Student Exhibits


Welcome to the Students Exhibits page!

The Engineering Expo is returning to the UW-Madison campus this April. Now is the perfect time to think about how you might want to get involved!


Want to see what Expo is all about? 

Check out this video from Expo 2011


Need Inspiration? Check out these exhibit descriptions from the 2013 Expo!

Giant Carbon Nanotube Balloon: A carbon nanotube is built out of balloons.

Forms of Carbon: The atomic structures of graphite, graphene, and diamond are explored with LED lights and plastic models.

Amorphous Metal: Ball bearings are dropped down a 14" tube onto a sample of stainless steel and amorphous metal, to show the differences in physical properties when the atomic structure is changed.

X-ray Diffraction: We explain the ability of light to categorize mystery materials by shining laser pointers through blank CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Rays.

Hydrophobic/Hydrophilic materials: Using Magic Sand, nanofabrics, lotus leaves, Sodium Polyacrylate, and Instant Snow, we explore how materials can be hydrophobic or hydrophilic.

Memory Metal: The properties of memory metal are explored with hot water and Tupperware.

Ferrofluids: Ferrofluids are explored with magnets and a "leaping Ferrofluid" demonstration.

LEDs: This activity explores the chemical makeup and properties of LED lights using Christmas lights, Easy Bake Ovens, phosphor paper, and numerous other tools. 19

CFS Holder: The CFS Holder is a self-adjusting fishing rod holder, which was designed to keep bait at a constant height relative to the bottom of the lake when the boat is rocking back and forth. The CFS Holder, created by senior BSE student Justin Vannieuwenhoven, placed first in the annual Innovation Days competition and third in the Tong Prototype competition.

An Intelligent Tactical Treaded Robot Using Mobile Technology: The exhibit involves a multi-purpose manipulator (robot) that can be used in the field of defense. It has various applications and features designed in it.

Scanning Electron Microscope: Scanning electron microscopes can magnify images up to 500,000 times using a focused beam of electrons to probe the surface. Come see it in action!

Atomic Force Microscopy: Magnets are used as a model of how AFM can give us information about a world we cannot know with our senses. 20

Superconducting Levitating Trains: Levitating train set modeled after the high speed Maglev trains in Germany. The train levitates by using superconductors and magnets to create a magnetic cage around the train.

Advanced Manufacturing: The lab exhibits will demonstrate manufacturing technologies including Friction Stir Welding, Micro-End Milling, a multi-axis mill-turn center and an infrared camera. Our lab members will give short descriptions of the importance of each manufacturing method. We will also demonstrate several heat transfer mechanisms while answering any questions related to new technologies within manufacturing.

American Society of Mechanical Engineers: ASME, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, promotes student development in the Mechanical Engineering discipline through industry, academic, and community involvement. Come to the exhibit to learn more about ASME and participate in the Lego car jump and drive our design competition robot vehicle without direct line of sight!

The True Impact of Nuclear on Our Lives: Nuclear science has undeniably altered the course of human history, and impacts our lives in many ways, for better or worse. Come learn the truth about how nuclear science is affecting your life. 21

OR Games: Want to learn how to estimate pi by playing darts, or how to find the shortest route through a city? We use techniques from Operations Research (OR) to solve complex mathematical problems with fun games.

The Body Machine: Interested in sports and gaming? Come see how engineers use tools like the Microsoft Kinect to explore how the body moves and how we use engineering design to treat injury.

American Institute of Chemical Engineers: Chemical engineering explores the world of chemistry and how it can be used in our lives. Come see what chemistry and engineering can achieve and how they improve the way we live. 22

K'NEX Robotic Suit: A robotic exoskeleton made out of K'NEX. Taking over 2 years to create, it is composed of roughly 7,500 individual pieces and is also functional.

Mechanical Vibrations in Engineering: Mechanical engineers design and build structures such as cars, airplanes and computers for long term use. It is important to understand how the structure vibrates in order to avoid issues with safety, reliability and comfort. This exhibit demonstrates why engineers care about mechanical vibrations.

