Northrop Grumman Student Design Showcase April 10 at Clemente Center

Free Public Event Features 123 Projects in STEM Disciplines

MELBOURNE, FLA. — Seniors in Florida Institute of Technology’s colleges of engineering and science will showcase their academic achievement and technical prowess at the Northrop Grumman Engineering & Science Student Design Showcase from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at the Clemente Center on campus.

Featuring 123 projects involving more than 300 students from both colleges, the annual event is free and open to the public. The Clemente Center is located on University Boulevard near the corner of Babcock Street.

In 2009, a $1 million endowment gift from Northrop Grumman Corporation provided ongoing support for the students’ work. Northrop Grumman officials will present two special “Best in Show” prizes at this year’s showcase for individual projects from the College of Engineering and the College of Science.

The showcase includes projects and posters developed by undergraduate students, working on their own or in teams, from all academic departments in the College of Science and the College of Engineering. Participating students, who must conceive, research and/or design and implement their projects, gain hands-on experience in applying science or engineering knowledge and the fundamental principles of their respective majors.

“The project simulates a real-world work environment in a variety of engineering and science fields,” said Showcase Coordinator Ron Reichard, an engineering professor in the College of Engineering.

“The students apply theory, think creatively and develop practical skills such as teamwork, professionalism and leadership,” added Michael Grace, co-coordinator of the showcase and associate dean of the College of Science.

Among College of Engineering competition projects are vehicles – the off-road SAE Baja and open-wheel Formula SAE – as well as a solar-powered speed boat, Mars rover, and NASA mining robot. Research and design projects include an IED bomb disposal robot, a security patrolling radio-controlled car, zero-emissions Sulphur recovery, a remotely operated sea crawler and a ‘green’ fraternity house.

College of Science research projects this year include a study of the feeding performance of the invasive, venomous lionfish; phytotoxicity of silver nitrate and silver nanoparticles, and the use of plants to decontaminate the environment of heavy metals; energy education; expanding electric vehicle alternatives on campus; analysis of the magnetic field of the massive Devil Star; and measuring unique structures within the halos and sprites – transient luminous events that occur above thunderstorms.

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