Each year, mechanical and civil engineering Professor Beshoy Morkos encourages students to pursue student design projects that not only provide them amazing learning experiences, but also can be incorporated into a business’s operations.
This year, he facilitated a partnership between a group of mechanical engineering students and Sun Nuclear Corp., a biomedical device company, that resulted in just that.
More than 90% of U.S. cancer treatment centers use one of Sun Nuclear’s products. Of the student group, however, the company made a single request: make faster the water-pumping system for its 3D scanner MRI calibration machine.
Not only did students take on the challenge to improve its speed—they completely reengineered the pump system to match the advanced standards and sleek look of the high-tech medical devices they accompany.
The concept is simple.
Radiation machines need routing calibration.
Sun Nuclear produces a 3D scanning device that leverages a 50-gallon water tank to aid in the calibration process.
Technicians fill and drain the tank with the assistance of a water pump on a utility cart.
While this utilitarian solution to a mundane process works, Sun Nuclear sought to speed it up so that the pump could fill the tank in less than seven minutes.
And speed it up they did—to three minutes.
But they didn’t stop there. The students added a filtration system, built a custom cart and enclosure and even developed an entirely new operating system on a Raspberry Pi so technicians can easily navigate a user-friendly digital touchscreen.
For their above-and-beyond work product, the team won not only their client’s praise and approval, but also the best in show award for mechanical engineering at the 2019 Northrop Grumman Student Design and Research Showcase.
Learn more about their project