Mechanical Design
Winter 2021

Vincent Chan, Ph.D, P.Eng
Associate Professor
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

Mec825  Group Meeting time
Thursdays 8am-10am

Mec825 Lectures
Thursdays 10am - 12noon
Virtual - Live Zoom Meetings

Note: attendance to lectures is mandatory,
as we will usually have invited speakers
from industry talking to you about
engineering design.

Project Bid RFP's Due: Monday, Jan 18th, 2021, 11:59pm, D2L Assignments tab
Your team can submit bids to as many project below as you want, however, all bids must follow the RFP format outlined below.
No late bids will be accepted!
All bids will be reviewed and awarded soley to winning teams by V. Chan, P.Eng.

Project Timeline Due: Monday, Jan 25th, 2021, D2L Assignments tab

Responsibilities of Each Team Member - Due: Friday, Jan 29th, 2021, D2L Assignments tab

Interim Report - Due: Friday, Feb 12th, 2021, 11:59pm D2L Assignments tab

Interim Report Requirements:
Please use the template below
Table of Contents - Completed and Future Chapters in the final engineering report
Introduction - Explain the problem and your design methodology to solve it.
Literature Review - what others have done to solve this problem
Other - as your faculty supervisor requested

Preliminary Design Drawings (including flowcharts if necessary) -
Due: Friday, March 12th, 2021, D2L Assignments tab

Conference Paper - Due: Friday, April 9th, 2021,
11:59pm D2L Assignments tab

Final Reports
- Due: Friday, April 9th, 2021, 11:59pm D2L Assignments tab

Project Presentations - All Day! Poster
Presentation/Power Point
Ryerson Engineering Day (RED):
* Time & Date: TBA


Request for Proposal Template - Word Document - 34K

Interim Report Template - Word Document - 28K

Conference Paper Template - Word Document - 39K

Final Design Report Guide

Design Report & Presentation Guide - PDF - 120K

Design Projects - Winter 2021

Note: Professors usually only supervise 2 groups max.

Project Brief
Prof. Habiba Bougherara - EPH 312C

Is not teaching this semester and will not be supervising any teams.

Prof. Jun Cao - EPH 316

1. ANSYS design of a rigid frame in support of a bridge;

2. Design and optimization of a bike design using ANSYS.

Please see Dr. Cao for more details on the project

Prof. Vincent Chan - EPH 326

1. Automation of a Manual Espresso Maker

Since it's Kickstarter launch 3 years ago, the Flair Espresso Maker has grown in popularity. It offers a simple way to make a cafe level espresso for very little money. However, two minor shortcomings exits. Pre-heating of the brew head, and the lowering of the lever to create pressure. Your task in the design project is to design an automated (ie. Arduino controlled) brew head heater, and a motorized pressure piston that will create the required pressures with the proper timings. Due to the pandemic, only the design is expected at the end of the semester. (no prototype)

2. A Smart Anti-squirrel Bird Feeder

Many bird feeders use passive mechanical devices (springs, baffles, etc) to prevent squirrels from feeding on seed at a bird feeders. In this project, you are asked to design an acitve anit-squirrel bird feeder using an Arduino, sensors and servos. Due to the pandemic, only the design is expected at the end of the semester. (no prototype)

Prof. Daolun Chen - EPH 340B

1. NEW: Design of thermal barrier coatings for hydrogen hybrid propulsion - Please contact Dr. Chen for details

2.  Design of lightweight and corrosion-resistant magnesium body panels
The new fuel economy standards require automakers to bring the average fuel efficiency for all cars and trucks sold to 23.2 kilometres per litre (54.5 miles per US gallon) by 2025, nearly double the current average. According to a recent survey, lightweight structural materials will have the most impact in helping automakers meet fuel-economy targets. Design a new lightweight magnesium sheet metal panels for the next-generation auto production.
3. Design of a car engine cradle using lightweight magnesium alloys
Reducing weight in ground vehicles and aircraft is today considered as one of the most effective approaches to improve fuel economy and reduce anthropogenic environment-damaging emissions. The application of magnesium alloys, being the lightest structural metallic materials, has thus attracted considerable interest in the automotive and aerospace industries in recent years. Design a new car engine cradle using lightweight magnesium alloys to replace the heavier steel counterpart.
4.  Design of a rotating bending fatigue testing machine
A rotating bending fatigue testing machine will be designed to test smooth round specimens. Bending stress is applied to the specimen by means of dead weights. An indicator providing the number of completed cycles with automatic shut-off upon specimen failure and providing an indication of the operating speed (in rotations per minute or RPM) is needed.

