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Seniors display innovation at design expo

UIC Engineering Design Expo Chicagoland Transit Museum presentation

Seniors in the civil, materials, and environmental Engineering (CME) wrapped up two semesters of hard work as they showcased their research, creativity, and skills during the annual UIC Engineering Design Expo.

The expo featured student teams that brought a wide variety of projects to the expo. The students joined undergraduates from every area of the College of Engineering, who completed the Senior Design Course that challenged them to solve real-world engineering problems.

Award winners

Three teams stood out from the competition as they took home best in category awards from the judges, who represented a variety of professionals from the Chicago region and faculty from the College of Engineering.

The Structural Engineering award went to the team of Guillermo Arellano, Xavier Ayala, Manuel Flores Martinez, Ismael Lopez, Natalie Palarz, and John Stark for their project “Chicagoland Transit Museum.” The team completed a feasibility design for the proposed museum at the Central Carrier Annex building, 358 W. Harrison St., Chicago, which is commonly referred to as The Sugar House. During a site visit, the team found short floor to floor heights and close column spacing, and determined that repurposing it would require major demolition to implement a museum with an open floor concept.

To maintain the sense of sustainability, the team proposed to repurpose the existing structural foundation and design a new steel superstructure for the museum that incorporates an elevated train display on the west side of the museum.

The students were advised and sponsored by Steven M. Rienks, of American Surveying & Engineering, P.C., Erik Cempel, of Cempel International Transportation Consulting, Chris Bove, of R.J. O’Brien, Tom Hoepf, of EXP and CME faculty member Didem Ozevin.

The team’s presentation can be viewed online at Chicagoland Transit Museum.

The Water Resources Engineering award went to Jorge Blanco, Kristine Gonzalez, Ahmed Khan, Edward Nersisyan, Karen Portillo Chavarria, and Conner Ray for the project “Hydrologic & Hydraulic Analysis of Kimberly North Detention Basins.”

To help alleviate extreme flooding in Carol Stream, Illinois, the students investigated the aging infrastructure of two detention ponds. The ponds are not adequately designed to accommodate the volume of upstream runoff during moderate to heavy rainfall, and they flood an access drive and overtop an emergency spillway.

The team suggested a drainage system redesign with a solution that combines classical civil engineering and cloud-based smart-sensor technology. The students predict that by making all pond outfalls “smart” by installing variable flow restrictors connected on a cloud server, the drainage network can be streamlined to handle its flow demands.

The students were advised and sponsored by Greg Ulreich, of the Village of Carol Stream, Rishab Mahajan, of Geosyntec, and faculty member Jeana Gowin.

The team’s presentation can be viewed online at Hydrologic & Hydraulic Analysis of Kimberly North Detention Basins.

The Structural Engineering award went to the team of Josue Aguilar, Trevor Cannon, Jannet Castrejon, Kamaria Crowley, Manan Prajapati, and Kevin Salau for their project “St. James Farm Picnic Pavilion Rehabilitation Project.”

The pavilion, located in the St. James Farm Forest Preserve of DuPage County, was built in 1985 and needs repairs.

Using steel and timber as the materials of choice, the team identified load paths and redesigned the structure from top to the bottom, including the roof members, beams, columns, and foundation. In addition to the general redesign of the structure, they altered the number and layout of the columns to provide for a more open structure. Additionally, the architectural scope included replacing the wood shake with asphalt roof shingles, cleaning and staining all new and old timber, and adding an architectural glass roof for the pergola.

The students were advised and sponsored by Brad Noack, of H. W. Lochner, and John Miller and William Loftus, both of Christopher B. Burke Engineering.

The team’s presentation can be viewed online at St. James Farm Picnic Pavilion Rehabilitation Project.