Engineering Projects

Title: Smart and Automatic Irrigation System using Wireless Sensor Network


Would you like to have a smarter (wireless-sensor driven) and automatic watering system? Supplies of good-quality water for agriculture are expected to decrease in several regions, including San Joaquin Valley, due to climate change. Hence, there is a need for a smart irrigation system that can save a lot of the water. This system would have the ability to apply water directly where it is needed, therefore saving water and energy and preventing excessive water runoff and leaching.

In this research project, students will learn how an irrigation system works and how to:

  • Use and program mechatronics: micro-sensors (e.g. soil moisture, solar radiation, air temperature and humidity) and micro-electronics
  • Develop a wireless sensor network
  • Develop and build a smart irrigation system: hardware (pump, valves etc.)  and software
  • Develop an automatic (Fuzzy logic) controller (the controller will automatically start the pump and predict the irrigation duration, based on sensor readings)

Title: Thermal properties of a solid material at room temperature

Knowledge of thermal properties of materials is essential for the successful engineering and design of nearly every area of industrial practice. Measuring thermal properties provides important information about the purity, composition, structure, and thermal tolerance of materials.  In this short-term summer project, we will determine the thermal properties of at least two different samples focusing particularly on the measurement of thermal conductivity, thermal expansion coefficient, and specific heat capacity of the materials. Thermal conductivity measures material’s ability to transfer heat, thermal expansion coefficient determines how the size of an object changes with a change in temperature, and specific heat describes the material’s ability to store heat energy. We will use a set of comprehensive apparatus of heat experiments for all measurements. This apparatus is well equipped with a control unit with the Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) control system and multiple display units for different parameters such as temperature, pressure, voltage, and current with high-precision timing units. The goal of this project is to have students learn to calibrate and use a modern device for room temperature characterization of different materials and analyze and present their results. With this project, students will be able to form a solid foundation for their long-term research goals in one of the most exciting and widespread fields of material science.

Title: Visual Demonstration of the Anatomy of Our Polluted Atmospheric-Air

Atmospheric-air polluting substances have negative impacts on life on Earth in different ways.  While some pollutants, such as CO2, are linked to global warming, other air polluting substances, contained within exhaust of engines and industrial plants, are linked to impaired human health conditions.  A true sense of the polluting substances and their level in the atmospheric air may lead members of communities to making environmentally friendly decisions in everyday lives.     

Participants in the REVS UP 2017 project will conduct research to learn about the most well-known atmospheric-air polluting substances and collaborate in a hands-on project to design and build a visualization set up to demonstrate the presence of different polluting substances in the atmospheric air at a real scale.