William Pfouts

Engineering Analysis, Fabrication, and Programming
WheelHouse_Startup Logo

The prototype, collapsed and ready for transport An impromptu test of weight bearing components of the prototype

This project was a special venture within University of Colorado Boulder to encourage entrepreneurship within the student body, especially within the engineering departments. As a senior project we were given the time and resources to pursue a startup of our own choosing.

I had the idea for a low-cost trailer, capable of carrying belongings on top of the trailer during the day and at night expanding into a one-person tent. The idea initially focused on charities assisting the unhoused as the primary client, but as interviews with potential clients continued, it was decided that our focus would be on marketing to long distance bicycle campers as most of our business, with a not for profit spun off from the main business.

Four other students were part of this project, with myself as Project Manager. It had been over a decade since I had last managed a business, but the skills learned from that endeavor served me well. While other members of the team took the lead in technical matters, I ensured that the project remained within time and monetary budget constraints. I was also in charge of ensuring that the right people were in the right place to solve the right problems. I designed and implemented the framework for not just the engineering side of the project, but the business side as well. In the end, as a group we decided not to pursue this project beyond the initial prototype but left in place a turnkey solution for any group that wishes to pursue this further.

This project was the capstone of everything I learned personally and professionally, both in terms of engineering and in management. With this project I have the skills and experience to walk into almost any project and bring value to the team, in whatever role I am needed.