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
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.”