Team A with Dr. Michel Holder, third from left
Members of Team B work on their
Electronic engineering students create sorting system
Separating blocks of metal and colored wood might
sound like child's play, but two teams of UTC electrical engineering
students used state-of-the-art technology to approach the classroom
project with true industrial applications.
The students in the Electronics Engineering program created a mechanical
sorting system from scratch for their final class project last
“The assignment was to physically separate eight different
types of ‘scrap’ into separate containers. The scrap
consisted of four pieces of metal; copper, aluminum, brass, and
with four pieces of wood colored white, black, green, and red.
The wood was separated by color while the metals were sorted by
to Dr. Michel Holder, associate professor for the Engineering,
Math and Computer Science Department at UTC.
Sorting system technologies included photodiode to measure the
intensity of light reflected by the sample and eddy-current proximity
sensors to determine if the sample was metallic. If the sample
was proven to be metallic, another test determined the element. “These
systems used both analog and digital electronic components,” Holder
Teams A and B took very different approaches to designing and implementing
the sorting system, according to Holder.
According to Holder, the project was part of an electronic instrumentation
class offered at UTC each year. The two teams worked independently
guidance from teachers besides the original guidelines. “This assignment represents the application of four years
of electrical engineering training and is the capstone project
engineering students at UTC,” she said.