Mechanical Engineering (ME)

Mechanical Engineering capstone design (ME205) is focused on the mechanical design process. Project teams use mechanical engineering principles to design, analyze, build, and test a working machine in a semester long project. Formal design reviews and engineering reports are used to document results.

Contact Information:

Christopher Muir PhD

ME Design Projects

  • Ceremonial Mace
  • Danbury Mission Technologies – Creating an Optical Polisher
    Design an interchangeable, fixed offset, fixed gear-ratio eccentric tool spindle for gravity-loaded optical polishing procedures.
  • Drill Cart Alpha 2023
    Team Kermit Cart Project Description The drill-powered cart allows for an alternative, more affordable and accessible option to that of your standard internal combustion engines. Three teams competed, within the requirements and specifications provided below, to optimize a cart to race around the Eastman quadrangle on design day. Concept Selection Frame: A flexural test was […]
  • Drill Cart Charlie
    Abstract/Introduction Getting around campus effectively is a daily struggle at the University of Rochester. This project aims to create a drill powered vehicle to navigate campus which is an affordable, efficient, and convenient solution. The best vehicle will be determined by an endurance race with a Monte Carlo start to determine a winner among the […]
  • Drill-Powered Cart
    Team Members Ahmed Abdalla Ihab Youssef Lingyun Huang Samantha Dinhofer Mentors Christopher Muir, Chris Pratt, Mike Pomerantz, Jim Alkins Problem Description Normal transportation can be dirty and inefficient. A new form of transportation is wanted for clean, more efficient travel. Requirement & Specifications Nastran Simulation Concept Selection Manufacturing Results Test Result […]
  • eHPVC 2023
    Team Mentor Christopher Muir Project Description The Human Powered Vehicle Competition (HPVC) is an annual competition hosted by ASME where various universities build vehicles to compete in a 2.5-hour endurance race. This year the rules have changed such that an electrical motor has been allowed to power the vehicle. The vehicle is a hybrid tricycle […]
  • Green Generation
    Generating Green Energy on Campus Sustainable green energy generation has been agreed upon by many as the most important combatant to global warming. There are wide-scale green energy options available, like solar panel farms or nuclear power plants, but green energy is relatively inaccessible to the average college student. The current average college student will […]
  • L3Harris
    Team Mentor Patrick Ellsworth Project Overview Abstract The aerospace industry has embraced additive manufacturing to increase efficiency and lower the costs of satellite and rocket components. The goal of this project is to design and develop a satellite component known as a Secondary Mirror Support Structure (SMSS) for aerospace company L3Harris Technologies that can be […]
  • LLE Stability Monitoring
    Investigating the influence of heat sources on the Laboratory for Laser Energetics’ Omega-60 transport mirror structure.
  • Mary Cariola Acessible Drawing Device
    Team Mentor Seth Werlin Abstract The purpose of this project is to create a more accessible way for children to draw pictures on paper. In this project, the team attempted to design a device that would allow children of all physical and developmental abilities to draw. The design is a 2D translation stage, powered by […]
  • Omnidirectional Modular Robot
    This project’s goal was to develop an easily reproducible robot for use in ECE216 for students to learn about motor controllers. The robot was required to be modular, so each wheel has its own module that can be controlled independently and can move/rotate in any direction.
  • Rehab
    URMC Orthopedic Rehab Senior Design Team Jose Luis Corredor Alvarez, Keagan Hemsley, Gabriel Lundy, and Joseph Moore Mentor Monica Zaso Abstract        The objective of this senior design project is to improve rehabilitation via a wearable device that assists the fingers of the human hand to complete its range of motion and return impaired hands […]
  • RMSC
    Team Mentors Sponsor Dr. Calvin Uzelmeier Project Manager Professor Christopher Muir Abstract Sponsored by the Rochester Museum and Science Center (RMSC), the team was tasked with creating an interactive display that would educate users about a specific scientific topic. The display chosen should educate the public about fluid dynamics concepts including lift and drag forces […]


  • 360 Optical Mounts
    Several optomechanical applications have a need for a 360° kinematic mounting system capable of withstanding thermal loading due to heat generation from electronic devices. It is advantageous for optical systems to have a repeatable and controlled, known distance between devices such as optics, sensors, light sources, mirrors or assorted non-optical sensors. The team was able to design a thermally stable spaceframe solution, capable of reducing movement of any assembled components to minimal displacements on the order of microns.
  • Asteroid Launching Device
    The goal of this project is to launch a non-spherical shape in a controlled, repeatable manner to study the impacts of low-velocity debris on the granular surfaces of asteroids. This research could potentially assist in future missions to land on asteroids by learning about the trajectories taken after initial impact and the effects that spin, angle of impact, and velocity have on those trajectories. ​
  • Autonomous Radiation Detection
    After a nuclear accident, radiation levels must be determined in order to ensure the safety of those involved in cleaning up radioactive material. The goal of this project is to produce a low-cost drone that can be used to survey the radiation levels present in a given area, and to produce a heat map of the measured radiation. All of this data must then be transmitted at a distance where the operators will be safe from radiation exposure.
  • BalanceRobot
    A one or two sentence description of your project.
  • Ball Machine for the Pittsford Community Library
    The Children’s section at the Pittsford Community Library has three main spaces for play. While the two-spaces, located on the main level, are well defined and engaging for children with interactive elements, the project was to create a new interactive display for the third space located on the upper level.
  • Bike Trailer
    With much of the world adopting a heightened focus on environmental stewardship, an increasing number of people have turned to the bicycle for transportation. However, current bikes often lack versatile accessories to make them effective in situations other than simply commuting between locations. In order to make bikes more viable for everyday uses, they need to be fitted with ancillary components. This project involves the design of a multi-purpose, dividable trailer that can be attached to an adult bicycle.
  • Cart A
    Design and fabricate a wooden cart powered solely by a hand drill
  • Chirped Pulse Amplification Display
    The Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) at the University of Rochester is in need of a portable and educational display that showcases the mission and capabilities of the facility. The project is a representative and visually captivating model that demonstrates the laser amplification process of Chirped Pulse Amplification (CPA). This technique was invented by the LLE and revolutionized the industry.
  • Composite Fairings
    Teams need to find a way to reduce the drag caused by air slows on the vehicle with their design. The point of this project was to reduce the drag coefficient and the weight of the car with panels made of lighter and stronger materials.
  • Drill Powered Carts 1
    Our team, along with Drill Powered Carts A have built a fully functioning, energy-efficient, and sustainable vehicle, which will be powered by a single electric power drill. By doing this, each team hopes to not only show people that electric-powered transportation is possible, reliable, and easy but, whose cart is the best. The two teams will face off in an endurance race to see which cart can make the most laps around a race track at the University of Rochester River Campus. This will show which team has the most optimized mechanical design.
  • Drill Powered Carts A
    Several problems are being addressed with the project at hand. The main one, however, is a heavily discussed and often times argued about problem: global warming. As of 2019, there are over 276 million vehicles registered in the United States alone. Those carbon emissions add up quickly. If people want to increase the longevity of the earth and allow it to continue long enough to support their kids and grandkids, then it might be time to make a change. This change comes in the form of renewable resources and renewable energy, and that is exactly what the drill powered cart team plans to show throughout the project.
  • Drill-Powered Cart
    A one or two sentence description of your project.
  • Drive By Wire
    The project goal was to create methods to control the brakes, steering angle, and accelerator position of a Baja SAE off-road vehicle in a manner that allows the remote driving of the car. The team has created detailed models, simulations, and system documentation to ensure a strong foundation for the continuation of the project in the coming year. This project hopes to create new opportunities for future undergraduates to work on problems related to autonomous vehicles.
  • Eurypterid
    Hutchison Hall is home to the Biology department. However, there’s a lack of understanding regarding all research undertaken by the department. Hanging physical models can bring exposure to the department and create a vibrant and joyous community inside the Hutchison Hall. ​ The Eurypterid Team’s models are designed to represent the Jaekelopterus, a genus of the Eurypterid species. These models will be about 9 feet in length. The motorized tail and claws will be triggered through infrared motion sensors. ​
  • G.W. Lisk
    Designing a Near Zero-Leak & Low-Friction Rotary Coolant Valve for EV Applications
  • Golisano
    A fun & friendly children cart for in-hospital transport.
  • Human Powered Submarine
    Human-powered submarines are underwater vessels that are driven solely by the power of a human pilot. The Foundation for Underwater Research and Education (FURE) has put on the International Submarine Races (ISR) for several years. In the past, teams from around the world have traveled to the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division to compete and race with their human-powered submarine designs. With an in-person event not possible this year, a virtual event (vISR) will be taking place instead. The Human Powered Submarine team set out to tackle specific design problems related to the hull, drivetrain, and propulsion system of a human-powered submarine in the spirit of the virtual event guidelines.
  • Human Powered Vehicle
    With increasing concerns about the environmental impact of ground transportation, the industry needs alternative solutions that are safe, efficient, and environmentally friendly. One solution to the pollution problem is human-powered vehicles which emit zero greenhouse gas on the road. This project aims to implement a new material technology (fiberglass) into the design of a human-powered vehicle to make it more lightweight, functional, and safe. The test results concluded that fiberglass can indeed be used to manufacture the monocoque of a human-powered vehicle without compromises. The findings of this project will advance the engineering knowledge of fiberglass in this field and enable other engineering teams to use this technology in future designs.
  • Illuminating Mat for Visually Impaired Students
    Students at the Mary Cariola Center with visual impairments are attracted to light in rooms, often pulling their attention away from the teachers/lesson to look upwards at the ceiling lights. Lighted surfaces that provide contrast can help students focus on that surface and on any activity being performed on the lighted surface. The team was tasked with creating a mat suitable for children that illuminates in order to draw the student’s attention downward.
  • Interactive Bicycle Display for Rochester Museum and Science Center
    The Rochester Museum & Science Center asked for help designing an interactive exhibit to honor Georgena Terry. The team designed a stationary bicycle where the saddle and the handlebars move in the vertical and horizontal direction with motors. A system was designed in order to determine and display the power output from the rider. When on the bicycle, the rider can fluidly adjust the bike geometry and be able to see how changing each dimension affects the power they produce.
  • Jaekelopterus
    A one or two sentence description of your project.
  • Kinetic Sculpture
    Art and Engineering are two separate disciplines that don’t collaborate and intersect as much as they should. There are many mediums that mix both disciplines to allow for a fuller artistic approach to engineering, but these mediums aren’t abundant on the River Campus. The Kinetic Sculpture capstone project aims to be the bridge between these departments through kinetic art. The following interactive art piece fuses the concepts of art and mechanics to provide students with a one-of-a-kind experience on campus.
  • L3Harris
    Creating a Secondary Mirror Support System (SMSS) for a secondary mirror in a space telescope.
  • L3Harris Space Secondary Mirror Positioning System
    L3Harris Technologies is an American defense company that builds a variety of mechanical, optical, and electrical systems. The Rochester division designs and builds systems for space applications. Optical space telescopes are widely used in both Earth and astrophysical observations and play a major role in scientific and national security. For optical telescopes to function properly and take clear images, their optics must be precisely aligned to focus light. However, during the launch of the telescope, the relative positions of these optics can change. The goal of the project is to build a mechanism to finely adjust the position of these optics to enhance resolution and accuracy of the telescope images. This improved image quality has significant implications for both terrestrial and space observations with applications to scientific research and national security.
  • LLE – Cryogenic Heat Pipe
    A one or two sentence description of your project.
  • Mary Cariola Classroom Aids
    The Mary Cariola Classroom Aids project focused on developing LED light panels to refocus the attention of visually impaired students. Our solution includes 4 individual panels, as well as a stand that can rotate to three different angles to help accommodate various students.
  • MaryCariola
    A mechanical drum player to provide handicapped children the ability to play the drums.
  • Mechanical Engineering Department Tow Tank
    A tow tank is a basin where models can be dragged across its surface to conduct fluid dynamic analysis. Rochester currently lacks tow tank capabilities for undergraduates, with the nearest tow tank at RIT. To resolve this issue, our team will create a tow tank for Rochester students that will utilize the Speegle-Wilbraham Center pool as the main body of water. The tow tank will allow experimentation for ME 241 Fluids lab students, providing data in drag or wake analysis.
  • Medieval Chess Set
    The Rossell Hope Robbins Library is underutilized by many students on campus due to the lack of awareness of the library and its resources. To promote awareness for the library, this project contains designs for a “life-size” portable chess set with medieval themes.
  • MicroEra Power
    This project aims to manufacture a device capable of rapidly cycling phase change materials through a hot and a cold temperature cycle in order to determine their long term suitability for use in thermal batteries.
  • Natural Gas Mixer Redesign
    A renewed focus on environmental concerns means that fuel efficiency and emissions of engines are of significant importance. A current design for a mixing nozzle exists, but the fuel residence could be higher and the pressure drop could be lower. A longer fuel residence time ensures smooth distribution of fuel and a more efficient burn. A lower pressure drop means that less energy is lost by the motion of the fluid through the mixer.
  • NFL Helmet Challenge
    Helmets in the NFL are not effective enough to safeguard the health of the players. Players sustain concussions which can not only bench them, but leave life-long brain damage from the accelerations experienced during impact. As part of the project to improve the helmet, simulations were used to test material properties of different components of football helmets, such as hard foams, soft foams, and the shell. Data from the simulations were analyzed with performance metrics provided by the NFL.
  • Novel Movement Robot
    This is an interdisciplinary project between ECE and ME students. The teams designed and manufactured a rolling robot that uses linear actuators to move and navigate flat environments.
  • Pittsford Community Library Ball Maze Machine
    The Pittsford Community Library Team was tasked to design and manufacture an interactive ball maze machine. Upon completion, the model will be moved and displayed within the children’s lofted play area of the Pittsford Community Library. The main goal of this project was to deliver a fully functioning ball maze display, decorated with laser cut wooden designs of landmarks across Rochester. Combining elements of STEM and history, the team hoped to create a fun and educational display that children, as well as all library visitors, can enjoy.
  • Prosthesis for A New Syria
    In Syria, there are thousands of refugees that have upper limb amputations that don’t have access to function prosthetics. Prosthesis for New Syria was founded by Omar Soufan and Ibrahim Mohammad to provide an affordable and functional prosthetic hand to these refugees. The goal of the design is to create a 3D printable prosthetic that improves on the design from the previous year by making the hand look more realistic as well as improve its functionality.
  • Pumpkin Launch
    Have you ever had a gourd and wanted it over there, but in a way that would inspire the masses? The Mechanical Engineering Department sure has, and has tasked our team with creating their submission to our ASME-hosted annual pumpkin launch.
  • RMSC
    An exhibit for the Rochester Museum and Science Center that aims to expose the viewers to the concept of vibrations in an engaging and interactive manner.
  • Robotic Steering
    The project aims to design a steering system for robots used in various ECE courses. The robotic system has issues with lifetime, maneuverability, and mobility. The new model was designed with an aim to direct most of the off-axis load into the chassis while still maintaining the capability of the DC motor driving the wheel. These improvements helped in significantly increasing the lifetime of the motors. Additionally, the ability to steer each wheel independently increased the mobility of the robot.
  • Robotic Steering System
    Robotic control is becoming increasingly integral across many disciplines and industries. Understanding the fundamentals of robotic control evolves people’s way of life into a more convenient and efficient epoch. Here in University of Rochester, robotics courses enable students to have basic hand-on learning experience over robotic control systems. This robotic steering system team is aiming at designing an inexpensive but reliable, and easy to replicate solution which fits the needs to teach the robotics courses at University of Rochester.
