MSU Engineers Celebrating Design Day Friday

EAST LANSING — From solar hot dog cookers to a baby blanket that treats jaundice, ingenuity and innovation will be on display in the 25th anniversary edition of the Michigan State University College of Engineering Design Day Friday, April 25.

More than 600 students will be showing off their engineering skills in crowded hallways of the cavernous MSU Engineering building at 428 S. Shaw Lane in East Lansing.

“Design Day, without fail, is one of the most important and most popular days here in our College of Engineering,” said Leo Kempel, acting dean of the college. “It’s where we can see the valuable lessons learned over four years by our students being applied with enthusiasm to innovative solutions in a real-world setting. It brings together students, faculty, and corporate partners in a way that is transformative for the student’s professional preparation. It’s creativity come alive, which is amazing to see and appreciate.”

Added Design Day Executive Director Wayne Dyksen: “Design is at the core of all our engineering programs, starting in the first week of class with our freshmen and culminating in the final semester with our seniors in their capstone project courses. The impact of our emphasis on creativity and design is evident throughout the Engineering Building on Design Day.”

Moer than 150 teams with a wide range of projects will be showing off. Included:

* A biosystems engineering team created a wearable treatment for infant jaundice, a disease found in 60 percent of all newborns. The prototype of their device breaks down bilirubin molecules while the baby is in the loving arms of its mother instead of being isolated in an incubator.

* Civil and environmental engineering students created a plan for a mixed-use residential and commercial site linking campus with East Lansing and nearby Meridian Township. The plan maximizes green space and offers pedestrian and bicycle access to campus while protecting as many existing trees and wetlands as possible.

* An electrical engineering team created a refreshable 3D Braille Display that helps corrects the usability gap when 3D images are required in calculus or map use. Their device features a 64×64 pin matrix display that is adjustable up to one inch, so hands can feel a 3D pin matrix display. It provides a more immersive learning experience for those using Braille.

* Teams from the EGR 100 Introduction to Engineering Design course created several assistive tools for the MSU Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities, including an accessible MSU campus map.

Design Day will also feature capstone projects solving real-world problems for 43 companies, 36 of which are Michigan-based.

Design Day also reaches out to younger students, with 150 students in grades 7-12 from six area schools scheduled to visit the event.

For more information, there’s a Design Day video at, and the Design Day Book with project descriptions is available at

Design Day was initiated in 1994 by the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Today it includes all of MSU’s 10 undergraduate degree programs.

Design Day award ceremonies are scheduled for 1:15 p.m. Friday in 1281 Anthony Hall, located on the east end of the Engineering Building.

This semester’s Design Day sponsors include General Motors, MSU Federal Credit Union, Auto-Owners Insurance, Bosch, Dow, Meijer, Nielsen, Urban Science and Whirlpool.

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