Quinnipiac engineering student-designed projects enhance quality of life in the community

May 14, 2020

Screenshot of students presenting virtually on projects day

Quinnipiac engineering students put their skills to the test during the spring semester, gaining practical experience while enhancing the quality of life in New Haven County and across Connecticut.

A team of civil engineering students partnered with the town of Hamden to design a pedestrian bridge to replace a deteriorating bridge at Pine Rock Park on Brook Street. A structural analysis was completed for three different design proposals.

Based on environmental impact and cost, the team recommended a new 50-foot bridge at the existing site.

“One advantage of having these studies is the ability for us to look at options,” said Craig Cesare, Hamden’s director of public works. “Because we are planning on replacing the bridge ourselves, we are able to work directly with the students to customize the design to our construction capabilities.”

Bridge team members were Ralph Arred, Antonino Cappello, John DeMartinis, Keith Griswold and Matteo Longobardi.

Another team of senior civil engineers worked with Hamden’s Eli Whitney Museum and the New Haven-based Save the Sound organization on a project to manage the stormwater runoff in the museum’s parking lot and ultimately preserve the quality of the Mill River.

“Because the complex was constructed prior to the establishment of the current regulations, the rain flows directly off the parking lots into the river,” explained Nicole Davis, watershed coordinator for Save the Sound.

With input from Hamden’s engineering department, the team of Greg Giuliani, Dean Manetta, Jason Kearns, Nick Rajaratnam and Kevin Thimotee proposed a rain garden to alleviate the issue.

“By providing us options, we can work towards changes to increase water quality,” museum director William Brown said.

A third team worked on the design of a multi-use trail to connect neighborhoods around Bloomfield, Connecticut. The team included John Arteaga, Franco Cascarino, Robert Manetta, Jimmy Mazich, Dan Roth and Joe Tamburri.

The students assembled into design teams and chose topics early in the spring semester.

“By having mentors from industry, our students gained experience working with clients and practicing engineers,” said Priscilla Fonseca, an associate professor of civil engineering who also advised the students. “The town, The Eli Whitney Museum and Save the Sound met with the students to pitch projects just like a client would.”

The teams presented their final projects virtually on May 6. The online event featured 30 presentations from students majoring in civil engineering, industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, software engineering and computer science. It also included video displays, demonstrations and a question and answer segment.

“Projects Day is the culmination of a lot of hard work by our students,” said Kimberly DiGiovanni, an assistant teaching professor of civil engineering who mentored some of the teams. “By working on real-world projects, the students gained valuable experience in their journey to careers as engineers. Projects like this also foster a strong community bond.”

School of Engineering

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