Senior Design Demonstration Day Highlights Undergraduate Research

Nur Hamideh uses a 3D chocolate printer  that her team made.

Every year, engineering seniors spend the spring and fall semester at UConn designing senior projects, often working with industry partners. That year long process culminates in the Senior Design Demonstration Day. This year, over 180 teams filled Gampel Pavilion to demonstrate the work they’d dedicated a school year to producing, with projects ranging from automated firefighting bots to a 3D Printer for chocolate.

These capstone projects bring together all aspects of their undergraduate education into a cohesive experience, allowing students the opportunity to work on real-world industry problems. This grounds their learning in a project that requires not just the technical know-how they’ve spent years gaining, but also requires collaboration with teammates, making a schedule, and presenting information in a coherent manner. Below is an example of one Senior Design Project, as well as award winners from each department.

Mobile Power Units for the Hartford Marathon Foundation (Electrical Engineering)

Justin Hubbard at Senior Design Demonstration Day. (Christopher LaRosa/UConn Photo)

This project was tasked with converting the electrical equipment that the Hartford Marathon Foundation (HMF) uses during races to entirely green technology. Previously, the HMF used gas generators to power items such as a laptop, an arch inflator and a sound system.

Matt Anderson, the Hartford Marathon Foundation Director of Operations, said that sustainability has been an important focus of the Eversource Hartford Marathon for many years.

“Sustainability has been an important part of our flagship event, the Eversource Hartford Marathon. We’re looking to spread that environmentally friendly focus to our 30 other events throughout the year,” Anderson said.

The team, made up of Electrical Engineering majors Bryan Davis, Justin Hubbard, Rayhaan Kasliwala and Edwin Matute, designed and installed a solar panel array for the roof of a trailer, while inside the trailer they placed batteries, a charge controller and other necessary electrical equipment. When they created this design, the team took a number of variables into account, from weather to electrical and vehicle codes.

“The variability of the weather is something we had to account for. We designed our system to basically operate under every possible worst case scenario. … If there’s very little sun out, we’re relying solely on our batteries, which will have to be charged up during the week prior to the event. There’s a lot of variabilities, so we had to make our system very strong,” Davis said.

Bryan Davis shows electronics running on the solar setup his team made for the Hartford Marathon Foundation. (Christopher LaRosa/UConn Photo)

One of the variables they addressed was incorporating DOT regulations that involve a trailer.

“Our main issue with the DOT didn’t have to do with the electrical, it just had to do with fitting solar panels on top of a moving trailer. Their main concern was keeping the trailer under a certain height, because when you go under a bridge it could be scrapped off,” said Hubbard.

Hubbard also said that keeping the space in the trailer available for storage was something they balanced with the needs of their system.

“We didn’t want to take up too much space and we want everything accessible, but we also didn’t want the inverter all the way back. If the inverter were to overheat in that location, the fans would just blow against the nearby wood; it would continue to overheat,” he said.

The team’s system has effectively been used during marathons. Their battery backup is designed to last for six hours using all of the Marathon’s system- with a little bit extra for charging the spare cell phone. Anderson said he was pleased with how the project turned out.

“It’s been a great collaboration. They’ve been responsive and understanding. They’ve really done their homework into what we do and how this can benefit us,” Anderson said.

Pictures From Senior Design Day

The entry to Gampel Pavilion, with the arch used by the Hartford Marathon Foundation in place. (Christopher LaRosa/UConn Photo)

A firefighting drone in a maze that can find and extinguish a candle. (Christopher LaRosa/UConn Photo)

Christian Cannata explains his team’s Automated Separator Material Inspection Subsystem. (Christopher LaRosa/UConn Photo)

Xhoni Agolli (right) and Prayush Singh operate their Transmission Spring Sorting and Stacking Device, which uses a tumbler to separate springs, then a slide sorts the springs according to the direction they bend. (Christopher LaRosa/UConn Photo)

For a gallery of pictures from Senior Design, click here.

Award Winners

Every department selects the best Senior Design teams from within their discipline. Below are the winners. For teams with students from multiple departments, only the students within the awarding department are listed.

