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Design Competition: 2016 Student Winners
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2016 International Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition

Student Class Winning Entries


1st PlaceDynamic Arm Support Apparatus (DASA) by Aubree DeLozier, Christopher Sylvester, Stephon Giscombe, Rachel Hernandez, Brad Clark University of Alabama – Huntsville

Bonnell Aluminum LED Lighting Design Challenge Award: Hub LED Light by Zach Hellman from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

Special High School Award: Nuñez Off-Road Light Mount by Rupert Nuñez from
Ronald Regan High School, San Antonio, Texas


*Click on the thumbnail of each image to be taken to the larger, higher-resolution image*

First Place - $3,000 Scholarship
“Dynamic Arm Support Apparatus (DASA)”
The University of Alabama - Huntsville; Huntsville, Alabama
Aubree DeLozier
Christopher Sylvester
Stephon Giscombe
Rachel Hernandez
Brad Clark

A team of students from the University of Alabama – Huntsville won First Place in the 2016 Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition - Student Class for their Design Certification Review project, “Dynamic Arm Support Apparatus (DASA)”. The DASA is a device that was designed for United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Huntsville, Alabama to assist children, specifically for those younger than 5 years old, with limited arm strength due to muscular atrophy. The project was sponsored by the North Alabama Section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and Toyota.

The DASA, which is already in use, is designed to be clamped to a wheel chair and “will support not only the left forearm, but the upper-tricep/bicep area of the arm as well,” noted the students in their submission. They used off-the-shelf 6105-T5 alloy aluminum extrusions in their project “due to the lightweight and ease of fabrication inherent in the material and cross-section. The extruded slots allow for integration of sliding mechanisms that create a unique design solution for the device,” the students explained. Specifications for the device design and use of the product included the ability to be used with either the left or right upper extremities, assembled in 30 minutes or less, disassembled in 5 minutes or less, and adhere to child safety standards in accordance with the customer (UCP) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in addition to other requirements.

“The Dynamic Arm Support will assist young children between the ages of three and five who have trouble in moving their arm due to muscle fatigue and muscular atrophy,” explained the students. “The Dynamic Arm Support will minimize the strength used to oppose gravity by the user’s forearm and upper arm. This gives the user the ability to move in multiple directions.”

“This application has great market potential,” said competition judge David Asher, Process Optimization Manager for Bonnell Aluminum headquartered in Newnan, Georgia. “The healthcare market is a growing market for which products made with aluminum extrusions are ideally suited. In addition, this product would benefit from a custom extrusion design as opposed to the standard 80/20 shapes they chose to use.”

“We are so proud of our students,” said Christina Carmen, PhD, the students’ instructor at UAH Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. “The device is already being used by a 4 year old patient at United Cerebral Palsy and the extruded aluminum allowed for a durable yet lightweight design that will allow the therapist to easily transport the device during occupational therapy sessions.”

This is the second year that students from the University of Alabama – Huntsville have won First Place in the competition. The judges found the overall professionalism and design review approach to the product development to be exemplary.





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Bonnell Aluminum LED Lighting Design Challenge Award -$2,500 Scholarship
"Hub LED Light"

Zach Hellman
Purdue University; West Lafayette, Indiana

The HUB LED light “serves as the nerve of any construction site,” explained Zach Hellman in his entry materials. “The design is focused on modularity and takes advantage of aluminum’s conductivity and heat dissipation properties. Integrated chargers and LED lighting ensure that critical tools are always at the ready,” the student continued.

The HUB consists of an extruded aluminum LED light assembly, an extruded main frame, tables, legs and leg bracket. An extruded aluminum heat sink serves a dual purpose as the LED mounting rail and heat sink. “Hub is based on built-in functionality of aluminum extrusion. It uses a rail-based system to encourage modularity and expandability beyond what I have included in my design,” noted Hellman. “Despite the number of parts in this product, most can be made using the extrusion process.”

“This is a good overall design, and functional for commercial and industrial applications,” said competition judge Todd Boyer, Director of Sales & Marketing for Mid-States Aluminum Corp. in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

“Although it’s not a commodity product, it’s rugged, lightweight and easy to move and set up,” said Asher.






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Special High School Award - $ 1,000 Scholarship
Nuñez Off-Road Light Mount

Rupert Nuñez
Ronald Reagan High School, San Antonio, Texas

“The Nuñez Off-road Light Mount is built for heavy duty applications where durability, stability and extreme heat dissipation are necessary,” explained Nuñez in his entry. The student designed the light to accept most kinds of off-road vehicle LED lighting solutions using 6061 aluminum alloy “for strength and low production costs.” To ensure the best heat dissipation and help cool the light, the body of the mount is hollow, Nuñez noted. The judges felt that the two-void hollow design is a practical extrusion and one that would be able to be developed for production.

“Using aluminum in a light mount is advantageous because of the ability of the material to dissipate heat and reflect light. High power off-road lights can emit a lot of heat, and if the heat is not managed it will shorten the life of the light system,” explained the student. To enhance reflectivity Nuñez specifies clear bright dip anodizing. Repeatable, consistent quality of the extrusion process is another factor that the student cited for using aluminum extrusion in his design entry. “This process is ideal when a product needs to be relied upon to perform perfectly every time [and] the extrusion process retains aluminum’s much needed strength.”

The judges decided to present a special “High School” scholarship award to Nuñez; they were impressed with the amount of time and effort the student put into creating his design. “This is great for high school level,” said Asher. “This is the type of creativity we’re hoping to see from students, including college- level students.”




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