Mechanical engineers research, design, develop, build and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices, including tools, engines and machines. Our graduates have a solid understanding of materials/mechanics, mechanical design, dynamics/controls and thermal-fluid science—equipping them for jobs in nearly every industry.

2024 Projects

Novel Wick Structure Using 3D Printing 

MEMBERS: Maximilian Kerschen, Connor Lancaster, Kamuai Thompson, Khoa Nguyen 

ADVISOR: Dr. Gisuk Hwang 


A Novel wick is defined as a wick structure that has the ability to absorb liquid through capillary action and dissipate heat, designed in a peculiar manner. With the advancement in technology and the miniaturization of devices an atypical cooling design is needed. The novel wicks will be placed slightly inside a reservoir of water or coolant. Through capillary action, the novel wicks will absorb the coolant and use the heat from the device to cause the liquid in the wicks to evaporate, creating a cooling effect (Merriam-Webster). The desired characteristics of the wick structures are highly liquid permeable porous media, yet having small enough pores for large capillary pumping capability. However, the simultaneous achievement of the large permeability and large capillary pressure lies in a technical challenge since those are inversely proportional to each other in conventional uniform pore size wicks such as meshes, grooves, sintered particles, etc. To overcome this challenge, you will need to develop innovative hybrid pore structures using 3D printing. Initial hybrid pore structures will be provided.

Mechanical System Optimization in a New Building

MEMBERS: T. Benjamin Rush, Ethan Le, Joel Tweet, Santiago Garcia-Gallegos

ADVISOR: Dr. Rajeev Nair

SPONSOR: Chris Torline, Trane, Kansas City

The Scope of this project is to test various methods of cooling and heating a future university campus building. After testing each of the possible options given to us we will then compare the options based on the wants/needs of the customer. These include, cost, maintainability, environmental effects and more.

Manual Fill Block

MEMBERS: Evan Fater; Skyler Bellairs; Gracie Maxson; Melisa Alfonso

ADVISOR: Dr. Rajeev Nair

SPONSOR: Fagron Sterile Services

Aseptic filling is the process of packaging commercially sterilized liquid products, in this case pharmaceuticals, into pre-sterilized containers under sterile conditions. Filling fixtures are devices designed to facilitate precise filling of the product. For this project, the application is syringes. The filling block helps maintain accurate fill volumes by holding the syringes in place. They ensure consistent alignment, preventing accidental moving. The block also minimizes contamination risk during filling, and most importantly the blocks are made of materials compatible with clean-in-place and sterile-in-place procedures. The sample given for our project, is a fixture made of clear anodized aluminum and measures approximately 2” x 2.5” x 3.5’’ (51 mm x 64 mm x 89 mm). Suction feet secure the fixture to the base of a laminar flow hood.

Air Cycle Machine Test Stand

MEMBERS: David Kanaby, Grace Peterson, Peter Dinicola, Taylor Hoch

ADVISOR: Dr. Rajeev Nair

SPONSOR: Triumph Group, Wellington

It has been determined that the air cycle machine (ACM) test cell cannot be operated when outdoor temperatures are above 90°F. This limitation therefore potentially causes large periods of the summer and early fall to be declared non-testable times for this particular test. This problem has multiple factors identified as potential issues leading to failed test results. One such potential is because the outdoor air handling equipment is heated by convection and radiation. The sun shines on the dark green blower and metal pipes outside thoroughly heating the ductwork via radiation. Additionally, there is an air conditioner on the ground nearby which blows hot air directly onto the pipes. Our group is tasked with finding a solution to allow reliable year-round operation by sufficiently increasing cooling capacity without requiring excessive cost, down time of the test cell, or air pressure drop within the system itself.

Net Zero Campus Emissions by 2040

MEMBERS: Brett Wendler, Ethan Dailey; Hanh Nguyen; Michael Lydon

ADVISOR: Dr. Rajeev Nair

SPONSOR: Professor Ikramuddin Ahmed

The project aims to estimate greenhouse gas emissions from WSU campus facilities through energy usage, student/faculty commute, and dining services to identify opportunities for reduction and challenges and solutions for reaching a zero-emission campus by 2040. Initially, we analyzed data on WSU's power requirements and the carbon emissions related to said electric and gas power needs. Additionally, we analyzed the theoretical output of emissions from campus transit of all faculty and students driving to class daily. We approached various ways of achieving this, such as conceptualizing a solar panel array along the rooftops of campus facilities. Additionally, we will supplement the solar power with wind turbines where necessary. All this, along with replacing natural gas furnaces with electric heat pumps and potentially geothermal heat sinks for newer buildings. We propose this plan to raise awareness of the feasible alternatives to coal and natural gas power use in Kansas, all achievable in the foreseeable future.


MEMBERS: Felipe Escalante; Lanh Tran; Juan Carlos Anaya Gomez; Autumn Olson

ADVISOR: Dr. Rajeev Nair

SPONSOR: Dr. Yang-Seon Kim;​ Dr. Wei Wei; Wichita, KS

In response to the pressing challenges posed by climate change and the increasing demand for sustainable development, the concept of a net zero energy building has emerged as a promising solution within the architecture and construction industry. Net zero energy buildings offer benefits, including economic advantages, improved occupant comfort and health, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The group of students was tasked with designing a medium-sized office building that is net zero. Some strategies implemented include on-site renewable energy, passive design considerations, maximizing the insulation used, and implementing smart controls. After using building energy models to find the optimized solution, the group will make a scale model of the building to showcase the capabilities of using phase-changing materials. The scale model will use various materials to represent the full-size counterpart and incorporate a modular 3D printed frame.

Syringe Transportation Device

MEMBERS: Tanner Cross; Sophia Rohling; Sara Rempel; Caleb Schempp

ADVISOR: Dr. Rajeev Nair

SPONSOR: Fagron Sterile Services US

The goal of this project is to create a cart to help with the transportation of syringes through the filling and packaging process.

Design for WSU's ME 475 Lab Space

MEMBERS: John Knapp; Ben Stoeck; Alex Olson; Curtis Light

ADVISOR: T.S. Ravi; Rajeev Nair

The task presented to our group was to design the layout for the new ME 475 Lab that is to be introduced in following semesters. Approximately half of the Beggs Hall Bay Area was presented to us, with the problem of creating a safe and efficient workplace for the students and teachers in the bay area. On top of the layout, a table is to be designed as a tool workstation and workplace for the students to utilize in the classroom.