June 7, 2021 The spring 2021 Oregon Tech Project Symposium, an event that highlights student research and senior projects, is a highly anticipated event, which allows the public to view the highly inventive and innovative projects Oregon Tech students are creating. Held virtually this year, the symposium includes more than 30 projects, across eight different departments. The Oregon Tech Project Symposium is currently live at www.oit.edu/academics/student-project-symposium.

Programs featured include Dental Hygiene, Computer and Software Engineering, Embedded Systems Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Natural Sciences, Population Health Management, and Renewable Energy.

Projects can take many different forms- from poster presentations and pamphlets, to photos and videos of actual trial runs. Through the process, students gain knowledge of project design cycles, industry expectations, and teamwork.

By designing a pamphlet and presenting their research to an audience, students in Dental Hygiene were able to create a customized educational tool for their patients. “The goal of this project was to educate and treat the residents of Best Care Rehabilitation Center by providing preventative care and personalized oral hygiene education,” said Casandra Arechiga Huerta, a senior in the program. Dental Hygiene students in Community Health courses used the education to provide screenings and silver diamine fluoride to Best Care residents and invited them into the clinic to receive free preventive care.

The symposium gives students opportunities to bring together the technical skills gained in their discipline, and many students find creative and fun ways to apply their knowledge. Mechanical Engineering students, Robert Deeter and Kyle Jenson, created a high-power rocket that has a future in competition at Spaceport America’s Cup in New Mexico. The event is the world’s largest intercollegiate rocket engineering conference and competition.

Working with Professor Dr. Wangping Sun, Robert and Kyle developed a rocket and successfully launched it in Brothers on May 22. With a second launch scheduled in June, the teams’ next step is to reach an altitude of 10,000 feet or greater—the minimum height requirement for the competition. The high-powered rocket is the first of its magnitude at Oregon Tech.

Robert shared, “Once the parachute had deployed on descent, there was a huge sigh of relief, there was a feeling of achievement and gratitude that the past 8 to 10 months of testing, developing, and launching was not for nothing.”

Through research projects, students can find exciting ways to test their knowledge, develop teamwork and organizational skills, and create a portfolio of applied experience to show future employers.

This is an annual event at both Klamath Falls and Portland-Metro that has been virtual for 2020 and 2021.