ENGS 21 Projects, Fall 2007

Problem Statement

Dartmouth College Engineering Foundation (DCEF) is looking for proposals for innovative devices that will lead to improvements in one of two fields:

  • energy efficiency and conservation
  • improvement in the quality of life of children

The DCEF has a broad perspective and will consider proposals in a wide variety of areas; therefore, the field in its broadest context should be considered.

Team Process

Each team defined a problem in one of the two areas and determined the magnitude of the problem. Using Thayer School's signature problem-solving cycle, the team

  • defined a set of specifications to be met
  • generated a set of alternative approaches
  • used a problem-solving matrix to select the best approach to a solution

Teams further used the problem-solving cycle to refine the solution and to determine the best materials for building a prototype.

During the 10-week term, each team:

  • developed and tested a prototype device
  • developed a venture proposal
  • presented the prototype and proposal to a professional review board

Final reviews were held on December 3 and 4, 2007


  • The Bedwetter's Friends - Absorbent brief with moisture sensing alarm to modify child behavior and ensure easy clean-up.
  • Can Busters - Can vacuum transport for Greek houses to ensure cans are recycled
  • The Efficient Window Patrol - Inexpensive, insulated, automatic shade to eliminate heat loss through windows.
  • Automatic Deployed Flotation Belt - Device that senses surfer submersion and deploys to prevent drowning.
  • Bicycle Helmet Safety - Device that ensures bicycle helmet use before bicycle can be ridden.
  • Power Supply Energy Savers - A power supply that eliminates energy loss when it is not in use.
  • The Strong Swimmers - A drown-proof device for infants and toddlers for use in the bathtub.
  • Cool Runnings - A retrofitted, automated, fridge door closing device with alarm.
  • Cycling Minds - A device to reinforce proper front brake usage and prevent over-the-handlebars flipping.
  • The Group of 3 - Ratcheting system for use in child seat installation.
  • The School Bus Incident - Creating modular textbooks to eliminate the weight of backpacks.
  • Team Rumble Mat - A vibrating mat that is more effective in waking college students than alarm clocks.

Course Instructor

  • Professor John Collier

Student TAs

  • Lauren Cecere
  • Tim Monahan
  • Laura Weyl
  • Andrew Herchek
  • Anders Wood
  • Zoe Acher
  • Margaret Martei
  • Jessica Kahn

DCEF Review Board

  • Kevin Baron, machine shop manager and instructor
  • John Collier, professor and course director
  • John Currier, research engineer
  • Doug Fraser, research engineer
  • Kimberly Lyford, research associate
  • Peter Robbie, associate professor and lecturer
  • Holly Wilkinson, director Career Services
  • Doug Van Citters, research engineer