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Seniors set to display research projects at Engineering Design Expo

CAD drawing of a new throttle body for UIC’s SAE Formula team

After three years of virtual expos, UIC Engineering Design Expo will be in-person this year. Undergraduate seniors from mechanical and industrial engineering will be showing off two semesters of hard work when they present their research, creativity, and skills during the annual expo at the UIC Isadore and Sadie Dorin Forum on Friday, April 21, from noon to 4 p.m.

The expo will feature nearly 800 students that makeup approximately 200 teams from every department of the College of Engineering. The expo is the capstone to the Senior Design Course that challenged them to solve real-world engineering problems through research, creativity, and the skills they developed at UIC.

The MIE teams will present a wide variety of projects focused on different engineering fields such as aerospace, automotive, energy, industrial, robotics, and commercial goods. Specifically, the teams are creating end-user medical devices, wellness devices, recreational gadgets, robotics, and plans for home automation.

Under the direction of MIE Clinical Assistant Professor Jonathan Komperda, the team of Antonio Salerno, Qais Abdeh, Juan Cerna, Josue Gomez Ayala, Kyle Nieciak, and Jonathan Ruiz redesigned the throttle body for the SAE @ UIC formula team.

A throttle body is a valve located between the air intake filter and the intake manifold that regulates how much air can go into the engine. It helps increase acceleration performance and can boost the overall horsepower.

“The need for a redesigned throttle body for the formula team was crucial as the previous one lacked a linear torque curve, idle adjustment, good throttle control, and proper fitment,” Abdeh said.

The students did extensive research on throttle body designs and decided on a barrel valve after performing computational fluid dynamic simulations.

“It was concluded that the barrel throttle body flowed better and had less restriction than the butterfly valve,” Abdeh said.

With a body style determined, the team started designing the throttle body specifically for the vehicle’s engine, with specifications that are within the guidelines of the SAE rulebook.

“The plan is to have this throttle body manufactured before Expo to have it assembled on the 2023 formula car which is going to be in a competition in May,” Abdeh said.