ECE Teams Earn Top Spots at Fall Capstone Design Expo Including Best Overall Project
The days of four-legged scavengers freely rummaging in back-alley dumpsters for their next meal may be numbered, thanks to a team of sustainability-focused and entrepreneurial-driven students in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). The team, Racoon Eyes, which tackles the growing issue of food waste in college dining halls, won the Best Overall Project Award at the Fall 2022 Capstone Design Expo on Dec. 5 in McCamish Pavilion.
The trash can system developed by Team Raccoon Eyes helps reduce food waste by pairing vision, graphics, and natural language processing technology with behavioral psychology research. When students go to throw away their leftover food in the dining hall, the system scans their plate and identifies the volume of food being discarded. The technology then announces the carbon impact of the wasted food.
“Our project is really about reducing waste at the source by improving food quality, helping with portion sizes, and making students more aware of what they’re actually throwing away,” said Ivan Zou, a computer engineering major and member of Team Raccoon Eyes.
The team was one of 19 ECE teams that participated in the Fall 2022 Senior Design Expo. Each semester the Design Expo showcases Georgia Tech’s graduating seniors as they present innovative projects designed and built during the Capstone Design Course. Students work in teams to solve an industry problem and develop innovative tools to assist researchers.
ECE projects spanned the breadth of the School’s research focus areas with innovative applications in fields like medicine, music, and hospitality, just to name a few. All ECE projects can be viewed by selecting the School’s name in the “project major” tab on the Capstone Projects webpage.
“This semester’s Capstone Expo truly showcased the boundless potential of what ECE students can do in a team setting,” said Arijit Raychowdhury, the Steve W. Chaddick School Chair. “Few things can mimic the real-world engineering design process and group dynamics inherent in all large-scale projects like Capstone. I’m incredibly proud of our ECE seniors for rising to their respective challenges through genuine creativity and problem solving.”
Raccoon Eyes wasn’t the only team comprised of ECE students to receive an award at the Fall Design Expo. Team Block Transfer, sponsored by CREATE-X, took home the ECE disciplinary award. The project keeps track of book-entry stock shares directly on the blockchain — a distributed database or ledger that is shared among the nodes of a computer network. The technology allows investors to transfer assets to each other directly without the significant paperwork dictated by a central transfer agent which floods the current process.
Additionally, Team Materials, sponsored by YKK Inc, earned this semester’s interdisciplinary award. The team, comprised of students in ECE and the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, developed a device which automates the separation of bundles of fabric to ready a swatch for feeding into a sewing machine — a problem that zipper-maker YKK has been trying to solve for years.
The Fall 2022 Capstone Expo featured 110 teams across seven schools in the Colleges of Engineering, Computing, and Design. As one of largest student design competitions of its kind, Capstone attracts an array of industry and governmental sponsors. This year’s sponsors included American Airlines, Atlanta Braves, the Coca-Cola Company, Cox Communications, and more.
ECE Fall Capstone Design Expo Award Winners
Best Overall Project Award – Raccoon Eyes
- Abhipsa Ujwal (CmpE) - Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
- Ivan Zou (CmpE) - Grafton, MA
- Nathanael Koh (CmpE) - Crystal Lake, IL
- Phuc Truong (EE) Warner Robins, GA
ECE Disciplinary Award – Block Transfer, sponsored by CREATE-X
- John Wooten (CmpE) - Charlotte, NC
- Luke Rutherford (ME) - Haddock, GA
- Nipun Chhajed (CS) - Bellevue, WA
- Rahul Sunkara (CmpE) - Newnan, GA
- Zeman Li (CmpE) - Shenzhen, China
Interdisciplinary Award – Materials, sponsored by YKK (USA) Inc
- Bonnie Brownlee, (ME) - Marietta, GA
- Kendrick Dang (EE) - Dacula, GA
- Tudor Hadade (ME) - Loganville, GA
- Floyd Horton (ME) - Sandersville, GA
- Charu Malhotra (CmpE) – India
- Zachary Nease (ME) - Savannah, GA
- Lydia Stanford (ME) - Brooklyn, NY