Cornerstone Design projects propose novel ways to upcycle

A durable, easy-to-install roofing shingle made from waste ceramics and grocery store plastic bags was the top project at the Fall 2017 Cornerstone Design Final Competition on Dec. 6.

A total of 24 student teams from Intro to Design (EPIC 151) exhibited their design solutions for reducing waste through upcycling at the final competition, representing the top team from each class section. 

The Engineers of the Round Table’s roofing shingle won first place in the Best Design Process category. Their shingle-making device utilizes a heating element to melt the plastic bags together and adhere the crushed ceramics to one side of the shingle, with a press and second plate ensuring uniform thickness. Team members were Justin Rozendaal, Ernest Smith, Anais Rostad, Jordan Vickers and Joseph Protiva.

Earning second place was Tr# Upcycle, for their machine to melt waste plastic into bricks for building houses. Team members were Charles Collins, Torin Hopkins-Arnold, Zack Hart, Connor Smith and Caleb Kotter.

The award for the Most Potentially Viable project went to Enginerds, for their modular phone charger assembled from the functional batteries in discarded cell phones. Forming the team were Kellen Parker, Landon Walker, Paxton Heiting and Nick Gonzales.

Required for all Mines undergraduates, EPIC 151 is a semester-long design course whose centerpiece is an open-ended design problem that students must solve as part of a team effort. 

This semester’s task was reducing the amount of material that enters the waste stream by designing novel, useful solutions – and the tools required to make those solutions – from items that would otherwise be thrown away. Solutions were required to fulfill a need felt by a significant number of people, while also making a meaningful impact on the waste stream, the environment and/or the community.

Emilie Rusch, Public Information Specialist, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3361 |
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 |

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Colorado School of Mines is a public research university focused on science and engineering, where students and faculty together address the great challenges society faces today - particularly those related to the Earth, energy and the environment.