Design Matters

Recorded five-minute presentations for the Undergraduate Scholarly Showcase in Category B: Design Matters, Projects B-01 through B-12.

Reviewers: Link to Evaluation Form


B-01: An Application to Display Information About Stocks

Frank Mularcik, Computer Engineering
Peter Stedman, Computer Science
Project Advisor: Dr. Gautam Pillay
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In early January 2021, share prices for the videogame retailer GameStop ($GME) rose astronomically despite the company's falling economic fortunes.  As the event continued, attention was pointed towards the users of the website Reddit's child forum WallStreetBets, raising questions about the effect of internet communities on the stock market and the economy.  Noticing this media and economic phenomena, we wanted to use our knowledge of software development to investigate the website. In this project, we made a proof-of-concept desktop Python desktop application with Tkinter that can call up information about stocks mentioned on the forum. When a user enters a stock into the search box, our app uses several internet Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to provide links to reddit articles that mentions that stock as well as other pertinent information about the stock in order. We hope that this shows the possibilities offered by knowledge of the software and internet ecosystem to curate information and present it in a more accessible way.


B-02: Crosley's Concrete Conundrum: The Application of Sustainable Demolition Techniques on UC's Crosley Tower (Group 1)

Oscar Cronin, Electrical Engineering
Joseph Cortas, Civil Engineeringineering
Project Advisor: Dr. Gregory Bucks
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Demolition, a subset of the larger construction industry, is a line of work which responds directly to the consumer market as dictated by project costs. Recent trends in both government policy and individual awareness have led to an increasingly large subset of demolition focused on sustainability and reuse of demolished materials. Although there exists a positive national trend, the extent to which these deconstruction methods are employed vary widely from region to region as local consumer markets dictate. The Ohio River Valley Region represents a more flexible market with both traditional and sustainable demolition practices. Therefore, as the University of Cincinnati considers the demolition of Crosley Tower, a large cast-in-place concrete structure housing biology and chemistry labs, our research team sought to determine the best deconstruction method by means of cost-benefit analysis through a literature case study, interviews with experts, and a campus population survey to ultimately decide if sustainable demolition is right for Crosley Tower and the university.


B-03: Crosley's Concrete Conundrum: The Application of Sustainable Demolition Techniques on UC's Crosley Tower (Group 2)

Samuel Haga, Mechanical Engineering
Mohammed Fawwaaz, Computer Engineering
Project Advisor: Dr. Gregory Bucks
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Demolition, a subset of the larger construction industry, is a line of work which responds directly to the consumer market as dictated by project costs. Recent trends in both government policy and individual awareness have led to an increasingly large subset of demolition focused on sustainability and reuse of demolished materials. Although there exists a positive national trend, the extent to which these deconstruction methods are employed vary widely from region to region as local consumer markets dictate. The Ohio River Valley Region represents a more flexible market with both traditional and sustainable demolition practices. Therefore, as the University of Cincinnati considers the demolition of Crosley Tower, a large cast-in-place concrete structure housing biology and chemistry labs, our research team sought to determine the best deconstruction method by means of cost-benefit analysis through a literature case study, interviews with experts, and a campus population survey to ultimately decide if sustainable demolition is right for Crosley Tower and the university.


B-04: Virtual International Collaborative Experiential Program: Design of a Personal Learning Module for Remote Area

Catie Brutvan, Areospace Engineering
Natalia Lui, Computer Engineering
Stephen Awuku, Engineering Physics
Project Advisor: Dr. Cedrick Kwuimy
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A team of students from the University of Cincinnati and the University of Cape Coast in Ghana engaged in a Virtual International Collaborative Experiential Program (VICEP). The VICEP aims to develop students into global citizen scholars who will lead innovative efforts toward solving the world's complex problems.  The problem considered here consists of applying the principle of matrix together with LEDs to design a display device called LED matrix display coupled with audio output. The purpose of this project is to build this device that will help kids learn alphabet, number, and words. The hardware is designed using Raspberry Pi, and the system is programmed using Python. The presentation will be discussed issues related to international collaboration, and design. It will also showcase for a demonstration of the functionally of the device.


B-05: Virtual International Collaborative Experiential Program: Design of a Personal Safety Module for Remote Area

Cara Baah-Binney, Mechanical Engineering
Matthew Auger, Mechanical Engineering
Isabella Makafui, Engineerig Physics
Project Advisor: Dr. Cedrick Kwuimy
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A team of engineers from Bahir Dar, Cape Coast and Cincinnati is working collaboratively to develop a multi-functions personal device that can be used in a hostile environment. The device could be embedded in a robot and be used in regions of the world struck by natural disasters, or used in remote areas during exploration. The device has 3 functionalities: (i) Detect the presence of living organism (human or animals) (ii) Estimate their location, distance, and (iii) and alert system. The hardware is designed using Raspberry Pi, and the system is programmed using Python. The presentation will be discussed issues related to international collaboration, and design. It will also showcase for a demonstration of the functionally of the device.


