It is our hope that students are growing in faith and in a desire to glorify God in all that they do, including their vocation. Now we offer this Symposium as an act of worship, celebrating the exciting work He is doing through the Collaboratory and its many students, mentors, and ministry partners. To God be the Glory!
Please explore our 2020 projects and presentations.
Christopher E. Benner, Collin T. Binford, Joshua J. Kripas, Trey B. Witmer, Jonas E. Kolb, and Noah A. Rood
The Solar PV team has installed several solar power systems for various partners in the developing world. Most recently, the team installed a solar-powered well pump at the Living Love Ministries Children’s Home in Ol Kalou, Kenya. As is true for all the previous installations, the team gained a wealth of valuable knowledge and experience on the trip to Kenya. A problem the team faces is that a lot of that experience gained leaves when seniors graduate. With the goal of passing on our knowledge and experience to future generations of the Solar PV team, we have been constructing a solar lab at Messiah for experimentation and training. We also are developing a curriculum to teach new team members about solar power and provide a framework for preserving new knowledge the team obtains in the future. Throughout the 2019-2020 year, the solar team has made significant progress towards the completion of these projects.
Justin M. Blest, Christian A. Cornelius, and Corey B. Englehart
The Covenant Christian Academy Civil Design team has partnered with Covenant Christian Academy (CCA) in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to improve the utilization and safety of the facilities at the rear of the main building. The team worked with David Sonju, Headmaster at CCA and client representative for the school, to achieve two major goals for this project. The first goal was to redesign the rear parking lot to create a grass recreation area while integrating the remaining paved area into an improved student drop-off/turn-around. The design considered stormwater run-off and drainage, including conversion of impervious area to pervious area. The second goal was to design a portico/covered walkway structure that connects the rear entrance of the main building to the entrance of the Fine Arts Building. The design incorporates a combined straight and curvilinear steel-frame support structure, and a truss roof support system with steel decking. The team will provide its design work to CCA and their design consultant, H. Edward Black and Associates, Ltd., to finalize the required construction drawings and obtain professional approvals to build the project.
Bryson L. Boettger, Matthew J. Tavani, Isaiah D. Bryner, Samuel R. Burgess, Sarah N. Kelchner, Clint M. Meekins, Josiah D. Moyer, and Kay Laura Sindabizera
Amputations, specifically lower limb amputations, are common in Sub Saharan Africa and across the broader global community largely due to infection and disease. Our project, The Prosthetic Knee Team, partners with the orthopedic workshop at the CURE International Hospital in Kijabe, Kenya to create a prosthetic knee design for a specific type of amputation known as a Knee Disarticulation (also called through-knee). Currently, the orthopedic workshop is only able to provide one very expensive prosthetic knee option for these patients, and they often elect to undergo a second surgery, a trans-femoral amputation, because the cost of the second surgery and trans-femoral prosthesis combined is less than the currently available through-knee prosthetic. The goal of our project is to provide the orthopedic workshop with a manufacturable prosthetic knee design that provides through-knee amputees with a cheaper prosthetic option and removes the need to have a second amputation above the knee. Throughout the past two semesters, our focus was on organizing collected data, researching knee-disarticulations, and communicating with our client to more fully understand the scope of our project. After determining that moving forward our project will be manufacturing the prosthetic knees at Messiah College’s machine shop and shipping them to CURE Kenya to be fit on patients, we began to brainstorm potential design ideas. We are presently working on modifying and improving our chosen design to best meet all of the specifications laid out by our partner. Those specifications include minimized thigh-lengthening, low weight, maximized stability and durability, and aesthetically pleasing.
Cory D. Brubaker, Amada H. Issis, Evan Freed, Daniel J. Labrie, and Josiah J. McCarthy
Millions of communities in developing countries rely on hand pumps installed by various non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Studies have shown that these pumps are often broken with significant delays before maintenance people arrive. During the last few years, the Intelligent Water Project (IWP), in cooperation with World Vision and AlignedWorks has successfully produced sensor units, installed on each water pump to provide state of operation information, which proves the feasibility of remote monitoring through a real-time web-based database. Currently, we are working to demonstrate reliability, improve accuracy, and prepare for production on a larger scale to expand the impact to more communities all over Africa. Recently we have been moving toward this goal by producing all necessary documentation to manufacture our system and prove its functionality with quality control procedures. This involves creating drawings of each component and assembly and using these along with complete manufacturing, quality control check, and installation instructions.