5.  Design of a three-point bending fatigue test stage
A three-point bending fatigue test stage will be designed to fit into the existing Instron 8801 fatigue testing system, with a capacity of 50 kN and a factor of safety of 5.

Prof. Seth Dworkin - EPH 324

Is not teaching this semester and will not be supervising any teams.

Prof. Jake Friedman - EPH 301
1) Steam Generation from Waste Heat

Design a heat exchanger/steam generator system to generate steam from the exhaust gases (1400 Deg F) from a medium-sized (5,000,000 BTU/hr) industrial furnace.

2) Solar-powered emergency cooling system

Design a portable solar-powered cooling system designed to provide cooling to emergency tents/shelters as used by the Red Cross and other NGO’s in emergency response situations.

Prof. Alan Fung - EPH340A

Dr. Fung is already supervising his allotment of teams.

Prof. Ahmad Ghasempoor - EPH 325

1) Design of Equipment for Cleaning of Welded Surfaces

2) Quiet Hair Dryer Design

3) Remotely Collect and Treat Contaminated Sandbags

Prof. Siyuan He - EPH 312B

Project 1 LIDAR based interactive projection screen

Student will develop an interactive projection screen based on a general projection screen (cloth, flat wall, etc.), a projector, a computer and a LIDAR (light detection and ranging). The LIDAR is mounted at the corner of the screen. Once presenter’s figure touches or is (1~2 mm) close to the screen, the LIDAR detects the finger’s position and send it to computer. The computer is connected to the projector and superimposes an image (e.g., buttons) to the PPT slide, which is projected to the screen. Once the computer receives the signal from the LIDAR on the finger’s position on the screen, the following action is taken by the computer, e.g., Requirement 1)if the finger is on one of buttons (e.g., “page-down” or “page-up” or “Enter”), the computer will control the PPT software to page down/up/enter; Requirement2) If the finger is not on the button position, the computer can follow the trajectory of the finger tip to draw a line for highlighting. That line is superimposed on the PPT slide in a real time mode. Similar interactive projection screens are available but very expensive. This project is to develop low cost interactive projection screen. The students are to: 1) Design the whole system; 2) Purchase parts including the LIDAR; 3) Developing the software; 4) Developing the hardware for mounting; and 5) Testing. Requirement 1)must be fulfilled.Requirement 2)is optional.

Project 2 LIDAR system to prevent automatic glass door from clamping people

This project is to develop a system with a LIDAR (light detection a d ranging) mounted on the top of the automatic glass door within the door thickness (normally a few inches). The scanning LDIAR can detect any object within (only within) the door thickness. Once any object is detected, the moving glasses need to stop opening or closing to prevent from clamping the objects such as children’s finger. The students need to: 1) Develop the scanning LIDAR which consists of a scanning mirror (existing lab’s technology), a single point LIDAR, an angle sensor, and the mounting mechanism; 2) Develop a demonstration hardware; 3) Make the prototype and conduct the test.


Prof. Wey Leong - EPH 306A

1. Keeping Coffee Warm using a Phase Change Material
Project description: It is desired to keep coffee hot as long as possible in a coffee mug, especially in the winter time. Your task is to utilize phase change material to store the heat from the hot coffee when it is poured into a coffee mug, cooling it from about 82-85°C
down to around 76°C. Then, as the coffee loses heat to the surroundings, the phase change material will release its stored latent heat to maintain the coffee at around 75-76°C for a period of time, which depends on the rate of heat loss.

2. Designing a Device for Self-inspection and Cleaning of Nostril
Project description: For some patients with cold and flu, they may have stuffy nose. The stuffiness is mainly due to the swollen walls at the inner part of the nostril. In addition, the mucus discharge and booger may worsen the stuffiness. The device will help a person to
inspect his/her nostril with a tiny camera and clean it by removing the excess mucus and booger in the nostril. Due to the soft tissue at the inner part of the nostril, the device must be gentle enough not to injure the tissue and cause bleeding.

