2021 College News
Villanova Announces Plans for Major Transformation of its College of Engineering, Providing Expanded Space for Interdisciplinary Research and Teaching Facilities
Villanova University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, today announced plans for a 150,000 square-foot addition to the College of Engineering’s primary academic building, the Center for Engineering Education and Research. This major space expansion reflects a bold 21st-century vision for the College that will dramatically transform the facility.
Research Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Dr. Meltem Izzetoglu is an expert in the field of optical brain imaging and a major contributor to the development of fNIRS (functional near infrared spectroscopy). She is collaborating with Dr. Seri Park, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, to study driving behavior, specifically how distracted driving effects decision-making and performance. The team has outfitted the College’s state-of-the-art driving simulator with fNIRS and eye-tracking devices to shed new light on the brain-behavior connection.
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.
In early May, two groups of Villanovans launched the University’s first weather balloons. For the CubeSat Club, the goal was to test the radio beacon and ground station antenna they built last year on the roof of Tolentine, and gather telemetry readings including pressure, altitude, temperature, and humidity.
A highlight of Villanova’s Chemical and Biological Engineering program is the department’s two-semester Senior Project Studio through which undergraduates can participate in an industry-sponsored or faculty-advised design or research project. This year, three teams are working with professors Dorothy Skaf and Vito Punzi to explore the use of natural materials to treat water for colloidal suspended solids removal.