Nathan Z. Chan, Alicia A. Decker, Brant L. Meier, Morris K. Taylor, Nathan E. Cordell, Benjarong T. Curtz, Jeffrey Gao, Joshua Keong, Al W. Mokris, Jessica E. Paulus, and Castine L. Donoff
The DVD team is working to develop a cost-effective technique for measuring HIV load in resource-restricted regions. Our client is Dr Phil Thuma and the Macha Research Centre in Zambia. Our design utilizes a fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) approach, including a protein-engineered probe, custom optics, a field programmable gate array (FPGA), and a graphical display to assess viral load in a patient blood sample. In this talk we will present on the design and testing of our optical FCS system, the method of processing and analyzing the signal, and creation of the user interface display. Our team is currently finalizing the design of each device component and looking towards device integration and prototyping in the Fall of 2020.
Harrison J. Crosley, Alexander M. Vollert, Cade K. Bender, Dylan J. Derstine, and Peter C. Hopkins
Persons with disabilities in developing countries often lack the basic equipment needed to assist them in their daily lives. International Nepal Fellowship (INF) is a Christian medical organization located in Nepal that provides medical care and assistance to people with disabilities and other conditions. Currently, INF imports expensive wheelchairs that undergo a prolonged border process before being received by INF. INF has reached out to the Collaboratory to design a wheelchair that can withstand the challenges of Nepal’s terrain and can be manufactured from local materials. The Nepal Wheelchair team accepted this challenge and set out to design a wheelchair that can fulfill the needs of INF. The team began by researching wheelchair models for inspiration and eventually settled on two preliminary designs. In January 2020, the team traveled to Pokhara, Nepal to gain feedback from the staff at INF and select a final design based on their comments. During this trip, the team acquired and brought back locally available materials and parts in order to be able to construct a prototype using materials which are actually available in Nepal. After returning, the team began performing Finite Element Analysis on the frame design and tested the steel from the trip to determine its physical properties. With prototyping progress stalled by recent events, the team is focusing on perfecting the design and preparing an instruction manual for INF.
Shane D. Curry, Thomas C. Pond, Emma K. Vogan, Gabrielle E. Griffith, Jared R. Rider, Samuel Sparks, and Brandon J. Weindorf
The Rapid Orthotics for CURE Kenya team as a whole aims to empower the orthopedic technicians in the CURE Kenya hospital by creating, optimizing, and testing 3D printed prosthetics and orthotics. Our team started in 2016 by creating a 3D printing process for below the knee prosthetic sockets. Since then, we had adapted to the hospital's needs over the years, expanding the capabilities of the system itself. Presently, a section of our team has worked specifically with these leg sockets to ensure the safety and functionality for patients. They have done testing to make sure the sockets are strong enough and to make sure the silicone liners are safe for use in developing countries. In addition to safety testing, over the years we have created ankle-foot orthotics and prosthetic hands. The design part of our team works to create new 3D printed devices to help our clients reach more patients. By 2024 we hope to fully integrate our expanded system in the orthopedic workshop in Kijabe, Kenya.
Robert Kameron Dickey, Edward J. Yesilonis, Cameron K. Kanter, Andrew S. Reedy, and Caleb P. Southwick
The Pico-Hydro Energy Project (PHEP) focuses on providing affordable electric power for off-grid communities in developing countries. The work that PHEP is doing involves the design, optimization, and experimental testing of small hydroelectric generators provided by our project partner Engineering Ministries International.
Nathan C. Feldgus, Zachary D. Schmidt, Bennett A. Andrews, Zach L. Gillen, Zachery D. Holsinger, Benjamin Weaver, and David Williams
The Energy Monitoring and Management System facilitates access to electric power in regions with limited energy by increasing energy conservation and education. The solution consists of a meter which allocates a configurable daily energy limit per facility, and a display that provides practical information to the user including reporting how much energy they have used and how much they have left before their power is automatically cut off until the next day.
The current version of the system has successfully been installed in multiple facilities in Burkina Faso and Zimbabwe, however software errors are preventing the system from meeting client specifications. To remedy this issue, our team has performed various updates to the software of the meters in preparation in order to distribute a software update to our client. A testing procedure has been implemented to verify functional operation. Mechanical performance issues were also reported about the installed meters. Hardware revisions and design updates have been implemented to resolve the issues.
This presentation will detail the steps made to debug module programming and revise hardware design.
