Welcome To Our NAU Capstone!
Universal Articulating Handling Arm
Tell Me More

Project Description

This project is the Northrop Grumman Handling Arm. The team has been instructed to come up with an original design and produce a fully functional prototype. This prototype must be able to securely hold avionics for system integration and testing. There are currently no such handling arms being used in this industry, so this is truly an original design. This device will help prevent expensive parts from being dropped and damaged during these processes. By preventing these incidents, the client will save time and money during their assembly process. The clients of Northrop Grumman will also be benefiting, knowing that they are receiving a high quality product. Other companies may see our design and decide that they would benefit from having a handling arm for their equipment.


Company: Northrop Grumman Corporation
Client Contact: Steven Hengl


Northern Arizona University

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Oman

Project Information

Northrop Grumman Corporation has requested that a team design and create a functional handling arm. This handling arm must be articulating at different joints to allow for maneuverability. The purpose of the arm is to hold NGC's (Northrop Grumman Corporation) avionics during system integration and testing (soldering, bolting, etc.) . The company has had issues in the past with these avionic parts being dropped, and as they are expensive components, repairs become costly. Some stakeholders in this handling arm would be any companies that buy parts made from the handling arm, companies that would be interested in buying the design, and any employees that would be using the arm during manufacturing/testing. The following is the original project description provided by Northrop Grumman .


Customer to Engineer

Manufacturing and Testing

All Subassemblies



Design Sketches

Hand drawn

3D Modeling

Solid Works


Reports, Meetings, etc.

Our Amazing Team

The team is composed of senior students at Northern Arizona University

SavannaH Hillebrand

Project Manager

Mechanical Engineering
Savannah is currently pursuing a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering at NAU. During her time at NAU, she has filled several different officer roles within NAU’s chapter of American Society of Mechanical Engineering, including aiding different project teams. After graduation, she hopes to find a job in industry where she will have the opportunity to travel around the country or globe. She is currently deciding between a career in the defense industry or the biomedical field

David McNeally

Client Contact

Mechanical Engineering
David is currently finishing his bachelor's of science in Mechanical Engineering. He began wood working with his dad Dave at an early age. It wasn't until taking a few engineering electives in high school, that he realized he wanted to pursue a career in engineering. After graduation, he hopes to find a job in which he can combine his schooling and his passion for the outdoors. He was drawn to NAU by the mountainous surroundings and fully accredited engineering program.

Keven Benavente

Website Developer

Mechanical Engineering
Keven is working toward his bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering at Northern Arizona University. He first got introduced to engineering from his dad who is a diesel mechanic and was constantly working on cars and home appliances that needed repair. This is how Keven knew he wanted to be an engineer and his time at NAU has only reinforced his passion for engineering. After graduating from Northern Arizona University, Keven will pursue a career in which he will make a positive difference in the world.

Rayne Dobson

Document Manager

Mechanical Engineering
Rayne first became interested in engineering in high school, although, she has always been interested in mathematics and science since a very young age. She was first introduced to engineering when she joined the STEM club and robotics team through her high school, and quickly decided to pursue it through college. After her undergraduate career at NAU, Rayne plans to attend graduate school at Arizona State University and pursue a PHD.

Samantha Scarcello


Mechanical Engineering
Samantha is currently working towards her bachelor's of science degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Business and a minor in Mathematics. From a very young age, she was passionate about math and was very creative. Samantha grew up working on cars with her father who first introduced her to the field of engineering. After graduation, she hopes to find a career that will heavily use her mathematics skills but also teach her more about the field she decides to go into.

Tyler Schafer

Budget Liason

Mechanical Engineering
Tyler decided he wanted to be an engineer at a young age. He grew up in the garage with his dad and was always fascinated by mechanics. He did FIRST Lego League robotics in middle school and applied for Mechanical Engineering at NAU his senior year of high school. He wanted to be apart of this project because he saw a practical use for this arm, not just in industry, but in the garage as well. Tyler is pursuing his Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering and plans to pursue a career after graduation in Spring 2019.

Thank you for your interest in the Universal Articulating Handling Arm Project.
Last Updated: May 3, 2019

Contact Us

We welcome any question you have for us.