UAH engineering students take first place in aluminum extrusion design competition


Left to right: Grand prize winner Rob Nelson, Almag Aluminum Inc.; competition judge David Asher, Bonnell Aluminum; UAH student Stephon Giscombe; competition chairman Craig Werner, Kaiser Aluminum; UAH student Rachel Hernandez; LED Lighting Design Challenge Award winner Zach Hellman; and competition judge Bill Rogers, Aloca.

The ET Foundation

A team of students from The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) won first place in the 2016 Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition - Student Class for their Design Certification Review project entitled "Dynamic Arm Support Apparatus (DASA)." Team members Aubree DeLozier, Christopher Sylvester, Stephon Giscombe, Rachel Hernandez, and Brad Clark will share the $3,000 First-Place Student Scholarship Prize.

"We are so proud of our students," said Dr. Christina Carmen, the students' instructor and a clinical associate professor with UAH's Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. "The device is already being used by a four-year-old patient at United Cerebral Palsy, and the extruded aluminum design allows the therapist to easily transport the device during occupational therapy sessions."

The DASA was designed for use by United Cerebral Palsy of Huntsville & the Tennessee Valley to assist children who have limited arm strength due to muscular atrophy. The device, which clamps to a wheelchair, supports the left forearm and upper arm and counteracts the effects of gravity to increase arm mobility. The project was sponsored by Toyota and the North Alabama Section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and features off-the-shelf 6105-T5 alloy aluminum extrusions.

This is not the first UAH team to compete in - and win - the Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition, which is hosted by the Extrusion Technology for Aluminum Profiles Foundation. Last year, a group of seven students in Dr. Carmen's class also took home the top prize with a mobile experimentation display station currently in use at local children's science center Sci-Quest.