Steve Brown of waterjet equipment supplier Omax (Kent, Washington) recently served as a guest judge at Georgia Institute of Technology’s latest Capstone Design Expo, a culmination of 40 mechanical and biomedical student projects from the school’s mechanical engineering senior design course.
Each team of four to five students worked together to define a project, perform research, develop a design and fabricate, test and refine a prototype. This Expo’s winning project was a new type of sternal retractor—a device that opens the rib cage by cutting through the sternum—that eliminates blood loss and avoids rib cracking, both of which are common problems with current designs.
In addition to the judging table, Omax was also well-represented in the school’s Invention Studio, a facility containing advanced equipment where students developed their projects. The company’s 2626 waterjet, which the school purchased for use in the studio in 2009, was used to produce the majority of prototypes produced at the expo, says Craig Forest, assistant professor at the school’s GW Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering.