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Past Projects

The following are a list of the projects that were previously available for students. 


  • ABQ BioPark.
    • When: Fall 2020.
    • Potential Project: Enrichment devices (veterinary needs, play, behavior specific, goal based, husbandry, many aspects!), portable hot/cold rock for temperature sensitive animals, Pond/Lawn drainage and habitat maintenance, touch screen app development for enrichment with great apes/elephants, painting boxes. Environmental enrichment including in atypical settings like cold temperatures (penguins) and salt water (aquarium & penguins), lots of options beyond these and open to creativity!
  • Affordable Solar Installations, Inc. - Photovoltaic system performance testing and data analysis
    • When: Fall 2020 & Spring 2022
    • Type of OrganizationPrivate
    • Mission: Solar EPC and Operations 
    • This project most closely aligns with Computer Science and Electrical Engineering.
    • Potential Project:
      • Fall 2020. Monitoring and alerting operational PV systems is a potentially high value (for ASI) project. This potentially includes the opportunity to scope a PV monitoring project, target a do-able subset of that need, then execute (program in the Wonderware -or Ignition- environment to automate the intended monitoring functions (setting up more “intelligent” monitoring alerts that can detect problems without requiring a human to see them) would fit the EPICS program criteria. Another option could be to test-migrate part of the monitored portfolio over to Ignition from Wonderware and build in additional functionality. There is the potential to expand this towards a more AI approach to monitoring PV systems (having the machine “learn” how to detect problems). Our portfolio of monitored projects is a data bonanza. Students could also design around a historical data set until it’s determined that they are capable of building worthwhile features.
      • Spring 2022. Data harvesting from actual PV power plant SQL databases with analytics performed in a Python script based environment. The ideal candidate will have experience in Anaconda/Python/Jupyter Notebooks. 
    • "How do you see this (these) project(s) fulfilling the 'help address human, community, and environmental needs' aspect of EPCIS @ UNM?": Engaging in the greater effort to decarbonize energy production in a movement towards sustainability in renewable energy.
  • BioPark Society (looking for students with experience with R):
    • When: Spring 2021. Fall 2021.
    • Type of Organization: Not-for-profit. 
    • Mission: NMBPS is dedicated to the development of, procurement for and capital improvement of the ABQ BioPark and to providing a quality facility through the support of related conservation, education and recreation programs.
    • Potential Project: Our IUCN Conservation team is dedicated to producing the highest quality assessments of species extinction risks in a broad array of geographic contexts. As the needs for assessments far outstrip our capacity, we are seeking new and innovative ways to increase the pace at which assessments can be generated. 
      • Spring 2021. One method we are exploring is through automation of data gathering and interpretation. For many species, the necessary data exists in a wide array of databases which can be scraped using automated means and interpreted using methods of varying complexity. At the moment, we are using very basic systems to do this, but these could be greatly improved through software development and improved informatics systems which expand our base of collected data. We would also like to explore new methods for interpreting these data.
      • Fall 2021. With the assistance of EPICS students, we've developed software to automate assessments of plants in North America which has greatly improved our capacity to engage in conservation efforts, but our current system requires some technical knowledge from users. A web-based interface written in the R programming language will help us to share this tool with other institutions and magnify our conservation impact. Interested students should be familiar with the R programming language, as it will be a crucial component of future developments.
  • City of Albuquerque, Dept. of Family & Community Services (Homeless Services) - Public Safety District Data Compilation & Enhance Online Platform for "Fast Track to Housing" Program for Unhoused Families:
    • When: Fall 2021 & Spring 2022
    • Type of OrganizationGovernment Agency
    • Mission: The City has recently acquired the Gibson Medical Center, which already serves as a health hub with existing tenants providing services. Plans to create a Gateway Center as part of this health hub will add additional health resources for the community as well as centrally located shelter beds accompanied by supports to connect people with treatments they need and housing.
    • This project most closely aligns with Computer Science, Data Analytics, System Design, System Engineering.
    • Potential Project:
      • Fall 2021. Create the background database assets for use by case managers and operations staff at a non-congregate shelter for families experiencing homelessness. Students would learn the Caspio platform through the many online videos. Responsibilities will include enhancing existing data tables, enhance data integration, Set up data pages and tables that enable simple user inputs on a web-based platform and improve the website as needed to keep it user friendly. The student needs to be able to set up data relationships, reports and dashboards for internal quality control as well as for evaluation and reporting results to the public.
