PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Some of Carnegie Mellon University’s best and brightest showed off their work at the Senior Design Expo on Monday.

Each group was made up of senior engineering students who designed and developed a consumer product from start to finish.

“All of the engineering graduates have technical experience. What we want to make sure is that in addition to the technical experience that they can be competitive internationally by not just knowing how to do the engineering job, but also knowing how to think through being innovative,” CMU Professor Jeremy Michalek said.

The seniors came up with all sorts of projects, such as an emergency light for the car. There was also a compact cane for the blind that can detect obstacles.

“We designed an accessory for bike lights that would attach to a current bike light and then allow the user to rotate their bike light left or right to see around turns or to not blind other bikers as they pass,” Patrick Hogan said.

If you travel a lot, you may be especially interested in one group’s project. They came up with a way to suck the air out of a suitcase to allow people to pack even more.

“During the semester, with job interviews, we’ve traveled to different airports and we’ve interviewed people and we’ve sent out surveys and really maximizing your packing capacity is really want people want,” Evan Gates said.

They were able to do that using a vacuum pump that was placed into the handle of a suitcase.

No matter what the invention, there is no doubt the experience will be valuable to the students in the future.

“The biggest achievement we made was learning how to work as a team, assigning tasks and meeting deadlines, which is probably one of the hardest things,” Gates said.


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