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MTSU engineering technology’s robotic pancak...

MTSU engineering technology’s robotic pancake-makers cook up team effort

While an MTSU student-athlete, Ed Simpson was a consummate team player. The 6-foot-2 guard was a contributor both as a starter and coming off the bench for the Blue Raider men’s basketball team, which won a record-tying 100 games during his four seasons.

Technology lead assistant Chance Ferguson, center right, adjusts the pancake flipper on the robotic pancake-maker their team developed and built as project manager Ed Simpson, center left, looks closer and Jeremy Hood, who programmed all the menus, observes during the April 26 Engineering Technology Open House for senior projects in the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Technology lead assistant Chance Ferguson, center right, adjusts the pancake flipper on the robotic pancake-maker their team developed and built as project manager Ed Simpson, center left, looks closer and Jeremy Hood, who programmed all the menus, observes during the April 26 Engineering Technology Open House for senior projects in the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

The 22-year-old Ocean Springs, Mississippi, native, one of MTSU’s 2,641 spring 2018 graduates, was a team man in his mechatronics engineering major, too.

This spring, he was project manager for a four-member team making a robotic pancake-making machine, one of five such contraptions producing plenty of pancakes for visitors attending the recent Department of Engineering Technology Open House featuring senior projects.

“I did a lot of documentation, making sure we stayed on track,” Simpson said of his role in the group that included fellow seniors Chance Ferguson, Eli Little and Jeremy Hood. “We would meet every two weeks to make sure everything was running smoothly.”

Simpson also did a lot of mathematics as his group planned, designed and built the pancake-maker, which had to dispense batter, flip a pancake and place it on a plate.

MTSU Engineering Technology Open House senior projects judge Jeff Buck, center left, of Automation Nth listens to students Elijah Little, center, Sean Daily and Kelly Maynard, standing, discuss the CL4P-TP self-balancing robot on wheels and how it operates. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU Engineering Technology Open House senior projects judge Jeff Buck, center left, of Automation Nth listens to students Elijah Little, center, Sean Daily and Kelly Maynard, standing, discuss the CL4P-TP self-balancing robot on wheels and how it operates. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

The open house, where the aroma of cooked pancakes and accompanying syrup filled the Tom H. Jackson Building’s Cantrell Hall, ran smoothly until the power went out. Apparently there were too many cooks — and pancake-makers — using too much electricity on one end of the 107-year-old facility, which was MTSU’s first dining hall when it opened in 1911.

Department of Engineering Technology logo

Simpson, whose strong academic background could’ve led him to an Ivy League school, entered MTSU majoring in mechanical engineering technology. By his sophomore year, and at the suggestion of an adviser, he switched to the fast-growing mechatronics program.

The Conference USA All-Academic team member and True Blue President’s Award recipient said he has landed a systems engineering position with aviation, defense, space and security giant Boeing in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and will begin work there in mid- to late June.

For more on MTSU’s Mechatronics Engineering Program and the Department of Engineering Technology, call 615-898-2776.

MTSU has more than 240 combined undergraduate and graduate programs. Engineering Technology and mechatronics are part of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

MTSU senior Jesse Offei-Nkansah, left, explains his team’s Myo Arm robot and its functioning capabilities to Haider Alsaman, center, and Noor Ridha during the April 26 Engineering Technology Open House in the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU senior Jesse Offei-Nkansah, left, explains his team’s Myo Arm robot and its functioning capabilities to Haider Alsaman, center, and Noor Ridha during the April 26 Engineering Technology Open House in the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Students, faculty, judges and guests attending the MTSU Department of Engineering Technology Open House for senior projects view posters and learn about robots and other technology from team members. The April 26 took place in the Tom H. Jackson Building’s Cantrell Hall. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Students, faculty, judges and guests attending the MTSU Department of Engineering Technology Open House for senior projects view posters and learn about robots and other technology from team members. The April 26 took place in the Tom H. Jackson Building’s Cantrell Hall. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)


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