At the University of Louisville J.B. Speed School of Engineering this academic year, students were quietly working on projects to make the future a better place, such as:
- Shower doors made with “smart glass”
- Zero-waste systems for distilleries
- Systems to turn wastewater into purified water for brewing craft beer
- Methods to minimize plastic waste in the ocean
- Methods to prevent corrosion in concrete roads and bridges
- Products to keep children from being forgotten in hot cars
From solar batteries to building designs to a specialized Alexa product for Papa John’s franchisees, the projects and prototypes demonstrated at the first J.B. Speed School of Engineering Engineering and Design Innovation Showcase showed the depth and breadth of UofL engineering students’ ingenuity and enthusiasm.
The event, held in the Student Activities Center April 18, featured teams of seniors — as well as a select group of first-years — demonstrating their capstone projects. Almost 90 teams totaling more than 350 students showed their posters and prototypes to representatives from the president’s office, members of the boards of trustees and overseers, faculty, industry professionals, administrators, fellow Speed students, K-12 students and even a few proud parents.
Fifty teams had company sponsors for a total of $168,000. Additionally, four companies sponsored coveted industry awards — DuPont, Papa John’s, Qk4 and TOPY America Inc.
One team, Saf-T Child, took home two of the four industry awards: DuPont’s Innovation to Thrive Award and the Papa John’s Most Innovative Award, each worth $1,000. The team designed a weight-sensing pad that alerts drivers if a child remains in the car after it is turned off. Team members were Clay Groeschen, Hadassah Lamppin, Michael York and Kendall Ogden.
The QK4 Engineering Award, worth $500, was given to the team Technology for People Living with Dementia, which came up with an affordable computer system that those with dementia can use when caregivers cannot help with tasks. Team members were Kody Arvin, Robert McKinney and Daniel Padgett.
The winner of the TOPY America Inc. Environmental Award, also worth $500, was Operation: Save the Turtles. The team’s goal was to protect ocean life by coming up with an alternative to recycling plastic that would convert plastic into useful products such as diesel fuel. Team members were Delaney Coovert, Allison Melvin, Miao Ting Li and Jianchao Zhao.
“I could feel the excitement and the interest of those who were attending,” said Speed School Dean Emmanuel Collins, who promised to make the showcase an annual event.
Check out video from the event: