Lake Superior State University
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Alum Success

“The material covered in LSSU's engineering program provided me a solid foundation for graduate studies. The systematic approach and communication skills needed to tackle engineering projects were taught and then practiced over and over again. In particular I appreciate the many hours spent by the faculty to develop oral presentation skills in each student. As a graduate student now, these skills have proven to be highly beneficial and, to my surprise, obviously not taught to the same extent at many other universities.”

Mark Reese, Mechanical Engineering 2005
Hawaii Natural Energy Institute
School of Ocean & Earth Science and Technology
Graduate Student, University of Hawaii at Manoa

School of Engineering & Technology

Senior Projects 2013-2014

Team RAS

RAS logo

From left to right: Karl Larsen, Randy Gee, Kevin Danhof, Levi Marchetti, and Taylor Heath

Team RAS: Railway Automation Solutions

Members:

  • Kevin Danhof, EE
  • Randy Gee, EET
  • Taylor Heath, ME
  • Karl Larsen, ME
  • Levi Marchetti, CpE

Faculty Advisor:

  • Jon Coullard

Company:

  • Pre-tec, Eugene, Oregon

Industrial Customer:

  • Jeff Johnston

Project Description: Team Railway Automation Solutions (RAS) is tasked with designing an automated process for dispensing SpikeFast, a polyurethane based product, into spike holes on wooden railroad ties.  This project is sponsored by Pre-Tec, a division of the Willamette Valley Company, which is based in Eugene, Oregon and is an industry leader in designing and manufacturing automated solutions.

Spike-Fast application device

Over time, the spikes which are used to secure the rails to the railroad ties become loose and can allow the rails to shift which may lead to train derailment. The current solution is to manually insert SpikeFast into the worn spike holes. When cured, SpikeFast mimics the properties of hardwood and allows for a spike to be driven back securely into the original hole.

Team RAS will simulate the automation of this process in a laboratory setting using wooden blocks mounted on a continuous conveyor system.  A SmartVision camera will locate spike holes on the blocks as they pass, and a robot utilizing custom end of arm tooling will dispense SpikeFast into the holes.  The major challenge associated with this project is the need to perform this process while the conveyor is in motion as well as the need to maintain the strict speed requirement of 22 ties per minute.

 

 

 

Links to the 2013-14 Senior Project Teams:

Fourth Place

Pick-up Trucks and Aerodynamic Drag CFD Analysis Presentation by senior Robert Camp based on research work done with Dr. Mokhtar during summer 2008.

An engineer, like all professionals, must possess a well-developed ability to communicate, both orally and in writing. This competition is designed to emphasize the value of an ability to deliver oral presentations.

Apply Today!

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