The Charger Blog

Engineering Students Reflect on Senior Design Projects

Seniors in the Tagliatela College of Engineering concluded their academic careers by presenting yearlong projects that enabled them to apply what they learned throughout their studies and to simulate the challenges and projects they will face in their careers.

July 1, 2019

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Image of engineering students
Students in all engineering, cybersecurity, and computer science disciplines presented their projects at the expo.

Civil engineering major Thomas Criscione ’19 and the classmates he worked with as part of his senior design project noticed that many students, faculty, and staff members cross Campbell Avenue each day to get to and from Charger Plaza to the University’s main campus. For their senior project, they designed a pedestrian bridge over the busy road that would give pedestrians a safer route.

"There is a crossing guard at this location, but we’ve seen people run across the street past the guard," said Criscione, who worked with fellow seniors Monil Nanavati, Rudber Duran, and Taylor Darville. "Our solution could save someone’s life."

The students’ project was a hit at the Tagliatela College of Engineering’s Senior Design Expo. Students in all engineering, cybersecurity, and computer science disciplines work in teams over their final two semesters to develop solutions to complex problems. They then showcase their projects to the campus community through posters and oral presentations – and, in this team’s case, a three-dimensional model.

Image of engineering students
Students used cement to create a model of a pedestrian bridge.

"Creating the model was my favorite part of this project," said Monil Nanavati ’19. "We used cement to construct it."

As part of the senior design experience, many companies sponsor the students’ projects, posing challenges for them to solve. Students then work closely with industry advisers to evaluate design options, identify an optimal solution, and design the final prototype or process.

"Senior design projects provide a culminating experience for undergraduate students in the College," said Ronald S. Harichandran, Dean of the Tagliatela College of Engineering and vice provost for research. "These projects play an important role in preparing our students to work in their respective professions."

"Being able to work on an industry-sponsored project is so important, and I learned so much from this."Callia Ricozzi ’19

The event, which included the poster presentation, an awards ceremony, and oral presentations, enables students to present their designs to their classmates, faculty, staff, industry representatives, and University supporters.

Image of Callia Ricozzi ’19
Callia Ricozzi ’19 and her teammates worked with Medtronic.

Isabella Dodds, a longstanding benefactor and an emerita member of the University’s Board of Governors who came to see the students’ projects, was impressed with their work.

"The University of New Haven fills a niche that is very important," she said. "It gives students a place where they can develop valuable skills and enables students to get good jobs."

Callia Ricozzi ’19, a mechanical engineering major, and her teammates developed a device that tests surgical staplers. She says that working with Medtronic, a leading medical device company with a manufacturing facility in North Haven, was invaluable.

"This project gave me wonderful industry experience," said Ricozzi, who will be pursuing her MBA at the College of William & Mary in the fall. "Being able to work on an industry-sponsored project is so important, and I learned so much from this."