NIU’s engineering students show off finished products at Demo Day


Northern Illinois University engineering students celebrated their accomplishments at Demo Day.

The senior design program allows them to present products they created that can be commercialized or put into practical use. 

Northern Illinois University engineering students filled the floor of the Convocation Center for Senior Design Demonstration Day.

Javier Sereno and his group developed an automated golf ball packaging system .

“In class, you learn theories and you  learn about a lot of things,” Sereno said. “This was a lot of hands on experience. I think that’s  the best way to learn is hands on and actually going through something like this.” 

Michael Solorzano and his team came up with a smart bag to ease the process of going through security checks. 

“It’s normally opaque and then when you hit a button it goes transparent,” Solorzano said. “That way you don’t have to dump the bag out to look at everything.” 

Demonstration Day gives students a chance to show off what they’re capable of, from the research and design stage to developing the final product.

“In terms of being able to handle real challenges to our students and our students successfully accomplishing those challenges for those companies, guess what happens next,” Donald Peterson, Dean and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, said. “Those companies hire those students.” 

That’s exactly what happened for Chad Springer. His team’s project on improving power conversion efficiency for electric aircraft was sponsored by Collins Aerospace in Rockford.

“It’s an awesome opportunity,” Springer said. “It’s an awesome time because we are transitioning from a fuel based aircraft into an electric aircraft and that’s what our niche is.” 

Springer then said, “They’re building an electric propulsion lab that’s completely dedicated to this sector of work so it’s a perfect time to get into it,” 

In all, 78 teams of engineering majors demonstrated their projects at this years event. 

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