As they reach for the finish line of their undergraduate education, students in FIU’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering must demonstrate the skills and techniques they’ve learned throughout their studies at Senior Design Day.

Witnessing the students complete this project is like watching them bloom, as if you put water on a flower, explained Herman Watson, the department’s undergraduate program director.

“Senior design project is a capstone project. It’s the culmination of the four years of education experience they have,” Watson said.

On Friday, April 18, 24 teams of graduating seniors submitted their projects with designs ranging from energy-harvesting sneakers to a football-throwing machine that tracks a moving target.

For these students, the planning and preparation for their design projects began in the Fall semester. Teams were created and presented with an engineering problem to solve. The first semester of the project was mainly designated for planning and creation of the blueprints for the design.

When they returned from winter break, it was time to start putting all the moving parts together. The second semester is when the students implemented the planning they did the previous semester.

At Senior Design Day, the students could finally take a deep breath as family, friends and industry members from the local community came out to watch them demonstrate their projects. FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg stopped by for almost an hour, making a point to see every project, and was impressed by and proud of what the students had created.

Dr. Gustavo Roig and FIU students

Dr. Gustavo Roig with FIU Electrical and Computer Engineering students.

by James Hellagard