Prof. Bill Lin
EPH 317

1. Autonomous snow removal robot.

2. Vibration suppression of unmanned arial vehicle.

3. Autonomous gutter cleaning robot.

4. Design of Vib Absorber for Field Applications


Prof. Hua Lu - EPH334B will not be supervising any teams.

Prof. David Naylor - EPH 

1. Design of Thermal Management Systems with SolidWorks Flow Simulation:

This project will involve the design a set of heat exchange devices of increasing complexity using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). The project will start with relatively simple modelling of heat sinks and then move on to two-fluid heat exchangers of increasing complexity. At each step, the CFD predictions will be carefully validated using both fluid dynamics theory (MEC516/MEC616) and heat transfer theory (MEC701). Mesh design considerations and numerical accuracy of the CFD modelling will be assessed. The goal is for the design team to learn how to model real-world heat exchange devices and have confidence that the CFD results are reliable from an engineering design perspective. (CFD modelling is a highly marketable skill.)

Dr. Naylor will only be taking on 1 additional team.


Prof. Don Oguamanan - EPH 319


1. TBA

Prof. Marcello Papini - EPH327
1. Design of a solar powered propulsion retrofit for canoes

The aim is to design a solar powered propulsion system that can be fit to a standard 16 ft canoe.  It must provide propulsion for 3 hours a day and  be sufficiently robust and lightweight to allow the canoe to be portaged over distances of up to 500 m.

2. Design of a whirling arm abrasive jet micro-machining apparatus operating in a vacuum
Abrasive jet micromachining uses a jet of  compressed fluid to accelerate micro-abrasive particles to high speeds.  The jet impinges a target which has been covered with an erosion resistant masked pattern in order to create features such as microchannels, etc.   It has been found that more accurate and smaller features can be made if the size of the abrasive particles is decreased.  However, at below ~<10 um, aerodynamic effects hinder the ability of the particles to strike the surface as the particles tend to follow fluid streamlines.   This difficulty could be overcome if the machining was performed in a vacuum.  To this end, the team will design a whirling arm apparatus to launch the particles, and a vacuum chamber in which to perform the machining.  Possible avenues for feeding the particles into the whirling arm will also be explored.

Prof. Ravi Ravindran - EPH332D

1. Light weighting of Electric Vehicle Components: Battery Enclosure

In order to achieve global emissions standards and impact the carbon footprint of the automotive industry, much of the automotive industry is shifting to lighter alloys to reduce the weight of their vehicles. For Electric Vehicles (EVs) to become more practical, weight reduction is one avenue to improve the performance and cost of the vehicle.
In this project, students will develop a design for the battery enclosure used in EVs with a focus on light weighting. Students will review current materials used in battery enclosure designs with a focus on novel materials or processes to reduce the weight of the components while maintaining strength.

Students will develop a unique design for the battery enclosure that includes overall geometry of the components, material selection and material processing. The design will be accompanied by a Finite Element method (or equivalent) simulation and discussion on how the simulation was performed and what insights the simulation provided.

2. Development of novel 3d-printed patterns for lost foam casting of aluminum alloys.

The goal of this research is to formulate the relationship between metal flowability, foam porosity, polymer characteristics, and infill distribution of a 3d-printed foam pattern using a multi-physics FEA
program such as COMSOL or Ansys. The simulation shall be performed on a two-dimensional porous channel, which represents a foam pattern made by an FFF-type printer that can print in foam instead of solid polymer. The FEA model should be able to simulate the flow profile of a liquid metal as governed by evaporation of the foam. The foam will also have a porosity gradient perpendicular to channel walls. This will be a unique application of the 3d printing process.

Prof. Sajad Saeedi - EPH413

Project 1: Cleaning Surfaces

This project is intended for robotic applications in hospitals where the task is to clean a set of surfaces by a robotic system. The cleaning is both contactless and contact-based. The team will use a robotic arm and simulate the task in simulation environments e.g. ROS. The real-world experiments will be performed after successfully completing the simulation step.

