Engineering & Science Students Savor Project Awards

By  //  May 3, 2012

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Mission Accomplished

From left, Florida Tech Dean of the College of Engineering Fredric Ham; Florida Tech President Anthony J. Catanese and team members Brittany Essink, Rafiuddin Ahmed and Michelle Little; Florida Tech benefactor Philip Farmer; and Ronnal Reichard, coordinator of Engineering Senior Design celebrate the students' Presidents Cup Award for engineering. (Image courtesy of Florida Tech)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Winners of the Northrop Grumman Corp. Champion Award and Florida Institute of Technology President’s Cup Award have been selected at the annual Northrop Grumman Engineering and Science Student Design Showcase.

The showcase featuring the final projects of Florida Tech engineering and science students was held recently in the Clemente Center for Sports and Recreation.

A total of 66 engineering and 56 science projects were on display.

In each, students worked diligently — sometimes for years — conducting research, designing and building a variety of projects, and developing solutions for important real-world problems.

“We had 100 volunteers to judge the student projects this year,” said Ronnal Reichard, professor of engineering and coordinator of Engineering Senior Design. “These professionals come to the showcase because of the excellence of our students and their projects. Many of the students have been invited by the judges for corporate visits and job interviews based on their performance at the showcase. We are truly proud of our engineering students’ accomplishments.”

Science projects were also praised.

“Over my time at a variety of other excellent universities, I’ve never seen the level of commitment that Florida Tech brings to undergraduate research. I’ve also never seen the levels of commitment and success that Florida Tech undergraduates display in research,” said Michael Grace, associate dean of Florida Tech’s College of Science. “From studies of coral reefs to kidney disease to the search for water on Mars, College of Science students are conducting truly amazing research that has far-reaching implications.”

Here is a listing of the awards: 

• Northrop Grumman Champion Award in Engineering — Self Maneuvering Parafoil. Team members are Brian Bomser, Torin Crandall, Zach Hafner and Adrienne Jung. Faculty adviser is Associate Professor David Fleming.

 • Northrop Grumman Champion Award in Science — Visual Capabilities of Yellow Ratsnakes as Predators of the Threatened Florida Scrub-Jay.  Team members are Kim Rigano and Angela Munoz. Faculty adviser is Professor Michael S. Grace.

 • Florida Tech President’s Cup Award in Engineering — Lunabotics Moon Excavator. Team members are Allison Metzger, Rafi Ahmed, Matthew Goldstein, Brittany Essink, Michelle Little and Jennifer Mori. The faculty advisers are Associate Professor Hector Gutierrez and Professor Ronnal Reichard.

 • Florida Tech’s President’s Cup Award in Science — A Mathematical Approach to Predict the Progression Rate of Chronic Kidney Disease. Team member is Roby Poteau. The faculty adviser is Assistant Professor Munevver Subasi.

Northrop Grumman judging criteria included outstanding understanding of the problem or design, level of teamwork; level of understanding of project logistics; level of oral presentation skills; poster presentation and methodology, design, solution and an understanding of the underlying science, math and/or engineering principles involved.