Riverbank resident Joshua Luke McHugh, a student at UC Merced, recently joined with teammates in an ‘Innovate to Grow’ competition.
Working with Edgar Lozano, Nicholas Balaban, and Bernie Gabriel, the team did an Engineering Capstone Design project and was a semifinalist in the competition.
The idea behind the competition is to present a prototype for machinery or smartphone apps, many times for agricultural purposes but also for other industries.
McHugh and fellow teammates, all engineering students, worked alongside Universal Cal Weld to integrate a clutch onto their equipment by applying fundamental engineering concepts such as feasibility, optimization, product reliability and safety.
Their team provided a prototype design, a stress and lifetime analysis and Standard Operating Procedures to replicate the design.
Though they didn’t take the top prize, the team did earn $1,000 for their efforts.
McHugh is expected to graduate from UC Merced in December.
Here is information about the project as presented at the competition: Universal Clutch, Sponsor: Cal Weld, UCM Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ala Qattawi.
High-precision and high-purity welds are an integral component of semiconductor equipment and production. To achieve industry standards, skilled workers need precision equipment such as variable speed turntables to properly, quickly and accurately weld components. But current turntables lack integrated clutches, so welders cannot freely rotate parts or assemblies. In addition, the high-frequency electric motors on the turntables can interfere with certain welding equipment. We are designing an easily integrated clutch that allows welders to seamlessly engage or disengage turntables from their motors during operation, so the parts or assemblies can be moved freely without interfering with welding equipment.