You will be responsible for targeting the number one pain point when it comes to consumer blenders: noise. Students on this team will use learnings from current SharkNinja products and the competitor landscape to brainstorm, prototype, and validate a noise reduction solution for the next blender on the market.
SharkNinja has a proud history as a pioneer in small household appliances, and they continuously create a broad array of products that consumers love, such as air fry ovens, vacuums, and blenders. They pride themselves on being differentiated by their ability to innovate, while identifying and solving consumer pain points that others do not see, or are unable to solve.
With smoothies and protein shakes growing in popularity, blenders are a big market in the United States. One of the key customer satisfiers in the blender industry after ice crushing performance is noise level. Students on the SharkNinja team will evaluate the operating noise level of the Ninja® Professional Plus Blender DUO® with Auto-iQ® (BN751), and design and prototype a quieter blender modification for the BN751 without sacrificing ice crushing capability.
- Producing a quieter countertop blender will give SharkNinja another edge in this competitive market with discerning customers
- Entry into international focused products which place increased importance on noise level
Minimum Viable Product Deliverable (Minimum level of success)
- Literature review of SharkNinja best practice design, previous data/project work, and understanding of consumer needs. Include patent search and review of competitors’ product offerings
- Characterization of current product (SharkNinja and competitors) performance and noise levels, and development of requirements
- Evaluation and identification of design components with the highest contribution to noise generation
- Functional prototype blender with redesign of highest priority components as determined by team analysis
- Meet UL safety standards
Expected Final Deliverable (Expected level of success)
- Fully validated blender system meeting established project requirements, including targets for performance and noise
Stretch Goal Opportunities: (High level of success)
- Meets cost requirements
- Noise reduction solution at no cost increase
- Integrate secondary design changes to further reduce noise levels
- Extend the design philosophy to additional blender offerings, such as the Ninja Blast Portable Blender
- Integrate SharkNinja design language into proposed blender design
Mechanical Design (3-5 Students)
Specific Skills: Mechanical Design (CAD), techniques for fast prototyping (3D printing, hands-on prototyping), product design, system integration, experimental testing and evaluation
EE experience (e.g., EECS 314 or equivalent) would be particularly valuable
Likely Majors: ME
Electrical Design System (1 Student)
Specific Skills: General EE system design, including controls
Likely Majors: EE, CE
Sound Engineering and Acoustics (1-2 Students)
Specific Skills: Experience or interest in sound evaluation and/or recording, vibration/dynamics evaluation
Must be able and willing to contribute prototyping work
Likely Majors: PAT, PHYSICS, ME
Additional Desired Skills/Knowledge/Experience
- Practical, hands-on engineering experience, particularly in systems integration. We highly value practical engineering competition team experience
- Interest in consumer product design and how customers interact with products
- Experience with fast prototyping technologies. Knowledge of different 3D printing processes. Machine shop fabrication experience
- CAD Skills– SolidWorks preferred
- Knowledge of DFM (Design for manufacturing), DFA (Design for assembly)
- Knowledge/experience with designing for plastic injection molding
- Knowledge and experience with FEA
I am a Senior Product Design Engineer on the Ninja Motorized Advanced Development team. I have been with SharkNinja for 6 years, and have worked on products like the Shark VacMop and Ninja TWISTi. I am currently focused on leading the development of the next generation of Ninja Blenders.
I am a Product Design Engineer II on the Ninja Motorized Advanced Development team, responsible for leading future Creami and cooling-focused projects through the early stages of the product development cycle. I have been on the Motorized team for 3 years, and have helped to bring products like the Ninja Power Mixer System and the Ninja Blast to market.
David is a Toby Teorey Collegiate Lecturer in the Computer Science and Engineering Department. David brings his passion for accessible design to the courses he teaches, including ENG 100: Gaming for the Greater Good, and EECS 495: Accessible Software Systems Design. He holds degrees in both mechanical engineering and computer science, with a PhD in computer science. David is an experienced MDP mentor.
Project Meetings: During the winter 2024 semester, the SharkNinja team will meet on North Campus on Wednesdays from 2:00 – 4:00 PM.
Work Location: Most of the work will take place on North campus in Ann Arbor.
Course Substitutions: CE MDE, ChE Elective, EE MDE, CoE Honors, MECHENG 490, SI Elective/Cognate
Citizenship Requirements: This project is open to all students. Note: International students on an F-1 visa will be required to declare part time CPT during Winter 2024 and Fall 2024 terms.
IP/NDA: Students will sign IP/NDA documents that are unique to the company.
Summer Project Activities: Students will be guaranteed an interview for a 2024 internship. The interviews will take place before the end of April of 2024.