Senior Design Projects

Senior Design at LETU

Engineering Senior Design Projects and the elite lab experiences that accompany them are a cornerstone of hands-on industry preparation at The Christian Polytechnic University. We are a community of builders.

At LeTourneau University, we implement engineering design and project-based learning throughout our entire curriculum. During the senior year, engineering students participate in a year-long capstone project as part of a multi-disciplinary teams. LETU students complete a wide variety of projects that involve collegiate competition, applied research, industry skills and humanitarian service. These team projects embody the learn-by-doing philosophy for which LETU is known. 

Check out our 2023-2024 Senior Design Projects:

ACME: Additive Construction Materials Experimentation

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Kraig Warnemuende

The industry for 3D printing concrete has been on the rise in recent years and the need for advancing and improving the quality and efficiency of concrete printing is becoming necessary for study and safety. The purpose of ACME, the Senior Design team under Dr. Kraig Warnemuende, is to expand and improve on the current processes that previous ACME teams have found in making a 3D printer that will produce high quality concrete prints. This will be done by improving the pump and flow control method as well as making effective nozzle designs which will lead to stronger and more detailed prints. However, our vision extends beyond these technical enhancements. We hope to lay the foundation for future years to have the option to 3D print a concrete canoe for competitive use by increasing the printer size, achieving printer bed leveling, and pioneering research and testing of waterproof print structures. Our aspiration is to present a 3D concrete printer that transcends current standards and capabilities, offering the precise and efficient construction solutions that the industry demands. As we advance towards this goal, we anticipate contributing to the development of the industry, while simultaneously showcasing the transformative potential of 3D concrete printing in construction and engineering.

FENNEC: Flight Emulation using Neural Networks for Event Characterization

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Andrew Davis

Aerodynamic models for unmanned air systems (UAS) are expensive and require significant development time. As a result limited aerodynamic models often limit UAS usefulness or increase operating risk. This project seeks to utilize machine learning (ML) to generate aerodynamic models for unmanned rotary-wing aircraft to mitigate the need for traditional system identification methods that require large amounts of optimized data to be effective.

Frontier Robotics

Faculty Advisor: Prof. Norman Reese

The Frontier Robotics team will design and build two 15-pound combat robots for competition, build a 12-ft portable combat arena, and conduct polycarbonate impact testing to ensure safety in our arena. The team will host a regional competition at LeTourneau in March and will travel to Kansas City in April to compete in a National Robotics League competition.

LETREP24: LeTourneau Rehabilitation Engineering Project 2024

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Faculty Advisor: Dr. Ko Sasaki

The LETREP 24 team is developing a new method for measuring the range of motion of the lumbar spine. The method will utilize inertial measurements units (IMUs), which are small wearable sensors with formidable potential to be applied to movement analysis. Additionally, the LETREP 24 team will develop a mechanical system to simulate simplified human lumbar movement to validate the IMUs in comparison to an 11-camera motion capture system.

LETS: LETU-ETL Team Stealth

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Faculty Advisor: Dr. Hoo Kim

LETS (LeTourneau ETL Team Stealth) aims to design a prototype of an enhanced Stealth UAV by applying ETL’s (the sponsor company) special coating solution. RADAR Cross Section (RCS), also known as radar signature, measures how detectable an object is by RADAR. It is critical to reduce RCS on the battlefield to enlarge the UAV’s operational area and enhance its survivability. LETS is studying stealth design parameters by applying ETL’s stealth coating to reduce RCS and design a prototype of an enhanced stealth UAV platform. LETS employs two major concepts: RADAR Absorbing Surface (RAS) and RADAR Absorbing Material (RAM) to optimize the UAV’s stealth capability and aerodynamic performance. LETS utilizes the commercial software FEKO for RCS analysis and Virtual Wind Tunnel for aerodynamic design. The team plans to validate the designs by testing RCS in an anechoic chamber and evaluating aerodynamic performance using a wind tunnel.

LUNAR: LeTourneau University Nexus for Amateur Rocketry

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Chad File

The LUNAR team is competing in the NASA University Student Launch Initiative competition, in which the challenge is to design, build, and test a high-powered rocket. The payload is a vehicle to be deployed in air from the rocket after apogee which lands in a predetermined orientation on the ground. Often considered the “Super Bowl” of rocketry competitions, with almost fifty colleges and universities initially accepted, the design requirements and deliverables set forth by NASA are modeled after their own mission projects and deliverables. For this year’s competition, the rocket must reach an altitude between 4,000 and 6,000 feet above ground level, and descend at a safe velocity. The teams will declare their maximum altitude before launching, and are scored by comparing their measured apogee to their prediction one. The payload vehicle is a folding quadcopter drone that acts as the payload. The drone must withstand the forces and vibrations of rocket launch and safely transport model astronauts, called STEMnauts, to the ground. This project will need to consider such fields as structural and fluid mechanics, aerodynamics, rotor flight, and wireless communications, in order to create a competitive rocket and payload system.

