An article triggered by a College of Engineering and UMass News Office release about the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department’s 25th annual Senior Design Day was picked up by the Associated Press and appeared in media across the nation. The Hampshire Gazette published the UMass release, and the AP distributed the resulting Gazette article. Projects ranged from those that help the blind, a “smart kitchen,” digital exercise advice, and an aerial camera for video-taping action sports. There was also a wearable video camera for police, a brainwave-controlled robotic car, a virtual piano, a blast-impact measuring device for soldiers, and an indoor tracking device for emergency personnel such as firemen working in dangerous buildings. The ECE event was covered by ABC’s WCVB-TV 5 in Boston, the Sacramento Bee in California, the Wichita Eagle in Kansas, the Miami Herald, and many other media outlets.
“The Senior Design Project is not only the culminating project in the ECE curriculum,” said T. Baird Soules, the department’s undergraduate program director, “but it is also where students broaden their skill base by making presentations, working in teams, and staying within their budgets.”
The Senior Design Project provides a crowning experience for undergraduate students in the ECE department. Students work in teams of four during a year-long course to design and build systems of their own conception. Each team is advised by a faculty member in the department, and projects undergo four formal reviews before faculty evaluators. The learning goals for the senior design project include technical design, an understanding of realistic constraints, teaming societal impact, and much more.
“The design project is as close as we can get to duplicating what these students will be doing in their professional lives,” said ECE Department Head Christopher Hollot. (June 2015)