Quinnipiac University

School of Engineering Projects Day 2021

Projects Day is designed to showcase and celebrate our students’ achievements. Throughout this site, you will find a listing of all the projects and participants by program, as well as a schedule of project team presentations for the live date.

Civil Engineering Projects

The town of Hamden is looking for ways to increase pedestrian accessibility and recreational activities along the Mill River, ultimately creating a looped trail by connecting the existing Farmington Canal Heritage Trail to the planned Mill River Trail. Our team designed a segment of the Mill River Trail near Quinnipiac. Several trail route alternatives were evaluated and two were developed in detail. We considered safety, cost, trail slope (ADA compliance), environmental impact and stakeholder input including the Regional Water Authority. Both proposed alternatives include a multiuse and multidirectional paved trail that would consist of either porous pavement or asphalt. Our design includes horizontal and vertical alignments as well as details for paving, crosswalks, fencing, traffic safety signage and benches.

  • Team members: Justin Carter, Michael Ciacciarella, Jonathan Livsey, Hayley Neugarten, Stephen Shute
  • Advisers: Professor Kimberly DiGiovanni and Professor Priscilla C. Fonseca
  • Client: Town of Hamden

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Our goal was to design a two-story office building with an attached high-bay warehouse to be located in Hamden. The structure was designed to meet all local, national and international building codes while maximizing strength-to-weight ratios for economy. Instabilities and excessive deflections were avoided. Structural members were selected and oriented to withstand expected dead, live, and snow-loading conditions, as well as subsurface conditions associated with the site. Hand calculations were used to yield preliminary sizing, and the structural system was optimized using the structural analysis program RISA-3D. We designed steel beams and columns, concrete slabs, and concrete retaining walls for the structure while minimizing construction and operating costs and reducing the risk of fire hazards.

  • Team members: Owyn Blanco, Nicholas Davis, Paige DeMarco, Mary Kate Firisin, Paulo Soares
  • Advisers: Professor Priscilla Fonseca, Professor Kimberly DiGiovanni, Professor John Greenleaf
  • Clients: Paul Sheehan, P.E., Michael Horton Associates

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Our project involves the reconstruction of the Woodin Street Bridge in Hamden, which runs perpendicular to Wilmot Brook. We analyzed several engineering components to come up with our design options. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, as well as the Connecticut Bridge Design Manual, was used to determine feasible distances and other design requirements. The watershed, flood map and annual hydrology were used to guide the team in designing a bridge that will not alter the current hydraulic state of Wilmot Brook. The team also designed a detour package. We considered two options for this project: a prefab box bridge culvert option and a cast-in-place option. We determined that the precast bridge option is the most time efficient and cost effective, with an estimated $188,000 cost and 3-5 week completion time.

  • Team members: Alfonso DePalma, Brendon Richardson, Jonathan LaBahn
  • Advisers: Professor Kimberly DiGiovanni and Professor Priscilla C. Fonseca
  • Clients: Town of Hamden

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Computer Science (BA) Projects

Students graduating with a BA in Computer Science do significant work with other disciplines on campus. Their senior capstone experience explores the relationship between Computer Science and another focused discipline, that culminates with a formal thesis paper.

For this project, AI techniques were implemented to advance game difficulty as player ability changes.

  • Team Member: Michael Murphy
  • Adviser: Professor Jonathan Blake

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There are several well-known ethical codes of conduct that software developers are held to. This paper explored the ethical defensibility of their software products through these same lenses.

  • Student team member: Griffin King
  • Adviser: Professor Jonathan Blake

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Search represents one of the most important aspects of Artificial Intelligence. This study investigated the possibility of merging several search algorithms in the context of solving a maze.

  • Team member: Daniel Greenberg
  • Adviser: Professor Jonathan Blake

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This study explored methods for automating the identification and classification of astrocytes.

  • Team member: Andrew DePass
  • Adviser: Professor Jonathan Blake

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Fileless malware represents an increasing problem. This project investigated RAM usage as a means of identifying fileless malware attacks.

  • Team member: Jamell Battle
  • Adviser: Professor Jonathan Blake

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This study explored the role that a formal computer science education can play in the design process.

  • Team member: Sydney Halk
  • Adviser: Professor Jonathan Blake

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This project developed a grammar to generate sequences of moves for a character in a simple fighting game. These move sequences are used to train an AI against different styles of play.

  • Team member: Neel Bains
  • Adviser: Professor Jonathan Blake

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Chimera is a web interface to crime database APIs to provide law enforcement departments with a resource allocation tool based on crime prediction theory.

  • Team member: Jacob Galiano
  • Adviser: Professor Jonathan Blake

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This past year has demonstrated the importance of the security of the food supply chain. This paper explored the supply chain from a cybersecurity standpoint, identifying soft points and discussing ways of securing them.