Rebekah L. Forshey, William L. Feczko, Liam P. Lilienthal, Aaron Bashore, Brittney D. Fouse, Michelle Lo, Benjamin J. Mellott, Sam J. Rasinske, Leigha R. Southall, and Jordan M. Witt
Clubfoot is a musculoskeletal birth defect that is characterized by an inward twisting of an infant’s feet. The current method for correction involves several casts and a bilateral boots-and-bar maintenance brace. This method of maintenance requires 5 years of bracing and has issues with compliance, comfort, and social stigma. CURE International in Kijabe, Kenya is currently using the boots-and-bar brace but is interested in implementing a design that reduces these concerns. Mr. Jerald Cunningham, CPO, designed and is utilizing a unilateral clubfoot maintenance brace, the Cunningham Brace, which he expects will reduce treatment time to 2-3 years, lessen the social stigma, and increase the child’s mobility. However, there is not enough published research on its biomechanics and patient success rates to confirm his findings.
The Collaboratory Cunningham Clubfoot Brace project seeks to validate the effectiveness of this design and increase accessibility through force testing and standardized manufacturing. We are working on measuring the biomechanical forces created and applied by the brace with a series of force sensors that are attached to the child’s brace. In addition, a new wrapping process for manufacturing the Cunningham Brace is being developed to increase the productivity and reproducibility of brace manufacturing in Kenya. Along with a clinical study that was started in Kenya, this testing and manufacturing will allow for further understanding of the effectiveness of the Cunningham Brace and provide more research for the medical community for it to potentially be accepted as an alternative clubfoot maintenance brace.
Johnny Greaser, Micah D. Lehman, Geoffrey D. McClary, and Kyle E. Miller
Missionary aviation pilots often have to land their planes on remote airstrips that might be unsafe due to runway obstructions such as encroaching vegetation or large objects that were unknowingly placed on the runway. The Falcon Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) team is partnering with ITEC to develop an imaging system using a UAV to scan these airstrips to detect these obstructions. ITEC was founded by Steve Saint, the son of martyred missionary Nate Saint, to develop technologies to aid missionaries in their work. This video highlights the work of the Falcon UAV team and the basic terms and definitions for understanding the work of the team. The Falcon UAV team focuses primarily on the use of automated 3D mapping and photogrammetry by drones to help identify obstructions to pilots landing on remote airstrips. In this video, we will explore 3D mapping and compare different options for drones to purchase and software to use in the process of mapping information.
Landon R. Hacker, Jared Fonda, Noah T. Shreiner, Brandon M. Bickom, and Micah Hess
The Sustainable Agriculture team is using a soil-free, closed-loop, agricultural technique called aquaponics to help lift communities out of malnutrition and poverty. Aquaponics techniques decrease the use of natural resources associated with growing crops. The Sustainable Agriculture team is partnering with Sheltering Wings, a non-profit based in Missouri who ministers with an orphanage and women's shelter in Yako, Burkina Faso and Transworld Radio, a Christian radio broadcasting station located in Benin. The team currently has a best practice prototype in operation. The system will be optimized to fit client needs. In order to meet those needs, the team has been analyzing alternative materials for system construction, cooling techniques to maintain water temperature, and biological indicators for plant health. The goal of the project is to support clients from system construction to crop harvest. Support will be supplied via a comprehensive user manual that outlines how to build, operate, and maintain an aquaponics system and regular communication.
Nathan A. Henry, Nate Harnish, Nathan D. King, Chris Martin, Tommy Denlinger, Darren J. Heisey, and Griffin M. Means
The Mechanized Percussion Well Drilling Project seeks to design a simple mechanized well drilling system to be used for drilling shallow water wells in Burkina Faso, Africa. These systems will be operated by local drilling teams, allowing them to earn an income for themselves and their families. Currently our end users, the Burkinabe Well Drilling Team, have trouble drilling through hard rock layers, and often must abandon holes due to inadequate equipment. The goal of this project is to enable the drillers to efficiently drill through these rock layers with a mechanized percussion rig and supporting drilling equipment.
One of the areas the project has focused on this year was testing our new steel cathead, a critical piece of the drilling rig which severely wore during in-country testing in the summer of 2017. After 40 hours of testing with no visible wear, we were confident that our new cathead would be sufficient. We also designed a new, heavier drill bit that was more able to concentrate the force of each impact. Finally, we tested our system using ropes that can be bought in Burkina Faso to ensure our system will be sustainable for our end users.
