With the annual North Carolina Azalea Festival quickly approaching, Cape Fear Community College students are hard at work to complete an innovative project which will be featured as part of the festivities.
For the past year, students in CFCC’s mechanical engineering program have been designing and building their own electric bicycles, which are now just over a week away from their debut on the streets of downtown Wilmington during the annual Azalea Festival Parade.
According to instructor Daniel Hendrickson, the objective of the project is to provide students with a challenge to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to a real-world scenario.
“This project gives the students the experience of creating a cost-effective, hands-on, practical engineering project on a limited budget and on a deadline, which is what they should expect to face in the workplace after graduation,” Hendrickson said.
Completing the bikes is a final project for students in the final year of the program, who use the skills learned in the first year of the program, which include CAD programming, 3D modeling, electricity, physics, statics, hydraulics and more.
Each student designs an electric bicycle and makes a formal presentation to a panel of experts. The best designs are chosen to be built in their final semester.
This year the students are building three bicycles, each designed for a specific purpose. One is designed for transporting pier fishing equipment, one for carrying cargo, and another is designed to be energy efficient, aerodynamic, and incorporate a low-drag design.
“The bikes are in the final stages of welding, painting, assembly, and testing prior to the parade. We are very proud of them and would love to show them off,” Hendrickson said.
The Mechanical Engineering Technology program at CFCC prepares graduates for employment as mechanical technicians. Graduates of the program are qualified to work in many types of manufacturing, fabrication, research and development, and service industries.
For more details about the program, visit http://cfcc.edu/engineering/met.