CETA Students Share Their Impressive Work at Design Expo

December 14, 2023
Submitted By: Office of Marketing and Communication

As with many disciplines, “hands-on” learning and “hands-on” creativity represent some of the most valuable opportunities afforded to students at UHart’s College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture. Is it a contradiction, then, that so many of the projects that engineering students displayed at the Fall 2023 CETA Design Expo on Friday, December 8, are intended to help people avoid using their hands?

The fact is that technology often helps things get done faster, more effectively, and much safer than people can do them on their own. As all CETA students know, it takes skilled hands—and skilled minds—to create any new technological and engineering device.

So it’s no contradiction at all.

What’s more, CETA students enjoy working on and showing off their projects, which is another key to effective learning. At the Design Expo in the Hursey Center, such excitement was evident from one exhibit to the next. There were 54 of them, created by nearly 100 students as part of their final grade for the semester.

“I really like building stuff and I love 3D design,” said first-year student Nick Halloran, whose model of an automatic drawbridge was one of the projects on display. The miniature bridge, made with ice-cream sticks, opens automatically when it detects a passing ship, while also blocking access to oncoming cars. “Plus, I just really like soldering things together!” Halloran added in an almost gleeful reminiscence not just of his CETA project, but also of all the projects he used to work on at home while his engineering interests first started to develop. Soldering is the common heating process used for bonding metal or electrical components.

Halloran, along with his teammates and other expo participants, gained more than just new technological skills while working on their projects; they also had the chance to practice explaining their concepts and designs and rationalizing the need and usability of each one. That’s an important skill for post-graduation success.

“I just have always loved bridges, and drawbridges are the only type that have to move,” said first-year student Bret Mondejar, another drawbridge teammate, explaining what attracted him to the project in the first place. Many of the students, in fact, were drawn to concepts with which they had some personal interest or connection, whether it was to better detect basement floods or enhance the enjoying of video games.

The projects at the CETA Design Expo represented a diverse range of ideas and strategies, many of them related to the need for increased safety and security. From automatic blinds, robotic garbage truck, and a mechanical muffler sound reduction device, to a voice-activated door, home flooding defense system, and ultrasonic elevator, the technical and mechanical ventures pursued by these CETA students made their professors proud, not to mention many parents who also attended.

In addition to refining skills in coding, sensors, robotics, acoustics, ultrasound and countless other applications, students involved in the Expo also learn the value of teamwork, another important skill for the working world.

“It was really nice to learn how to work together effectively within a group,” says first-year student Victoria Mulligan, who helped build a scale model of a robotic garbage truck. Her primary participation was working on the sensors that enable the truck and the collection arm to detect, gather, and deposit the refuse that it comes across on its cybernetic journey.

She and her teammate, first-year student James Hinspeter, like many CETA classmates, frequently find themselves putting time aside to think about what they may like to do professionally, once campus days have come and gone. From student to student, thoughts on the matter are as diverse as the projects themselves. Hinspeter says that even though he worked on a robotic garbage truck this time around, it’s the word “design” that plays the biggest role in his vocational imagination, which he says can lead to something quite different—such as building houses. Architecture, in fact, may be one area he explores as he moves forward in his academic career. If  that’s the case, he’s in luck, for architecture is one of the many specialized disciplines taught at CETA.




Class: ES 143

#1         E24 – Arduino Karaoke (Gage Wimberly, Elisabeth Young, & Adeola Oyebunmi)

#2           E12 – Drawbridge (Keller Casey, Nicholas Halloran, & Bret Mondejar)

#3           E31 - Personalized Housing System (Ryan Munoz, Michael Previdi, & Joshua Lindsay)

#4 tie     E13 - Alarm System (Katherine Albarracin, Emma Dargenio, & Ian Malespini)

               E21 - Math Is Fun (David Priest, Michael Dubler, Alex Cotter, & Jessie Keyles)

               E39 - The Secuoor (Bandar Aldowaish, Silvan Friedman, Parker Laframboise, & Max Kleykamp)


Class: ECT 110

#1           T7 - Little Robot That Could (Emmanuel Agbese & Brendan Henck)

#2           T4 - Arduino Mobile Tank (Max Blunt & Javier Serrano)


Senior Projects

 S4 - Portable Solar Backup (Ahmed Alfeeli & Hussain Alqallaf)


First-year winning team “Arduino Karaoke” member Adeola Oyebunmi answers questions from an attendee.

Eve Stetson, Niyah Johnson, and AJ Stephens present their project “The Solar Rover," a solar tracking ground vehicle.

“Robotic Garbage Truck” team members Victoria Mulligan, Anthony Rodriguez, Israel Cruz, and James Hinspeter.