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BYU students perform well at international conference

Student teams from BYU won several awards at the ASME Mechanisms & Robotics Conference in Washington, D.C., August 28-31, 2011.

Graduate students Sam Wilding and Holly Greenberg received 1st place in the Graduate Division of the 2011 ASME International Student Mechanisms Design competition, and Greg Teichert won 2nd place. A team of undergraduates received 2nd place in the Undergraduate Division of the same contest.

Wilding and Greenberg received 1st place in the Graduate Division for their paper, “The Lens LiftTM: A Novel Lamina Emergent Mechanism.” The paper presented a compliant mechanism that integrates into disposable contact lens packages. It allows easier access to the lens by lifting the lens out of the blister pack, so that the user only has to touch the lens once and it is ready to be put in the eye.

“I have enjoyed working with such talented and motivated students,” commented Dr. Larry Howell, faculty advisor to Wilding and Greenberg. “Holly and Sam represented BYU very well in the quality of their work and their performance in the contest.” Dr. Spencer Magleby also advised the team.

Greg Teichert won 2nd place in the Graduate Division for his paper, “Single-Degree-of-Freedom Spatial Mechanisms for Cell Restraint.” Dr. Brian Jensen was his faculty advisor.

“The project was a microelectromechanical (MEMS) system that can be used to capture and hold a cell in place while it is being injected with DNA,” said Teichert. “It was designed to be easy to use but also provide a high level of support to the cell.” Perhaps the most innovative part of the project was creating a new type of spatial kinematic mechanism, which he used in the cell restraint device. Teichert was able to have the mechanism fabricated, and it was tested using mouse egg cells (about 80 microns in diameter) here at BYU.

An undergraduate team consisting of Landen Bowen, Devin LeBaron, and Avinesh Ojha received 2nd place in the Undergraduate Division for their paper, “Compliant Constant-Force Exercise Machine.” Their faculty advisors were Spencer Magleby and Larry Howell.

The ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conference (IDETC) is the flagship international meeting for Design Engineering and includes thirteen different conferences as well as committee meetings and workshops. The Student Mechanism and Robot Design Competition is held as part of this annual conference.

This competition is an excellent opportunity for both undergraduate and graduate students to showcase their talents and abilities in front of respected world-renowned experts in mechanism design from both academia and industry. Submissions are judged on the basis of creativity, practicality, integrity of analysis and design methodology, and quality of a fabricated prototype and a final report. Winners of the competition were recognized at the Mechanisms and Robotics Luncheon at IDETC 2011 and presented with awards, which included both cash and software prizes.