Two teams of energy engineering students walked away with top prizes at the Penn State College of Engineering's spring 2011 Design Project Showcase, held April 28 at the Bryce Jordan Center. The teams won first place Lockheed Martin Design Awards in the best project and best poster categories. "This is a tremendous accomplishment for the department and college coming from a new engineering program," said Yaw Yeboah, head of the John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering.
The Design Project Showcase is an exhibit of engineering design projects created by students with the support of Penn State faculty members and industry sponsors. The projects allow students to display their solutions to problems posed by their industry sponsors. Both energy engineering teams entered the competition with their senior capstone design projects under the supervision of André Boehman, professor of fuel science and materials science and engineering.
Members of the team awarded best project included Natalie Keener, Adam Kimmerle, Liam O'Sullivan, Timothy Tomko, and Shaun Valentine. Sponsored by Daniel Yanchak of CONSOL Energy, Inc., they were tasked with devising a way to improve the industry method of recovering magnetite once it has been used in a slurry mix to separate coal from mineral matter. The energy engineering team designed and built a hydrocyclone enhanced with a four-pole AC electromagnet pulsing in the direction of the hydrocyclone flow. Initial testing showed the electromagnetically-enhanced hydrocyclone achieving a recovery efficiency of 96%.