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NUWC Division Newport senior design, capstone project presentations go virtual this year

By NUWC Division Newport Public Affairs | June 19, 2020

NEWPORT, R.I. —

Before the end of a typical academic year, students from the University of Connecticut (UCONN) and the University of Rhode Island (URI) would be visiting the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport to present the results of their senior design or capstone projects to an audience of fellow students, faculty advisors and Division Newport scientists and engineers. This year’s pandemic conditions have transformed that day of live presentations and facility tours into “Virtual Senior Design & Capstone Day 2019-20.”

During the past academic year, 22 projects were completed involving more than 60 seniors from five engineering departments with sponsors including Division Newport, Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory, U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center, Electric Boat, Sonalysts, ThayerMahan, Dive Technologies and LBI Corp. These projects fall under the Navy Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Senior Design Program, which is supported by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) STEM Program.

“The impact of this program is enormous. The students benefit from the real-world design experience prior to graduation with outstanding guidance provided by their naval sponsors,” Michael Accorsi, UCONN’s senior associate dean at the School of Engineering and professor of civil and environmental engineering, said. “The sponsors have an opportunity to explore new ideas with our students and faculty with access to university equipment and facilities. The program promotes collaboration and long-term partnerships and provides excellent opportunities for recruiting our talented students.”

According to Dr. David Taggart, professor of mechanical engineering at URI, by collaborating with Division Newport on their capstone projects, the students addressed design problems of interest to the Navy with realistic design constraints. He agreed that interactions with Division Newport’s mentors is particularly valuable as they transition from school to engineering careers. These experiences expose them to Navy-related opportunities, which can help them as they plan their career paths.

“Of course our students were disappointed that they were unable to visit NUWC and present their design to NUWC engineers and managers,” Taggart said. “However, we feel that by preparing video presentations, students develop new skills needed to work in virtual team environments, which we believe will become increasingly valuable as they start their engineering careers. Also, we hope that their videos will receive wider exposure than in-person briefs and may lead to new and enhanced collaborations in the future.” 

“Our engineers and scientists have specialized knowledge and expertise which are needed to deliver complex undersea systems to the Navy,” said Chris DelMastro, head of the Undersea Warfare Platforms and Payload Integration Department. “Their willingness to jump in and mentor this talented group is a testament to their commitment to our Navy mission and it provides us a firsthand view of these students in a team environment while fostering our academic relationships.”

This year’s senior design and capstone project presentations can be viewed on YouTube by visiting the following links:

URI Navy STEM capstone projects:

Five Axis 3D Printer System,” by Dan Brogan, Emma McCool-Guglielmo, Alex Pezzullo, Dalton Stein, and Ryan Mullaney, with guidance by faculty member Bahram Nassersharif and NUWC Division Newport mentor Reid Billings.

Launching Small Diameter Payloads from a larger Diameter Outer Tube,” by Seth Camara, Harry Kenyon and James Vartanian, with guidance by faculty member Bahram Nassersharif and NUWC Division Newport mentor Aaron Binek.

Tubular Underwater Projectile and Cannon,” by Devon Duggan, Matt Kirslis, Sam Noymer and Rachael Lenher, with guidance by faculty member Bahram Nassersharif and NUWC Division Newport mentor Craig Tilton.

Methodology for Underwater Deployment from a Host Vehicle,” by Brian Cafferro, Casie Castello, Trevor Ide and Mark Keenan, with guidance by faculty member Bahram Nassersharif and NUWC Division Newport mentor Peter Phelps.

3D Printing Ceramic Pressure Housings Using the Formlabs Form 2 Stereolithography 3D Printer,” by Kelsey Dugan, Tristram Howard ad Michael Robinson, with guidance by faculty member Bahram Nassersharif and NUWC Division Newport mentor Alex Desilets.

For more information on each project, visit: https://web.uri.edu/naval-science-technology/undergraduate-program/senior-design/

UConn Navy STEM senior design projects:

Preparation Of 3D Printed Plastic Components for Waterborne Environments,” by Christopher Choi, Riley Blumenfield and Aidan Walsh, with guidance by faculty member Rainer Hebert and NUWC Division Newport mentor Chris Ambrosini.

Electromagnetic Expulsion of a Cylindrical Body from an Outer Tube,” by Joshua Dupont, Nickolai Serebriakov, and Patrick Haggerty, with guidance by faculty member Dr. Jiong Tang and NUWC Division Newport mentor Michael Sheehan.

Expulsion of a Cylindrical Body from an Outer Tube by Explodable Volumes,” by Jiayuan Shen, Lauren Knapp and Marco Agudo, with guidance by faculty member Dr. Tianfeng Lu and NUWC Division Newport mentor James LeBlanc.

Electromagnetic Expulsion of a Cylindrical Body from an Outer Tube,” by Alexandra Paulakos, Alexander Podgorski and Joseph Slivinski, with guidance by faculty member Abhishek Dutta and NUWC Division Newport mentor Michael Sheehan.

For more information on each project, visit: https://navy-stem.uconn.edu/undergraduate/navy-stem-virtual-senior-design-day-2019-2020/

Information is also posted on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/uconn-uri-navy-stem-program/

NUWC Division Newport is a shore command of the U.S. Navy within the Naval Sea Systems Command, which engineers, builds and supports America’s fleet of ships and combat systems. NUWC Newport provides research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater  systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems, and countermeasures associated with undersea warfare.

NUWC Newport is the oldest warfare center in the country, tracing its heritage to the Naval Torpedo Station established on Goat Island in Newport Harbor in 1869.  Commanded by Capt. Chad Hennings, NUWC Newport maintains major detachments in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Andros Island in the Bahamas, as well as test facilities at Seneca Lake and Fisher's Island, New York, Leesburg, Florida, and Dodge Pond, Connecticut.

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