Design Day features bulletproof vest that calls for backup when officers can’t

Vanderbilt’s engineering seniors who spent this academic year addressing real-life design challenges will unveil their answers to those – from the disarmingly simple to the amazingly complicated – at Design Day on Monday, April 24.

Attended by hundreds of fellow engineering majors, professors and students from across campus, the event gives young engineers practice demonstrating devices and explaining their work to a broad audience. Because of increasing numbers of visitors each year, it’s held in the roomy Student Life Center ballroom.

The 70 projects will include:

  • A bulletproof vest that reads officers’ vital signs, senses blunt force impact and automatically radios a distress call for backup;
  • A redesigned football helmet that limits mild brain injuries by dissipating energy on impact through shock-absorbing material inside; and
  • A custom apparatus designed for aerial dance artists that safely suspends them, allowing for creative, three-dimensional movement.

“Senior design courses provide students with experience working on real-world projects that involve design constraints, budgets, reviews and deadlines. Students learn about professionalism, licensing, ethics, entrepreneurship and the day-to-day implications of intellectual property,” said Thomas Withrow, assistant dean for design at Vanderbilt University School of Engineering.

Corporate sponsors, who provide the design challenges, include Nissan North America, Siemens, Metova, Boeing, Fiserv, Camgian Microsystems, DENSO and Sterling Ranch Development Company. Other sponsors include NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Metro Nashville’s Public Arts Program, a number of Vanderbilt University Medical Center departments and several area engineering firms.

The completed work is the intellectual property of the participating companies.

  • What: Design Day 2017 student project unveiling
  • When: 3-6 p.m. Monday, April 24
  • Where: Vanderbilt University Student Life Center, 310 25th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37240