Student Projects for Industry and Non-Profits

Industry partners, non-profits and international organizations support and provide mentorship for many of the hands-on, professional experiences that benefit Villanova Engineering students. Opportunities for students include:

Senior Mechanical Engineers worked on a fatbike for Christini Technologies

Senior Capstone Projects:

A graduation requirement for all civil, computer, electrical and mechanical engineering students, senior capstone projects reflect real-world challenges and demonstrate students’ acquired knowledge. Recent projects and partners include:

  • Selective adsorbents (Air Products)
  • Ad hoc communications with autonomous vehicles (Boeing)
  • Primary electric hybrid all-wheel drive motorcycle (Christini Technologies)
  • Green stormwater infrastructure (City of Knowledge in Panama City, Panama)
  • Unexploded ordnance remediation (Golden West Humanitarian Foundation, Cambodia)
  • 3-D underwater mapping with stereo sonar (Harris Corporation)
  • Malware data repository (Lockheed Martin)
  • Satellite communication channel simulator (RT Logic)
  • A campus renovation plan for Villanova’s SEPTA rail station (SEPTA)
  • Network errors on high definition video content (Verizon)

Senior Project Studio

A highlight of the Chemical and Biological Engineering program is the department’s two-semester Senior Project Studio through which Chemical Engineering majors can participate in an industry-sponsored design or research project.

Recent undergraduate research projects include:

  • Optimization of T cell growth and manufacture
  • Preparing LtEc-alginate hydrogels for animal cell culture
  • Synthetic production of plasmids for gene therapy
  • Optimization of wetland microbial fuel cells using novel electrodes
  • Solutions for loss of coating on the ball chain (Ball Chain)
  • Remediation treatment methods for per- and poly-fluorinated contaminants (O’Brien & Gere)
Villanova Engineering Students Address Real World Challenges through INNOVATE: The L3Harris Summer Program

INNOVATE: The L3Harris Summer Program: INNOVATE is a competitive, self-directed engineering design program for multidisciplinary student teams. This partnership program of the College and L3Harris Technologies allows students to engage in the open design process to pursue innovative solutions to unmet societal and technological needs. Students manage all aspects of their projects, from initial design concepts through delivery of prototypes and final presentations. During their two-month residency, students receive stipends, free room and board (on-campus), project budgets and access to subject matter experts, labs and facilities.

Projects have included:

  • Solar and cycle chargers for head lights and cellular phones in Burundi, Africa
  • Hemabyte: a low-cost, portable blood testing unit that can measure the complete blood count
  • AtmoGEN: an atmospheric water generator
  • Zoo animal recognition app
  • Interactive mechanism to upcycle plastic water bottles
Undergraduates and graduate students conduct research in the Center for Energy Smart Electronic Systems.

Research in the Center for Energy-Smart Electronic Systems (ES2): Faculty and students engaged in this NSF Industry-University Cooperative Research Center work with industry partners to develop methodologies, tools and systems that will maximize energy efficiency for the operation of electronic systems, including data centers.

Current Villanova ES2 research:

  • Thermodynamic Tools for Holistic Analysis and Optimization of Energy Efficient Data Centers
  • Compact Models for Rapid Thermal Modeling of Data Centers
  • Waste Heat Recovery and Reuse from Data Centers
Graduate students in the Sustainable Engineering program regularly present to corporate partners.

RISE Forum partner case studies:  An initiative of the College’s graduate program in Sustainable Engineering, the RISE Forum is a vehicle for academic-industry collaboration, where graduate student teams work directly with member companies to identify and advance sustainable engineering practices.

Recent student projects:

  • Reducing the environmental footprint for Manayunk Brewery
  • Conducting a life cycle assessment for Longwood Gardens’ Greenhouse
  • Evaluating the sustainable supply chain for Hershey African Cocoa Farming
  • Designing solar headlamps for a community in Nicaragua
  • Assisting a local municipality with its Energy Transition Plan

“Villanova’s College of Engineering provides students with project-based experiences through the whole product lifecycle—from visioning to prototyping to testing and retesting, through producing a finished product and interacting with customers. Students also have to manage a budget and meet timelines. These experiences set Nova engineers apart.”—John Monahan ’86 EE, former President, RT Logic

 

“Working with an industry-leading company like Christini Technologies (owned by Villanova Engineering alumnus Steve Christini ’95 ME) was an incredibly rewarding experience that allowed our team to transition our work from the classroom to the real world. We utilized a diverse set of skills and perspectives to elevate our design and transform it into a working prototype.”—Ben Crawford, Mechanical Engineering

LEARNING BY DOING

Brooklyn Curtin and Julie Kasunic present the proposal for a variable-delay polarization modulator re-designed for the CLASS telescope, on which they are in collaboration with Dr. David Chuss of the Physics Department.

Mechanical Engineering Senior Design Teams Awarded ASME Grants

Four teams of senior Mechanical Engineering were awarded $600 grants from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Philadelphia section, for their capstone design projects, which include a rehabilitation device for Bell’s Palsy, a variable-delay polarization modulator for a telescope, an experimental dinosaur jaw robot and a rooftop solar water heater.

ECE Seniors Awarded for Capstone Projects

ECE Seniors Awarded for Capstone Projects

In lieu of its traditional dinner reception, Electrical and Computer Engineering department chair Dr. Bijan Mobasseri hosted a virtual event to present the annual awards for senior capstone projects. The work serves as the culmination of the students’ undergraduate Villanova Engineering experience. 

 Dan Spracklin, founder and CEO of SoMax Bioenergy

RISE Partnership Yields Elemental Recycling Technology

Through his partnership with RISE, Dan Spracklin, founder and CEO of SoMax Bioenergy, worked with several of Villanova’s Sustainable Engineering graduate students to develop an elemental recycling platform. Its purpose is to produce hydro-char—clean coal that can be combusted with zero net carbon emissions—as well as nutrient rich liquid fertilizer from manure and other waste materials.