Michael D. Jenkins, Larry A. Vega, Corey Bean, Jacob R. Cornwell, Lydia Reber, and Arrington Register
Currently about 1% of the world population (~70 million people) have a stutter considered a fluency disorder. Some fluency assistance devices are available for this population, but most are highly expensive or unreliable. Fluency Assistance Device (FAD) seeks to assist a niche community of these individuals for whom therapy has been unsuccessful but are currently depending on a device originally known as the Edinburgh Masker. FAD aims to redesign the masker to be more comfortable for the end user. FAD is developing versions 1.1 and 2.0 of the improved masker. Version 1.1 will update the original masker circuitry with surface mount devices. This will allow a slimmer circuitry enclosure, and enable upgrades of the original as requested. Version 2.0 will use Bluetooth technology and a microcontroller to achieve masker functionality with software code. FAD is now finalizing Version 1.1 and beginning Version 2.0.
John M. Khamis, Benjamin K. Burlew, and Timothy J. Malanga
Safe drinking water is something that all humans need. People around the globe face issues like limited access to water, water scarcity, and contamination of their water supply. Alleviating global water-related illnesses and deaths remains a prevailing challenge to overcome. With this in mind, the Village Water Ozonation System (VWOS) team works with communities to increase their access to safe drinking water. In the past few years, VWOS has had the privilege of walking alongside our partner communities in Mexico, Pakistan, and Nicaragua to develop sustainable drinking water solutions. Through collaborations with several Christian organizations such as Forward Edge International in Mexico, Full Gospel Assemblies Bible College of Pakistan and, Friends in Action International in Nicaragua, the team has acquired an increased awareness of drinking water needs and issues across the world. Over this past academic year, the team has focused on completing a design for a church in Oaxaca, Mexico where water will be drawn from a polluted well. The VWOS design includes accessing the well, purifying the water to a drinkable standard, and providing the option of utility water from the same well. The team has also been designing and testing for a client in Pakistan who has arsenic in their water source. The team has tested and designed in order to remove the arsenic from the source. Implementation for these two projects will be in the near future. Lastly, the team has begun investigation on removal of salt in a water source for a client in Nicaragua.
Nuttapat Kueakomoldej, Hunter D. Casey, Andrew F. Kurian, and Evan Poust
The Landmine Neutralization team’s goal is to help neutralize dangerous ordnance in wartorn areas around the world. To accomplish this, the project team is working with our client, the HALO Trust. They are the world’s largest demining non-governmental organization. The HALO Trust works in many countries to remove the debris of war, including improvised explosive devices, landmines, and unexploded ordnance. We are helping our client achieve their goals through designing, prototyping, and testing of an earth and debris excavator that uses air to excavate areas. This project will help HALO’s deminers clear debris and dust from war-torn areas to help in their effort of neutralizing potential improvised explosive devices and unexploded ordnance. The team found that even though there is commercially available excavation equipment, they are either expensive, too big and cumbersome, cannot be remotely operated and integrated into an excavator, or lack the precision. We will be focusing on designing our prototype to operate reliably in harsh environments while fulfilling our client’s specifications for the excavation unit. Our client requested us to design our excavation unit to be easily installed onto their Volvo full-size excavators and their custom-made rakes.
John P. McGarry, Kathryn J. Rose, Derek A. Thrush, Jordan P. Criddle, Samuel Rivera, Robert Donley, and Claudia Tolley
Friends In Action International (FIA), our project partner, is assisting the Rama people of Nicaragua in relocating from an overpopulated island to the mainland. Our team has developed a manual press for the Rama people to produce compressed earth blocks from local materials for construction of their homes. After testing an initial prototype of the press in Nicaragua it was determined that the press needed more durability. After testing two presses with welded chambers manufactured by E&E Metal Fab Inc., further modifications were required such as welding chamber skirts, adding a lid handle, and applying rust prevention coating. Once both presses reached a workable state, the team made blocks using different mixtures to determine the composition for the highest strength. Blocks were tested for water absorption and for strength in compression, and met published standards for compressed earth blocks (CEB). The team also developed a user manual complete with manufacturing instructions, operating procedures, maintenance suggestions, and exploded subassembly views. Lastly, our team has drafted a one-page user guide for quick reference on-site and will deliver everything to FIA at the end of the semester.
Nathan A. Myers, Erin M. Brenneman, Samuel T. Gobeille, Jordan Barner, Mikayla R. Eyster, Crosby Harro, Zachary C. Hartman, Drew Moyer, and Daniel Thomas
The Panama Bridge project has partnered with Rio Missions Panama to design a bridge for the village of La Gigi, Panama. The mountain community of La Gigi experiences heavy rainfall during the rainy seasons. A stream runs along the community, separating locals from their fields and other communities further up the mountain. While passable during dry seasons, the stream floods and becomes impassable after heavy rains. The residents are effectively cut off from their livelihoods, church, health services, and other communities during this time.
