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"It seems like the more people I talk to, the more I realize just how good of an engineering program LSSU has. I appreciate your classes, your ability to make learning an enjoyable experience, and the hands-on attitude of LSSU as a whole. I am very glad I chose LSSU."

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School of Engineering

Senior Projects 2006-2007

Team TORC Logo

Team Twisted Off Road Chassis

Members:

  • Jon Paul LaFave
  • Jeremy Jensen
  • Tom MacMillan
  • Chris Valinski
  • Chris Winkler

Faculty Advisor:

  • Dr. Robert Hildebrand

Company:

  • Lake Superior State University
    Society of Automotive Engineers - LSSU Chapter

Industrial Contact:

  • Ray Adams and Paul Duesing

Project Description: Universal Steering Column Validator

Team Twisted Off Road Chassis (TORC) is part of an effort to design and build a chassis for an off-road vehicle to compete in the 2006-07 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Mini-Baja Competition in Rochester, N.Y. Our sister team, Superior Drivetrain Solutions (SDS), is responsible for the drivetrain.

The Mini Baja off-road vehicle is lightweight and low cost. TORC will use modern numerical stress analysis techniques along with the basic principles of vehicle dynamics to design the frame, roll cage, and suspension of the Mini Baja vehicle. To ensure durability of the vehicle, all analyses will be based on demanding off-road conditions. Once built, the vehicle will be extensively tested in order to optimize the design.The final product will be a race-worthy vehicle ready for the summer 2007 SAE Mini Baja competiton.

Links to the 2006-2007 Teams:

Investigat- ing the Use of QPCR: An Early Detection Method for Toxic Cyano- bacterial Bloom

Garrett Aderman

Harmful algal blooms (HABs), including cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CHABs), are a global phenomenon. In the US, annual economic loss due to HABs was recently estimated at $82 million. Furthermore, the consensus amongst the scientific community is that the frequency and duration of CHABs in freshwater systems will increase as a result of climate change and anthropogenic nutrient enrichment. Due to the ability of some strains of CHAB genera to produce toxic compounds, larger and more sustained CHAB events will become an even greater threat to drinking water. Of all the known cyantoxoins, one of the most ubiquitous is microcystin (MCY). Humans are primarily exposed to cyantoxins through drinking water consumption and accidental ingestion of recreational water. The increasing risk presented by these toxins requires health officials and utilities to improve their ability to track the occurrence and relative toxicity. Current tracking methods do not distinguish between toxic and non-toxic strains. Biochemical techniques for analyzing the toxins are showing considerable potential as they are relatively simple to run and low cost. My goal was to develop a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) method to measure the amount of mcyE gene in a Lake Erie drinking water and compare the levels of the mcyE to toxin produced. This is the first step to determining if the presence of mcyE of the mycrocystin synthestase gene cluster in Microcystits, Planktothrix and Anabaena cells can be used as the quantitative measurement in an early detection warning system for recreational and drinking waters.

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