Spring on the York College campus

Student Projects

Our students have as much fun working on projects as anyone on campus.

Hands-on learning isn’t just a goal in our department — it’s at the core of everything we do.

In the Engineering department you can:

  • Help design and build a racecar, off-road vehicle, or an electric car
  • Build an automated greenhouse and educational space for York City's Goode Elementary school
  • Design novel workplace technologies for Shadowfax employees with physical and mental disabilities

In your first semester, you’ll be getting your hands dirty in Engineering Practice and Design Studio (EPADS), where Computer Aided Design, the machine shop, and electronics instruction is introduced and you’ll already get to work on building projects.

Photo of ABRS team working on bike rack

Our Student's Work

  • EPADS Mechanical Engineering Modules

    Project -- Game of Throws

    Projectile motion is a commonly occurring situation, whether it be a golf ball struck by a club, the water leaving a water fountain, or an object thrown by a medieval weapon. For this project, working in teams of 2 or 3 students, you are required to design, build, and demonstrate a device that will propel a tennis ball toward a fixed target.

    FA15 EPADS ME Module I
    Game of Throws, EPAD Mechanical Engineering Module
    FA15 EPADS ME Module II competition photo
    The Water Power, EPAD Mechanical Engineering Module

    Project -- The Water Power

    In recent years, there has been a great interest in investigating potential renewable energy resources. One possible energy resource is the energy contained in rainfall. The potential energy of the rainfall can be converted into kinetic or electric energy. In this project, each team was assigned to design a device which could transfer the potential energy of falling water to kinetic energy which will then be used to propel a model car.

  • EPADS Electrical & Computer Engineering Module

    EPADS Electrical & Computer Engineering Module

    Students spend the semester learning the basics of electronics and Arduino microcontroller programming. The final project is a line-following robot built from the ground up. Students design their own motor control algorithms, integrate light sensors, and program the robot to autonomously navigate an obstacle course. In the final week, students modify their robots to find the fastest and most reliable design. No prior experience is needed and all students, regardless of discipline, learn the skills needed to take on this challenge.

  • Statics Pasta Bridge Project Competition

    Statics Pasta Bridge Project Competition

    Students in the Statics class study truss structures as part of the course.  To apply some of this knowledge, students are asked to build a bridge as part of a team of two or three students.  Students are given a pound of spaghetti and five sticks of hot glue, which are the only structural materials students can use to construct their bridges.  The bridge must span between two tables a known distance apart.  

    Once the bridges are built, they are weighed and then tested.  Testing consists of hanging a bucket from a hook at the center of each bridge and then filling the bucket with lead shot until the bridge fails.  The bucket is then weighed, and the bridges evaluated for their strength-to-weight ratio.  The bridges are also evaluated for their visual appeal, creativity and the quality of construction.
    A pasta bridge building competition at York College 2016
    2016 Statics Bridge Project Competition

  • Machine Design Project Competition

    Machine Design Project Competition

    Students in Machine Design, Fall 2015 were asked to build devices that could compress sawdust into pellets that were usable in a grill or stove.  They could use only human power to run their devices (no wall outlets or gas motors) and could not add any binders to the sawdust.
     
    The 13 project teams all produced a working device that made at least 3 pellets and as many as 11 in ten minutes.  Many of these, like the one pictured, used hydraulics (a bottle jack).  A few used power screws also.  Teams were judged based on their device's performance, its storage size and weight, its prototype cost, machinability, and its aesthetic appeal.
    FA15 Machine Design Competition photo

  • YCP Racing Team

    The York College Race Team takes what mechanical and electrical engineering students learn in the classroom out onto the track. This year, our incredible team members will design, build, and race a Formula SAE Car, Electric Formula Car, and a Baja SAE Car as part of capstone design projects.

    They'll compete against other college students from around the world who have all built cars from the ground up, spending hours upon hours painstakingly calculating every aspect of the vehicle and fabricating it, all according to FSAE rules (Formula SAE is an international student design program).

    Learn more about the YCP Racing Team on our website

    YCP Racing Team

  • Handicapped Assistive Technology Project

    Handicapped Assistive Technology Project

    The Assistive Technology capstone team is designing novel workplace technologies for employees with physical and mental disabilities. Our capstone students will be working with Shadowfax Corporation, a private, non-profit human services agency that supports individuals with disabilities in residences throughout York County. Shadowfax partners with over 65 local businesses to meet their outsourcing needs.

    One of the projects our capstone students will be work on is designing a dispensing device to help handicap employees perform their jobs more efficiently this winter. Currently, Shadowfax receives large nylon bags filled with ice melt on a pallet. Employees must hand scoop the ice melt pellets into containers for resale. Unfortunately, this is a slow, labor-intensive process and does not result in consistently uniform containers in terms of weight and volume. Our students will design and build a dispensing machine that will hold the large bags and more easily measure and distribute the ice melt to the containers. Because Shadowfax employees are paid for each piece they complete, anything we can do to increase employee production will mean an increase in their pay.

    Ice Melt Dispensing Machine Design
    One of the design proposals for the Ice Melt Dispensing Machine

  • Urban Greenhouse Project

    The engineering students working on the Urban Greenhouse capstone project will be developing an automated greenhouse for Goode Elementary School in York City. The project seeks to improve science education at Goode Elementary School by providing a learning laboratory for students to explore biology, plant life, and horticulture. The project also engages faculty and students to develop innovative hands-on curriculum for Goode Elementary School with the greenhouse as the centerpiece.

    York College electrical, computer and mechanical engineering students are critical to the project's success.

    Students are currently engaged in developing:

    • a wireless sensor network to monitor greenhouse temperature, light intensity, humidity, and plant moisture;
    • automatic control systems for lighting, water, ventilation, and heating that incorporate current and future weather trends;
    • an energy efficient structure that maximizes instructional space while remaining cost effective;
    • a web-based user interface so the greenhouse can be continuously monitored by Goode faculty and students.
    Proposed design of urban greenhouse
    Proposed design of Goode Elementary School greenhouse
    Picture of greenhouse location at Goode Elementary School
    Location of urban greenhouse at Goode Elementary School

    Current progress in Summer 2016 saw the students develop the initial greenhouse plan. This was presented to larger York community and our stakeholders from York City Schools, Kinsley Engineering, and Temple Beth Israel's "Doing Good for Goode" initiative. Students will return in Spring 2017 to complete the design and install the greenhouse by May 2017.

  • Software Engineering: Weather Station

    Student project by Alex Smith '18

    Being able to view exact weather data is always difficult due to the stations that gather that information are usually very far away. They are usually hosted on a poorly designed website with pop-up ads, useless videos and other information that’s irrelevant to what one would actually want. This sparked my interest in creating my own system for gathering relevant weather data, uploading it to a server, and displaying it in a format that can be easily interpreted by the user.

    The end result of the Software Engineering project is an online webpage hosted using Gitpages, gathering data using an external server synchronization service called Pubnub, and some python scripts running on a Raspberry Pi Zero receiving weather data from sensors connected to it.

    Computer Engineering Weather Station
    Prototyping the Weather Station