  • Team member: Ellsworth Evarts
  • Adviser: Professor Jonathan Blake

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Character development in games has focused primarily on male players. This study explored the role that female character development has on game play for women.

  • Team member: Ania Lighty
  • Adviser: Professor Jonathan Blake

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Voter confidence in the United States election process has plummeted. This paper investigated the role that technology has played in eroding this confidence, and the role it could play in restoring it.

  • Team member: Howard Byrd
  • Adviser: Professor Jonathan Blake

 

Computer Science (BS) Projects

Using the Neuroevolution of Augmenting Topologies algorithm (NEAT), we are teaching neural networks to play the game of Pac-Man through Nintaco, an NES emulator. NEAT is an unsupervised learning algorithm that works by generating a family of neural networks that attempt the game of PacMan. The neural networks are given a fitness score based on how well they performed. NEAT applies an evolutionary algorithm that selects neural networks from the current generation based on their fitness scores to “survive” into the next generation with slight mutations to allow for improvement. The process is repeated until a neural network is able to achieve some desired fitness score.

  • Team members: Massimo Angelillo and Ryan Clark
  • Adviser: Professor Mark Hoffman

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This project aims to deliver a website that companies and individuals can use to send out mass emails. Many companies need to send out mass emails for promotions, ads or to inform people of a new product. Some companies will manually type emails to thousands of contacts. Our goal is to help individuals and organizations automate their mass email process. Users will be able to create or upload their contacts and email documents to our website and customize their email campaigns.

  • Team members: Adam Curley, Thang Dao and Joseph Mannarino
  • Adviser: Professor Mark Hoffman

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Our goal for our project was to create a digital adaptation of the popular card game, Cards Against Humanity, that people can play while physically distant. The inspiration came from our desire to spend time with friends during the COVID-19 pandemic, when social distancing became necessary. This game includes a built-in chat feature and a variety of expansion packs (plus the ability to create your own).

  • Team members: Amanda Etienne and Joseph Germain
  • Adviser: Professor Mark Hoffman

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Industrial Engineering Projects

Chemical contaminants have been reducing the operating characteristics of the client’s product. These contaminants have been traced to the media used in the mixing process. Initial solutions that had been developed were to switch the media or to change to a mixer that did not require media. During our investigation, two media types were compared against the current media type in use. Additionally, the operational costs and their effects on the mixer’s lifetime were studied. We compared the current mixing method with switching to a stand mixer brand. The tradeoff for the use of the two mixers, along with the break-even point of the cost-benefit analysis and a notable cost savings of 96% were identified. An automated stand mixer system was designed and recommended.

  • Team Member: Jonathan Hogan
  • Adviser: Professor Emre Tokgoz

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By using the technology of a driving simulator and eye-tracking glasses, the general reactions of consenting participants were assessed to gain insight into various crash types; potential head-on collision — with and without barriers — and path intrusions at different speeds. By generating simulation programs to trigger certain potential crash scenarios as naturally as possible, the simulation aimed to parallel naturalistic events noninvasively. Parameters such as response type, reaction time, lane deviation and eye position were analyzed to help draw conclusions about relative driver behavior in response to certain stimuli.

  • Team member: Connor Dickson
  • Client: Crash Safety Research Center LLC
  • Adviser: Professor Emre Tokgoz

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ITW Drawform-Waterbury has previously operated under a traditional manufacturing system in which ITW forecasts demand and pushes material through once orders are received. For some of its high-running jobs, ITW has used the concept of market rate of demand (MRD) in order to optimize inventory. This approach allows the company to replace what is being consumed with a pull system. Due to ITW’s processes not being standardized, the company has not been able to reach its desired MRD, leading to either an excess or a shortage of inventory, late deliveries and scheduling process problems. The goal of this capstone project is to establish a working Kanban system for the top “80” parts based on calculated MRD quantities.

  • Team members: Anthony Calder, Sydney Davidovitch, Vincent Gazzillo
  • Client: ITW (Illinois Tool Works Inc.)
  • Adviser: Professor Emre Tokgoz

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Occupational safety and health administration (OSHA) standards exist to ensure that workers are safe and healthy. Hartford Hospital has six laboratories, two of which were renovated in 2017. The hospital recently experienced a few chemical exposures throughout different laboratories. The goal of this project was to use statistical process control and other industrial engineering practices to analyze the chemical exposures and recommend renovations to improve worker safety and welfare. After analysis, the team suggested that Hartford Hospital not perform renovations at this time but instead update technology in the designated labs.

