Union students from a myriad of academic disciplines gave presentations on research, papers and projects during Tuesday’s scholarship symposium.
Often, presentations spanned beyond basic PowerPoint slides. For instance, students in Gavin Richardson’s class on the history of the English language read directly from scripts while performing the medieval play “Abraham and Isaac.” The students spoke entirely in Middle English and dressed in robes and sandals.
According to Richardson, professor of English, this “reader’s theater” was chosen to grade the students on their pronunciation of the language and to show the audience how biblical narratives were experienced and interpreted in the Middle Ages.
This yearly symposium provides an opportunity for students to give a scholarly presentation, many of which are based on a senior project.
For example, four engineering students spent their semester determining the best method to automate a splice detector in cables.
Seniors Matthew Bentley, Will Duncan, Chris Lanham and Eric Ramirez presented their findings to fellow
engineering students and faculty.
The project originated when General Cable, a local manufacturer of various cables, approached the group about improving the splicing detection process at the factory.
A splice is identified where two cables are fused together. General Cable used a manual system of identifying those splices by coating them in spray paint, and the group researched the best possible alternatives to improving this system.
Their research led them to choose between two options. First, they built a Hall Effect Sensor that used a magnetic field to locate the splice and alert the operator.
After construction and testing of the Hall Effect Sensor, the group decided to implement an Inductive Proximity Sensor that acted similarly, but with a much higher success rate.
“We spent about two weeks testing it,” Bentley said. “We’re in our third week now.”
According to him, the sensor ran at a 100 percent success rate whenever they tested it at the manufacturer.