College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

ECpE Spring Senior Design teams win big

ECpE Senior Design teams win big: Image shows three teams of students who won first, second, and third place for the ECpE senior design project.

For the spring 2019 semester, Iowa State University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering named three winning teams for the Senior Design project, along with three honorable mentions.


First Place winning senior design team group photoFirst Place: Automatic Solder Dispenser

Students: Samuel Willford, Jason Austin, Justin Wheeler, Zachary Bumstead, Kevin Carlson, Trent Allison. Advisor: Lee Harker

Our task is to build an Automatic Solder Dispenser for ETG at Iowa State University. The purpose of this project is to provide a more efficient way for students to get solder from ETG. The machine will hold multiple rolls of various solder diameters and flux types. When a student makes a request, the machine will cut a specified length of solder and dispense it for the student.


Second Place senior design team group photoSecond Place: Sound Effect Devices for Musicians

Students: Tim Day, Francisco Alegria, Eric Fischer, Travis Gillham, Blake Beyer. Advisors: Randy Geiger and Degang Chen

In today’s world musicians can be put in a difficult spot when trying to find new equipment that will help them excel in the music world while staying under a reasonable budget. Musical devices, such as synthesizers, can cost anywhere from $500 – $10,000, with this most musicians don’t have the cash to afford upgrading their equipment to compete in the competitive industry of music.

Our goal was to create a synthesizer for musicians that is easy to use, modular, and affordable. Musicians thrive on having the latest and greatest devices to create music, so we plan on creating our synthesizer with our own unique spin on it by using tablet in the form of an iPad or a smart phone that will allow users to create there one layout of the user interface. This device we created not only looks like a state-of-the-art synthesizer but also sounds like one too as we gave the musicians ample freedom to make music their way with our device being modular.


Third place senior design team group photoThird Place: Charity Bingo Software Development and Integration

Students: Alex Lev, Ben Meeder, Connor Rust, Daniel Lev, Jack Boike, Kenneth Ho. Advisor: Lotfi Ben Othmane

The Boo Radley Foundation aids in the research of diseases found in both humans and their animal companions. In order to raise funds and awareness, the organization hosts interactive events at college football games called CowChips4Charity. The CowChips4Charity event is a modern version of cow chip bingo. Currently, the CowChips4Charity event is operated manually and is executed without leveraging any technologies. We believe the development of a web application interface for this event will increase the amount of participants and resulting donations that the Boo Radley Foundation will receive.

We will develop a cross platform web application for the CowChips4Charity event to be used during collegiate sporting events and possibly professional sporting events in the future. The web application will provide an efficient way for sporting event attendees to participate in the cow chip bingo game. Users will be able to sign in via Facebook, Google, or as a guest. Once the user is signed in, they will then be able to select the sporting event they are attending and the team they are supporting. The user will be able to acquire square(s) for the cow chip bingo game through a donation via credit card. The selection of square(s) can be done well in advance of the game. Users who select the winning square for their sporting event will be notified via text message and will then receive a prize in the mail.


Senior design honorable mention team photoHonorable Mention: Power System Reliability in the Midwest US for High Wind/Solar Levels 

Students: Shannon Foley, Zaran Claes, David Ticknor, Matthew Huebsch, Ian Rostkowski, Shelby Pickering. Advisor: Jim McCalley

Driven by changing economics, environmental regulations, technological innovation and aging infrastructure, the types of generating resources in the region served by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) are changing in a profound way. Many of the legacy power plants that generated the bulk of the region’s electricity for decades have retired in recent years, and have been replaced by natural gas-fired resources and renewable energy facilities such as wind and solar farm. Renewable energy is currently the fastest growing and most prominent class of resource in MISO. Many unanswered questions remain about the impact these resources will have on the reliability and performance of the electric grid as their growth continues.


Senior design honorable mention team group photoHonorable Mention: Distributed Mesh Network for Data Collection and Predictive Analytics

Students: Collin Vincent, Cody Lakin, Gage Tenold, Colton Smith, Will Paul, Ryker Tharp. Advisor: Manimaran Govindarasu

Our project is to design a mesh network of Raspberry Pi’s that monitor and record OBD2 information from construction vehicles.

These Pi’s need to be able to communicate with other devices without access to any other infrastructure so the main focus for our project will be to reliably transfer information from device to device using only the built in wifi cards.


Senior design honorable mention team group photoHonorable Mention: MIDI Zuesaphone (Singing Tesla Coil)

Students: Jacob Feddersen, Leo Freier, Luke Heilman, William Brandt, Greg Harmon, Gunnar Andrews. Advisor: Joe Zambreno

The purpose of our project is to create a “showpiece” for the CprE department. This showpiece will be a zeusaphone, which is a tesla coil that plays certain frequencys in such a way that it makes music! Ideally, our project can be shown at department events to show what students can do once they have completed four years at Iowa State. All of our weekly reports and documentation can be accessed from the navigation bars above. Also in the navigation bars above, you can see descriptions of each team member as well as our team repository.