  • Team members: Samantha Scarpinella and Michael Giannone
  • Client: Hartford Hospital
  • Adviser: Professor Emre Tokgoz

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Brook & Whittle Ltd. is one of the leading sustainable packaging manufacturers in North America. Our project aimed to determine how much waste occurs in the warehouse and tooling area in the North Branford facility to increase efficiency and organize the production line. Our team collected survey data from operators and supervisors, and responses were analyzed based on time studies by using data analysis tools. The results confirmed our hypothesis: hot stamps should be grouped together and replaced in the same area, close to the press halls. For inventory/warehouse, we found that a substantial amount of aged material was not being used. Based on these results and analyses, our group suggested better use of storage, keeping accurate and active data, and a new tooling library-keeping system for all the tools, especially hot stamps.

  • Team Members: Seren Tekalp and Matt Di Lella  
  • Client: Brook & Whittle Ltd.
  • Adviser: Professor Emre Tokgoz

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Brook and Whittle Ltd. is a leading labeling manufacturer in North America. This project was completed in the company’s facilities in North Branford and Guilford. Brook & Whittle uses plates to print original designs on raw materials. Upper management asked us to focus on reducing costs associated with platemaking in the imaging department and decrease the wastes occurring in both facilities. The analysis of the data indicated most of the plates were being produced more than once. The overproduction might be due to unorganized storage, material handling, and plates that have gone missing during transport from one facility to another. To reduce wastes, a plate database and corresponding library were designed using the program FileMaker Pro.

  • Team Member: Naz Tekalp 
  • Client: Brook & Whittle Ltd.
  • Adviser: Dr. Emre Tokgoz

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Within the construction industry waste is produced at a rate of over double what humans produce. Within this waste there is a lot of materials that could be repurposed and yield potential profits. There is also ways to minimize the waste produced onsite by implementing new waste collection rules as well as collection techniques. In this project, the goal is to come up with a method to reduce construction waste and costs that are attained from construction sites. 

  • Team Member: Joseph Almeida
  • Advisor: Emre Tokgoz

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This project focused on the improvement of defect reduction of orders. Defect reports are created based on raw defect data from production runs, and this information is used for fixing issues for the engineering team to access the data. Improvements were suggested as a part of this project. Once the improvements were implemented, the next order was analyzed with another defect report. This analyzed data was then compared to the original run to show the reduction of defects as a part of the solution developed. These steps were implemented on all company orders and are expected to result in continued defect reduction.

  • Team member: Jennifer Vignola
  • Adviser: Professor Emre Tokgoz

Mechanical Engineering Projects

Our goal was to design and build a single-seat recreational vehicle, intended for sale to off-roading enthusiasts. The vehicle was required to meet all Society of Automotive Engineers rules and be rugged, safe, easily transported, easily maintained, and fun to drive. Our work would be evaluated based on technical inspection, cost, design, sales, acceleration, hill climb, specialty (rock crawl, suspension), and a 4-hour endurance race. The primary goals for this first-year team were to pass inspection and to compete in and finish all events at the Baja SAE 2021 competition.

  • Team members: Jeffrey Davis, Alexander Petrarca, John Murray, Sam Deleel, Zachary Polak and Sean Budowski
  • Adviser: Professor Jose Riofrio
  • Client: Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)

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We worked directly with the engineers and technicians in Medtronic’s medical device testing laboratory to design a soundproof box that could be used for audible feedback testing. The box would house both the device to be tested as well as a sound meter, situated approximately 20 inches from the device. The box had to allow the operator access to the instrument while minimizing outside sound from entering. It also needed to have a window allowing the user to see the device in use.

  • Team members: Justin Delgado, Kenneth Espinal, Joel Goncalves, Carly Toth
  • Adviser: Professor Mary Phillips, Joseph Festa (Medtronic), Brittney Severino (Medtronic)
  • Client: Medtronic

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The goal of this project was to design a device that alerts a client when a patient’s feeding tube becomes disconnected from its access port. The device must be safe for the patient and client, reliable, and easy to use. The client has a son who is reliant on a feeding tube for his nutritional needs. The tube is connected to a port that goes directly to the patient’s stomach and is in operation 24 hours a day. At times during the night, the tube has become dislodged, resulting in the nutrition dripping onto the patient’s clothes and bedding. There is no device to alert the client that this has occurred.

  • Team members: Frank Allegretti, Brenden Cavaco, Steven Mormile, Jake Scheblein
  • Adviser: Professor Grant Crawford
  • Client: Carilyn Torello

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We aimed to design a system that can launch balsa wood gliders with consistent speed and angle. The device needed to offer adjustable launch velocities within a specified range; adjustable launch angles; the ability to reset quickly; integration with the bleachers in Burt Kahn Court; fast set-up and breakdown; and be easily transportable. In the redesign, special emphasis was placed on the reliability of achieving the desired launch velocities.

  • Team members: Riley Popp, Corey Sala, Phillip Weingart
  • Adviser: John Reap
  • Client: Professor Grant Crawford

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We designed a mobile walker to assist patients who have retropulsion and impaired mobility on one side of the body. This condition is seen, for example, in an individual who was born with cerebral palsy and subsequently suffered a traumatic brain injury. Equipment currently on the market does not work well for these patients.

