TCU’s Department of Engineering senior design team was tasked with designing, constructing, testing, and installing a dual concentric turntable stage for the TCU Department of Theatre. To increase the number of staging options available to theater students, engineering majors created a stage consisting of two different platforms that are independently indexable. Stephen Weis, Engineering department chair, says, “Each platform supports individuals, props, or set pieces, and rotates as prescribed by the show designer to meet production needs.”
Additional specifications had to be met when considering design. The stage had to dissemble for storage, with all disassembled parts fitting into a 4-foot by 8-foot truck bed. Additionally, the stage had to be functionable when installed up to a 4.76-degree slope. Material costs for the project had to adhere to the budgeted amount.
The senior design program is a year-long opportunity for senior engineering majors to work directly with industry sponsors to produce a solution to a relevant issue. The project begins in the fall of students’ senior year, and project completion is expected the following spring. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology requires a major design experience (MDE), and the senior design project is modeled after this to give students real-world experience.