B-06: Virtual International Collaborative Experiential Program: Design of a Personal Weather Station for Remote Area

Madilyn Coulson, Electrical Engineering
Selam Jemaneh, Engineeringineering Physics
Peter Abban, Engineering Physics
Project Advisor: Dr. Cedrick Kwuimy
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A team of engineers from Bahir Dar, Cape Coast and Cincinnati engaged in a Virtual International Collaborative Experiential Program to design a personal weather station. In a hostile environment, the device will be used as a weather station that determines if the surrounding air is safe for humans (air quality, temperature, humidity level and noise level). The hardware is designed using Raspberry Pi, and the system is programmed using Python. The presentation will be discussed issues related to international collaboration, and design. It will also showcase for a demonstration of the functionally of the device.


B-07: What Makes a Logo?: Evaluating Fortune 500 logos over time with Python Computer Vision (Group 1)

Gareth Fultz, Computer Science
Jon Frueh, Aerospace Engineeringineering
Project Advisor: Dr. Nora Honken
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Technology used in design increased during the late 1980s with new software being released for graphic design. This project investigated whether features and characteristics in logos of the Fortune 500 companies changed over time. The characteristics and features analyzed include colorfulness, amount of whitespace, individual red, green, and blue pixel values, the number and use of colors (as defined by hue rather than pixel values), the amount of simple black and white logos compared to color, the brightness of the logo, and color gradients used. The list of current Fortune 500 companies was obtained from Fortune.com, and the logos for these companies were obtained from an online logo encyclopedia, Logopedia. Python in conjunction with OpenCV, a programming library for computer vision, was used to obtain values for the characteristics and the features of the logos.  The data were analyzed in Excel using inferential statistics and data visualization. The analysis showed a lack of a noticeable difference in the logos, considering the advancement of technology and culture throughout the decades. There has been changes in logo design, but these changes represent a more gradual increase in traits such as the use of color, rather than a sudden shift due to a change in technology.


B-08: What Makes a Logo?: Evaluating Fortune 500 logos over time with Python Computer Vision (Group 2)

Prasana Ganesh, Computer Engineering
Nicholas Haehn, Electrical Engineeringineering
Project Advisor: Dr. Nora Honken
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Technology used in design increased during the late 1980s with new software being released for graphic design. This project investigated whether features and characteristics in logos of the Fortune 500 companies changed over time. The characteristics and features analyzed include colorfulness, amount of whitespace, individual red, green, and blue pixel values, the number and use of colors (as defined by hue rather than pixel values), the amount of simple black and white logos compared to color, the brightness of the logo, and color gradients used. The list of current Fortune 500 companies was obtained from Fortune.com, and the logos for these companies were obtained from an online logo encyclopedia, Logopedia. Python in conjunction with OpenCV, a programming library for computer vision, was used to obtain values for the characteristics and the features of the logos.  The data were analyzed in Excel using inferential statistics and data visualization. The analysis showed a lack of a noticeable difference in the logos, considering the advancement of technology and culture throughout the decades. There has been changes in logo design, but these changes represent a more gradual increase in traits such as the use of color, rather than a sudden shift due to a change in technology.


B-09: Exploration of Ways to Improve the Efficiency of Instrument Handling in the Operating Room During Microlaryngeal Surgery

Molly Heiser, Health Sciences
Lillian Lacey, Health Sciences
Anita Ney, Health Sciences
Project Advisor: Dr. Susan Kotowski
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Microlaryngeal surgery is a minimally invasive procedure used to biopsy or remove abnormal growths in the larynx. The goal of this project was to evaluate the efficiency of microlaryngeal surgery, particularly from the perspective of the handling of surgical instruments during procedures in the operating room. A three-prong approach was taken and included observation of surgical procedures, surveying of surgeons and surgical technicians, and development of a prototype instrument holder. During microlaryngeal surgery, the surgeon sits at the head of the patient with the surgical technician off to either their left or right. The majority of the time the surgeon is using both hands simultaneously. Based on observation in the operating room, instrumentation is passed back and forth frequently. Because of this set-up, instrumentation is sometimes passed over the top of the patient or from behind the surgeon. Inefficiencies in the handling process result as does an increased potential for dropping instruments and bumping the patient which can be detrimental. It is not feasible to have another surgical technician and instrument table on the other side of the patient due to space and cost issues, so having a smaller instrument holder on the opposite side of the patient was investigated to minimize passing instruments over the patients. A prototype instrument holder was designed to hold 3-4 of the most commonly used instruments, along with suction, and the laser. The survey was also utilized to determine the perceived inefficiencies and difficulties of instrument handling by both the surgeons and surgical technicians.


