Reverse STEM Fair showcases ongoing and finished projects

By Brandi Courtois, Managing Editor

On Monday the Reverse STEM Fair took place in the Student Services building to help students show their strengths and passions to potential employers ahead of the actual STEM fair.

Sheila Colombo, the employer relations coordinator for Career Services, said the Reverse STEM Fair generally takes place once a year. It was designed to give employers a chance to see students outside of the professional setting.

Colombo said 48 employers signed up for the STEM fair. She said the event received representation from the colleges of computer science and engineering and had a group of sponsors including Cummins, Chastain and Associates and Magna.


At the Reverse STEM fair 17 tables were set up to showcase completed projects, ongoing projects and to give engineering RSOs a place to speak.


The SIU Robotics team brought two robots to their table: Winston and Absaluki.

Winston, named after Winston’s Bagels, is a problem solver, Christopher Jones, a senior studying industrial management and applied engineering, said.

At the Association of Technology Management and Applied Engineering competition in Cincinnati, Ohio in November, 2017, Winston won first place in the obstacle course, in presentation and won overall champion.

The battle bot, Absaluki, participated in Robobrawl at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign for the first time in 2018. Jones said Absaluki is focused on being really fast and symmetrical so that it can operate upside down.

“We made a really fast brick,” Jones said.


Jones said Absaluki flips over other robots using a horizontally laid metal bar at it’s front. The bar is covered with metal teeth and spins at 5,000 rpms.

Time Based Multi-UAV Missions

For their senior project Paul Coen, Winston Smith and Angela Scott worked on creating process algebra extensions for an unmanned systems autonomy services system.

The UxAS would help unmanned aerial vehicles perform path planning calculations and the group submitted their work to the Air Force Research Laboratory’s GitHub.

Winston Smith, a graduate student in Computer Science, said the project, which they took to NASA, took over 1,200 man-hours of coding.

Non-Destructive Testing

According to the Intelligent Measurements and Evaluation Laboratory at SIU, non-destructive testing is a non-invasive method of inspecting and characterizing materials and determines the magnitude of damage and helps with preventive measures that detect damage in existing infrastructure.

Connor Seavers, a senior studying mechanical engineering, said they try to test products for weaknesses without breaking them.

“It’s used on stuff too expensive to replace,” Jake Wagner, a senior in mechanical engineering, said.

Wagner said some examples would be things like steel bridges, concrete or the inside of a jet wing. He said they have used this technology on aircrafts at SIU Aviation to limit costs.

Ultrasound, eddy currents and infrared are some of the tools used in non-destructive testing, Wagner said.


The Cave Automatic Virtual Environment is designed to create the illusion of immersion, according to a project definition document prepared by Utsav Dhungel, Josh Maier and Brady Sprinkle.

The CAVE presented at the Reverse STEM fair is a prototype CAVE system, Maier, a graduate student in computer science, said.

The CAVE created by Maier and his team as a senior project in the 2017-18 school year used three walls with projectors behind each wall to prevent shadows over the images and uses a Microsoft Kinect to detect the direction a player was facing and a Nintendo Wii remote to track forwards and backwards movements.

Sprinkle, a senior in computer science, said potential uses for the CAVE includes military training, video games or movies.

“It’s mainly an educational tool,” Sprinkle said.

Plight of Pip, Wrath of the Riper

This video game is currently in production and is designed to have a combination of top-down and 2D scroller functionality, Candice Sandefur, a senior in computer science, said.

“You can toggle between the camera views,” Michael Mueller, a senior in computer science, said.

Mueller said this will force the players to be very creative with how they solve challenges.

The group members met over the summer to begin conceptualization, Mueller said, and all artwork is done in-house. He said they hope to have all assets done by the end of the semester and want to put the game up on Steam when they complete it.

Staff reporter Brandi Courtois can be reached at or on Twitter at @CourtoisBrandi.

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