University of Hartford engineering majors were among college students from across the state who recently competed in the first Connecticut Skills Challenge. Twenty-five UHart students worked together in eight teams to help devise and engineer a solution to a current business or societal problem.
Lou Manzione, dean of the University’s College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture (CETA), helped pioneer the challenge as chair of the Connecticut Engineering Deans Council, along with members of the Connecticut Technology Council (CTC).
“We had two objectives in developing this competition,” Manzione explains. “One was to give future engineers a forum to collaborate and showcase their skills and talents. The second was to give companies inroads into discovering the students. Efforts like these also serve the purpose of keeping Connecticut competitive and strong, while addressing the needs of replacing an older workforce.”
Daniel Pappalardo ’17, a mechanical engineering student, was “excited to have the chance to work with my team to solve a real-world issue.” His teammates were mechanical engineering majors Ziair DeLeon ’19, Daniel Lacorazzo ’17, Gregory Smith ’17, and electrical engineering major Stephen Marquis ’17. They are hoping to advance to the finals taking place at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn on November 10. The winners will receive $5,000, with second and third place teams receiving $2,500 and $1,500, respectively.
Katie Magboo, manager of Talent and Workforce programs at CTC, says, “The solutions the students have developed in the short time they have to work have exceeded the judges’ expectations in innovation and inspiration.”
Through participation in the contest, all students are invited to a career fair hosted by CTC on the day of the finals.