Senior engineering students showcase projects at design conference

Contact: Deanne Puca

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University senior engineering students have been working to solve problems facing local businesses and industries, and their efforts will be showcased on campus Tuesday, April 16.

WMU's 64th Conference on Senior Engineering and Design features 96 capstone projects by 290 seniors from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences' Floyd Hall on WMU's Parkview Campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Many of the projects are sponsored by southwest Michigan companies listed online in the Senior Engineering Design Conference brochure, available at

Sponsored projects and their time slots include:

  •  1 to 1:25 p.m., "An Elite Obstacle Design and Build for the Kalamazoo Mud Run," by Kyler Castro, Jordan Horvath, Chance Owens and Julian Striggles, with faculty advisor Dr. Paul Engelmann. Students designed 2D and 3D models to offer a challenging new obstacle course for runners at the annual charity event.
  • 1:30 to 1:55 p.m., "YWCA Children's Center Playground and Garden Renovation," by Melissa Badovinac, Jordan Strong, Arnett Turner and Ryan Winkler, with faculty advisor Dr. Betsy Aller. Their designs for new equipment, a playscape and a gazebo for the YWCA's Children's Center, focus on using age-appropriate playground equipment that correlates with each child's specific needs and skills with a nature-based theme. In collaboration with YWCA teachers, staff and volunteers, equipment was built for the new children's play and garden area.

The conference involves students from a variety of disciplines, including chemical and paper engineering, civil and construction engineering; computer science; electrical and computer engineering; engineering design, manufacturing and management systems; industrial and entrepreneurial engineering and engineering management; and mechanical and aerospace engineering.

It is held twice each year, in April and December, to showcase the work of the college's seniors, who are required to complete a real-world capstone project that puts into practice what they have learned. The capstone design course is an important component of students' senior year and is a traditional part of many engineering programs.

For more information, contact Tamara Bergman at or call (269) 276-3248.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.