2013-14


Bread for Hope

Andrew Deelstra, Austin Herrema, Cam Lindemulder

The residents of Christ Our Hope Orphanage in Monrovia, Liberia, currently eat a diet consisting primarily of rice and beans, which presents an aesthetic and potentially nutritional problem. Currently, their cooking is done on open-burner stoves, but they would like to be able to add baked bread to their diet. Our group designed, built, and tested a context-specific oven, as well as insulating bricks, that could be made using resources readily available in Liberia or other developing world contexts. This oven, along with the bricks will allow the residents to bake a variety of goods for both consumption at the orphanage and for sale to the surrounding area. Testing indicated that our homemade bricks provided better insulation than commercially available firebricks, and that our charcoal-fired oven prototype was capable of reaching cooking temperatures of over 400°F. In a single burn, it could sustain over 250°F for an hour and a half.


Breast Milk Centrifuge

Kelly Bolkema, Andy Davelaar, Lee Veldkamp

The goal of our project was to design a centrifuge to separate fat out of breast milk. Over 3,500 babies every year develop a condition called Chylothorax, which lasts for approximately six weeks and causes severe health complications if their diet contains any fat. The project was proposed by Gina Tenpas, whose son developed this condition twice during his first year of life. Gina tried several different methods to separate the fat from her milk and saw a need for a more efficient separation method, since the procedures she tried were long and tedious. To make the process faster and easier, we designed a small, lightweight bowl that would hold a small amount of human breast milk (~5oz). This bowl was attached to a centrifuge and used the rapid spinning of the centrifuge to separate the fat solids from the liquid. One advantage of this design was that it could potentially be automated to minimize user time and effort. While our design worked well in concept and in our bowl prototype, which was made of steel, the final bowl, which was made of plastic, did not reach an acceptable fat content level for infants with Chylothorax. While we believe this idea has potential, more testing and design work will be needed to make this a workable solution.


Defender Utility Vehicle

Anderson Clare, Alex Davelaar, Tim Lewis, Jordann Ludwig, Jim Skinner, Daniel Sutter, Zach Wensink

The Need: Northrise University is a growing academic community in Ndola, Zambia, with a vision to impact their country through excellence in agriculture. To fulfill this vision, they need to expand their farming operation. They are currently limited by their lack of light machinery. With only a heavy truck and tractor for machinery, Northrise University needs a transportation solution that will provide fast, convenient, and efficient transportation of people, produce, and materials over short distances on the farm.

The Solution: In order to meet the needs specific to the context of Northrise University, we designed and built the Defender Utility Vehicle (DUV). The DUV was built as a four-wheeled, hydrostatic-drive utility vehicle with a dump bed, winch, and headlights. It was built for approximately $4000 (USD) and is simple enough to be copied and built by farmers in Ndola. The functionality, cost, and repeatability of the constructed DUV make it a successful solution to the need at Northrise University.


Educational Wetland

Anthony Maule, TJ Wells, Tim DeVries

The Need: Robb De Haan, Dordt College professor of environmental studies, desires to establish a wetland within the Dordt College prairie on the south edge of campus. The wetland would provide holistic educational opportunities for environmental science students at Dordt College as well as the surrounding community. In addition, this wetland would also reduce erosion and provide higher water quality downstream, improving our stewardship of God's creation.

The Solution: Water flowing into the wetland pond we designed will initially flow through a channel with gabion baskets to remove large debris prior to entering the wetland area. The wetland pond will be kidney-bean shaped and will be ringed by shallow shelves that provide a large area of shallow-water shoreline habitat for wildlife. The center of the wetland will have a deeper area which will serve for larger detention volumes and settling of other sediments. Our analyses of incoming and exiting water indicate that with the establishment of a clay liner, the wetland should be capable of detaining water year round.


Groschopp Motor Test

Andrew De Young, Alan Eysenbach, Jacob Richards

Our team developed a long term motor testing system that can test using dynamic loads for Groschopp Motors. Commonly, long term testing of motors uses only a single constant load, which is unrealistic, since the load on a motor will vary substantially depending on how the motor is used. Using a servo motor as our load source, we designed a long term testing set-up that allows a variable load to be applied to the motor being tested. The servomotor, supporting electronics, and the motor being tested are attached to a plate on the test stand which can slide out for easy access to the setup. The operator controls the test and records data using a LABVIEW interface. We successfully designed and built a prototype, but further testing is needed to ensure the system will function properly over long periods of time.


Interactive Engineering Exhibit

Ben Ness, John Stam, Steven Talsma, and Austin Van Wyhe

The Need: There presently are not any interactive science or technology displays in the common areas of the Dordt College Science Building. This kind of exhibit would draw the attention of campus visitors and students to the scientific principles and engineering techniques that exist all around us in God's Creation.

The Solution: Our team designed an interactive bridge sculpture to be placed in the entryway of the science building, which will provide people with an opportunity to engage with some of the scientific fundamentals in God's Creation. The sculpture comprises a simple truss bridge that has three "steering wheels," each one allowing the user to apply load at specific points on the truss. This user-applied force creates a strain in each member of the truss, and the brightness of LEDs mounted inside the members indicates how much strain is present. The color of the LEDs (red or blue) indicates whether the member is experiencing a tensile (pulling) force or a compressive (pushing) force. We would also like to give special thanks to the art majors who created the valley landscape below the bridge. If you want to see our sculpture in person, please visit the lobby of the Dordt College Science Building.