  • Shipboard Aircraft Handler
    The Ground Support team was asked to make a new design for a safe aircraft interface mechanism for the Shipboard Aircraft Handler (SAH). The SAH is made to grab, lift and tow Naval fighter jets, like the F-15 or the F-35, while on the deck of a aircraft carrier. The current design is being tested by Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River Maryland
  • Shoe Testing Device
    Shoes wear differently with time, environment, and use. Shoe owners want to know how long their shoes are going to last. Shoe manufacturers need to have machines that can test footwear in an accelerated manner to simulate how shoes wear in order to produce an optimized product. The shoe testing team is tasked with creating such a device that is capable of producing wear on a shoe.
  • Simulated EKG for Nursing Students
    This design attempts to mimic a real EKG machine. Nursing students at Nazareth College do not have access to an EKG machine but are expected to be familiar with its applications after graduation. Medical grade EKG machines are costly. A simulated EKG machine will provide firsthand experience to nursing students, but at a much lower cost. By creating different models and testing them, the team was able to create a successful design.
  • Space Based Mirror Design and Optimization
    A mounted secondary mirror of space telescope is designed to optimize wavefront error, mass, and dynamic response for launch survival and on-orbit performance. Additionally, the mirror’s behavior during launch, deployment, and operation in near subzero temperatures is analyzed.
  • Strong
    The Strong Team created a rotational table top attachment to allow the radiology team at Strong Memorial Hospital to better preform full body irradiation therapy to patients.
  • The Human Powered Vehicle Challenge
    The Human Powered Vehicle Challenge (HPVC) is a competition that is part of the annual American Society of Mechanical Engineer’s (ASME) E-fest. This competition requires that teams from various universities design a vehicle for safe, reliable, and efficient human powered transportation. The teams come together and race their vehicles in an endurance race and a drag race, as well as present their design to the HPVC judges.
  • Thermal Energy Storage -MicroEra Capstone Project
    MicroEra is a heat energy storage company that has had reduced efficiency in their storage tanks due to phase separation of phase change materials. Our project aims to improve the efficiency by adding a mixing system to the heat storage units.
  • Tow Tank
    Physical experimentation is crucial to grasping a deeper understanding of fluid dynamics. Our team is working to provide the Mechanical Engineering department a solution via designing, analyzing, and building a transportable tow tank structure for students’ use.
  • Turing Machine
    Modern mechanical engineers utilize computers but do not fully understand how the computer performs its computations. Understanding the fundamentals will give them a better understanding to the limitation of traditional computing. To address this gap between functionality and understanding, we built a 4ft by 6ft physical 3-bit adder to blow up the tiny processes that go on inside of a computer. Using a system of logic gates, where marbles act as inputs and outputs, our machine is able to add numbers 7 and below to each other and produce an output in binary.
  • Ugandan Water Project
    The main goal of this project is to build, assemble, and successfully test an accelerated testing machine for the India Mark II. In the India Mark II pump, the water gaskets wore off frequently during the pumping of water and needed frequent replacement which proved costly. To counter the problem, the project below proposes an accelerated testing machine composed of a slider-crank mechanism. The mechanism incorporated a flywheel driven by a motor that ensures continuous harmonic motion that replicates pumping mechanisms in the field. The mechanism was designed, simulated and a finite element analysis carried out in CAD software. These are covered in the report along with testing results and recommendations provided for improvement of future designs.​
  • Water Tow Tank
    Tow Tank devices are used in testing boat and aerodynamic models for things like aerodynamic drag and lift. These devices typically cost around $20,000 which is the reason not every school has access to such a device. Here in the University of Rochester, we don’t have our own tow tank device, but we do have a swimming pool, and a passion for solving problems. In this post, we are showcasing our prototype for a tow tank that can be assembled and used in the gym swimming pool. The cost of the prototype and the completed final device is less than $1000!