Scott Elders and Brandon Wipf
This design group set its sights on designing an automated microphone boom system for the B. J. Haan auditorium on the campus of Dordt College. Compared to the existing system of floor set microphone stands, the new design is intended to be easier to setup, less obtrusive for the audience, and capable of providing superior sound quality for the purposes of recording performances. After doing research into the acoustics of sound recording in auditoriums, the engineers designed a retractable boom and cable system that drops down from the ceiling to a position just above the conductor. The boom holds a left and right channel microphone at optimal spacing for sound reproduction. Driven by an electric motor, the system was designed to be raised and lowered by the flip of a switch in the control booth.
Andy Schroedermeier and Jesse Van Essen
The Dordt College Physics Department requested that their observatory dome be automated so that the dome aperture tracks the computer controlled telescope as it moves. This engineering team combined their electrical and mechanical training to design and successfully implement a motor and gear system for the dome. The system is integrated into the controls of the telescope and automatically adjusts the position of the dome to align with the telescope. The design proved to be less expensive and more functional than commercially available alternatives.
Josh Groen, Dan Steenbergen, Nathan Toenis, and Daryl Visser
The Sweet Sorghum to Ethanol study considered the merits of farm scale ethanol production using sweet sorghum in lieu of corn grain. The equipment for the study was designed by two separate project groups. One team designed the fermentation unit for the project, while the other addressed the distillation column. The goal of this team was to design and construct a distillation column system that takes in a fermented beer mixture and produces a finished product of high purity ethanol. The team designed a column suitable for a farm scale ethanol production system and also designed a smaller research scale unit. The students fabricated and successfully tested the research unit. It is anticipated that the research column will be utilized in future feasibility studies related to farm scale sorghum-to-ethanol production.
David Ellerie, Pete Hondred, Ben Lehman, and Andy Olthoff
The Sweet Sorghum to Ethanol study considered the merits of farm scale ethanol production using sweet sorghum in lieu of corn grain. The equipment for the study was designed by two separate project groups. One team designed the fermentation unit for the project, while the other addressed the distillation column. The goal for this group was to design, construct, and test a research scale fermentation system for converting sweet sorghum juice to beer. The objectives were met with a mobile unit incorporating a 550 gallon fermentation tank, accommodations for a second tank, and an agitation system to keep the beer well mixed during the fermentation process. The completed project was tested and successfully produced a batch of beer with approximately 10% alcohol content.
Amanda Arkema, Luke Herron, Sarah Schaap, Joel Sikkema, and Jeremy Westra
The Teach a Man to Fish Aquaponics System project was performed in cooperation with the biology department of Northwestern College in Orange City, IA. The system is intended to serve low income families in Moldova by providing a reliable source of fish and fresh vegetables. The Dordt College team considered the mechanical and environmental engineering aspects of the project. The aquaponics system creates a synergy between hydroponic farming and aquaculture. Water used to support fish life is filtered and reused. Vegetables grown on the filter remove fish waste from the water and keep the filter active. The engineering students designed and constructed a filter box, bio-filter, and associated piping. These components were integrated into a full aquaponics system to demonstrate their ability to ensure reliable water quality. Fish, anyone?