As the end of the academic year inches closer, many seniors at IUPUI are completing their last round of classes which oftentimes include capstone projects. In the case of mechanical engineering students, this project involves coordinating and collaborating with organizations around Indianapolis.
One group in particular has focused on improving infrastructure at the White River State Park amphitheater. Though they have only met with the representatives a few times, students in this group agree that working together could easily be a benefit to both the students as well as the state park.
“This [project] definitely stressed my ability to research and find proper building methods,” senior Steven Schoening said. “It would be a great part of our resume if they actually built it.”
This degree is an achievement some of these students have been working toward from very young ages. Their shared interest in problem solving has led them to choose this path. Kaarthi A.Gnapathy knew when he was eight and is now planning to complete graduate level education.
“I was not really an arts person or a writing person,” A.Gnapathy said. “I just really get creative when I get to solve problems, and I felt like engineering was the best way to do that because I get to solve other people’s problems.”
At this point the group does not yet know if the organization will accept their plan and actually utilize it. Senior Skyler Wynn wished he had had more of these kinds of projects over his years at IUPUI as he is getting a lot of experience from this project in sketching and consulting. According to him, the project will be a bit more difficult than he anticipated.
“We came in thinking it wouldn’t be that hard,” Wynn said. “But they hit us with more problems like irrigation.”
This project is different from what the five students have specialized in throughout their major. Primarily they have worked in mechanical engineering but this project asks them to put their skill sets to use in civil engineering.
“I don’t think engineering is something you can learn in four years,” A.Gnapathy said. “There’s just so much. So this project is giving me the opportunity to learn more about the other sides of engineering.”
The amphitheater can host up to 7,000 people after recent renovations over the past two years. Live Nation currently has 24 performers scheduled to appear on this stage during the remainder of 2022.
“It’s a very real, tangible project that’s going to affect thousands of people,” senior Nathan Bryan said. “Because that’s a big spot in Indianapolis where people are going to concerts every single summer and as they go they want to have the best concert experience they can and the city wants to be able to provide that for them.”
The students will complete their design project in May. The group agrees this is a productive way to exercise the skills they have learned through the duration of their undergraduate degrees.
“This capstone class is really important to us finishing our degree out successfully,” Bryan said, “I feel like even though I don’t know everyone in my group prior to this, I’m hoping that I’ll get to know them really well by the end and that we’ll have something really great to present because we’ve worked so well together.”
Eliana Bucklin is an intern at The Campus Citizen. She is expected to graduate this May with a degree in journalism and a certificate in museum studies. Outside of her intern work she enjoys reading, keeping up with Formula 1 and various artistic activities Her twitter can be found here.