April 15, 2010

Many Louisiana hunters dream of being self-sufficient on their deer hunting expeditions. The LSU College of Engineering challenged its students to develop a solution.

Elizabeth Beard, a senior from Baton Rouge, majoring in mechanical engineering and working on a distinguished communicator minor, is working with a team of fellow engineering students to build a mobile deer stand. When completed, the mobile deer stand will weigh 138 pounds and will measure 13 feet from the ground to the base of the structure, and will be strong enough to support a 300 pound person.

"We've built a mobile deer stand that can accommodate one person," comments Beard, "It can be towed behind an all terrain vehicle and assembled and dissembled in ten minutes."

Beard, along with team members Eric Toujouse, Jack Trourres, and Mark Fry presented several different designs before deciding on the final look. The designing period took six months, but the building process was estimated at approximately one month. Some of the college's alumni and the Mechanical Engineering Industrial Board members have been involved in guiding the team through the process.

"Designing and building this stand has been a whirlwind experience," claims Beard, "We've used information that we learned in all of our classes. This is the most real world experience in mechanical engineering program."

As the team continues to build their senior project, they have already begun looking to the future. Beard hopes to submit their stand in the International Aluminum Competition where they will compete against other college students. The team is also considering patenting their idea. "If we could get a patent, we could maybe mass produce the stand," explains Beard, "That would be a nice side business to have after we all graduate."

The Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME) will host the ME 4202 Capstone Design II annual seminar presentation May 4-5, 2010. 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 and LSU faculty and alumni.

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 obtain information for next year’s event, submit an area for research, or to become a judge or sponsor, please contact Dr. Mike Murphy at murphy@me.lsu.edu or Don Eisenberg at eisenberg@lsu.edu.

The team will explain how the deer stand works, the process of designing and building the stand and how engineering plays a role in all aspects of life, specifically hunting.


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Article by Crystal Jackson, College of Engineering Public Relations Graduate Assistant, 225-578-5706, mlavall@lsu.edu


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