Six students from the University of Hartford’s College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture (CETA) proved themselves to be among the next generation of engineering innovators after capturing first and second place at the Connecticut Skills Challenge on Nov. 10 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. They, along with students from 11 other colleges, had three hours to come up with a way to improve access to clean water across the world. They then presented their solutions to a judging panel made up of industry leaders.
Computer engineering students Rosemarie Day ’17 and Adam Haggett ’18 and electrical engineering student Brenda Salazar Bautista ’17 took home the top prize of $5,000 for their water filtration system. The team worked on solving the problem of contaminated water which kills as many as two million people every year in Latin America.
“Our filtration system uses local products to purify the water and can be implemented in any container (therefore) allowing for families to store clean water at a cost of about $30-40 for one year of use,” Adam explains.
The three CETA students, who happen to be best friends, attribute their win to team dynamics and planning. “We were all on the same page. We dedicated a brief time to decide on an idea, time to research and develop it, and an hour in the end for designing and preparing our presentation,” Rosemarie says.
Second place winners Jared Deleon’18 and Brady Hoddinott ’18, who are mechanical engineering majors, and Paul Mangelsdorf ’18, an acoustical engineering major, designed a low-cost, low-maintenance solar water distiller. It uses sunlight to evaporate water, allowing it to condense and drain into a holding tank that is designed to fit into the bed of a pickup truck for easy transport into underdeveloped areas. The team will split the $2,500 prize.
“We are so proud of our teams for excelling in this statewide competition,” says Lou Manzione, dean of CETA and director of Research Collaboration and Economic Development. “Our teams excelled in both engineering and communications skills. These are real metrics for success in our profession.”
Following the competition, the CTC hosted a job and internship fair for all participating students.