Students Compete in Engineering Contest - 8 News NOW

Students Compete in Engineering Contest

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LAS VEGAS -- From solar powered mopeds to smell-o-vision, UNLV engineering students are getting a head start in the workforce by showcasing their own inventions. It's a part of their senior design competition, but the ultimate goal is to create products for business.

Engineering students created the products and this fall, business students will develop a marketing plan. Don't be surprised to see some of these ideas in the Las Vegas market in the future.

Brian Magann helped create SAM, the Solar-Assisted Moped.

"We targeted this for high school, college students. You don't have $5,000 to $10,000 to spend on a car, so this was a green initiative you can have for short distance travel," he said.

SAM has three solar panels on an aluminum frame and travels 11 miles on an eight hour charge. It's targeted for high school and college students whose parents don't have the money to spend on a car.

There were 17 projects in all judged by local industry representatives inside the Thomas and Mack Center.

Another project already in demand is the manually activating spring hammer.

"We can break through concrete and rock, you name it. It does great. It's versatile, it tamps, it chisels concrete," he said.

Lusk says he cut down a tree in his back yard one day and realized how much of a hassle it was digging up the tree stump. The spring loading tool, which weighs about 30 pounds, has caught the eye of a local business owner.

Robert Mendenhall, owner of Las Vegas Paving, says he wants to purchase several of these tools as soon as it's patented.

One successful idea from last year's competition is now a limited liability company called Scuba Solutions, which has a product that makes it easier for divers to carry their gear over rough terrain.

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