CSUN mechanical engineers gear up green machine for competition

Joelle Katz

The physical activity needed to go green does not only involve lifting your arm to the recycling bin anymore.

CSUN mechanical engineering students will present their green exercise machine at the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Conference in Anaheim on Oct. 27.

This year’s conference theme is living green, so the team came up with what they dubbed a green machine similar to the concept of a bench press, said Jonathan Gjemso, who organized the team of students and came up with the idea of what to create.

“With how many people work out every day, that’s a lot of power and it can produce a lot of energy,” Gjemso said. “The energy you use in a workout gets transformed into a generator to use as energy for the equipment, kinetic energy from your arms gets transferred into electric energy.”

Andres Lopez, Michael Marchesan and Eve Garcia are also representing CSUN at the conference for their role in the project.

“We had to start coming up with creative ideas and when people work out, they all produce energy and it gets lost, so we’re trying to recycle it,” Lopez said. “I think the challenge is the funnest part because when we came up with the idea, it seemed far-fetched, but now that it’s all coming together. It’s cool.”

Although it’s not for a class or school credit, Gjemso, who learned about the competition through posters put up on campus, said it is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The students began working on the project in early September and although it isn’t finished yet, they have three more weeks to complete the final product, said Lopez.

Gjemso applied for the competition over the summer and were one of 10 teams selected to present their idea later this month. Each team is given $1,000 to create the product, Gjemso said.

If they win, the team will receive $3,500, reimbursement for their travel expenses and $5,000 to patent the product. They will also be featured in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Magazine.

In 2009, four CSUN students took first place at the same competition with their “floating cabinet” project following the “adaptive assistive technologies” theme.