|UND engineering student teams receive Freeman awards for original, innovative technology|
Award winners include students from Fargo, Grand Forks, Tioga, and Wahpeton, N.D.; Arden Hills, Apple Valley, Minneapolis, Moorhead, and Pequot Lakes, Minn.; The Woodlands, Texas; and Armenia.
A device that enables a helicopter to hover in place using a vision-based autopilot was judged to be the most innovative engineering design by a team of judges in the annual Freeman Innovative Design Competition at UND’s School of Engineering and Mines (SEM).
The first place cash award of $1250 was presented to Armen Mkrtchyan, senior in electrical engineering for his ViSAR, a vision-stabilized autonomous system for rotorcraft. The device consists of a single camera onboard the helicopter that is used to estimate its altitude and the position. The system could be used to autonomously control the helicopter either indoors or when global positioning system (GPS) data is unavailable. Mkrtchyan is from Armenia.
The second place award of $750 went to a team of chemical engineering students for their process for liquefied petroleum gas recovery from North Dakota’s Bakken Formation. Team members are: John Degenstein, The Woodlands, Texas; Raymond Dobratz, Fargo, N.D.; James Foster, Grand Forks, N.D.; and Christopher Longie, Tioga, N.D.
Tied for third place were civil and mechanical engineering projects. Andrew Tischleder, a senior in civil engineering from Apple Valley, Minn, developed a public water system for Hidden Valley, Ariz., which has no public water system. He also developed a water conservation plan using recycled water systems to reduce the amount of drinking water being used for irrigation and landscaping.
A system to collect solar energy from thin film attached to manufactured windows and turn it into electrical energy was researched for feasibility by a team of mechanical engineers, including Ian Dickmeyer, Pequot Lakes, Minn; Eleanor Gillespie, Minneapolis, Minn.; Michael Grimestad, Moorhead, Minn.; Gregory Krayer, Arden Hills, Minn.; Shawn Tisher, Wahpeton, N.D.; and Nicholas Graziano, Grand Forks, N.D.
Andrew Freeman was noted for his creativity and visionary leadership of the electric utility industry. An endowment was established in 1996 by Minnkota Power and others to honor Freeman. The interest earned by the endowment funds the annual awards, which are given in Freeman's name to individuals or teams of UND students participating in outstanding senior design projects that exhibit open-ended, innovative design work.
-- Cheryl Osowski, outreach coordinator, UND School of Engineering and Mines, 777-3390, firstname.lastname@example.org