ENGS 21 Projects, Fall 2009

Problem Statement

Dartmouth College Engineering Foundation (DCEF) is looking for proposals for innovative devices that will lead to improvements in the quality of life.

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 this area 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 November 30 and December 1, 2009


  • Chair Masters - Enables manual wheelchair users to navigate sets of 2-4 stairs
  • Clipless Barbell - Clipless barbell design that reduces weight lifting injuries
  • Dura-Ball - A rubber-and-foam soccer ball alternative that does not rely on air, and is therefore resistant to puncture
  • Easy Dreamers - Alarm clock that focuses sound to wake a person up with minimal disturbance to their roommate
  • Food @ Now - Monitors wait time of food lines at various Dartmouth dining facilities and notifies students of the current line length
  • Helmet Heads - Reducing child head injuries by making helmets more attractive to wear
  • Junk Enterprises - Altering a light switch in order for it to be operated remotely
  • Stroller Group - Affordable, safe stroller with ability to maneuver stairs
  • Team DARE - A system to eliminate the fogging of a firefighter's mask
  • The Illuminati - Device to control light switches through a remote method
  • The KayakAirs - A floating snorkel device to aid novice kayakers when learning the Eskimo roll
  • The Navigators - Infrared device to aid the blind's orientation more independently
  • The Players - Quick solution for fixing flat inner bicycle tubes
  • The Wee Skis - Expandable alpine skis to fit children ages 2 - 8
  • Toastease - Creating a more energy efficient conveyor belt toaster

Course Instructor

  • Professor John Collier

DCEF Review Board

  • John Collier, professor and course director
  • Peter Robbie, associate professor and senior lecturer
  • Kevin Baron, machine shop manager and instructor
  • John Currier, research engineer
  • Douglas Fraser, research engineer
  • Jennifer Huot, M.S. candidate