Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

‘Smart Well’ wins first place at Fall 2023 Tech Symposium

Courtesy of Cora Ford

More than 300 students from the Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design presented their Senior Design I and II projects at the Fall 2023 Tech Symposium on Nov. 17 in the H-E-B Ballroom. Both courses require students to work in teams to solve a real-world problem. Students taking Senior Design I are tasked with presenting the logistics and desired outcome of their project, while Senior Design II students typically present a tangible prototype. 

The event not only showcases the innovations of UTSA engineering students, but it also allows students to compete for cash awards. The winners were announced after judges, local organizations, faculty and sponsors were given the opportunity to walk around and talk to students about their projects, ask them questions and try out their prototypes. 

The top prize of $4,000 went to Senior Design II team Hydro Logic for the creation of their “Smart Well.” The team consisted of seniors Ben Ford, Dilpreet Kaur, Dillon White and Shane Lettine. The purpose of the well is to replace the traditional mechanical components of a water well control system with a system that is reliable and cutting-edge. 

The scope of the project was inspired by Ford’s experiences with his own unreliable water well. “I had a residential water well and I had lots of problems with it, mostly [with] the control system,” he said. 

His teammate Kaur added that the events of the 2021 winter freeze in Texas also greatly inspired the well. “A lot of people’s pipes burst or shut down or they were having issues with their wells, so they couldn’t get water,” she said. 

With both forms of inspiration and the group’s desire to ensure people everywhere receive equal access to running and safe water, they worked together to design a solid-state digital system that actively monitors people’s water systems and troubleshoots any problems that transpire. 

When asked what sort of impact Hydro Logic envisions their project having, Ford reiterated that it would benefit rural areas the most. “I really think that this is a good product for rural people. It’s a product that will help non-technical people save money,” he said. “Water is a scarce resource in our area, so the more we can save water, the better it is for everybody.”

Ford emphasized that this device aims to help individuals living in these areas as the group feels they are at the most risk of experiencing problems with their water systems and were affected the most during the events of the 2021 Texas winter storm. “People’s pipes burst all over the place. It was fine while it was frozen, but as soon as it thawed, water went everywhere.”

He also mentioned that there are companies within this industry that provide equipment that they would be competing against but that these types of systems only notify individuals they are experiencing a problem with their water when it has already run out. According to the group, the “Smart Well” aims to ensure people do not have to worry about reaching this point. 

Hydro Logic’s next steps are to improve their prototype by possibly making it smaller and adding more features to its system. “We have a great platform to start from and we’ve got a lot of things we can add on to,” Ford said.

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Amber Serio, News Editor
Amber (she/her) is a senior majoring in English with a concentration in Professional Writing. After graduating in the Spring, she plans to attend grad school and further her education in English. Originally from a small town on the outskirts of Houston, she greatly values the art of writing and media, as this has been something she has wanted to pursue her entire life. Outside of the Paisano, you can find her spending time with her weenie dog Otis, thrifting, or reading a romance novel.

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