Story and Photo by Connor Burnard / Contributing Writer
On Thursday afternoon, the MTSU Department of Engineering Technology held student poster and project presentations at the Nissan Training Center in Smyrna.
The presentations included senior projects that are required to graduate, as well as underclassmen class projects.
Walter Boles, the Chair of the Department of Engineering Technology, said that the presentations are a good way for students to bring attention to their work.
“The students can showcase their senior projects, they can have other students and people outside as well as inside the university see their work, give them a sense of pride. I think it publicizes what our students can do in our department, and I’m very proud of them,” Boles said.
Brian Slaboch, a mechatronics engineering lecturer, said that the event brought the separate areas of engineering together to gain exposure in a professional environment.
“Today, you’re seeing the engineering technology open house, which is where we see all the different projects from mechatronics, electromechanical engineering technology, computer engineering technology and all the different sub-departments inside of the engineering technology department,” Slaboch said. “Students get to practice their presenting skills and interact with future colleagues and employees in a real-world environment.”
Carol Boraiko, a professor in the Department of Engineering Technology, also said that the presentations are a great way for students to prepare for a professional setting after graduation.
“They get to show off what they can do, they get to practice talking to people, they get to make sure it actually works,” Boraiko said. “It’s great practice to build things and make sure it works and to explain it.”
Among the presenters were Davis Phoxay, Joe Beck, Ayman Yaseen and Mohannad Al Dujaili. All of these presenters were senior mechatronics majors who worked together to create a working autonomous “Mailbot” for their senior project that can retrieve and disburse one’s mail.
“You go through however many years you go through college and you’re learning all these things, all this math, all this coding but you’re not really applying it but for one project for that one thing. But this project literally requires everything we’ve learned through all of college and to put it together all from scratch,” Phoxay said.
For their Introduction to Materials Science and Engineering class, freshman mechatronics majors Deyton Hoefner, Hayim Enrique Juarez Del Moral and William Ben Kelley presented a materials project about steel.
“We give an overview of its properties, its applications and its processing technique overall, and then we also gave a list of industries that have the largest impact in the world of steel,” Moral said.
“Overall, it’s a culmination of everything we’ve learned this semester. Going through class and being able to actually identify each of these properties inside the material, actually knowing what it means, what it does, where it can be used,” said Hoefner.
Another senior presentation was that of senior engineering technology major Billy Vongdara, who presented a biomechanical energy harvester that attaches to one’s body and uses energy from body movements to create energy.
“The idea is to put it on your body and charge batteries or charge your cell phone instead of relying on outlets,” Vongdara said. “Doing this project is a lot more hands-on than just reading a book in class. I learned how to machine stuff, I learned the technology that they’re using in the future. Just a whole lot of knowledge that you can’t learn just in class. It really pushes you.”
Nissan North America invited the Department of Engineering Technology to their Smyrna Training Center to hold the event. Next year’s presentations will likely be held on campus, as they have been in the past, according to Boles.
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