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Senior engineering design project makes UNM campus easier to navigate

June 23, 2015 - By Karen Wentworth

At the University of New Mexico, the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) senior design course is the last hurdle for ECE undergraduates before they complete their degree. Students must design and build a project in a team environment to specifications from a sponsor.

Teams frequently have commercial or private sponsors, which are interested in specific outcomes. This year ECE Lecturer Rich Compeau sponsored one team himself in order to get a smartphone app he thinks is long overdue on the UNM campus.

His team built a locator app so anyone on UNM’s sprawling campus can find their way without resorting to trying to see the tiny buildings on the paper maps the university currently supplies. ECE Senior Marcos Archuleta was the team project manager.

If you have an android smartphone you can download the application from Google Play for free, while iPhone users for the time being must make do with the UNM version of the campus map. The design team, which included Joseph Hilland, Shannon Gallagher, Brett Hayes and Thomas Lewis, say they still intend to complete a version for iPhone.

Each of the six departments in the School of Engineering traditionally hosts an end-of-the-year event for students to display their work. This year, Compeau combined the events for the first time into a Senior Design Expo hosted by the School of Engineering. Compeau says he wanted students to have the experience of presenting their projects to a larger audience of peers and interested visitors, and to share and interact with students in other engineering disciplines.

He also wanted corporate partners to understand what UNM engineering students can do.

The multidisciplinary version of senior design offered by the SOE in conjunction with the Honors College, and the Innovative Design Clinic will be offered as part of the Innovation Academy curriculum this fall.

Innovation scholars who are in the Honors College or majoring in engineering will be able to take them as part of their Innovation Academy programming and capstone requirement.