Student ingenuity was placed in the spotlight at Carleton University from March 13-16, 2017, as the Faculty of Engineering and Design hosted its second annual Innovation Expo. Senior students from all walks of engineering, as well as architecture and information technology, joined forces to showcase their brilliant ideas and original designs throughout the weeklong exhibition in the University Centre’s Galleria. This year’s collection of projects did not disappoint, with a wide assortment of advanced innovations having been included in the showcase. Fourth year students in electronics, software engineering, and computer systems engineering displayed high-tech inventions such as automotive-based radar for night driving assistance, digital motion capture technology synchronization, an electric race car and even an electronic “band-aid” for posture correction. Mechanical and aerospace engineering students showcased an assortment of rotary-wing and fixed-wing uninhabited aerial vehicles (UAVs), including Carleton’s Blackbird UAV Project, which was awarded a special innovation prize at the 2016 Unmanned Aerial Systems Student Competition hosted by Unmanned Systems Canada. As part of the final phase of the competition, the team deployed its UAV to measure soil conditions and map the location of crops using a sensor system. “Our Faculty is continually impressed by the calibre and scope of ideas being developed by our students,” said Fred Afagh, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Design. “In hosting this annual exposition, we’ve been able to showcase their exceptional talent and ingenuity by sharing it with the Ottawa and Carleton community.” The majority of innovations presented at the Expo fell under the category of Capstone fourth year projects, which serve as the hallmark of an undergraduate engineering degree. While Carleton engineering students engage in hands-on design projects throughout their years of study, fourth year students are required to work in teams to produce an original design innovation – one that applies everything they have learned over the course of their studies. “Capstone projects are one of the many ways in which Carleton integrates hands-on, real-world experience into its programs,” said Afagh. “By culminating their undergraduate education with the design of a professional-level project, students are granted the opportunity to develop their own ideas in a manner which prepares them for a rewarding career.” While real-world application has always been a key focus of Capstone projects, many of the innovations presented were also designed to fill a need. Examples included biomedical sensors, a prosthetic hand controller with gesture recognition and enhanced coordination, web-based medical image processing software and an integrated concussion assessment system. Additional projects focused on serving the community as a whole, such as developing storm water management strategies, printable radiation detection devices and a smart home energy system capable of monitoring and adjusting power usage. Expo visitors also had the chance to test their multiplayer and problem solving skills, as students from Carleton’s School of Information Technology showcased playable demos of Capstone Projects Impress at Second Annual Innovation Expo their very own video game creations, including Halen: Ballad of the Blade Thief, a story-driven third person action platformer and Sheftimicion, a virtual reality vault-breaking puzzle game. The final day of the Expo presented projects from civil and environmental engineering, many of which focused on potential developments in and around Ottawa, such as the redesign of Colonel By Drive or rehabilitation of downtown’s ByWard Market courtyard. Students also presented their ideas for ongoing and upcoming initiatives within the capital, such as the extension of Ottawa’s light rail transit (LRT) project to include Barrhaven and Orleans. This year’s event also included an all-new robotics exhibit, which included interactive demos from Carleton’s Planetary Robotics Team, as well as robots capable of sensing and following pathways and a specialized medical telepresence robot (an intelligent remote assistive device). Also new this year was the presentation of an Industry Choice Award by March Networks, a leading global provider of IP video software and systems. The inaugural prize, valued at $500, was presented to a group of students from the Department of Systems and Computer Engineering for their automatic bicycle transmission system, which anticipates and reacts to environmental changes by automatically shifting gears for the rider. Photo: Justin Tang 19