UT Dallas team wins ASME Student Design Competition

An operator applies tape to a lens and quickly removes it to see if the coating or its residue is removed. | File photo
First-place at the ASME Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference Student Design Competition went to a team of mechanical engineering students from the University of Texas Dallas for the second year in a row.
In a project sponsored by Essilor of America, Zain Shariff, Joey Nahlous, Gerardo Ramirez, Bayron Murillo and Luis Soria developed a machine that can measure how well coatings like anti-reflective materials adhere to optical lenses.
“I think the team did an outstanding job on a very challenging project,” UT Dallas mechanical engineering clinical associate professor Robert Hart said. “The students worked hard from the beginning and delivered a machine that is ready to be used without any further modification. The award was fitting recognition for a truly outstanding capstone project.
The testing replicated by the UT Dallas team’s machine is typically carried out by hand, with an operator applying tape to a lens and quickly removing it to see if the coating or its residue is removed. The students developed a lens holder and a smoothing tool that could apply adhesive material to the full range of lens shapes and sizes.
“There was no set standard to the process, so we used a high-speed camera to observe the operator’s movements in pressing down and pulling up,” Soria said. “For our prototype, we used pneumatics because we can control the speed by regulating the flow of air entering and leaving the actuators…The competition was tough, but I think one of the advantages of our project is that it was complete, from start to finish."

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