Mechanical Engineering Seniors Receive Best Presentation Award

July 28, 2016

From Left: Steven Weber, Erica Good, Emily Fredette, and Robert Leeson.

        During Spring 2016 semester, four seniors in mechanical engineering—Robert Leeson, Steven Weber, Erica Good, and Emily Fredette—conducted a conceptual study of a new type of drone that could potentially fly and swim interchangeably. The study was originally given as a class project for ME554 Aerospace Design, taught by Dr. Masataka Okutsu.

I wanted to make a contribution to the new face of technology,” said Emily Fredette. “This drone project allowed me to apply what I learned in the past seven semesters of engineering classes to a real-world problem.

Erica Good said that their classwork has had intrigued even people outside of the class. “When Emily and I were doing experiments after class, three professors nearby started having discussions about our project. After one hour, they proved the theory from scratch,” said Good.

The team shared their finding to the university community during the CUA Research Day on April 15, 2016, and was recognized with the Most Outstanding Undergraduate Presentation Award, one of the four awards given that day.

“My classmates and I has had a high expectations for the course. But we ended up achieving goals beyond what we thought was possible to accomplish within one semester,” said Robert Leeson.

On April 22-23, 2016, Leeson has traveled to Worcester, MA, to present their work, this time at a student paper competition organized by American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

“There were many presentations from leading aerospace engineering schools, but the presentations from our school was at the most cutting edge of research. Discovering this was exciting,” said Leeson.