        Tasks can be accomplished in 10-20 hrs/week for students who can work independently and fulfill tasks as directed by the Senior Policy Director at the City Department of Family and Community Services.
      • Spring 2022. Support City staff on project to assemble database information with the purpose of integrating and analyzing multiple datasets into a schema that informs a new public safety district to track data trends and set up a response system. Support data mapping. Help integrate and geocode data. Set up analytical tools such as heatmaps, layering, data compilation, data visualization, and reporting tools to provide summary analysis of multiple datasets from multiple City departments regarding crime, behavioral health crises, and other quality of life issues.
    • "How do you see this (these) project(s) fulfilling the 'help address human, community, and environmental needs' aspect of EPCIS @ UNM?": This project is providing support to a real-time innovation for data-informed response to improve community conditions in a portion of the SE quadrant of the City.
  • City of Albuquerque - Sustainability and Energy Management Office
    • When: Spring 2021
    • Potential Project: Energy audit for buildings and energy efficiency data analysis. 
  • Crossroads for Women.
    • When: Spring 2021
    • Potential Project: Design a new data base to track volunteer engagement
  • *CSolPower, LLC - GTES (Gigawatt-hour Thermal Energy Storage):
    • When: Fall 2021 & Spring 2022.
    • Type of Organization: Private
    • Mission: Energy Security and Sustainability
    • This project most closely aligns with Civil, Construction, Environmental, & Mechanical Engineering.
    • Potential Project: Students will assist in the design and analysis of a novel large-scale, long-duration thermal energy storage system. Large-scale, long-duration energy storage systems will be needed as greater penetrations of intermittent renewables penetrate the electrical grid to ensure stability and reliability. This work addresses a critical need to enable 100% carbon-free electricity production by 2045 as mandated by NM's Energy Transition Act.
    • "How do you see this (these) project(s) fulfilling the 'help address human, community, and environmental needs' aspect of EPCIS @ UNM?": This work addresses a critical need to enable 100% carbon-free electricity production by 2045 as mandated by NM's Energy Transition Act.
  • Explora - Engineering and Tech Program Development at X Studio:
    • When: Fall 2021.
    • Type of Organization: Not-for-profit. 
    • Mission: Creating opportunities for inspirational discovery and the joy of lifelong learning through interactive experiences in science, technology engineering, arts, and math.
    • Potential Project: X Studio is Explora's new teen workforce development center, scheduled to open Spring 2022. X Studio is a place for teens to learn, develop their skills, and become leaders. Here, teens have: a space that they can call their own; access to meaningful, creative learning experiences; access to work opportunities at Explora and beyond; a network of connections to role models and mentors; experiences that expand their ideas of what a career pathway could look like.

      As such the X Studio team is currently developing the programs and activities that will happen at X Studio that meet the above objectives. This project will focus on developing cool and engaging engineering and technology based in the X Studio makerspace and tech labs. This might include:
      *fabrication with tools like 3D printers, a laser cutter, sewing machines, woodworking tools, etc
      *coding in a digital environment (ie video game development, web development, etc)
      *physical computing with arduino, raspberry pi, microbit, etc
      *hackathons, app contests, game jams

      Throughout this project students will be supported to experiment and test activity ideas using Explora equipment, materials, spaces, and staff. In addition, students will help develop curriculum and instructions for any topics that are generated through this project. Finally, students will support Explora staff through the development of X Studio programs as time and interest allows.
  • Locker# 505: Students Clothing Bank Appointment Application:
    • When: Spring 2021. Fall 2021.
    • Type of OrganizationNot-for-profit
    • Mission: To clothe students in need from Kindergarten through 12th grade throughout Bernalillo County so they can attend school in comfort and with confidence.
    • This project most closely aligns with Computer Science.
    • Potential Project
      • Spring 2021: Potential projects include, working on an application or program that allows referring individuals and parents to give us feedback on our services, another application to allow parents to check-in when they get here to pick up their clothing and would not have to call us, possibly even to schedule or cancel appointments, having someone evaluate our use of space and develop more efficient ways of storing and distributing clothing, and they note they are always open to ideas of how to make our operation run more smoothly if anyone has suggestions.
      • Fall 2021: We would like to be able to make appointments through an app of some kind, however, we have looked any many applications but none have been found that meet our many needs. We have many needs such as an area to make notations to parents, one that parents can change their appointment, having a form attached for the parent to complete, and several more fields we need available.
  • Management Sciences, Inc. in collaboration with Sandia National Labs - Cybersecure processing and sensor fusion:
    • When: Fall 2021.
    • Type of Organization:  Private and Government collaboration
    • Mission: To improve the state of the art in sensor fusion at the edge of the network.
    • This project most closely aligns with Electrical & Computer, and Computer Science.
    • Potential Project: The state of the art in sensors, processing platforms, and algorithms continue to evolve at a rapid pace. New, low-cost sensors are emerging, embedded systems are becoming smaller and more capable, and open source software for analytics continues to grow. Many state of the art security systems using open source software and low-cost sensors have limited cybersecurity capabilities, resulting in a large cyber attack surface that can be exploited by hackers and adversaries. In this project, students will have the opportunity to explore sensors, embedded computing, and sensor fusion technologies to support new opportunities to fuse low-cost sensors at the edge of the network.
    • "How do you see this (these) project(s) fulfilling the 'help address human, community, and environmental needs' aspect of EPCIS @ UNM?": Inexpensive sensors provide only a rudimentary capability to protect public and private spaces. High-end sensors are prohibitively expensive for most applications. Sensor fusion offers the opportunity to make low-cost sensors practical for physical security in public and private spaces.
  • Sandia National Labs - Thermographic phosphoros as temperature sensors
    • When: Fall 2020 via ECE 419 Senior Design with Dr. Kathryn Hoffmeister & Dr. Caroline Winters.
    • Potential Project: The project would be a signal processing project where the students setup simple lab experiments (with LEDs, an oscilloscope, a photodiode, a signal generator, etc) and try to remove the signal from background/noise using advanced signal processing concepts.
  • *Thuvia Systems The development of an interoperable, patient-centered smart inhaler:
    • When: Fall 2021.
    • Type of Organization: Private
    • Mission: Thuvia aims to improve the health of communities, train the next generation of leaders, and challenge boundaries through smart technology.
    • This project most closely aligns with Mechanical & Electrical/Computer Engineering and servs individuals with asthma.
    • Potential ProjectThis project is to develop a smart medical device, using a traditional inhaler and spacer setup, that can integrate with smart phones to collect data on when, where, and how well the patient uses the device. The project will re-imagine and re-design a crude prototype of the inhaler that we developed over the past year into a smart inhaler that we can put into the hands of regular people. The project will supply state-of-the-art embedded computer development boards, debugging systems, sensors, and 3D printing materials for students to use up and turn into products. The effort will integrate with a parallel ECE Senior Design project. In short, we would like to incorporate NOx sensors and digital pressure sensors to capture patient data that interfaces with BLE. The device should prevent exhalation into the smart inhaler, which may foul the flow sensor used to measure inspiratory flow rate. By integrating a function that allows for varied device operation through an inhalation (default) and exhalation (specific action) modes we can protect the flow sensing device while still being able to monitor NOx levels. Also reducing the possibility of damaging the flow sensing device components. In the case that the flow sensor does become fouled from regular and/or incorrect usage, the flow sensing device should be easily replaceable. In addition, the device should give positive visual/audio feedback to the user for proper device operation. Finally, the students will develop a power management system. Overall, the device should collect inspiratory flow and NOx data, store it, then transfer it to a collection system through wireless interfacing. In the end, students will have learned how to make real products smart.
  • United States Space Force via AFRL (US Citizenship Preferred):
    • When: Spring 2021. Fall 2021.
    • Type of Organization: Government Agency
    • Mission: Leading the discovery, development, and integration of warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace forces.
    • Potential Project:
      • Spring 2021. Designing, developing, and testing of trusted secured software platforms for space application. This project can inform the space defense community on cyber technologies for awareness, defense, and resilience.
      • Fall 2021. Designing, developing, and testing of trusted secured software platforms for space application. This project can inform the space defense community on cyber technologies for awareness, defense, and resilience.
    • Additional comments: US Citizenship Preferred
  • UNM Basic Needs Project - Food Recovery App:
    • When: Fall 2021.
    • Type of Organization: Educational
    • Mission: To measure and relieve food and housing insecurity at UNM.
    • This project most closely aligns with Computer Science. 
