May 5, 2008

The LSU College of Engineering (CoE) Department of Mechanical Engineering hosted the ME 4202 Capstone Design II annual seminar April 30 – May 2, 2008. Mechanical Engineering undergraduates worked throughout two semesters on a design project of their choice. Projects are judged by a design panel consisting of local industry leaders, LSU faculty, and alumni. This year’s design panel consisted of:
  • Mr. Dennis Alexander, BREEI Rotating Equipment, ExxonMobil Chemical
  • Mr. Jimmy Allred, Process Pumps & Equipment, Inc.
  • Mr. Kirk E. Herzog, DMB, Air Force Research Laboratory, Munitions Directorate
  • Captain David Giurintano, National Hansen’s Disease Programs, Baton Rouge
  • Mr. Warren R. Hull, Sr., CxC Studio, CoE
  • Rusty W. McLellan, Johnson Controls, Baton Rouge
  • Professor Andrew J. McPhate, Mechanical Engineering, CoE
  • Professor Emeritus Mehdy Sabbaghian, Mechanical Engineering, CoE
  • Scott Waguespack, OxyChem, Geismar.

The following are this year’s projects and presenters:

The SAE Mini Baja competition team included Dustin Boudreaux, Jeremy Combs, Jake Daigle, Ryan Guillory, Veronica Hannan, Garrett Hill, Warren Kahao, James Powell, Jarred Sharp, Daniel Stroud, Eric Theriot and Chairperson Kevin Reckert. The task is to design and build an all-terrain and amphibious vehicle for the competition. Their supervisor was Professor Kevin Kelly.

Presenting the Adaptive Filament Winder for Non-Conventional Pipes were Ben Bales, Scott Netherland, Justin Templet, Jeremy Turner and Chairperson Justin Chiasson. The task was to design and build a winder to create composite pipes of non-conventional cross sections as part of ongoing research. Their supervisors were Professors Muhammad A. Wahab and Guoqiang Li.

Designing the Powder to Air Gun Converter for 50mm Powder Gun were Justin Chiasson, Matthew Hohenschutz, Jason Picone, Daniel Underwood and Chairperson, Scott Netherland. This project supports work done at the Damage Mechanisms Branch of the Air Force Research Laboratory. The team’s supervisors were Professor Keith Gonthier and Mr. Kirk Herzog.

Solar Energy Power System Prototype was presented by Andrew Becnel, Benjamin Herricks, Brandon Mason, Kevin Reckert and Chairperson Jeremy Combs. This project was to design a clean energy power system for a home office in rural Louisiana and build a small prototype. Their supervisor was Professor Shengmin Guo.

The Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) team was comprised of Diane Ho, Jeffrey Kornuta, Lauren Peltier, Richie Sajan and Chairperson Kaci Callahan. The task was to design and build a micro air vehicle with surveillance capabilities. Their supervisor was Professor Shengmin Guo.

The Lunar Surface Habitat Thermal Control System Design used electrospray based nano-technology.  The team was comprised of Ronald Bajon, Kaci Callahan and Chairperson Jeffrey Kornuta. Their supervisor was Professor Shenmin Guo.

Metal Surface Cleaning Using Electro-Plasma Water Jet team included Owen Nettles, David Rials and Chairperson Keith Brecheen. The purpose of this project was to clean the surface of steel in such a way that the cleaned piece may be more effectively coated. Their supervisors were Professors Muhammad A. Wahab and Shenmin Guo.

The Design of Proto Type LPG Fire team members were Keith Brecheen, Nicholas Dauzat, Adam Murdaugh, Theodore Zaleski and Chairperson David Rials. This is part of an ongoing project to design and build a training simulation for firefighters and rescue personnel. The team’s supervisor was Associate Dean Warren Waggenspack.

Design of Loading Rack Fire was presented by Michael Borgmeyer, Michael Franco, Matthew Gautreau, Daniel Nienaber, Jonathan Stock, Crystal Williams and Chairperson John Concienne. This project was to design and build a new fire training platform for the LSU Fire and Emergency Training Institute. Their supervisors were Associate Dean Warren Waggenspack and Professor Tryfon T. Charalampopoulos.

