Skip to main content
BME Senior Design Teams Triumph at Capstone Design Expo
Health and healing prevail as focus of the 2018 Georgia Tech Fall Capstone Design Expo
January 10, 2019

Three Wallace H. Coulter Department biomedical engineering senior design teams, one of them interdisciplinary, took top honors at last night’s fall 2018 Capstone Design Expo held in McCamish Pavilion at Georgia Tech.


This year’s Best Overall Project winner at the Capstone Design Expo was team Supleurative, a biomedical engineering team that created a device that makes lung draining procedures possible and efficient in hospitals. The team members are James Wroe, Yige Huang, Hannah Choi, and Tara Ramachandran.


The team’s lung drain project aims to provide a simple, reusable, and cost-effective solution to the lack of suction problem in under-resourced hospitals of developing nations. The majority of previous solutions have involved electrical components, which are rendered useless in these settings with unreliable electricity. The team designed the EZ Drain Adapter System which creates an airtight seal with the current fluid collection jars used in the hospitals of developing nations. These jars are then manually depressurized without requiring any external power supply and can be either immediately used or stored for future use.


Supleurative is one of two BME Capstone teams working on medical devices inspired by health care needs in Ethiopia. The other team is called Libi Medical.


Winner of the Best Biomedical Engineering Project at the Expo was team aMAYOnnaising. This team, sponsored by the Mayo Clinic, designed a device that aids in reconnecting the bladder to the urethra after a prostatectomy. The team members are Nicholas Quan, Bailey Klee, Madeline Smerchansky, and Rachel Mann. There are approximately 90,000 prostatectomies performed each year in the United States. After the removal of the prostate, the bladder and urethra must be reconnected in order to restore urinary function to the patient.


Partnering with physicians at Mayo Clinic, the team found that this reconnection is the hardest and most time consuming part of the prostatectomy to perform and is directly linked to the patient’s post-operative quality of life. If the bladder and urethra are not connected properly, infection due to urine leakage can occur, along with prolonged catheterization and a complete loss of urinary function. Recognizing these problems, the team created SecURO, a device to automatically stitch the bladder and urethra back together during a prostatectomy. SecURO precisely places 12 stitches a set distance from each orifice, standardizing the procedure and improving patient outcomes.


Winner of the Best Interdisciplinary Project was team PPEeps. This team, sponsored by Halyard Health, aims to increase workplace safety by decreasing the number of failures in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including gowns, face shields, shoe covers, gloves, masks and bouffant caps in the central sterile processing unit (CSPU). The team members are Maylyn Parsons (BME), Kendra Simpson (BME), Jordan Lo Coco (ME) and Jim Peterson (ME).


The CSPU is an area within most hospitals and medical centers that sterilizes reusable medical equipment and devices. Current PPE equipment is not specifically designed to withstand the range of hazards faced by personnel in the CSPU. A cross-functional team of mechanical and biomedical engineers redesigned a new single-use gown coated in a new laminate which mitigates friction and permeability and helps ensure the protection of the technicians from biohazards.


At this year’s Capstone Design Expo, 153 teams of graduating students got the chance to display prototypes of their ideas, which are representative of their years of engineering and design learning done while at Georgia Tech. They were judged by more than 150 experts and professionals from around the world, who scored each project and named a winner in each category.


“Our product is going to help raise the standard of care for lung drains in Ethiopia to match standards in the USA for less than $10 a patient,” said James Wroe, a member of team Supleurative. The team’s members hope to test their product in a small clinical trial in Ethiopia this summer.


Fall 2018 Capstone Design Expo Category Winners- Complete List

Overall Best Project: Supleurative

An efficient, reusable, and low-cost lung drain device that is fit for use in developing nations and can replace the current gravity drainage used at Ethiopian hospitals.


James Wroe, Atlanta, Georgia
Yige Huang, China
Hannah Choi, Atlanta, Georgia
Tara Ramachandran, Scarsdale, New York


Biomedical Engineering: aMAYOnnaising

A device that aids in reconnecting the bladder to the urethra after a prostatectomy.


