Project Examples


The Department of Chemical Engineering carries out research in the area of gas-solid fluidization. When a solid material is contacted by an upward flowing gas stream, some of the solid particles
will be entrained. The magnitude of the entrainment depends on various factors. The department is interested in entrainment of particles that are initially wet and that gradually dry as they are fluidized. At a fixed gas velocity, will an increase in entrainment be detected as the particles dry?

The acrylic cyclone fabricated by Engineering Shops will capture entrained particles and send them to a collection vessel attached to a strain gauge. This will allow the rate of entrainment to be determined as drying proceeds. Fabricating the cyclone out of acrylic will allow entrainment to be visually observed as well.


The "Art Panels" shown are part of the prototype for an art work referred to as Tripart Hexaplane Construction created by Eli Bornstien.

The Illustration is of the core skeleton framework that was built by Dan Vessey. The center support structure and panel mounts were developed, to meet the specifications and drawings provided by the artist. This construction is a future development of his Quadriplane and Hexaplane Structural Reliefs, also built by Engineering shops over the years. The six aluminium planes of the Tripart freestanding construction are removable to allow for eventual painting with acrylic color enamel and re-assemble. Each plane will have attached to its surface various sequences and clusters of painted aluminium colour pieces to complete the total three-dimensional color structure forming an integrated chromatic continuum in space.

This art work is associated with The Structuist publication, an international art journal founded by Eli Bornstien at the University of Saskatchewan in 1960. Further information this biennial periodical, as well as color illustrations of structurist art work can be found on its website:

SED Reciever Prototype Enclosure

This is an example of a prototype enclosure built for SED Systems. SED designed a concept satellite receiver and its enclosure shown above houses a printed circuit board, antenna and battery pack.

"Its kind of an expensive enclosure but... when you are considering the cost of developing an injection mold or marketing a unique concept, it is quite cost effective."

Dale Gunderson SED Systems


For the past two years, researchers in the Dept. of Civil & Geological Engineering have been undertaking a joint research initiative with Saskatchewan Environment, City of Saskatoon and Meewasin Valley Authority to determine the impact that urban stormwater runoff has on the South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon. A significant aspect of the work has involved the collection of runoff water samples from several locations within the City's storm sewer system. The samples are gathered using automatic water samplers, which begin acquiring samples once activated by a trigger device. The trigger is set off when the water level in the storm sewer rises to a pre-set level and continues until the sampler has filled each of its two dozen sample containers. The trigger device used in this work was developed at Engineering Shops in the College of Engineering.

The trigger and automated water samplers are used in the collection of water quality samples from the storm sewers within the City of Saskatoon. The research program is a joint research initiative of the Department of Civil and Geological Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Environment, the City of Saskatoon, and the Meewasin Valley Authority to determine the impact that stormwater discharge has on the South Saskatchewan River at Saskatoon.

Many rainfall or storm flow events begin quickly, in the middle of the night or unknown to us, making it impossible to visit the sampler and begin sampling. Thus something was required to cause the sampler to begin collecting samples. The trigger mechanism has open contacts at the end of a long wire. The electronics detect the capacitance of the wire. The bottom of the wire is set a certain height above to water, such that when the water touches the contacts the capacitance of the system increases. The electronics then begin a timer. The timing mechanism then sends a pulse every tenth of a minute to the sampler. This uses an auxiliary input to mimic a flow meters' output. The sampler counts the number of pulses and collects a sample at a preset interval. Also in order to know what time the sampler was started a timer. The entire system was reset with a switch or button depending on the specific trigger.

The first triggers were designed as prototypes and used small wires to connect the individual components. When the triggers were rebuilt, a printed circuit board was made to make the design sturdier and more reliable. The second aspect of the redesign involved changing the lead wire. Initially a thick lamp cord was used however, this had a significant capacitance and caused the system to frequently mistrip. The wire was replaced with a 300 ohm old style television antenna, which had a significantly lower capacitance. This change also significantly improved the reliability and performance of the triggers.

TEMPE CELL (Weighable Cells)

The weighable cells were introduced by Reginato and van Bavel (1962). In this method a soil sample in a cylindrical ring is held between two end caps, one cap containing a saturated ceramic disk and the other cap connected to a pressure source. Suction is generated by increasing the air pressure (ua), while the water pressure is held constant. When the equilibrium under certain suction is achieved, the cell is separated from the pressure source and weighed. The difference between the weight of the cell in different stages is equal to the weight of drained water.