Liebenberg's ME270 students repurpose products for final design project
For students in Leon Liebenberg’s ME 270 (Design for Manufacturability) course, nothing could be more apropos than the old saying, “One man's trash is another man's treasure." For the final mini-project of the semester, the mostly Mechanical Science and Engineering (MechSE) students were to repurpose trash (a discarded product or products) into a product with a non-medical application. So, in an online competition held via Zoom during the final class period on December 8th, the top five projects were presented, after which classmates, the professor and his TAs, and special visitors invited to the session voted for their favorite. The treasure? The top three winners not only received accolades, but students with stellar final projects could contribute significantly to their final grade...and possibly come up with a repurposing design that could somehow make a difference down the road.
Why do mini projects? In his course syllabus, MechSE Teaching Associate Professor Liebenberg claims they are essential exercises that will help students better understand the subject material. “Theoretical concepts and calculations have their place,” he explains, “but manufacturing and design is a hands-on experience that cannot be captured in theory and equations alone—practicalities matter deeply.”