LUSCE: LeTourneau University Smart Charging Exploration

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Faculty Advisor: Dr. Joonwan Kim

Project LUSCE aims to design and manufacture a portable solar-powered charging station for small electric vehicles to solve today’s infrastructural power limitations. The system will power a vehicle via solar energy either straight from solar panels or from the charging station’s power bank, which implies that the charging station will stay completely off the grid (avoiding grid overload). Energy from the solar panels and the power bank will be transferred to the electric vehicle according to predefined specifications of a charge controller designed by the LUSCE team. The charge controller is a power distributing system which manages the power input and output of the charging station and the battery of the vehicle being charged by the charging station.



Flow Sr Design Team

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Yunus Salami

LeTourneau University hosts an annual go-kart race and uses parts of the roadways around campus for this race. While this is satisfactory for the purpose, a dedicated track designed and built exclusively for this purpose elsewhere on campus has the potential to attract users from around the Longview and general East Texas communities and become available for use year-round, including to students, staff, and faculty. Opening such a go-kart race track to the public on a year-round basis and charging for its use could potentially increase revenue for the university.
The purpose of this project is to propose and design a go-kart track for LeTourneau University and build a short section of the track for performance testing. A cost-benefit analysis will also be performed to evaluate the economic sustainability of the project for the university.

R&D: Reconnaissance & Disruption

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Darryl Low

R&D stands for Reconnaissance & Disruption. Facultative lagoons are the solution for wastewater purification in rural or underfunded areas. This is a cost efficient method involving digging large lakebeds in the ground into which wastewater is able to settle out and be purified by injected bacteria. As this happens, clean water can be released back into nature. This method has one major drawback: over time the waste builds up as sludge, and the lagoons can no longer properly clean the water. R&D is a team sponsored by Advanced Microbial Solutions (AMS) that seeks to create and develop two fully automated boats that can complete two different purposes for AMS. Our smaller boat, Reconnaissance, will be able to go out on a wastewater lagoon and map the levels of sludge depth and report that to our larger boat, Disruption. Disruption will then go over the wastewater lagoon and break up the sludge so that the bacteria injected by AMS can purify the water more efficiently.

SAE Baja

Faculty Advisor: Prof. Jeff Johnson

Renegade Racing is LeTourneau University’s SAE Baja Team. We are a multi-disciplinary team of students fabricating Baja-style off-road vehicles to compete in national competitions. Our objective is to design and build a small, fully functioning, one-passenger car able to take on rough terrain and meet the many specifications put forth by SAE. The job of the team is not only to build this car, but to engineer, document, and create it in the most cost-effective way possible. The car is tested with high stakes events including the 4-hour endurance race, hill climb, and maneuverability tests. LeTourneau’s Renegade Racing has a history of success, with several Top-20 finishes in the last decade. The goal this year is to successfully compete in the Pennsylvania SAE competition held in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, in May 2024. This will be the first 4WD vehicle the team has attempted and the first competition 5 years.

SAUWW: Submerged Arc Underwater Wet Welding

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Ezequiel Pessoa

The Underwater Wet Welding (UWW) senior design team is developing a flux for underwater submerged arc welding applications, focusing on increasing arc stability, decreasing cooling rate, and improving weld bead geometry. Flux development will come from literature review, parameter testing without flux, parameter testing with pre-made fluxes, and testing different mediums for containing the flux. Data collection will be applied to determining composition for final flux. Results of this research will be presented on a poster at FABTECH conference in October 2024.

STARS: Starlink Tracking Antenna Reference System

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Nathan Green

Team STARS will design, build, and test a system to track Starlink and other similar satellites through the sky and record their live-sky signals for processing by the RF team. This project will require collaboration of mechanical, controls, RF, and software teams. Software development will be performed in Python and MATLAB environments. The project will equip students for both industry and academic paths with particular focuses in aerospace, satellite communications, and RF fields.

TATO: Transition and Transfer Objective

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Gitogo Churu

Individuals who are wheelchair-bound often have difficulty entering and exiting vehicles. The main goal of the Transition and Transfer Objective (TATO) is to design and build a device that can safely transport a non-walking person into and out of a vehicle. This will be achieved by engineering a hydraulic lift in combination with a wheelchair mounting system that can be easily operated by a caregiver.

Spring 2024 Senior Design Team Final Presentations

Presentations are being streamed live, and recordings will be available for later viewing.

Presentation Schedule

Senior Design Project Brochures

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