ECE Day Focuses on Technology for Persons with Disabilities

Barbara Maurer, a technology specialist from the Overbrook School for the Blind, described advances in adaptive technology for persons with impaired vision.

"Technology to Help Others" was the theme of the 22nd annual ECE Day, held on Thursday, October 30, 2008, in the Connelly Center’s Villanova Room. Coordinated by Visiting Assistant Professor Edmond Dougherty EE '69, GS '86, the program featured presentations by distinguished speakers on state-of-the-art topics in electrical and computer engineering; senior poster presentations; and a dinner for the students and guests.

In his introductory remarks to ECE students, Dr. Pritpal Singh, Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, positioned the day’s theme within the larger context of the University’s mission. "At Villanova, community service is an important aspect of education. In ECE, we involve engineering students in helping those who are less fortunate."

A series of speakers provided concrete examples of how technological innovations are improving the quality of life for those with disabilities, including people who are blind or visually impaired and children with learning disabilities. After dinner, Professor Dougherty and E. J. Dougherty A&S '92, GS '01, presented innovative products and companies that serve people in need worldwide.

During the final segment of the program, ECE senior project teams displayed posters summarizing their ongoing design projects. Members of the ECE External Advisory Board served as judges. Listed below are the winners of the poster presentation contest:

The Wavecam team was among the winners of the ECE Day’s poster presentation contest.

Hand Gesture Computer Recognition Device:
Mathew Goldsborough, John Hashem, John Roland, Philip Urban
Advisor: Prof. Sarvesh Kulkarni

Laura Determan, Christine Grispino, Evan Hollenshade, Kenneth Koncilja, Joseph Martyn, Meghan Morese, Shea Quinn
Advisors: Profs. Edmond Dougherty and Young Chun

Villanova Fire-Bot:
Myles Durkin, Ryan Ehid, Steven Kropp, Brian Lepus, Kevin McHugh
Advisors: Profs. Frank Mercede and LeRoy Alaways

Team URV:
Jesse Boniello, John Carswell, Michael Flaherty, Alan Fritschy, Margaret Scales
Advisors: Profs. Robert Caverly and LeRoy Alaways