Engineering Students Design Medals for 2020 Commencement Ceremony

Engineering Students Design Medals for 2020 Commencement Ceremony

By Matthew Perez

Engineering Students Design Medals for 2020 Commencement Ceremony

By Matthew Perez
A pair of College of Engineering students teamed up to design graduation medals for the 2020 University of Miami commencement ceremony.

Every year during its commencement ceremony, the University of Miami College of Engineering recognizes exceptional graduates with a wide array of honors, awards, and accolades. Students are recognized for high academic achievement, collaboration, civic engagement, and much more.

This is the second graduating class of the University of Miami College of Engineering (CoE) to receive a graduation medal. The medal was first introduced in 2019 by collaborative efforts of Engineering Student Council liaison, Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) senior James Lai, the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Dr. Derin Ural, the UM Johnson & Johnson Collab Director Dr. Chip Tomonto to honor the achievements of CoE students and provide them with distinction to showcase as part of their commencement attire. The medal was designed by students, and 3D-printed in titanium via the CoE Johnson & Johnson 3D Printing Center of Excellence Collaborative Laboratory, the medal itself constitutes an engineering feat.

The medal for the 2020 spring and winter graduating class was selected as a result of an Engineering Student Council led design competition. Students voted and selected the medal designed by biomedical engineering students Andrew Escobar, BSMS ’20, and Taylor Lindstrom, BSBE ’20. The pair submitted their initial design to the competition hosted by the Engineering Student Council last winter. Their computer-aided design was published and selected by the graduating class to be printed on the medal.

“Taylor was really the leader and brains behind coming up with the overall design,” Escobar said. “She had the idea of having multiple rings spinning for this year’s medal but wanted to work with me since I was part of the 2019 medal team.”

This year’s medal implements themes from last year’s design, which focused on the different branches of engineering. Additionally, the medal’s ability to rotate allowed the pair to also include a few memorable moments experienced during their four years on the other side of the medal.

One side of the design features a collection of symbols representing each of the engineering disciplines: the engine for mechanical; the human brain for biomedical; the computer chip for electrical and computer; the robotic arm from industrial; and the kinetic bridge for civil, architectural and environmental. The back side features images of poignant locations on campus, such as the Shala Student Center and McArthur Engineering Building, the picturesque Miami skyline, the turnover chain and a hurricane. The spinning rings go beyond a stationary circle to incorporate an additional engineering feature. Altogether, these features capture the sentiment and experience of an engineering student at the University of Miami.

“We started with sketching out our ideas on paper and then moved on to using the computer-aided design (CAD) software ‘Fusion 360’ to create the medallion base with the three spinning parts,” Lindstrom explained. “From there, we created separate CAD sketches for each design. Once finalized, we transferred the sketches onto the medallion assembly, and extruded the details to transform our sketches into 3D designs.”

Each of our graduates is well prepared to excel in the highest levels of industry and academia and serve as an inspiration to the generations that will follow. We are extraordinarily proud of their accomplishments and look forward to their impact in building a safer, healthier, more sustainable world.

“I think every student can find multiple things to relate to on the medal, whether it is their majors, Irma, the turnover chain, or the Shalala center,” Escobar said. “But also, the last-minute addition of the word resilience was important to me as our class had to deal with a lot of adversity, however, we always found a way to push through together. Even with a pandemic going on, we managed to find a way to finish the medal remotely and work with the J&J lab to get them all printed.”