Biomedical Engineering

First Place
Cloud Micromanipulator for 3D Tissue Analysis
John Peters, Geena Denny, Kaitlin Aldridge, Alexander Oppel

Second Place
Navigation Device for the Visually Impaired
Cameron Flower, Adam Boura, Randall Borruso

Third Place
MagLev for Point-of-Care Separation of Rare Cells from Blood
Mary Shine, Ashwini Joshi, Nicole Gay, Stephane Jean-Pierre, Arpit Davi

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Tied for First Place
Electrolytic Recycling of Alkaline Batteries
Helen Nguon, Hanna Soucie, Christiane Nguyen, and Paul Petracca
Membrane-Based Water Softening Plant Treating UConn Reclaimed Wasterwater
Sarah Simoni, Anthony Mafale, James Oakes, Zain Nasir

Second Place
 C02 Capture from Coal-Fired Power Plants
Jonathan Klein, David Cowles, Colin Gerrity, Connor Lewis

Civil Engineering

First Place
Stafford Springs Roundabout and Main Street Redevelopment Study
Adam Weber, Kevin Ellis, Michael Crimmins, Corey Burroughs

Second Place
Offshore and Coastal Project: Analysis and Design of Finger Piers
Christopher Luongo, Audrey Turcotte, Avis Carrero, Georgina Talbot

Third Place
St. Basil Church Super-Structure & Foundation Design
Alexander Gonzalez, Kristen Malec, James Peak and Jeffrey Steiner, Shane Olson, Shane Agostino and Eriol Begolli

Computer Science and Engineering

First Place
Distributed Computing on the Blockchain: Electronic Pollbooks over the Ethereum
Jessica Li, Lauren Biernacki, Aimee DiPietro and Sheryl Choi

Second Place
Personal Cardiac Arrhythmia Detection via Smart Wearables
Dalton Miner, Dale Galloway-Haggett, Eric van Heel, Scott Cote and Daniel Almanzar

Third Place
Modular Security Framework
David Engel, Nathan Ramdial, Gavin Li, Kyle Heitman and Tony Pham

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Place
Smartwatch-like Device and Apps for Continuous Glucose Monitoring
Evan Brown, Magda Kaczynska, Brian Marquis, Ahmed Sugulleh

Second Place
Automated Test Fixture for Angular Displacement Transducers
Michael Caiafa, Andrew DiGiugno, Shane Keney, Michael Zielinski

Third Place
Un-Crashable Helicopter
Carlos Rodriguez, Tim Pelletier, James Hubbard, Dan Fay

Honorable mention
Simulink/TEAMS Model Converter
Jay Meyer, Andrew Morse, William Salguero, Brandon Singleton
Autonomous Battery Charging Quadcopter
Thomas Baietto, Gabriel Bautista, Ryan Oldham, Yifei Song

Environmental Engineering

First Place
Anaerobic Digestion of Bio-Solids at Waterbury Wastewater Treatment Plant
Christopher Gill, Gregory Ryan, Isaiah Williams

Second Place
Electric Boat Stormwater Management Design
Jessica Petritus, Will Kesler, Natalia Close, Stephanie Hubli

Third Place
Evaluation of the Thomaston Dam in the Naugatuck River
Rachel Lonchar, Gabriella Pagliuca

Management and Engineering for Manufacturing

First Place
Egghead Ice Cream Cost-effective Manufacturing Process Development team
Dhanya Abraham, Connor Bowman, Jackson Haigis, and Priya Naraine

Second Place
Improved Plastics Coating Machine team
Matthew Getman, Lindsey Gilson, Connor Mitchell, and Vinay Venkatesh

Third Place
Automated Ball Machine team
Ying Jiang and Boyu Wang

Material Science and Engineering

First Place
Characterization of Tensile Mechanical Properties of Biodegradable Polymers
Students: Jarred Correia, Alexis Jensen, Jessica LeClerc, Michael Murelli, Zachary Kerschner

Second Place
Accelerated Aging and Failure Analysis of Polymer-based Adhesive
Dion Buterbaugh, Chris Didero-Gonzalez, Aaron Gladstein, Jay Latimer

Third Place
In Space Manufacturing and Reclamation
Asa Army, Alexander Kadov, Spencer Palmer, Jonathan Rasimas

Mechanical Engineering

First Place
Automated Powder Bed Apparatus
Michael Bennett, Paul Hanrahan, Mark Winters

Second Place
Advanced Adhesive Bonding Material Characterization
Kaitlin Dennison, Shawn Sweeney, Garrett Taylor

Third Place
Capture Device for Sand (CMAS) Particles in an Engine
Emil Atz, Robert Franklin, Matthew Houston

Professor’s Award
Improved SIDI Gasoline Pump Discharge Fitting Design/Process
Meagan Ferreira, Peter Malicki, Seth Morris

Categories: award, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering, Front Page, Headline, Momentum, promotional newsletter May 2017, promotional newsletter May 2017 v2, Special Edition Summer 2017