The Ultimate Bullet Box team was comprised of Ryckman Callais, John Concienne, Jeffrey Lousteau, Jay Tumlin and Chairperson Michael Franco. The objective was to create a shooting target which could accurately represent the biological makeup of five selected game species in order to give a big game hunter an accurate idea of which powder load and bullet combination will have the maximum effect. Their supervisors were Professor Keith Gonthier and Captain David Giurintano.

The Formula SAE team included Steven Calverley, Ryan Goitia, Brad Guillot, Alex Hageman, Mariana Hurtado, Michael Morgan, Tim Murphy, Philip Spoelker, Chris Taylor, Ante Tesvich and Chairperson Ryans Adams. The team designed and built their race car to conform to strict safety guidelines. They will compete with teams from 120 other universities in Michigan. Their supervisors were Professors Eyassu Woldesenbet and John R. Smith (Petroleum).

The New Seal Test Rig was presented by Bradley Clement, Duy Ngo, Nam Dang, Salvador Prescia and Chairperson Michael Morgan. Their goal was to design and manufacture an O-Ring test rig to test to performance of different types of O-rings found in a drilling rig for the oil and gas industry. Their supervisors were Professors Michael M. Khonsari and Shengmin Guo.

Creating the Development of a Vertical Bearing Dynamic and Seizure Test Rig were Ryan Adams, Daniel Aymond, Jonathan Lilly and Chairperson Bradley Clement. The goal of this project was to design a vertical bearing test rig which allows very precise control of shaft eccentricity. They also had to design the rig to thermally induce bearing seizure. The team’s supervisors were Professors Shengmin Guo and Michael M. Khonsari.

The AUVSI Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition team was comprised of William Burke, Geoff Donaldson, Diego Gonzalez, David Mustain, Alex Ray and Chairperson Creagan Stickney. The team designed, manufactured and tested an intelligent robotic vehicle that will allow LSU to attend the IGVC for the first time. Their supervisors were Professor Marcio S. De Queiroz and Mr. Bryan Audiffred.

Presenting Prototype Testing of a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine with Coupled Blades were Jesse Graeter, Christopher Morales, Patrick Pulver, Creagan Stickney and Chairperson David Mustain. Their goal was to design and build a vertical axis wind turbine prototype, focusing on reducing drag for greater efficiency. Their supervisors were Professors Dimitris E. Nikitopoulos and Marc L. Levitan.

The Eighteen Wheeler Highway Drag Reduction Device team included Maya Clark, Chris Day, Daniel Meke, Stephen Villavaso and Chairperson Garrett McCrory. The team’s task was to design an effective device to reduce drag at the back of a tractor-trailer and improve fuel economy, while following federal highway regulations and maintaining safety. The team’s supervisor was Professor Tryfon T. Charalampopoulos.

The LSU Scientific Towers (LSU Storm Alert) was presented by Timothy Borne, Garrett McCrory, Travis Rushing, Robert Schinetsky, Robert Stromer, Matthew Taghehchian, Anna Wojtanowicz and Chairperson Stephen Villavaso. The team designed a portable 10 meter tower with instrumentation for gathering weather data from a hurricane over land. The data will be used to assist in predicting the strength and path of the hurricane for the LSU Hurricane Center. Their supervisors were Professors Wanjun Wang and Marc L. Levitan.

Finally, the Multiple DOF Boom for Tallow Seed Harvester was presented by Allen Beatty, Thomas Dauzat, Joshua Kleibert, Doug McCurry, Jason Polk and Chairperson Anna Wojtanowicz. The goal was to design a portable boom to allow faster harvest of Chinese tallow tree seeds. This project was sponsored by the LSU BAE Department to further their research on alternative fuels. The team’s supervisors were Professors Michael C. Murphy and Michael P. Mailander.

All Mechanical Engineering faculty members, projects sponsors, faculty advisors, alumni, graduate students, Mechanical Engineering undergraduates, and the general public are invited to this event each year. To get information about next year’s event or to become a judge, please contact Dr. Wahab at or Don Eisenberg at









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