B-10: Medicinal Bottle Opener for those with Limited Hand Dexterity (Group 1: Cap-Removal and Housing)

Justin Wade, Mechanical Engineering
Nick Sands, Electrical Engineeringineering
Sarah Slattery, Environmental Engineering
Project Advisor: Dr. P.K. Imbrie
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During the spring 2021 semester, honors students Nick Sands, Sarah Slattery, Justin Wade, Emma Pauly, and Nicholas Schoenleb (with guidance by Dr. P.K. Imbrie) developed and prototyped a small household product to assist those with limited hand dexterity in opening pill bottles. While numerous innovations have been made in this area - namely the easy open lid design - the team thought there would still be a significant population of individuals who may benefit from further research. In this project, the team followed and documented the first four stages of the engineering design process. In the empathizing phase, the team discussed the needs of the stakeholders for this product, including: ease of use, portability, cost, the ability to open various bottle sizes, and childproofing. The team also contacted pharmacists and surveyed a large potential stakeholder population to guide their decision-making. In the define phase, the team created a functional block diagram to model the performance of the product, as well as a weighted design matrix to decide on a final product design. The ideation phase, largely integrated into the first two phases, included brainstorming product functions as well as creating concept designs to complete these functions. After these initial phases, the team began to prototype components using Solidworks and Siemens NX, and began 3D printing parts to create a basic prototype of the final design. This prototype model, as well as an animation of how the model works, are shown in the accompanying video presentations.


B-11: Medicinal Bottle Opener for those with Limited Hand Dexterity (Group 2: Securing Bottle)

Emma Pauly, Biomedical Engineering
Nicholas Schoenleb, Biomedical Engineeringineering
Project Advisor: Dr. P.K. Imbrie
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During the spring 2021 semester, honors students Nick Sands, Sarah Slattery, Justin Wade, Emma Pauly, and Nicholas Schoenleb (with guidance by Dr. P.K. Imbrie) developed and prototyped a small household product to assist those with limited hand dexterity in opening pill bottles. While numerous innovations have been made in this area - namely the easy open lid design - the team thought there would still be a significant population of individuals who may benefit from further research. In this project, the team followed and documented the first four stages of the engineering design process.

In the empathizing phase, the team discussed the needs of the stakeholders for this product, including: ease of use, portability, cost, the ability to open various bottle sizes, and childproofing. The team also contacted pharmacists and surveyed a large potential stakeholder population to guide their decision-making. In the define phase, the team created a functional block diagram to model the performance of the product, as well as a weighted design matrix to decide on a final product design. The ideation phase, largely integrated into the first two phases, included brainstorming product functions as well as creating concept designs to complete these functions. After these initial phases, the team began to prototype components using Solidworks and Siemens NX, and began 3D printing parts to create a basic prototype of the final design. This prototype model, as well as an animation of how the model works, are shown in the accompanying video presentations.


B-12: Where Fashion and Fiber Meet: The Missing Link

Grace Weir, Fashion Design
Project Advisor: Dr. Ashley Kubley
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As the fashion industry begins to see more clearly the effect they have on the environment, many designers are taking strides to become more sustainable in their production methods. While these efforts are important many fail to take into account the origins of the "eco-friendly" fiber options that brands are quickly adopting. Thus, placing less value on farming and equality for the stewards of our land. This research strives to examine the relationship between fashion designer and fiber farmer and the gaps that may exist.

During this study I have interviewed several experts in both fashion design and sustainable farming as well as reviewed several publications on the subject matter. With a clear gap between farmer and designer and often little to no direct communication between the two groups, I have focused on their interactions with each other as well as their interactions with fiber. This research has made clear that education and providing local connections can help close both the information and social gap that exists between the two groups. I am hoping to continue the research during the summer of 2021, by providing a program designed to connect fashion students to the origins of their textiles. Participants will get hands on experience in the planting, harvesting, processing, spinning and weaving of flax fiber to make linen. We are also hoping to provide opportunities for farmers in the area to come and speak about their experiences as well as provide volunteering opportunities to students on regional farms.