2023 Projects

Quick Case Studies

If you would like more details on any of these projects, please contact our team at the Innovation Lab.


An orange rigid hull boat floats in front of a large blue glacier.

Multi-beam Sonar Deployment System

Client: Coastal Boundary Dynamics Research Lab, Megan Wengrove

Problem: The Coastal Boundary Dynamics Research Lab needed to put sensitive mapping instrumentation into the water near a glacier and wanted to protect it. The instruments would be carried on an autonomous rigid hull inflatable boat that drove through ice-saturated waters that could experience calving events. 

Solution: The iLab team developed an automated deployment system for the multi-beam sonar. The system included a cantilevered cage built off the side of the autonomous rigid hull inflatable boat, which then used a linear actuator to deploy or retrieve the instrument based on commands sent to the boat. 

FUTURE: The iLab hopes to continue working on this project and add additional features to the system, such as adjusting the tilt angle when it is in the water and adding a live video feed to help with potential collision detection.  

A man wearing a red welders cap in a machine shop poses next to a ridged hulled inflatable boat. The boat has a large vertical metal holder hanging off its side..

A rigid hulled boat loaded with sonar equipment is prepared to be placed in the water using a crane.

Otoliths Bench Top Sanding Table

Client: Marine and Anadromous Fisheries, Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station (COMES), Jessica Miller

Problem: This research group within COMES processes large numbers of otoliths for analysis, and they were looking for more efficient ways to process them.

Solution: The iLab team developed a three-disk benchtop scale sanding table. The speed of each disk is adjustable and comes with a Velcro top that allows users to easily swap grits between disks.

The inside of a sanding table. It shows three sanding motors and the switches that control them.
A small table top sanding unit with three disks for sanding at different grits.

Housing for Biologgers Used to Monitor Skates

Client: Kyle Newton, Big Fish Lab (BFL)

Problem: The BFL wanted a noninvasive method to secure biologgers onto skates.

Solution: The iLab team initially created a computer model of a casing to hold the biologger. Next, they produced several design iterations using a 3D printer. Eventually, they settled on a design that adhered to skates and securely held the biologger.

Student Engagement: Interns Rylin Duster and Baxter Millsap worked closely with the client to develop the casings to hold the biologgers on the skates.

An orange plastic casing shaped like a small box with an indented area to hold a biologger.
A person wearing gloves places a small orange device onto the back of a skate.

Reverse Engineering a Fid for a Splicing Line

Client: ODFW Marine Fisheries Resource Program, Matt Blume

Problem: The ODFW Marine Fisheries Resource Program needed a fid for a splicing line. Fids are tapered, usually wooden pins used to open the strands of a rope.

Solution: The iLab team reverse-engineered an existing fid the ODFW program had and machined a new one out of aluminum.

Three pointed fid tools lay in a row.


Client: RC/RV Outreach Team, Amy Mallozzi

Problem: The RC/RV Outreach Team was working on a project to communicate the value and purpose of vessels such as the incoming R/V Taani.

Solution: The RC/RV Outreach Team worked with the iLab to bring their science communication idea via remote weather stations to life. To demonstrate the data collection capabilities of a research vessel, they developed weather stations which were mounted onto acrylic sheets engraved with the image of the R/V Taani. The outreach team then held a workshop with teachers and provided instruction on constructing similar weather stations with their classes. The stations can conduct measurements similar to the R/V Taani.

Student Engagement: Through an internship with the iLab, Cody Spring worked on the design of the engraved signs and fabricated 50 sets for distribution to classrooms.

The image of the RC/RV Tanni lazer etched onto plexiglass.
A mini weather station is attached to a plexiglass sheet with the image of the RC/RV Tanni.

Fabricated Handle for a Battery Casing

Client: Plankton Ecology Lab, Jami Ivory

Problem: The Plankton Ecology Lab was working with a new field instrument that had a custom battery housing. The battery housing had to be opened to enable charging, but it was difficult to open in the field.

Solution: The iLab developed a custom 3D-printed handle that was mounted onto the housing. It enables the user to access the battery in the field without needing to use small tools or risk damaging the housing.

Student Engagement: Through an internship with the iLab, Parker Van DeWetering took on the design, development, and fabrication of the housing handle.

A small cyliindrical shaped motor housing with a white handle.