Tech gears up for Design Expo

Photo Courtesy of Georgia Tech Senior Design Capstone Expo

Based on innovation, teamwork and creativity, the Capstone Design Expo is the epitome of the Tech spirit. This annual tradition will take place on April 24 in the McCamish Pavillion. Students from around Tech’s campus, including seniors from most engineering schools along with seniors from Industrial Design and Public Policy will participate.

“From Tech’s perspective, this is a showcase of what our students can design and build as they get ready to leave Tech and go out to change the world,” said Amit Jariwala, Director of Design and Innovation at the George W. Woodruff School of Engineering.

Seniors group into teams of four to six members and work on their designs for about 16 weeks in advance before finally presenting them at the Capstone Design Expo. This year, more than 900 seniors are competing in over 170 teams, making it the largest Capstone Design Expo yet.

According to Jariwala, new Tech schools join each semester. For instance, this year MSE, ChBE, PubP and two teams from CS joining the Capstone Design Expo for the first time.

Competition is stiff but the prizes are worth it, says Jariwala.

“[There are] over $11K cash prizes will be given out—along with bragging rights! Apart from the judges’ best teams, there will be text voting to determine the People’s choice awards. Anyone can vote for the People’s choice awards during the expo,” said Jariwala.

Jariwala, though, believes students participate for reasons other than the prizes.

“Those students who are looking for jobs see this as an opportunity to impress potential recruiters who will be present as judges at the expo. There are also several others who have stumbled upon an interesting idea and have a designed a prototype for their invention  and they are looking for potential mentors from seasoned entrepreneurs as well as excite potential investors who will be there at the expo,” said Jariwala.

Some teams from this year include a basketball rebounding system that tracks the player in real-time and returns the ball to the player which can save enormous time during basketball shooting practice. There is also a team from ME, BME and ECE has developed automated system for tracking and reporting medicine consumption which can talk with users on their cellphones to remind them to take their medicine.

In the future, while Jariwala would like to see a larger expo, he hopes most of all to see more interdisciplinary teams.

His favorite part, though, will always be the award ceremony.