Nicholas Quan, Richmond Hill, Georgia
Bailey Klee, Alpharetta, Georgia
Madeline Smerchansky, Arlington, Virginia
Rachel Mann, Homer Glen, Illinois


Interdisciplinary: PPEeps

This project aims to increase workplace safety by decreasing the number of failures in the PPE required in Central Sterile Processing Units.

Jordan Lo Coco, Mechanical Engineering, Pasadena
Jim Peterson, Mechanical Engineering, Atlanta, Georgia
Maylyn Parsons, Biomedical Engineering, Greenville, South Carolina
Kendra Simpson, Biomedical Engineering, Cumming, Georgia


Aerospace Engineering: The Squirrel Works

An unmanned long-range strike aerial vehicle to serve as a replacement for the F-111, F-117, and as a supplement to the B-2. Characteristics of the aircraft include low-observability, ability to access Anti-Access Area Denial airspace, radical maneuver capabilities, as well as being lighter, smaller, and less expensive than current piloted aircraft.


Emily Paxton, Bangkok, Thailand
Jared Mehnert, Lebanon, Ohio
Wesley Gillman, Rogers, Arkansas
Kyle Neville, Lawrenceville, Georgia
Fahraan Badruddin, Duluth, Georgia
Erica Hulette, Acworth, Georgia


Civil and Environmental Engineering: BAMM Engineering

A project to widen a section of I-20 in Carroll County was temporarily shut down due to the negative safety impacts of the construction staging and traffic re-routing methods.


Michael Nieman, Woodstock, Georgia
Andrew White, Decatur, Georgia
Matthew Gruba, Augusta, Georgia
Bailey Little, Flowery Branch, Georgia


Electrical and Computer Engineering: PulseScan

An electrocardiogram (ECG) wearable that will track a user’s ECG signals and monitor them from one’s phone or laptop, warning of short-term and long-term heart risk while also providing information on physical fitness.


Joseph Lennon, Fayetteville, Georgia
Derin Ozturk, California
Justin Cheung, Duluth, Georgia
Sehej Ahluwalia, Plano, Texas
Victor Barr, Berkeley Lake, Georgia


Industrial Design and Mechanical Engineering: Chopa

Design a collection of toys that use insights about compensating behaviors of accessibility-limited children to create a more comprehensive, well-rounded experience for all children.


Jae Hyuk Kim, Industrial Design, Seoul, Korea
Max Cohen, Industrial Design, Miami, Florida
Elliot Manassa , Mechanical Engineering, Riverwoods, Illinois
Matias Girardi, Mechanical Engineering, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Kristin Andreassen, Industrial Design, Atlanta


Industrial and Systems Engineering: Cox Automotive

Our team is evaluating Cox Automotive's current process and providing recommendations on controllable decisions, such as vehicle relocating, reconditioning, and holding to reduce loss per vehicle.


Margaret Jennings, Kennesaw, Georgia
Will Olsson, Åhus, Sweden
Meghan Rathie, Johns Creek, Georgia
Siddhartha Meka, Snellville, Georgia
Alan Johnson, Marietta, Georgia
Ashley Paek, Johns Creek, Georgia
Kelly Kronenberger, Suwanee, Georgia
Sarah Stein, Carmel, Indiana


Mechanical Engineering (tie): W(hole) lotta trouble

Analyzing the shape and dimension of laser drilled holes in suture needles for quality control.


Mónica López, Dorado, Puerto Rico
Justin Tai, San Jose, California
Yujung Ryu, Suwanee, Georgia
Adam Garlow, Decatur, Georgia
Zhigen Zhao, Hangzhou, China


Mechanical Engineering (tie): Send It!

TEAR is a system that controls the air spring characteristics in high performance mountain bike suspension forks.


Nicholas Henderson, Flowery Branch, Georgia
Admir Berisha, Bronx, New York
Matei Dan, Atlanta, Georgia
Hunter Brown, Bullard, Texas




Walter Rich
Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology

Media Contact

Walter Rich


Read Next

Bioengineer is third Georgia Tech faculty member and second Petit Institute director to receive honor, following in footsteps of Bob Nerem and former BME Chair Susan Margulies



Along with tuition support, 3rd-year BME student has had access to professional development and company executives

Artificial intelligence could be the key to faster, universal interfaces for paralyzed patients