Real World Experience
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 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:
- Remotely operated underwater robot (L3Harris Technologies)
- Plant sunlight tracking in greenhouse (FMC)
- Modular robot for adaptable research (Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division)
- Natural convection (Advanced Cooling Technologies)
- Server rack heat recovery (Microsoft)
- Bracket redesign for additive manufacturing (Lockheed Martin)
- Personal ID system using Cisco Meraki Access Points (Cisco)
Senior Mechanical Engineers worked on a fatbike for Christini Technologies
- Unexploded ordnance remediation (Golden West Humanitarian Foundation, Cambodia)
- Agricultural extension software application for use by farmers in rural Guatemala (Catholic Relief Services)
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:
- Removal of copper from wastewater by adsorption
- Optimizing lyophilization processes for drug formulations (Merck)
- Using antibody coating polymer microparticles for vaccine delivery (Merck)
- Rational synthesis of highly dispersed bimetallic catalysts
- Expression of recombinant earthworm hemoglobin in CHO cells
- Engineering an intron sequence to optimize transgene expression
INNOVATE: The L3Harris Summer Program
A partnership program of the College and L3Harris Technologies, this competitive, self-directed engineering design program supports multidisciplinary student teams in developing and prototyping solutions to real-world problems of their choosing. Over the course of two-months, student teams complete a functional prototype—physical or digital—under the guidance of a faculty mentor. During this time, students gain valuable engineering and leadership experience as they bring their team’s design to life.
“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
Educational Partnership and Alumni Connections Draw Villanova Engineers to NAWCAD, Lakehurst
An educational partnership agreement with the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) in Lakehurst, NJ, provides unique capstone project opportunities for engineering seniors, many of whom later find employment with the organization.
The Silvanus Project: Wildfire Detection & Prevention
The increasing number of wildfires devasting America’s western states inspired a team of Villanova University students to tackle the issue this past summer as part of the L3Harris INNOVATE Summer Program. The team designed, built and tested Silvanus—a weather-proof, solar powered wildfire prevention and detection system. The system measures the volumetric water content of soil to generate a risk-assessment measure of how likely a wildfire is to occur.
Shooting for Mars: Villanova Team Named Finalist in NASA RASC-AL Challenge
In its first year in the competition, a team of students from Villanova, Drexel and Rutgers universities has been named a finalist in NASA’s Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts—Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) program. Led by Villanova Engineering graduate student Nicholas Florio ’20 EE, ’21 MSEE, the team developed the Jemison Crewed Ascent Vehicle, honoring the first African American female astronaut, Mae C. Jemison. In June they will present their concept to NASA and other aerospace leaders.