The ME Summer Design Intensive is a five-week program piloted for the first time in summer 2020. Students apply and are selected to work on design projects with workshops and mentorship provided by department alumni. Project descriptions with links to student design portfolios are included below. 

Summer 2020 Design Projects

Mohamed Adil - Pasta Inspired Fluid Mixer

Inspired by the unusual shapes of pasta, this project explores a creative approach to mix separate fluids flowing through a pipe. These obstacles will be fitted into the pipe to act as a static inline mixer.

Graham Blanco - Robotic Mining Team Educational Program

Developing an educational on-boarding program for first-year students on the CU Robotic Mining Team. 

Halle Campbell - Educational Outreach Activity

The goal of this project was to develop an outreach activity to introduce K-12 students to mechanical engineering.

Paul DiTomas - Spit Valve Sanitation Device

Coronavirus has recently created a challenge for brass players who empty their accumulation of potentially infectious spit on the ground as they play. This invention provides an easy, inexpensive, effective way to safely capture and disinfect the spit while allowing musicians to continue playing. This particular model is specialized for trombones, featuring a lightweight design and easy-lock lid.

Dario Garcia - The Future of Interstellar Travel

Space is something that has always caught our curiosity, but we have only mainly explored within our solar system. Why have we not gone further? How come we have not really focused on interstellar travel? Is it technological limitations? Is it a lack of public interests? Or have we been focused on it indirectly this whole time?​ In this project, I not only reflect on these questions but aim to provide a solution. Achieving the goal of interstellar space within 20 years is no easy feat. However, I am hoping to provide a coherent, developed and accurate mission that achieved the stated goal.

Marshall Graybill - Consumer Sanitation Solution

The Wren is a consumer sanitation solution for restaurants, retail shops and schools. It allows visitors to safely sanitize their hands quickly with zero contact, eliminating unwanted germs in an elegant and durable design.

Thomas Hart - Sheet Metal Forming Tool

The main goal of this project was to develop tools for the manufacture of small sheet metal components for the headband of an over-ear headphone. This involved learning about the properties of sheet metal and existing methods for bending and stamping parts. The final parts must have high dimensional accuracy, and the production process must be repeatable and streamlined enough for small-scale production.

Georgia Hastie - Spit Valve Sanitation System

Brass instruments have spit valves, also known as water keys, for emptying accumulated spit and condensation. Most brass players simply empty their spit onto the ground which is highly unsanitary, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. This product catches and disinfects spit from the spit valve on trumpets.

Allison Heckman - Animatronic Character

The goal of this project was to design the face of an animatronic character using Arduino, including moving eyes and an LED mouth.

Tim Herwig - Sustainable Indoor Agriculture

My inspiration for this project stems from my fascination with gardening and agriculture. As my first design focused project, I learned a lot about beginning the process to design a sustainable, year-round agriculture system.

Justin Kirchner - Demo for Thermodynamics and Fluids

The goal of this project was to create a demonstration that illustrates a principle in thermodynamics, heat transfer and/or fluid mechanics to help students comprehend a difficult concept through the utilization and manipulation of the demonstration. We decided to create a small scale, portable demonstration of a ram pump that can be brought into the classroom and presented to students as a live or recorded example.

Kathryn Kubacki - 3D Printed Intubation Trainer

This 3D-Printed Respiratory System is used to visualize the insertion of a scope for intubation. This model includes anatomically relevant trachea, carina and right main-stem bronchi.

Katie MacDonald - Smart Pill Bottle

The idea for this project came from the RESNA Student Design Challenge, a competition that showcases assistive technology designs that help to improve the quality of life for people with disabling medical conditions. The Smart Pill Bottle has an LCD display in the cap that shows the user the time that has passed since the bottle was opened. The number of dosages required daily can be inputted to determine how much time should pass between dosages, and the LCD backlight turns green until the cap is opened to indicate that the next dose is ready.

Jose Martinez Loachamin - 3D Printed Respiratory System

This project focused on 3D printing an anatomically relevant respiratory system to visualize the insertion of a scope for intubation. The goal for the team was to model and 3D print the trachea, carina and right main bronchus.

Charlie McClung - Modeling Heat Transfer in Biological Tissues

A partner and I worked on a research project modeling heat transfer through cortical bone as a part of a larger effort studying the condition osteochondritis dissecans (OCD). The researchers' goal was to induce the condition in a controlled way using thermal tools.

Antoni Meyer - Autonomous Satellite Tracker

This project is an autonomous satellite tracker used to track amateur radio and NOAA weather satellites using computer based software to control the direction of an antenna.