To accommodate this need, the Panama Bridge Team has spent the 2019-2020 school year designing an aluminum truss bridge, spanning 90 feet. The design includes a unique construction strategy to deal with challenging site constraints.
Ella Sobek, Sarah A. Aldrich, Jordan E. Higley, and Joseph Grant
The Gravity Fed Water Project aims to provide direct access to safe and clean water to about 150 people in Sipacapa, Guatemala by using gravity to transport water from groundwater seeps down a mountain to the community. The project partners with the Mennonite Central Committee. Concrete intake structures will be built for various groundwater seeps, then water from those will be combined into one large concrete intake structure. The water will then be piped down to a concrete water tank which will help to store enough water for a day's use for the village. There will then be piping going to two different locations which will each have a storage tank. The Gravity Fed Water team plans to travel to the site to install part of the system in the future, although the date is uncertain. While in Guatemala, onsite water testing will be done for bacterial coliforms and the intake structure and the piping to the first storage tank will be built.
Josiah Stitt, Lucas Honebrink, Frank G. Honey, Emily L. Keane, and Josh Card
The Hybrid Thermal Lance (HTL) is a device used to burn through landmines to destroy them safely. Designed for the team’s client, The HALO Trust, the HTL has proven to work well in destroying explosives, which has been demonstrated by field trials conducted in a number of countries including but not limited to Afghanistan and the Republic of Georgia. The HTL works by igniting acrylic burn tubes, which act as a fuel source and also focus the flame on a specific location on an explosive device. The system is controlled via a user-friendly, rugged control box that can run the HTL automatically and allow the device to burn for different lengths of time upon user command. The team was asked by HALO to make the HTL as user-friendly as possible. In order to do this, the team has been researching ways to make the ignition system as reliable as possible so the device works every time. The team plans to move forward in testing and refining the ignition system and the control circuit in order to give the client a trouble-free device. Future plans include designing a fixture that can be fitted over the end of the HTL burn tube which can focus the heat of the flame for a more concentrated burn.
Helen R. Wiley, Brit Haseltine, Cory Hurst, Alexander D. Mantsevich, Katie Bunch, Faith N. Kerlen, Joey Sinsel, Matt Higgs, and Rachel Delate
The Sustainable Mobility project of the Collaboratory empowers people living with a disability in rural West Africa to more fully participate in family and community life and makes possible the pursuit of educational and work opportunities. Our 3-wheeled off-road wheelchair has transformed the lives of dozens of clients through partnerships with the Center for the Advancement of the Handicapped in Mahadaga, Burkina Faso and the Center of Hope in Fada, Burkina Faso.
Now, to reach more people in new locations and with more partners, Sustainable Mobility is working to reduce manufacturing time and cost, author image-driven fabrication guides to enable local fabricators to build trikes, and develop supply chains to bring parts and materials to build sites. We seek to put local fabricators to work building tricycles wherever they are needed.
Emma L. Workman, Caleb E. Danehower, Darren Kulp, Jacob Valentine, and Joshua L. Maxson
Approximately 90 million people in Africa lack access to safe drinking water, despite having water infrastructure installed in their community. The Better Pumps team of the Collaboratory provides engineering support for partners working to sustain reliable water infrastructure for everyone. We have partnered with AlignedWorks to test an improved bearing design for the India MK II handpump. We have also partnered with Matt Schweibert and the Rural Water Supply Network to test improved seal designs for the India MK II and the Afridev handpumps. Test designs and preliminary results are reported.
Ryan C. Yoder, Nicholas F. Ports, TJ Quintillian, Brittney D. Fouse, Keller Martin, Jaymie R. Monday, Meghan L. Sampson, and Samuel F. Whittle
Due to the rapid growth of children and the complexity of myoelectric technology, children are often not given the same opportunities to use myoelectric prosthetics as adults. The Muscle Activated Prosthesis (MAP) team is working to create an affordable, transradial myoelectric prosthesis for a twelve-year-old girl. The basic mechanism by which this device operates is as follows: a muscle contraction emits an electrical signal that will be detected and processed through a microcontroller. Then the onboard software determines whether the hand opens or closes based on the level of muscle intensity. If the software determines to close or open the hand, a signal from the microcontroller is sent to linear actuators that control the tendon system running through the fingers. Currently the team has a working prototype that we plan to give to our client in the fall of 2020 to test.