UND Student Engineers Honored for Project Design Innovation and Excellence


Deb Austreng

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Engineering & Mines


Three senior student design teams from the University of North Dakota School of Engineering and Mines were recently recognized for outstanding engineering projects in the Andrew Freeman Design Innovation Competition.

Six teams participated in the annual competition on May 5, and the three winning teams were recognized at a ceremony held May 11. Individuals or teams of engineering students presented their projects to a panel of judges that included UND engineering alumni, current engineering faculty and Minnkota Power Cooperative representatives.

The first place award of $1,650 went to the LaserComm team of Brian Adkins (electrical engineering), Michael Link (electrical engineering), Jennifer Meyer (mechanical engineering), Michael Locke (mechanical engineering) and Brock Setness (mechanical engineering). Their project addressed growing problems associated with traditional radio frequency communication methods, such as limited bandwidth, spectrum crowding and security.

The second place award of $1,000 went to the System Combination of Renewable Energy by Alternative Methods (SCREAM) team of Nathan Hillerud (electrical engineering), Casey Hansen (electrical engineering) and Derek Clark (electrical engineering). SCREAM’s project involved supplying power to a real-time kinematic (RTK) differential global positioning system (DGPS). RTK enables the location and tracking of agricultural equipment. The third place award of $1,000 went to the team of Raymond Aslesen (chemical engineering), Benjamin Jones (chemical engineering), Joshua Knutson (chemical engineering) and Shane Emineth (chemical engineering). Their project was on the extraction of fatty acids from thermally cracked crop oil. The team designed a process by which crop oils from canola and soybeans can be converted into liquid transportation fuels.

First held in 2004, the competition is sponsored by Minnkota to honor Andrew Freeman, a UND engineering alumnus and the cooperative’s former general manager. It’s intended to recognize innovation and excellence in student senior design projects.