Kennesaw State Mechatronics Students Gain Hands-On Experience During Senior Design Project
KENNESAW, Georgia (December 20, 2021) – Sounds of robotic arms and hissing and swirling conveyor belts filled the room as four mechatronic engineering students from Kennesaw State University recently worked with an industry partner to design a better beverage bottling process.
“Most of the semester we worked on a virtual simulation of a robot,” said Eric Oldfield, director of KSU. “Now we have the chance to work with real material. It’s great to get hands-on experience in an industrial environment.
Oldfield and three other students from Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology worked on a project that includes integrating a robot with a SuperTrak, an innovative conveyor belt that uses magnets, at B&R Industrial Automation, an international technology d automation and control of company processes with a facility in Roswell. The project simulates a bottle filling application where empty bottles are loaded onto a lane and full bottles are loaded off the lane and placed in a specific area.
“The students needed to create a senior design project, and we wanted to find a way to give them experience with new technology,” said Connor Trostel, solutions architect at B&R, graduate of Southern Polytechnic State University, now KSU. “We gave the students access to our SuperTrak linear transportation system, and they schedule the shuttles to travel to individual locations. ”
The students, who must complete a senior design project before graduation, spent the first half of the fall semester designing a virtual version of the robot and were able to use the physical prototype at B&R facilities in Roswell.
The partnership with B&R Industrial Automation has given seniors in the State of Kennesaw hands-on experience with innovative technologies, as well as networking opportunities and employment opportunities.
“It’s great to have a relationship with Kennesaw State University,” Trostel said. “This has given us high quality candidates for several positions. ”
Oldfield, who completed an internship with the company over the summer, has received a job offer from B&R and will start working full time with the company in January.
“I’ve learned a lot from Connor and others here at B&R, particularly on how to work with other engineers and set reasonable goals,” Oldfield said. “I am delighted to be joining B&R full time in a few weeks. ”
B&R worked with a senior design project last summer, but due to the pandemic, students were unable to tour the facility. Trostel was delighted to implement the aspect in person this fall.
“Academia is a great place to learn the concepts of mechatronics,” he said. “The industry framework shows how the topics you learn in the classroom can be applied to the real world. ”
For Macey Hurst senior, who also received a job offer from B&R, the skills taught in the classroom helped prepare her for working in an industrial environment.
“The professors and their classes at Kennesaw State really taught me how to connect with a team of engineers and make big projects more achievable,” said Hurst. “The research opportunities at KSU and the ability to work with an industry partner on our senior design project has been wonderful. ”
– O’Brien Barrows Abbey
Photos provided by B&R Industrial Automation
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two Atlanta metro campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the Georgia university system. The university’s vibrant culture, diverse population, strong global ties, and entrepreneurial spirit attract students from across the country and around the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral (R2) research institute, which places it among an elite group of only 6% of US colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.