Redesign of Pecan Cracking Machine Wins Capstone Design Expo

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Nuttin' But Trouble, a redesign of the industrial pecan cracking machine, earned the top prize at the Spring 2013 Capstone Design Expo. It was the largest expo to date with 137 teams showcasing their inventions and innovations in Georgia Tech's McCamish Pavilion on April 25.

Sponsored by the Harrell Nut Company, the Nuttin' But Trouble team of mechanical engineering students Michael Jacobs, Jonathan Kuo, Jignesh Patel, Sam Eden, Eric Shults, and Matt O’Donnell took home $2,000 along with bragging rights as best overall project. 

The Capstone Design Expo is the culmination of many engineering majors' undergraduate careers. Students from multiple disciplines including mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, aerospace engineering, electrical and computer engineering, and industrial design from the College of Architecture work in either mono- or interdisciplinary teams to develop various prototypes for real-world applications. Both industry and campus created projects were designed and developed by about 650 graduating seniors, nearly double the participants in last semester’s expo.

An exciting part of the night was the live texting for the People’s Choice awards, whose results were updated in real time on the McCamish Pavilion jumbotron. Two teams were winners in the minds of the attendees, Spine Space, a biomedical engineering team who developed a vertebral body implant, and Breaking Ground, an interdisciplinary team of both mechanical engineering and industrial design students who developed reliable, affordable and effective tools suitable for small scale, intensive farming with a focus on the use by refugee farmers.

School Chairs lined up to present discipline awards for top projects in each discipline. Team Fooore was awarded Top Mechanical Engineering Project and was one of the many teams sponsored by John Deere this semester. The company provided the teams with the production version of its automated lawn mowers and challenged the students to come up with a novel application for the mower while adding enhanced intelligence to the entire system. Team Fooore upgraded the Tango E5 Lawn Mower to include an intelligent navigation strategy and golf ball collection for use at driving ranges. Below is a list of all winners from the expo.

Spring 2013 Capstone Design Expo Winners:

Best Overall – Nuttin’ But Trouble
Michael Jacobs
Jonathan Kuo
Jignesh Patel
Sam Eden
Eric Shults
Matt O’Donnell

People's Choice (mono-disciplinary/Biomedical Engineering) – Spine Space
Chelsea Fechter
Olivia Steele
Eric Ambrose
Brett Rogers
Juliet Jacobson

People’s Choice (interdisciplinary/Industrial Design/Biomedical Engineering) - Breaking Ground

Chris Chapman
Christina Lee
Lucy Mitchell
Sam Redding
Larissa Sanford
Lauren Young

Discipline Awards
Top Mechanical Engineering Project – Team Fooore
Tara Trostel
Wale Odukomaiya
Seth Austin
David Perkins
Dalton Hampton
Carson Banov

Biomedical Engineering - Visioneers
Yazdin Raji
Justin Yang
Sina Mostaghimi
Kinza Shekhani

Aerospace Engineering – Maximum Capacitance
Michael Hodgson
Parker Vasick
Benjamin Bitoun
Addison Hern
David Diaz
Stephen Fialko
Jeff Brenna
Bobby Barrett
Michael Steinfeld

Electrical and Computer Engineering – Follow-Me-Heli
Matt Baxter
Penyen Chi
Sam Elia
Neil Patel
Chris Stolz

Industrial Design – Helter Shelter
Renee Barron
Rae Luetschwager
Hassan Saeed
Aaron Kranc
Emily Gooding
Yisha Zhou



  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Liz Klipp
  • Created:04/26/2013
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016