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Mechanical Engineering Students Accept the Challenge

With the introduction of the iDream Student Challenge, Honda threw down the gauntlet to OSU engineering students.  Mechanical engineering students accepted the challenge and excelled!

First place in the mobility division was awarded to Brad Engel, Michael Nesteroff, and Jake Wither along with their faculty mentor, Professor Yann Guezennec.  Their project, “Solar Thermal Electric Car Charging Station,” focused on designing a system that would utilize solar thermal principles to create electricity to charge electric vehicles.  The increase in the number of plug-in electric vehicles in the near future will accelerate the demand for electricity.  This system proposes to be less expensive than current photovoltaic cell technology with all of the same environmental benefits. The design is sustainable, providing consumers with clean energy from the sun for transportation and other residential needs while reducing dependence on depleting fossil fuels.

The Viewer’s Favorite award also went to mechanical engineering students for their project, “A Gait Trainer for Children with Cerebral Palsy.”   The team was comprised of mechanical engineering students, Keira Gaudette, Ryan Bucio and Chantale Levert, faculty mentor, Professor Robert Siston, along with occupational therapy students Erin Ansley and Brianne Cattran.  Mechanical engineering students Keira Gaudette (left), who graduated in June, and senior Chantale Levert explain the features of the gait trainer their iDream team developed to help children with cerebral palsy.

Honda selected Ohio State to pilot the iDream program this year; next year it will be a national contest.  With a concentration on technologies that advance the quality of human life, the Honda iDream Student Challenge is a scholarship program designed to inspire new thinking to everyday challenges and foster a spirit of innovation among the leaders of tomorrow.

Mechanical engineering student Greg Bader, of Canton, Ohio, demonstrates the assistive kayaking device that he and his team submitted to the iDream contest. The students worked with people with spinal cord injuries to develop the adaptations.

The awards were presented at the 2010 Honda Initiation Grant Technical Horizon Symposium, held at the Ohio Union.  To read more about the student teams and their projects visit: