TU Can-Crushing Machine Wins Top Award from Oklahoma Society of Professional Engineers

Wednesday, June 27, 2001

An automatic can crusher designed and built by four University of Tulsa mechanical engineering students for use by a group of disabled workers has won the Oklahoma Society of Professional Engineers’ Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award in the student category.

The device, which is capable of crushing 30 cans per minute, is used at the Woodland Park Home in Tulsa. The home organizes recycling events as income-generating activities for its disabled residents.

The machine, which is about five-feet tall and weighs approximately 300 pounds, was one of several projects created last year by teams of students in a senior mechanical engineering design class taught by professors John Henshaw and Steve Tipton.

“The students built a unique device that is safe, quiet, durable, and it’s easy to move, clean, operate and maintain.” says Tipton.

The device, which is painted red, has sheet-metal sides, with a plastic door on the front so one can see the cans being crushed. Safety switches prevent operation if the door is open. An electric motor drives a roller that pulls the cans between a wheel and a steel plate. The machine moves on rollers, which have parking brakes.

The award was presented during the society’s annual meeting June 9 in Stillwater.

The students, who have graduated from TU since they were in the class, were Khalid Al-Dosari of Qatar and Faisal Al-Kaabi, Khalid Al-Jarwan and Mohamed Al-Hosani from the United Arab Emirates.