    • Potential Project: The Basic Needs Project would like to design a food recovery program at UNM. The goal is to connect students to free food that might otherwise go to waste. For example, if there is left over food from an event it could be distributed to students or students who have signed on to an app. An Honors College class will provide a team of students to help design the program in general (research where in the US it is already being done, connect with the necessary offices on campus, etc) but we need a CS student or two to design a mobile app as part of the food recovery program.
  • UNM Department of Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation 
    • When: Fall 2020 via ECE 419 Senior Design.
    • Potential Project: Low-cost, marker-less knee kinematic evaluation system (with Dr. Salas). In the Dept. of Orthopaedics we frequently conduct research on the human knee – assessing things like knee kinematics and comparing knee stability between pre-operative vs. post-operative surgical treatments. Traditionally, we have done so using infrared cameras and motion capture software. We will place markers or marker triads on the bone surfaces and use high resolution IR cameras to track their positions while applying various loads to the knee. We often do so on human cadaver knees that are uninjured, then repeat after inducing some simulated injury like a torn ACL, then repeat again after repairing the ACL to determine whether we are able to regain the same level of knee stability as we had when the specimen was uninjured. Motion capture systems like ours (Optitrack) allow us to capture data then analyze position information post-experimentation using various computer codes (typically Matlab). What we are asking for this senior design project is to develop a marker-less registration system (hardware) that uses a probe for identifying specified points on the bones. Once these points are identified, their locations will help map out the knee geometry to develop a knee coordinate system that can be used for marker-less knee tracking (software). Ideally, the software would work in conjunction with the Motive:Body software we already use for marker tracking and would be scripted using Matlab (but we are open to other user-friendly options). The global coordinate system could be defined using the ground plane system supplied by Optitrack. The hardware probe would use the Optitrack IR cameras for position registration. The system would be validated using the same IR camera system, but with physical markers on the bone surface.


Unpartnered Projects

  • City of Albuquerque, Dept. of Family & Community Services (Youth Services) - City of Albuquerque Community Centers Evaluation:
    • Type of OrganizationGovernment Agency
    • Mission: The Department of Family and Community Services provides quality health and social services, housing, recreation and education to improve the quality of life for the entire Albuquerque Community.
    • This project most closely aligns with Civil Engineering.
    • Potential Project: If you are interested in social-impact and research this project was designed for you. In fall of 2021, Harvard Graduate School of Education worked in tandem with the City of Albuquerque to use the participatory evaluation method to provide a road map of potential evaluation methods to explore key components of our model. The Community Centers of Albuquerque have an 85-year history of serving the people of Albuquerque. Some of the earliest centers were built in the late 1930s, growing over the 20th century into the 22 community center facilities that exist today. A powerful part of the afterschool and summer programming is that it is staffed almost entirely by youth from the same community as the students it serves. These part-time workers receive summer professional development training before the school year begins and are expected to take on additional responsibilities throughout the year as they build skills that can help them in any future professional endeavor. This cycle of youth developing the skills and motivation to reinvest in the youth of their own community is a central facet of the Community Centers of Albuquerque mission, and this evaluation is a step towards evaluating the strength of the cycle and its long-term impact. 
      This evaluation has two possible routes by exploring:
      1. How do the students in the after school and summer
      school programs perceive their connection to the adults they interact with at
      the community center? OR
      2. To what extent, if at all, are part-time employees gaining
      professional skills, career guidance, and connection to their community through
      participating in the Part Time Work program? How do these and other factors
      impact retention for part-time employees?
    • "How do you see this (these) project(s) fulfilling the 'help address human, community, and environmental needs' aspect of EPCIS @ UNM?": In a geographical analysis, we found children who live in the City of Albuquerque experience varying levels of access to out-of-school time programs. One way the city would like to address this gap is by improving the quality of our programs city-wide. One way to improve programs is by engaging stakeholders in evaluative conversations, and then implementing recommendations based on community needs. Please visit, and review "Mapping Educational Outcomes.
  • Sandia National Labs(Dr. Scott Levy; Center for Computing Research). We work extensively with an open-source simulator of bulk synchronous parallel applications. Our research depends on our ability to add new functionality and improve the existing functionality of this simulator. Our idea is to work with a team to identify, design, and implement one new feature for this simulator.
  • STEM Boomerang. 1. Data scrape social media sites to obtain contact information for New Mexico graduates that fit the criteria: graduated in New Mexico, degree in STEM-related fields; 2. Design and built SQL database of STEM professionals. Help set up queries. 3. Develop an API that posts job openings onto local and state job boards.