  • Team members: Matthew Hernandez, Charles Hewitt, Hasan Tekalp, Sarah Veglas
  • Adviser: Professor Lynn Byers
  • Client: Professor Lisa Kaplan

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We set out to design a method of measuring the velocity fields in a tornadic storm event. The solution needed to produce multiple data sets for a single event and be safe for the user and the public.

  • Team members: John Agosta, Seth Cornier, Alexander Gentile, Ethan Moriarty,
  • Advisers: Professor Mary Phillips, Professor Grant Crawford

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For our project, we designed and fabricated a whirl stand for laboratory use in MER 388, Helicopter Aeronautics. Whirl stands are the helicopter equivalent of wind tunnels and are used to generate experimental data on small-scale or full-scale rotor systems. They may be used in conjunction with wind tunnels to simulate forward flight, or they may stand alone to simulate hover conditions.

  • Team members: Paul Bear, Andrew Cowen, Kyle Harrison, Matthew Ramelli
  • Adviser: Professor Grant Crawford
  • Client: Professor Lynn Byers, coordinator of the course

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Our goal was to design a small-scale vessel capable of reliably rowing a distance equivalent to crossing the Mount Carmel Campus Pond. The vessel needed to move under its own power, and to an extent nautically reasonable, and its nominal scaled dimensions needed to conform to that of a historic rowed vessel (ex. longship, trireme, etc.). The design needed to convey Quinnipiac University’s motto of “Bobcat Strong.”

  • Team members: Gabriella Ambery, Hannah Cabral, Jennifer Hallbach, Madeline LePage
  • Adviser: Professor John Reap

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Software Engineering Projects

Our goal was to create a mobile application that facilitates the documentation of a cardiac arrest code. Using voice recognition, the app allows the documenter to quickly record the steps taken during the event. The app is used for demonstration purposes in a nursing course. Timestamps are automatically saved with every recorded event, and a capability to flag incorrectly recorded events is provided. The code document is editable for a short period of time after a code completion to allow for corrections. The document then can be downloaded and shared.

  • Student team members: Brian Carballo, Giovanni Greco, Julia Wilkinson
  • Adviser: Professor Stefan Christov
  • Clients: Professor Margaret Gray, Professor Barbara Glynn, Quinnipiac School of Nursing

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Our goal was to streamline and digitize the “operational due diligence” process that DiligencePATH uses to gather information about an investment manager for a given client. Currently, there is no automated version of this process, and it involves much emailing back and forth. The purpose of this review process is to “confirm that the investment manager has the appropriate process and controls in place to manage the client’s assets (cash) and operate their investment management business.” The new process would eliminate the manual procedures that occur due to email communication, completing industry questionnaires, and automate the final client report to save labor and time.

  • Student team members: Jillian Biasotti, Joseph Ruiz, Dominic Smorra
  • Adviser: Professor Ruby ElKharboutly
  • Client: Gaetano Tony DiPietro, DiligencePATH

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The aim of this project was to build a repository and website for major and minor introns. The Major and Minor Intron Annotation Database allows biologists and bioinformatics researchers to search for intron datasets among various species under specific criteria. The system also aims to have admin user capabilities that include predicting, archiving and deleting intron datasets. These tools allow the dataset to stay current and updated. Users also can download datasets that appear in a search result, or have them emailed to them, which makes research more convenient for offline access.

  • Team members: James Jacobson, Corey Maiorino, Phillip Nam
  • Adviser: Professor Ruby ElKharboutly
  • Client: Sahar Al Seesi, Southern Connecticut State University

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For this project, we created a software system to automatically annotate video recordings of operating room procedures with important events from these procedures. The events are based on electronic checklists and various medical devices used during the procedures. The annotated videos can be watched by the medical team to perform various analyses, such as error identification and efficiency analysis, and also can be used for training purposes.

  • Team members: Kevin Sangurima, Aden Mariyappa, Vishal Nigam
  • Adviser: Professor Stefan Christov
  • Clients: George S. Avrunin, Lori A. Clarke, Heather M. Conboy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

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Acknowledgements

The faculty and students would like to thank the following individuals and organizations for their generous support of our student projects:

  • Administrative Support: Kathy Flyntz
  • Technical Assistance: Dennis Hanlon
  • IT Support: Rick Brownell
  • Office of Integrated Marketing Communications
  • Funding by sponsors and Office of the Provost

What is Projects Day?

Two engineering students gesturing toward equipment in a lab, starts video

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Every student completes a Senior Design Project that incorporates real clients and problems, and simulates a project that they might encounter their first day on the job. This video footage highlights our in-person Projects Day, that took place in 2019.

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