Daedalus Muse - Microphone and Voice Projection While Masked

The fall 2020 semester brings new challenges for faculty and staff at the University of Colorado Boulder. Facial masks are mandatory for everyone on campus, so classrooms and lecture halls, holding a fraction of the people they did before, will present difficulties in conveying information and communicating. I was given the task to provide a solution to the faculty on campus that will allow them to teach and record lecture material while still being understood. These masks are also required to have the same level of protection as a three-layer cloth mask.

William Pfouts - Desktop Plastic Mold Injector

The goal of this project was to build a desktop plastic mold injector. The original requirements were for a much smaller device, but for very little extra cost a larger, more robust and more versatile design was implemented.

Owen Phillips - Modeling Heat Transfer in Biological Tissues

Tasked by Dr. Virginia Ferguson and Dr. Kristine Fischenich, my partner Charlie McClung and I explored using a heat source to damage bone inside joints with the hope of simulating the effects of osteochondritis dissecans (OCD). Our goal was to find a way to cause this necrosis in a lab setting using heat, damaging the bone enough while leaving surrounding cartilage unscathed. This would allow for further studying of how OCD begins and propagates as well as how to treat it.

Manuel Preston de Miranda - Infrared Boundary Control System

After cutting the lawn at my house in blistering heat time and time again, I looked into automated lawnmowers and found a rather annoying problem. In order to get an automated lawn mower, you need to bury a wire deep into the ground around your yard to establish a perimeter that the mower won't cross. I came up with the idea of using IR transmitters and receivers in order to avoid burying the wire will still have an effective perimeter.

Chad Ronish - Radio Frequency Controlled Robot

The objective of this project was to design and prototype a robot that would be controlled wirelessly through radio frequency (RF). An operator would use a handheld controller that sends commands to the robot while the robot simultaneously sends a live video feed to the operator via a wireless camera. This was accomplished through electronics, coding, CAD design and 3D printing.

Ethan Stein - Demo for Thermodynamics and Fluids

The goal of this project was to create a demonstration that illustrates a principle in thermodynamics, heat transfer and/or fluid mechanics to help students comprehend a difficult concept through the utilization and manipulation of the demonstration. We decided to create a small-scale, portable demonstration of a ram pump that can be brought into the classroom and presented to students as a live or recorded example.

Xander Sugarman - Electric Bicycle

The goal of this project is to create a fun, fast, maneuverable, economical, commuter bicycle that is capable of traveling "around town" distances to replace driving a car. The bike needs to be significantly more powerful than any person can pedal with a 30-mile range.

Ryan Thompson - 2D Static Beam Solver

For this project, I created a tool to enable professors to give virtual demonstrations that can be adapted to encompass multiple subjects, such as statics, material science, dynamics and solids.

Alexandr Vassilyev - Dynamic Degree Planner

I'm very excited to be collaborating with the mechanical engineering department on a dynamic degree planner. I'll be gathering data for every class needed to become a mechanical engineer at CU Boulder and using it to write a program that generates a custom class path for incoming students. Users will be able to enter classes they've already taken and other parameters from which the degree planner will create a unique class path. 

Dale Young - Industrial Transplanting

Transplanting is the relocation of grown plants from one location to another. Plants are grown in greenhouses and transplanted (relocated) to larger acreage during the growing process. The goal of this project was to develop a mechanical system to facilitate the transplanting process.

Luke Verratti - Voice Projection and Healthcare Workers

Healthcare workers are required to wear both a face shield and a face mask. Face masks alone attenuate our voices by three to four decibels, and face shields completely redirect the path of our sound waves away from the listener’s ears. For my project, I wanted to help find a solution to facilitate clearer communication between healthcare workers and their patients.

Peer Mentors

Branden Adams

Talk to me about: product design, circuit analysis, research, robotics, programming, component sourcing, technical writing

Hannah Capek

Talk to me about: CAD, drawings, DFM, materials, and anything biomedical related

Ioana Dumitru

Talk to me about: DFM, manufacturing, C++, MATLAB, CAD and basic FEA, automotive, biomimicry, professionalism, communities in need

Emily Jordan

Talk to me about: python, neural networking, finite element and isogeometric methods, project management, sustainable development, social justice

Daniel Malek

Talk to me about: startups, technical drawings, GD&T, DFM, quality assurance, inspection, tolerancing, military projects, standards (ASME, ASTM, ISO, NASA), costing/finance, presentations, professional development, resumes, cover letters, portfolios, outdoor activities!

Austin Ross

Talk to me about: USAF, CAD, military projects, innovation, leadership, personal development, presentations, white papers, aviation, manufacturing, professionalism, and anything that is fun in the sun!

Have a question or want to learn more about the ME Summer Design Intensive? 
Please contact Katherine McConnell, Shirley Chessman or Janet Tsai.