UW Engineering Student Winners Selected in 9H Foundation Senior Design Challenge | News

May 11, 2022

Gene Humphrey, left, of the 9H Research Foundation, presents a Senior Design Challenge award to students at UW College of Engineering and Applied Science Cedric Bond, of Monument, Colo.; Jay Matter of Cheyenne; Mason Tomac, of Laramie; Zachary Woith, of Carlsbad, California; and Jayden Riley of Green River. (Photo UW)

Two teams of University of Wyoming students recently received awards through the 9H Research Foundationit is $5,000 Senior Design Challenge at the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

In addition to announcing the winners of the design competition, the 9H event served as the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the foundation’s $1 million, 500 kilowatt solar research facility; recognized four student interns working on the SmartRanch Drone agricultural project involving 9H, the college, and UW’s Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center (WyGISC); and announced the winners of the foundation’s energy competition.

The 9H Research Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization focused on being a hub of innovation. involve students in practical research and applied projects; UW elevating; stimulate the local Wyoming economy; and support students through awards, internships, competitions, projects and scholarships. Gene Humphrey, an alumnus of the UW College of Engineering and Applied Science, funds the foundation.

The second annual $5,000 Senior Design Challenge had two project areas: design a solar ranch or a battery recycling facility.

UW engineering students were challenged to design an affordable, easy-to-install solar module for net metering to reduce a rancher’s electricity bill. The best solar module design was funded for $2,500, and the students installed their prototype on a working ranch in Wyoming.

The winners were “Team B” mechanical engineering students Jay Matter of Cheyenne; Cedric Bond, of Monument, Colorado; Jayden Riley of Green River; Mason Tomac, of Laramie; and Zachary Woith, of Carlsbad, California. The team shared a prize of $2,500.

The second topic tasked students with a feasibility study on the viability of building an industrial-scale battery recycling plant in Wyoming and the economic impact it would have on the state.

The winner was the chemical engineering team of Chris Consoliver, Aaron Emmert and Lucas Mead, all from Laramie; and Joe Reinicke, of Arvada, Colorado. The students shared a prize of $2,500.

“I would like to express our sincere thanks for Gene Humphrey’s continued support of the College of Engineering and Applied Science with the 9H Research Foundation’s annual $5,000 Senior Design Challenge,” said Dean Cameron Wright. “This generosity creates a positive impact in the lives of our students by inspiring creative and practical learning experience opportunities.”

The $16,000 9H SmartRanch drone farming project was co-founded by the College of Engineering and Applied Science and WyGISC, and the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services Workforce Development Training Fund provided an internship scholarship for the students. The teams used drone technology to identify and eradicate weeds and harmful mosquitoes, two important issues related to animal husbandry.

The four interns recognized for their efforts on the project were Ezekiel Bolze, of Landisburg, Pennsylvania; Casper’s Trevor Johnson; Emma Jones, of Papillion, Neb. ; and Chloe Mattilio, of Willow Street, Pennsylvania.

small group of people holding an oversized check

Gene Humphrey, left, of the 9H Research Foundation, presents a Senior Design Challenge award to UW chemical engineering students Joe Reinicke, of Arvada, Colorado, and Lucas Mead of Laramie. (Photo UW)

Students have interdisciplinary backgrounds and varied areas of expertise: Bolze is a computer engineering student and an Air Force ROTC cadet; Johnson is a joint MBA and MSc student in Mechanical Engineering; Jones is working toward a dual bachelor’s degree in environment and natural resources and political science; and Mattilio is pursuing a doctorate. in plant sciences and ecology.

“The 9H Research Foundation gives students the opportunity to work on real-world applied projects, while rewarding their efforts with cash prizes,” says Paul Bonifas, 9H’s Director of Operations. “The challenges we offer students are designed to simulate industry work environments, giving them a leg up on the competition early in their careers. By building a 1,200-panel solar photovoltaic facility, we’re showing the energy industry that Wyoming is open to all types of businesses and that the university and local government will work with contractors to attract jobs. in the state.

The 500 kW solar facility, located west of Laramie, was built using Series 6 solar panels donated by US company First Solar. The electricity will be sold to Carbon Power and Light, providing revenue for the 9H Research Foundation over the next 25 to 30 years. The foundation will fund future projects, internships, and scholarships for UW students.

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