Seniors Present Their Best

Laura Boisclair, winner of the Inaugural Chairman’s Award, and Raquel Burlotos, recipient of the Lewis J. Mathers Award, pose with Professor and Department Chair David Dinehart, PhD.
Laura Boisclair, winner of the Inaugural Chairman’s Award, and Raquel Burlotos, recipient of the Lewis J. Mathers Award, pose with Professor and Department Chair David Dinehart, PhD.

April is a busy month for Villanova University College of Engineering, particularly for its graduating seniors. In addition to finishing courses, taking final exams and determining post graduate plans, students are required to present the culmination of their learning in design or capstone projects. The Civil and Environmental, Mechanical, and Electrical and Computer Engineering departments hold an annual senior poster and/or project day to allow students to share their work and practice their presentation skills one more time before they enter the working world.

Civil and Environmental Engineering
On April 25, Professor and Department Chair David Dinehart, PhD, welcomed a supportive audience of parents, faculty and students to the 12th Annual CEE Day. Prior to the start of capstone project presentations, he presented awards to three of the Department’s outstanding graduating seniors:

  • James Wyatt: The Stanley K. Ciesielski Award for scholastic excellence and service to the department
  • Raquel Burlotos: The Lewis J. Mathers Award for serving those in need with time, energy and engineering talents
  • Laura Boisclair: Inaugural Chairman’s Award for a positive attitude and work ethic, and a significant contribution in service to the University

Following Dr. Dinehart’s introduction, capstone teams presented projects in structural engineering (bridge and building projects), transportation engineering, and geotechnical/water resources engineering. International service projects were the basis for three capstones, and the transportation engineering capstone was done in partnership with Pennoni Associates, Inc. The day also included a poster session.

2nd place:  Assistive Kitchen Device for the Handicapped Adam Nash, Kiernan Hess, Kyle Pucci, Ryan French, Daniel Connolly
2nd place: Assistive Kitchen Device for the Handicapped Adam Nash, Kiernan Hess, Kyle Pucci, Ryan French, Daniel Connolly

Mechanical Engineering

For presentation day, Mechanical Engineering seniors displayed a wide variety of projects ranging from a two-stage evaporative cooler and in-situ optical nanoindenter, to an unmanned vehicle for bridge inspection and a CPU-powered heat engine. Three projects— a water treatment and delivery system, hot gas filtration hood, and explosive ordinance disposal robot—were based on the needs of communities visited on international service learning trips. Other student work was sponsored by corporate partners, including a castle nut inspection machine for SPS Technologies.

The winning Mechanical Engineering senior projects were:

1st place:  Formula SAE Camshaft Design
Karl Mauthe, Gregory Monahan, Evan Pelletier, Christopher Scott

2nd place:  Assistive Kitchen Device for the Handicapped
Adam Nash, Kiernan Hess, Kyle Pucci, Ryan French, Daniel Connolly

3rd place:  Explosive Ordinance (EXO) Disposal Robot
Gregory Campbell, Bryn Garrity, Evan Gonshor, Allison Kadel, Alexander Poultney

Recipients of the Dr. Joseph Kozikowski Project Award: Shawn Plesnick, Domenico Repice and Patrick Loughnane.
Recipients of the Dr. Joseph Kozikowski Project Award: Shawn Plesnick, Domenico Repice and Patrick Loughnane.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

In early April, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering presented its annual Senior Design Forum, a daylong event during which teams were given 15 minutes to present their work.  Projects fell into a variety of categories, from smart phone apps to athletic equipment. Several teams completed sponsored assignments for partners including Lockheed Martin, RT Logic and the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division. International service learning projects included a pico-hydro generator and VitaSuction medical suction device.

A panel of eight alumni judges awarded prizes as follows:

Dr. Joseph Kozikowski Project Award for design originality and utility, mastery of practical and theoretical aspects of the design and quality of the design reporting:
Eye-Controlled Wheelchair by Patrick Loughnane, Shawn Plesnick, Domenico Repice
Adviser: Assistant Professor Mark Jupina, PhD

Brian McCarthy Project Award for a team’s inspiring initiative and enthusiasm, cooperative effort, professional organization and presentation, and innovative contribution to the technical community:
iPhone Jailbreak by John Fulgone, William Gunn, James Harris
Advisers:  Associate Professor Sarvesh Kulkarni, PhD, and Randy Peterson       

Marie Maguire Project Award: 
Additional Capability to RT Logic's Channel Simulator
by Greg Mankes, Kelly Modrick, Dan Nieman
Adviser: Professor Robert Caverly, PhD

The Brian Anderson Memorial Project Award:  
Wireless Cellphone Monitor
by Steve Matulis, Adam Staryak, Timothy Tiu
Adviser: Professor Robert Caverly, PhD

Dean's Awards Dinner

College of Engineering Dean’s award recipients.
College of Engineering Dean’s award recipients.

In addition to individual department presentations and awards, on April 24, the College hosted its 38th annual Dean’s Awards Dinner. Initiated in 1976, the event is held to recognize senior engineering students for their academic achievement and/or their meaningful contributions and service to the College of Engineering during their time at Villanova.

This year, 71 graduating seniors were presented with the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence. They must possess a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.50 at the end of the fall term. Awardees can be found on the College website.

Recipients of the Meritorious Service Award have been active in an engineering student organization, and have given significant and quality service to the College over an extended period of time. Recipients may be self-nominated, or nominated by fellow students, faculty, staff and/or administrators.  Nominees are reviewed by a peer review committee with the final approval of the Office of the Dean of Engineering. 2014 Meritorious Service Awards were presented to:

Laura Boisclair  
Raquel Burlotos              
Samantha Cardenas      
Margaret Collins
Bridget Forbes
Alicia Maccarrone

Haig Monokian
Samuel Olson
Samuel Parenteau
Joseph Reckamp
Kayla Spitzer
Kendrick van Doorn