With the end of fall semester came the conclusion of the three classes taught in the CEID this past term: Medical Device Design and Innovation (BENG/MENG 404), Musical Acoustics and Instrument Design (ENAS 344/MUSI 371), and Mechanical Design Implementation (MENG 489). These presentations brought interested Yale community members into the Center over the course of three days.

Medical Device Design final presentations took place on Tuesday December 9th. The course instructors, Dr. Joseph Zinter and Dr. Jean Zhang, addressed a room full of students, faculty, doctors, and many others, as they introduced the class. The course gave students an opportunity to design a solution to problems medical professionals identify in their fields. This year, these areas for innovation included external pacemaker simulation, CPR training, hernia repair surgeries, and swallow assist systems for dysphagia patients. The interdisciplinary course had students from engineering, the history and cognitive science departments, the School of Management, and the School of Medicine. All four teams showed off their working prototypes through live demos and videos and impressed doctors and students alike.

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On Wednesday, the senior mechanical engineering majors and others in MENG 489 presented their work for the capstone design class. The course focused on not only mechanical design, but also the documentation and ethics of engineering. The students were posed with challenges including creating an easy access method for electricity production for the developing world, designing a mobile power source for hikers or campers, and giving doctors an easy way to predict the risk of patients for ACL tears. As the students presented their solutions to these problems, they considered project budgets and their implications for the implementation of their designs. The impressive final products included a system that converts energy produced by a motorcycle into usable electricity, a portable system to produce energy which could be powered by crank or by wind, and electronics and programs for the analysis of knee angles in a jump, a factor linked to risk of ACL tear.

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The Musical Acoustics and Instrument Design class concluded the week of presentation on Thursday with a different kind of show. In this class, each student had the opportunity to explore an area of interest by creating a musical instrument. While the instructors, Dr. Larry Wilen and Konrad Kaczmarek, helped along the way using their technical and musical backgrounds, the ideas for the instruments, from original fruition to final design, came entirely from the students. The instructors helped inspire the students’ designs through an introduction to acoustics and instrument design, including lab sessions where students made smaller scale instruments, from guitars to woodwinds.

In the presentation itself, students talked about the concepts behind their designs, and the difficulties faced in construction. Evan Doyle (’17), who made his own harp, had to figure out how to make his instrument strong enough to hold the force of the many strings, and used SolidWorks simulations to approach the problem. Many music majors immersed themselves in the field of electronics as they created instruments that required Arduinos, stepper motors, or other electronic components. Catherine Jameson (’16) created a novel instrument which can only be played when two people work together. Here the challenge lay in finding the best way to explore this conceptual space of collaboration in an actual physical design. After the brief background on their designs, the students performed for the audience on their newly created instruments. The performances were a fun and beautiful way to end the three days of presentations.

From medical devices to alternative power sources to instruments, the final projects and presentations illustrated the kinds of creative, interdisciplinary thinking that the CEID aims to foster through its courses.