Students and faculty working to build a baobab machine

Student Projects

ELDM courses provide opportunities for students to apply leadership skills through a technical project. These projects are designed to challenge you technically and non-technically and used in courses to practice and reflect on student leadership development. Projects are associated with ENGR 408 - Leadership Principles, ENGR 422, and ENGR 496 - Independent Study (capstone course).

Example projects

Baobab Project

The baobab project addresses the process of turning the baobab fruit into an economic opportunity for the people of Africa. Due to the various uses provided by different parts of the baobab fruit, the fruit has become a staple of the West African nation of Benin. The baobab seeds and pulp are two parts of the baobab fruit that are being worked on by Penn State students to provide economic opportunities.  

View a video of our November 2015 trip to Africa to deliver pulp processing machines. 

Well Pump Project

One of the major issues facing the countries of Senegal and others in sub-Saharan Africa is the scarcity of water. This has led to increasing health concerns and has threatened the economic backbones of those countries, agriculture.

Moringa Project

Moringa is an extremely nutritional tree readily found in Africa and Asia that has many benefits to human health. What makes the moringa tree such an amazing plant is that almost all parts of the tree can be used in some way or another to the benefit of humans. The tree as a whole has all nine essential amino acids, which are the building blocks for proteins in the human body.

Pentadesma Project

Students in the Penn State Engineering Leadership Development minor are working on several projects to extract the oil from the pentadesma seed and use it in a more efficient manner. The pentadesma seeds are boiled, sun-dried, roasted, crushed, and eventually churned into useful items such as butter, cake, and biodiesel.  

Solar Light Kit Project

Students are working to develop a low-cost solar light kit for use in developing countries. 

Engineering Consulting Project

Students work with a company on a case or real project to evaluate engineering and business solutions utilized in consulting work. 

Local Business Projects

Students work with a variety of local clients to solve technical problems associated with small business operations. Examples of projects include: 

  • Designing a water gauge for ClearWater Conservancy
  • Create interactive exhibits at local children's and nature museums
  • Troubleshoot and fix existing exhibits


The School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs (SEDTAPP) delivers effective engineering education and unrivaled research opportunities through active, collaborative, project-based, and professionally oriented classroom experiences. SEDTAPP offers a variety of programs that partner faculty, students, and industry in the study of real-life engineering problems. Our programs teach students to solve real-life problems with innovative solutions. 

School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs

213 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2952