Second-year Projects

In the second-year design course IGEN 230, students are assigned one project per term. The first-term project involves structural systems and sensing. The second-term project involves control systems and fluid mechanics. Teams of three students design and build a device to given specifications. Prizes are awarded for the device that best performs to specifications each term.

Past projects:

Barrista Backpack

Sean Hudson explains the concept behind his team’s project, the Barista Backpack. Photo: Jack Park.


Market cable-cams are high cost systems designed for large and expensive video cameras: inaccessible and impractical for the amateur DIY market.

Greta – Post-Garburator Particulate Filtration and Dewatering System

Vaughn Richards displays the Greta, a post-garburator filtration and dewatering system for home use. Photo: Jack Park.

Hi-Tide Goggles

The Hi-Tide Goggles team hopes to produce a proof of concept device that eliminates condensation through the use of electrically conductive glass elements.

Hockey Stick Power Meter

Ever wondered how much power is in your slap shot? Read about how this might be possible with this second-year project.

Medical Gas Flow Sensor and Alarm

Oxygen tanks run out on patients during transport and/or ambulatory procedures, and often no one will notice until patients are in medical distress. A medical gas flow-rate sensor and associated alerting system notifies a medical professional when there is any degradation in oxygen flow.

Remote Water Sampling Device

To determine the water quality of a lake or river, water samples must be collected from a variety of locations and depths to account for effects due to naturally occurring stratification. Environment Canada invites proposals for a prototype remote water sampling device which can collect a 200 ml water sample from a location up to 50 ft from shore and up to 10 ft below the surface.

Robotic Baristas

Starbucks would like to provide samples of their coffees to customers without the use of disposable paper cups. Design and build a system that dispenses a sample shot of coffee and additives (eg cream) directly into a customer’s mouth. The system must be accurate and mix the correct ratio of additives.

Self-Adjusting Boat Buoy

When tides change, anchored boats tend to wander from their intended position due to slack in the anchor chain. Our self-adjusting boat buoy resolves this problem by varying the length of the anchor chain according to the tides.

Super Crutch

Our Super Crutch is a more ergonomically safe and convenient way for recovering patients to ascend and descend a flight of stairs.

The Wireless Charging Mouse Pad

The Wireless Charging Mouse Pad is a convenient device that has the ability to charge a wireless computer mouse while being used on its mouse pad.

Thermal Energy Recovery Stirling Engine

The primary application of our Stirling Engine will be to power a cooling fan for the CPU, creating an attractive, compact solution that reduces the computer’s total power draw. As the CPU heats up, the Stirling powered fan will rotate faster, thus maintaining the temperature of the CPU at an ideal equilibrium.

Weigh Scale for the West Coast Trail

Bridges and cable trams on West Coast Trail can fail if overloaded. The weight of a hiker and his/her pack could overstress a crossing. Design and build a weigh scale to be placed at either side of bridges and cable trams on the West Coast trail. The scale must be accurate, lightweight (someone has to carry it in), and cheap (lot of crossing points).