More than 250 students graduate from UTC each year as engineers, computer scientists and technologists. During their senior year, students participate in a capstone design project, which they present at the annual UTC Technology Symposium in Chattanooga. Each senior capstone design project course provides students with a real-world problem to solve and is often sponsored by a public or private sector partner.

Since students are currently working on projects and the college is actively recruiting sponsors for next year, it’s a good time to look back at a project from last year. In spring 2018, a team of engineering management students developed and presented to Erlanger a plan to save the new children’s hospital more than $1 million over five years.

The student team consisted of three engineering management seniors: Poet Jones, Tyler Pflug and Anna Kate Tenpenny. Their faculty advisory was Wolday Abrha, a professor in engineering management. The team started by developing a timeline for the project, which began with a project kickoff meeting at Erlanger.

UTC students developed a timeline for the Erlanger project

The aim of the project was to improve patient wait times for the new children’s hospital, an outpatient facility. Students worked with administers and doctors from Erlanger throughout the process and looked at data specific to Erlanger, as well as national trends for the industry.

For the project, students analyzed the cost of adding kiosks to serve as rapid check-in locations and the benefits in relation to wait times and workflow efficiency. The students were able to demonstrate how Erlanger could implement a kiosk system in its new outpatient children’s hospital and potentially save $1,050,000 over five years.

The project results were on display at the 2018 Technology Symposium, where the students shared their findings with faculty, community members and judges. A few days after the Technology Symposium, the students presented their findings at an Erlanger board meeting.

UTC Students Present Research Results at Erlanger Board Meeting

Mark your calendars to attend the 2019 Technology Symposium on April 18, 9am-2pm at the Chattanooga Downtown Library, to see student projects like this one. It’s free to attend and open to the public.

If you’re interested in sponsoring a senior capstone design project, contact Julie David, student success center director.

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