Project 2: Changing Bedsheets

This project is intended for robotic applications in hospitals where the task is to change bedsheets by a robotic system. The team will use a mobile robot with one or two arms. The task will be simulated first using computer simulation methods, e.g. ROS. The real-world experiments will be performed after successfully completing the simulation step.

Project 3: Autonomous Landing on Moving Surface Vehicles

This is a project involving two unmanned vehicles: aerial and ground vehicles. The project involves the autonomous landing of the aerial vehicle on a ground vehicle. This project will be done in simulation and then in real-world environments. Familiarity with C++/Python/ROS is needed for this project.

Project 4: Experimental k-visibility using WiFi-SLAM

WiFi SLAM exploits the fact that a mobile sensor equipped with a WiFi sensor can build a map of the environment solely by analyzing the distribution of the WiFi Signal. In the design of WiFi networks, k-visibility is a novel metric used frequently to determine the quality of the signal at different points on the map. In this project, the objective is to develop an experimental approach to build the k-visibility map. This will lead to an improvement in the performance of the WiFi SLAM algorithms and also the k-visibility maps.

Prof. Ziad Saghir - EPH 322

1. TBA

Prof. Fil Salustri - EPH 306B

1.  Reconceptualizing the bathroom

According to Toto Design, the bathroom is the most underdesigned room in a house, particularly with respect to inclusiveness and universal design. Reconceptualize the notion of the domestic bathroom from “first principles” to bring it into the 21st Century. Use systems thinking and design to develop an integrated yet modular space for personal cleaning.

2. Compact, Portable Workshop
Develop a design for a compact, portable, aesthetically pleasing workshop, using modular design to provide functionality for either professional workers or hobbyists. For instance, consider combining the Paulk wood worktable and the shopsmith.

NOTE: Dr. Salustri will only be supervising 1 team this semester.
Prof. Farrokh Sharifi - EPH 318


1. Design of Snake Robots
The overall objective of this project is to successfully develop a working robotic snake in larger scale to aid search & rescue personnel or in smaller scale for medical interventions. The project will build on the previous work to identify the shortcomings and to enhance the design. A complete working prototype is required. Also experiments will need to be conducted to prove its applicability.

2. Image-based Control of Snake Robots
The purpose of this project is to implement real-time control of a sample snake robot to go through the obstacles. The emphasis is on image acquisition, processing, and control design. The experiments will be required to verify the design.

Prof. Frankie Stewart - EPH320

Is not teaching this winter semester and therefore will not be supervising any teams.


Prof. Scott Tsai - EPH338B


1. Design and simulation of microfluidic chemical mixing channels

Microfluidic lab-on-a-chip systems have become ubiquitous in biomedical research. For example, microfluidic devices have been used for single cell studies, DNA sequencing, and drug testing. Due to the small-scale of microfluidic systems, microfluidics is well-suited for manipulation of cell-scale biological agents and particles, and reduces the amount of reagents required during experiments. However, despite the promise of microfluidics to miniaturize and transform biochemical assays, microfluidic devices are still hampered by slow molecular diffusion process at small scales. Since fluid flow in microfluidic systems is completely laminar, diffusion happens only passively. Many diffusion-limited reactions are very slow as a consequence of this weakness of microfluidic devices. It is therefore desirable to develop microfluidic mixing channels that increase the diffusion area between different chemical effluents, without dramatically increasing the overall footprint of the microfluidic devices. In this project, the students will use COMSOL Multiphysics, to design various microfluidic channel geometries, and simulate fluid flow and diffusion dynamics in the channels, to analyze the channel's fluid mixing efficiency. Students will review the scientific literature to understand what designs may improve mixing efficiency, develop their own ideas on new designs, and implement those designs in COMSOL Multiphysics.

