Meet Capstone Team 15: Burling Valve Improvement

Working with universities is one of the most rewarding activities we take part in. Our educational programs introduce students to proportional electro-pneumatic principles and provide hands-on experiences that they can’t get anywhere else.

For the 2023-2024 school year, we’re sponsoring two capstone teams at Purdue University’s Polytechnic Institute. These groups of college seniors spend two semesters developing projects that enhance their knowledge and skills. From concept to finished product, each team lays out a plan to solve a problem presented by our teams. Just before graduation, they’ll present their findings to us, other sponsors and university leadership.

Team 15 is composed of three students who are working on improvements to our Burling Valve line, looking to enhance product capabilities for superheated steam applications among other opportunities. A visit to our Indiana manufacturing facility in November provided valuable hands-on experience. Our Burling Valve teams across production and applications support met with the students, answering questions and offering guidance.

Meet Team 15

Hunter Kepner

Hunter Kepner

Hunter Kepner of Fishers, Indiana, is a senior majoring in mechanical engineering technology. He’s the scheduler, lead researcher and communication manager for the team.

On campus, Hunter is active in Kappa Sigma fraternity, where he’s been a member of the Grand Prix club for two years.

He worked for Hitachi Astemo in Greenfield, Indiana, last summer, doing hands-on assembly and production for power control units for hybrid cars. He also worked with engineers to design more efficient work flow stations.

Ray Kurniawan

Christopher “Ray” Kurniawan

Ray comes to Purdue from Jakarta, Indonesia. He will graduate in 2024 with a degree in mechanical engineering technology. He’s the team’s mechanical designer and process manager.

He is involved in many activities at Purdue, including Purdue Permias Indonesia as the club’s event coordinator; Mudika, the Catholic Indonesian Community, where he serves as vice president; Purdue RoboMasters in mechanical designer and project manager roles; and as a mechanical designer in the Electric Vehicle Club, which participates in the EV Grand Prix, an electric vehicle version of Purdue’s traditional go-kart Grand Prix. He’s currently working on a car for the 2024 race.

In addition to gaining practical experience with the EVC, he’s a lab tech/researcher in the Knoy building at Purdue, working on Purdue’s Building Automation Server with a thermodynamics professor. The server extracts data from the heat pump, solar panel, ventilation, and other processes located in the building.

Vincent Zhi

Vincent Zhi

Vincent is a junior majoring in mechatronics engineering technology. He’s the project leader and secretary for the team. A Chinese-American, he has spent half of his life in Shanghai, China, and half in Fremont, California.In his free time, he enjoys a range of hobbies. You can currently find him working on a wooden coat-stand and making a heavy winter cloak. Vincent’s internship experience includes a summer spent with Chinese company Kingxchip, an OEM cleaning robot builder. He assisted with an autonomous underwater system and a rapid-battery swap.He has a special reason for choosing the project with Burling Valve: He has a desire to design and build his own live-steam model locomotive, and this will give him experience with superheated steam as a process fluid.Learn more about our educational programs.