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The sound of Mason Unton's tennis shoes scampering down the hallway of his elementary school was music to the ears of his parents and the three senior biomedical engineering students that designed a device to assist his walking movement.
   The 6-year-old boy has spastic cerebral palsy, which limits movement of his right hand and both of his legs. He spent his first days on life support, and physicians didn't give much hope for a long-term prognosis. His mother's wish was for Mason to someday return her loving smiles.
   Mason's parents, Chris and Kristy Unton, approached Rose-Hulman for help in updating a juvenile assistive 
walking device that would support their child's continued physical development. It will also allow Mason to join friends playing sports.
   "He's advancing every day, and this device will give him more independence," says Chris (CS, 2002). "The fact that my college is helping my son makes this even more special."
   Seniors Aaron Kiraly, Jordan Oja, and Geoff Schau spent considerable time getting to know Mason and his parents. Special requests included a seat, hand brakes, and something green, Mason's favorite color.
    From there, the students studied video of Mason's movements. They 
examined physical tolerances, taking into account that Mason is an energetic boy. Finally, they created a prototype with numerous hand-crafted parts.
   "This is about as hands-on as a project can get," says Schau.
   The walking device was one of several biomedical engineering capstone design projects students completed this academic year for personal or corporate clients.
   "We really believe that students get a lot out of doing real projects for real people," says Kay C Dee, Ph.D., co-instructor of the biomedical engineering design course.

Revitalizing Gary Neighborhood

   Four civil engineering students have helped alumnus Tony Broadnax (CE, 1989) take a step closer to revitalizing a neighborhood in his Gary, Indiana, hometown by creating a livable community to work, live, and play.
   A community planning report supports the proposed development project by highlighting its impact on community resources. The students examined major characteristics of city planning that included the potential cost of separating storm and sanitary sewer systems, and a traffic study that would improve public access from the Emerson neighborhood to the U.S. Steel Yard Baseball Stadium.
   "This is a new initiative and there were a lot of problems," Broadnax told The Times of Northwest Indiana about the ambitious plans for his old neighborhood. He estimates it will be a five- to eight-year project. "The students did very high-quality work," he adds.
   The project was an ideal, real-world experience for the students. 
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Being able to help an alumnus was another benefit.
   "This is exactly what civil engineering is-making an impact on people's lives," says senior James Ricci.
   Other students involved in the project were Kelli Phillips, Jim Schuler, and Joseph Wright.
Blue Ribbon Environment Project
    A team of four senior mechanical engineering students received the Judge's Choice Award for best design paper in the 22nd IEE/WERC Environmental Design Contest this spring at New Mexico State University. One of the team members, Hannah Chapin-Eppert, earned the Terry McManus Memorial Award for demonstrating a personal drive for environmental excellence.
   The students took on the challenge of designing a system that utilizes running industrial wastewater to create between 10 and 18 kilowatts through hydroelectric power. The system has a payback period of 4.6 years. A design model allowed the team to showcase concepts involving the turbine wheel and generator.
   "We were clearly focused on developing a sustainable project," says team member Morgan Lopez.
   Chapin-Eppert is ready for a career in sustainable engineering after tailoring her course electives in areas of sustainable energy systems, renewable energy, and wind turbines.
   Other members of the award-winning team were Robert Cartwright and Keith Kelley II.
 

There's an App for Campus
   Computer science and software engineering students have developed a mobile application for campus that will allow visitors, students, faculty, staff, and alumni to view an interactive map with the ability to explore any building. The project earned this year's Doc Criss Outstanding Senior Project Award.

   "We're opening the campus to other worlds through technology," says Kevin Wells. He joined Scott Glowski, James Theis, and Bryan Watts on the project. Page Square