2. Design and simulation of microfluidic geometries that enable the separation of particles by size and density

Microfluidic lab-on-a-chip systems have become ubiquitous in biomedical research. For example, microfluidic devices have been used for single cell studies, DNA sequencing, and drug testing. Due to the small-scale of microfluidic systems, microfluidics is well-suited for manipulation of cell-scale biological agents and particles and reduces the amount of reagents required for experiments. One of the most important microfluidic biomedical applications is microscale flow cytometry--the separation of two or more types of particles based on their physical and/or biological properties. The capability to efficiently separate microparticles may find utility in cell sorting, enrichment, and isolation. While microfluidic flow cytometry by electromagnetic means has been demonstrated in the past, these approaches require the microparticles to be "tagged" by objects that are either magnetic or produce an electrical dipole under an applied electric field. To date, there has not been a widely accepted way to perform microfluidic flow cytometry without applying electromagnetic tags. In this project, students will use COMSOL Multiphysics to design various microfluidic channels that enable the efficient separation of two types of particles by particle size and density, without tagging the particles. Students will review the relevant scientific literature to understand the state-of-the-art techniques being employed for microfluidic flow cytometry, and devise new and novel designs to exploit physical phenomena (e.g. inertia) to separate the particles in microfluidic systems.

Prof. Mark Towler - EPH319 will not be supervising any teams.
Prof. Ahmad Varvani - EPH 306C

1. Parametric design to improve ratcheting response of load-bearing components

2. Design and analysis of stress raisers of different shapes and geometries with minimized stress concentrations under cyclic loads

3. Design and FE analysis over single fiber pull-out in FRP composites

Prof. Venkat Venkatkrishnan - EPH312A 1. Design of nano Composite hockey stick:
The project required details analysis of nano composites (fabrication and design methodology) and its physical properties for its application in sport equipments. The group will be required to compare different nano composite materials, fabrication methodology and their design parameters. Theoretical data need to compare with simulated results under different design parameters considered.

2. Design of a micro fluidic device for biological cell analysis:
Lab on a chip is widely used for sensing and diagnostic application in biomedical field. The group is required to investigate various methodologies in fabricating micro fluidic devices, its advancement (state of the art).  A cell separating micro fluidic device need to be designed based on the property of the biological cell and micro fluid mechanics principle. Design parameters validated by Simulation.

Prof. Shudong Yu - EPH321

Topic 1 Design of an electric powered food processor

To prepare fine Italian/Greek/Chinese cuisine, vegetables and meat need to be chopped into desired sizes and shapes. It is difficult to accomplish the tasks with the traditional rotating type of food processor. In this capstone project, a light-duty food processor with reciprocating blades will be designed to do the jobs efficiently for household and industrial uses. The most important design is the 3D mechanisms with single input and multiple coordinated outputs. Below are the requirements - Adjustable stroke - Adjustable angular feed - Twin blades - Durable and affordable - Quiet - For a compact design and efficiency, a multi-stage PGT is needed to reduce the speed from the motor shaft to desired linear/angular speeds at the output shafts/joints. - A prototype is desired but not required.

Topics 2: Own design topics in the area of development of energy saving electro-mechanical devices for household uses.

Prof. Kourosh Zareinia

- EPH305

1. Design and development of a 3DOF haptic device for interaction with virtual environment.

note: Dr. Zareinia will only be taking on 1 more group. Please see Dr. Zareinia for information about the above project.

Team Forming Rules:

1) You can form your own team.
2) You cannot have more than 4 people in your team.
3) Teams should be made up of a mix of people from different streams.  There should not me more than 3 people for any one stream.  
4) If you are still having trouble making up a team, please e-mail me.

NOTE:  Students who have their own industry sponsored project still have to submit a project bid proposal on their project.  The same rules and deadlines apply.  You must have 4 team members.
Please include contact information for your industry sponsor and which Mech Prof. has agreed to supervise your team.

Request For Proposals
In both small and large companies, new engineering projects are often farmed out to engineering consulting companies.  To hire the right consultants, companies will put out a Request for Proposals (RFP).  An RFP is a way for consulting companies to bid on engineering projects.  In a way, its lays out how an engineering project should proceed, and a method to explain to your potential client why you have the expertise to carry out this project.

For MEC825 - the design projects will be given to groups based on the merit of their RFP.  Your proposal should include the following information:

Page 1 - Executive Summary - a brief description of your project
Page 2 - Information about your team, qualifications and contact information
Page 3 & 4 - Detailed description of the project
Page 5 - Quality, testing and benchmarking
Page 6 - Project stages and milestones
Page 7 - Deliverables at the end of the project

Request for Proposal Template - Word Document - 34K

Page created: Fri. Nov. 25th,  2005, last update: Jan 14th, 2021 by: Vincent Chan, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering,
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