For Caltech’s E/ME/MedE 105: Design for Freedom from Disability class, my team conducted user/market research to design and prototype a modular one arm wheelchair drive attachment for individuals with hemiplegia. A user first rotates the footplate using their strong foot. This information is then translated into a desired position for the front caster wheel. We were named RESNA Student Design Competition Finalists and presented our project in Washington DC in July 2016.
For Edinburgh’s Mechanical Engineering Design 2A course, I designed a single-machined lead screw draw bench to manufacture tapered nickel silver tubing. We were given constraints on the required parts to be included in our design as well as the final dimensions of the tubing. I did calculations in Mathematica based on design requirements as I selected commercially available parts to design my draw bench.
My team was tasked to design an experience of feeling “relaxed” in the form of building a physical box. We decided to focus on four key sensory elements: soft and smooth surfaces, slow deep breaths, nature sounds, and “clean” scents. Our emotional box was fabricated from wood that was sanded down to create a smooth surface. LEDs slowly pulsed through an opaque acrylic windows that faded once the box was opened, releasing a “clean” scent and playing the sound of light waves.
As part of my Design Communications course, I created a poster to educate students and parents about summer learning loss for our client, Evanston Cradle to Career. I decided to use large text to draw the reader in so that they could clearly see “read between the lines” and be drawn in to read more of the small typography that sat literally between the lines. We presented our posters to the Executive Director of Evanston Cradle to Career.
A student-led team, Caltech Racing designed and built an electric car that competed in the Formula SAE Electric 2016 competition in Lincoln, Nebraska. On the Systems Engineering team, I worked on rules compliance, test procedures, and lab safety. On the Business team, I supported activities that interfaced with our school, donors, and the public.
The Harley leadership team challenged my team to identify new ways to engage millennials with the Harley brand in order to increase ridership. The high level goal of my team was to understand millennial values and desires in the context of purchasing used goods. We conducted qualitative and quantitative user research, created frameworks, and brainstormed ideas to ultimately create a cohesive, scalable strategy that was feasible, desirable, and viable.
I took an Industrial Design course to round out my skillset and improve my visual communication skills. During the course, we sketched novel concepts of shoes, bluetooth speakers, bus stops, athletic backpacks, and furniture. For each project, we created audit and personal boards which drove our thumbnail and refined concept creation. For our final concepts, we presented orthographic and perspective sketches.
As part of my Design Communications course, I created an infographic that encouraged young adults to vote in the then-upcoming presidential election. My goal was to dismiss the myth that the youth vote didn’t matter through a combination of facts that showed that the youth vote is a significant portion of the electorate and could have/will change the election outcomes.
For Caltech’s undergraduate Mechanical Engineering capstone design project, my team built an amphibious robot capable of scoring points via a lift mechanism that delivered balls across rigid barriers. The robot was designed in SolidWorks and machined using the mill, lathe, water jet, laser cutter, 3D printer, and vacuum forming machine. Commands were sent over a custom wireless link. We won Millikan Aquamania, the 30th annual ME 72 design competition.
As part of Edinburgh’s Computer Aided Engineering course, I reverse engineered and modeled a Formula One quick release mechanism and steering wheel in Solid Edge. The course included modules on parametric modeling, direct/synchronous modeling, rendering, and animations amongst other CAD skills. Our final evaluation required writing a report assessing Solid Edge CAD tools in the context of our quick release mechanism.
Design students from UPenn, Carnegie Mellon, MIT, and Northwestern researched, designed, and prototyped ways to improve the experience around having postoperative cognitive decline (POCD) and delirium in older patients. My team focused on how to support patients and caregivers immediately post-operation. In 24 hours, we designed a service that allows patients and caregivers to provide elements of daily life prior to surgery to promote a sense of comfort and familiarity.
For the final project of my Designing Product Interactions class, my team created an experience that allowed users to fill a glass of water using their voice. We were inspired by every day routines such as when water fills up, the pitch increases, which is an audible cue to turn off the faucet. Our final design taught users how to fill up their own bottle of water through a game of Simon Says. By whistling any three ascending notes, users were able to fill up their bottle.
Caltech and SCI-Arc teamed up to build the Dynamic Augmented Living Environment, or DALE for short, a zero net energy home that consisted of two reconfigurable modules on a rail system. I was on the Movement and Safety, Build, and Communications teams. We competed in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 competition in Irvine, CA, where we tied for 1st place in Energy Balance and received 4th place in Communications.
In collaboration with Dr. Ruchi Gupta and her team at Northwestern Medicine, we identified opportunities to improve the pre-orientation and orientation experience for incoming college students with severe food allergies. My team focused on creating awareness of food allergies through Epi-Pen education and catering assistance for campus clubs. Through service design, we wanted to empower students with allergies to be able to attend events and explore new interests with confidence.
My team created a single-ratio transmission for a custom bicycle setup as part of ME 14: Design Fabrication, Caltech’s introductory mechanical design course. Our goal was to design and build a transmission that would result in the highest rotational speed in the shortest amount of time. We calculated the necessary gear ratio in MATLAB and designed our transmission using parts that were within our specified budget.
In collaboration with Verto, a Northwestern startup, my team designed a digital user interface for an emerging retinal diagnostic technology for use in the Emergency Room. Using an agile design process, we iterated through two week design sprints in which we conducted stakeholder research, prototyped interfaces with increasing fidelity, and tested with users.
For the final project of ME 14: Design and Fabrication, my team designed and fabricated a wishing well prototype. We laser cut interlocking acrylic pieces for the well base, lathed the rods and bobbin, and water jet the ratchet and pawl.