Wisconsin Engineer Magazine Photo Shoot: Have you ever wondered what you would look like on the cover of a magazine? Come visit the Wisconsin Engineer Magazine Photo Shoot! You will get the chance to dress up like an engineer and see yourself on the cover of our magazine.

Fun with Calculator Robots: Come learn about basic programming! We will be doing interactive demonstrations with our calculator robots, robotics trivia, and other programming-related activities that will be fun for all ages.

Wheels in Wisconsin: From construction to agriculture to recreation, Wisconsin engineers create innovative wheeled vehicles that are sold all over the world. This exhibit highlights the exciting technology engineered by several Wisconsin-based companies and how their wheels roll around the globe.

KHK Multitouch Surface: The KHK Multitouch Surface is a custom table interface with a multitouch surface designed to add touch capabilities to a standard computer operating system for multiple users.

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics: AIAA is composed almost entirely of Engineering Mechanics and Astronautics students of which wish to go into an aerospace career. Student in the organization have the option of participating in the Zero Gravity program sponsored by NASA as well as the Rocket Competition put on by the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium (WSGC). Our exhibit will provide sample experiment materials as well as information on the current projects. 24

BadgerBOTS: BadgerBOTS engages young people through hands-on, mentor-based programs to build self-confidence, develop leadership skills, and create opportunities to succeed in the 21st century. BadgerBOTS Robotics Corporation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that serves over 600 Dane County students each year with team opportunities in the FIRST family of programs, as well as camps and workshops in robotics, entrepreneurship, electronics, and programming. As the Affiliate Partner for FIRST LEGO League, we also coordinate tournaments for several thousand students statewide.

Who You Callin' Non-Newtonian?! Fluids that act like solids? What is this crazy stuff?! Explore the world of everyday household products that don't act the way you think they should.

Materials Carnival: Ever heard of Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream? Liquid Magnets? How about Dancing Corn Starch? Feast your eyes on some of the most marvelous materials at MSAE 231 and you might get a taste of Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream!

Ruben's Tube: Come see the amazing properties of sound waves as visualized through flames!

Thermodynamics of Fire: Our exhibit will be conducting thermite reactions and a fire hands demonstration. Thermite will cut through an iron plate to show how a highly exothermic reaction can be hot enough to cut through metal. The fire hands demo will show how the phase transformation of water can consume the heat produced by fire.


Land Glider - A New Type of Roller Skates: The team will be presenting a new footwear design that can serve both as a roller skate and a shoe.

Jump Around with Microcomputers! Learn about the Descendant's Fountain by jumping on pads to control the flow of water with the power of your feet! Explore the capabilities of microcomputers! 26

Wisconsin Superbikes: Our booth will include a showcase about what we currently do as an organization, what our future goals are as well as some showcasing of our progress.

Formula SAE: The Formula SAE car will be on display. Learn about the student run race teams at UW-Madison.

Wisconsin Hybrid Vehicle Team: The Wisconsin Hybrid Vehicle Team is currently collaborating with the Engine Research Lab on campus to implement a new engine technology called Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition or RCCI. This new technology allows two fuel sources to be injected into the engine simultaneously. To learn more about the team go to

Clean Snowmobile Team: Clean Snowmobile Team reengineers an existing snowmobile to reduce emissions and noise. Their modified snowmobile competes in a variety of events including emissions, noise, fuel economy/endurance, acceleration, handling, static display, cold start and design. Learn more at

Bucky Wagon: The Bucky Wagon is a 1932 LaFrance fire truck that was put out of commission due to a cracked transmission but the fire truck was recently restored. The all-electric Bucky Wagon is powered by lithium-ion batteries, with LED emergency lights now top the wagon and will cut back on electricity use. Stop by to see the Bucky Wagon or visit and click Bucky Wagon.