College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota
College of Science and Engineering

U of M engineering seniors present their innovations at Senior Design Show

Solar cell clothing-senior design show photo - 300

Electrical and computer engineering students designed a main board controller for use in solar cell embedded clothing that can power LED lights and motors and charge electronic devices.

Rhonda Zurn, College of Science and Engineering,, (612) 626-7959

Preston Smith, University News Service,, (612) 625-0552

MINNEAPOLIS (05/02/2011) — Clothing with embedded solar cells that can charge electronics, a long-distance sensor for the Woodbury Police Department’s K9 unit, and a prototype of a wheelchair that can easily switch between standing and sitting positions are just a few of the innovations undergraduate engineering students will present at this spring’s University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering Spring Senior Design Show on Tuesday, May 3, 2-4:30 p.m. at the University of Minnesota Coffman Memorial Union, Great Hall, 300 Washington Ave. S.E., Minneapolis.

The event features more than 50 problem-solving innovations and cutting-edge research projects designed by seniors from the University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Visitors will see the students work and talk with them about their design and research process.

The students are part of the Senior Design class, a four-credit, semester-long course for students in their senior year, with the main objective of providing students with a real-world, team-based design experience through which they develop an appreciation of design methodology and team dynamics, along with re?ning their oral and written communications skills. Each team of four to six students participates in solving an open-ended design problem starting from developing well-de?ned project requirements/speci?cations and concluding with a functioning prototype.

This year for the first time, students in the yearlong Senior Honors Project are also presenting their research posters as part of the show. These students carried out their projects during a two-semester capstone research and design experience.

Projects originate from both industry and faculty sponsors, often require an inter-disciplinary e?ort, and typically have multiple paths for solution and implementation entailing trade-o?s between performance, cost, and ability to be manufactured.

For a full list of the senior engineering design projects at this spring’s show, visit

On July 1, 2010 the Institute of Technology changed its name to the College of Science and Engineering.