What has changed is the demands placed on civil engineers to ensure that buildings aren't merely structurally sound, but sustainably designed.

Collier-Jarvis et al. were tasked with designing a six-story wood building for a local site (2778 Gottingen Street, Halifax, to be precise) that would rest on a concrete foundation.

Their resulting design blends in with surrounding infrastructure while achieving a modern look, and manages to produce an estimated carbon benefit of 1163 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of taking 246 cars off the road for an entire year.

To learn more about this structure, see the group's poster [PDF - 1,443kb].

Mineral Resource Engineering: Scouting a Golden Opportunity

Mitchell Carter, Michael Forsyth, Eric Pushie, and Mark Webb

Before a mine site can be established, and even before any estimates of resources and reserves can be made, the geology of a potential site must be thoroughly understood, and a the planned site must be thoroughly scoped.

Carter et al. were tasked with conducting a preliminary scoping study of a potential Gold, Uranium, and Yttrium site in the Shubenacadie area of Nova Scotia.

The resulting study scopes the potential site from the exploratory stage and preliminary engineering and design all the way to the closure and reclamation process when the reserves are exhausted.

To learn more about the study, and the process of preparing a potential mine site, see the group's poster [PDF - 3, 671kb].

Electrical and Computer Engineering: Inertial Based Fall Protection Device

Joel Atkinson, Mason Baker, Miguel A. Morales, and Frederick Porter

Children and adolescents with epilepsy need to be monitored in case they should suffer a seizure that demands immediate attention; at the same time, all children and adolescents need the freedom to develop as independent individuals.

Atkinson et al. were tasked with designing an affordable alternative to existing fall detection systems for individuals with epilepsy, so that guardians can be alerted if their charges suffer seizures while unattended.

Their resulting prototype successfully detects 80% of falls, minimizes false alarms, and acts quickly to notify the wearer's guardian via SMS text message.

To learn more about the prototype, see the group's poster [PDF - 658kb].

Note: two electrical/computer engineering groups were acknowledged, as two separate cohorts of ECED students participate in the Capstone Project on different time frames (one group commencing in the Fall and presenting a completed project; the other commencing in January and presenting a work in progress.

Electrical and Computer Engineering: Improved Noise Shaping Digital Delta-Sigma Modulation

Brendan Lane, Paddy Quinn, and Brett Chiasson

The process of converting analog audio signals into digital audio signals is accomplished via delta-sigma modulation.

Lane et al. were tasked with designing and recommending a new delta-sigma modulator architecture, and to design a testing flow for the implementation of future delta-sigma modulator.

At the time of the presentation, Lane et al. had completed the design of the testing flow, and had settled on 1-bit architecture for their delta-sigma modulator. As the project was ongoing at the time of the Capstone Conference, the testing flow was still being applied to determine the recommended architecture.

To learn more about the testing flow and the challenges of delta-sigma modulation, see the group's poster [PDF - 727kb].

Note: two electrical/computer engineering groups were acknowledged, as two separate cohorts of ECED students participate in the Capstone Project on different time frames (one group commencing in the Fall and presenting a completed project; the other commencing in January and presenting a work in progress.

Process Engineering and Applied Science: Dartmouth Fish Passage Between Sullivan's Pond and Halifax Harbor

Sarah Borden, Sabrina Hiefer, Adrianne Imperial, and Yujie Lang

The existing infrastructure that connects Sullivan's Pond and the Halifax Harbor is not much to look at: a rusted 9-foot corrugated steel pipe. Worse still, the existing structure is not capable of withstanding a 100-year flood flow.

Borden et al. were tasked with designing a replacement that would improve the existing infrastructure's ability to withstand severe flood conditions, while also allowing local fish species to pass between the pond and the harbor.

The resulting design includes a laddered fish passage that allows stronger and weaker fish alike to pass through while minimizing maintenance requirements, as well as several daylighted areas where the public can safely view the passing fish.

To learn more about the proposed design, see the group's poster [PDF - 867kb].

Note: two groups from the Department of Process Engineering and Applied Science were awarded due to a tied score in the judges' assessments.

Process Engineering and Applied Science: Expanding Nova Scotia's Sustainable Energy Development by Utilizing Decommissioned Quarries

Caroline Forbes, Mitch Gammon, David MacDonald, and Nicole Westeinde

As Nova Scotia seeks to move towards a sustainable energy future, repurposing of existing infrastructure is one way to minimize the impact on limited provincial budgets.

Forbes et al. were tasked with designing the possibility of repurposing one of Nova Scotia's decommissioned quarries to serve as a pumped storage hydroelectric facility.

The resulting feasibility study identifies the optimal quarry site in Nova Scotia for a pumped storage hydro facility and the economic requirements for successful operation, while the accompanying design serves as proof of concept for the generation of small-scale seawater-based pumped storage hydro in small coastal communities.

To learn more about the project, see the group's poster [PDF - 700kb].

Note: two groups from the Department of Process Engineering and Applied Science were awarded due to a tied score in the judges' assessments.