Every spring, seniors in both the Department of Electrical Engineering and the Department of Mechanical Engineering are required to showcase what they have learned through a Senior Design Project. I met with the Mobile Greenhouse team to see what their project looks like. The team consists of five Electrical Engineering majors and their tasks include:
- Jeffrey Swartzlander – treasurer, primary programmer
- Seth Hall – secretary, assistant programmer
- Evan Smith – group facilitator
- Lige Counce – team leader
- Kaleb Dekker – liaison between professors and the group
The project is a redesign of the mobile greenhouse developed from a 2014-2015 Senior Design Project. Dr. Jan Dudt from the Biology Department is the customer for this project. The greenhouse will be used in class for demonstrations and for experiments to be easily observed. Since the unit is portable, it will be stored in the basement of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) building to limit exposure from outside light sources. The previous team created the framework for the project but many elements such as the heating element, lighting, and humidity fans are not working properly. The purpose of the project is to fix these issues to provide an environment for plants to grow with proper lighting, heating, humidity, and irrigation.
Currently, the group is past most of the design stages and is now working on the heavy testing. They have ordered the fans for dehumidification and are attaching more heating sensors, since there are only four currently. The team says that staying within the $1,500 budget is not a challenge. The challenge involves restrictions inherited from the previous design, such as the design of the greenhouse itself.
Best of luck to the team! I am excited to see how the project turns out.