For first year engineering students in Engineering Design (ENGG 016), the final project of the semester was a hole-in-one, literally.
Under the guidance of Dr. Lynn Albers, assistant professor of engineering, students constructed tabletop miniature golf holes incorporating a custom-made water pump designed to create a moving water obstacle.
Students were divided into teams of four and had to create putters and golf balls to scale using a 3D printer. As an added challenge, their golf hole design had to reflect their Hofstra Pride.
Their research included visiting a local miniature golf course to measure hole lengths and widths, obstacle heights, the diameter and weight of a golf ball, and the length, shape, and size of a putter.
Mechanical engineering major William King ’21 created a miniature golf course that included a 3D-printed replica of Axinn Library, Hofstra tulips and a lion.
“This experience taught me a lot about time management and how – in order to be thorough in engineering, you need to build, test and iterate designs in order to achieve your final goal,” King said.
“I wanted to teach the engineering design cycle in a fun and interactive way while introducing first year students to human and physical resources in the engineering department,” said Dr. Albers. “I also wanted to demonstrate that engineering projects take planning, time management and collaboration.”
During phase one of the design project, students worked in pairs to fabricate and test a centrifugal water pump which provided hands-on experience developing workshop skills such as milling, drilling, tapping, soldering, and electrical wiring while teaching students critical lab safety skills. Testing the pump taught the students about pump efficiency, pump head (the height at which a pump can raise water up), and conservation of energy.
Each team documented their methodology in a journal and presented their work in a final poster.
“This course was all about firsts,” Dr. Albers said. “For many students this was their first time working in the machine shop, using hand tools, laser cutting and 3D printing. It was also their first time creating professional posters, journals, learning time management, and working on a design team which are all essential skills for practicing engineers.”