Athens, OH 8 April 2018 –
The main class of senior year for mechanical engineers is senior design. Senior design is a year long class, which is very different from most other engineering disciplines. In the beginning of the fall semester, students were placed on teams based on their areas of interest in engineering. The teams were also made based on student’s strengths and weaknesses to make the teams balanced.
Each team is then assigned a customer with a problem that needs to be solved. The teams work with their customer for the entire year until they solve the problem. Every customer is very different and has a unique problem that needs solved.
My project for senior design is extremely different than most students’. Our customer is a lecturer at Ohio University, Dr. Burnette, and our project is to create a medical device that treats cervical dysplasia with a plasma.
The reason this device is so important is because the current procedure to treat cervical cancer is extremely invasive and can leave the woman infertile in some cases. The idea of using a plasma to treat cancerous cells is that it will kill the bad cells without causing harm to the healthy cells.
At first, it was hard to start our project because we had such a large scope. My team had to do extensive research to learn about the female reproductive system, and it took a lot of thinking to design a device that is safe for procedures. We ended up narrowing our scope from a procedure to an experiment so we can use the device we are designing as a learning tool to answer questions we have and improve the device in the future.
My team has come a long way this year. I can proudly say we have a working prototype that we are going to show at the Ohio University Expo this upcoming Thursday, April 12th . The week after the expo we have senior design demo day which wraps up our senior design experience.
I am very thankful for the project I was assigned because I learned a lot. Senior Design definitely made me use all of my engineering knowledge I learned from college in one class.