On Friday, April 13 the Fairfield University School of Engineering and the engineering honor society, Tau Beta Phi, gave students an opportunity to exhibit their personal projects at the STEM showcase in the John A. Barone Campus Center Oak Room. Five different student projects were on display from students in years ranging from first-years to seniors.
Student sign-ups for this event took place at the beginning of the semester; however, some students had been working on their projects long before signing up. With that being said, the timeline on the projects showcased ranged anywhere from a few months to over a year.
About 50 people attended the event overall, this number including a mix of Fairfield University students as well as Fairfield Prep students, administration and industry professionals. Senior Christina Ficaro, president of Tau Beta Phi, commented, “attendees commented on how amazing all of the projects were and how the room was filled with some incredibly bright and talented individuals”.
Some of the projects presented were robotics based, while other ran off of computer programs. Senior Sam Nguyen employed the Unreal Engine video game engine to create a PC video game. The objective of the game is to navigate around the map, eliminating enemies as you go. Nguyen said that the finished product took him just over four months to complete.
“I liked the 3D game, the graphics are just unreal,” commented Chris Quinn ’19.
Junior Kaitlyn Nelson and her team showcased their “mini baja off-road racing vehicle” to the public, a small dune buggy that is expected to be completed by May 30 of this year. Each year, the School of Engineering joins a national competition, titled the Baja SAE off-road race, where they race their machines around a dirt track.
Other projects included a 3D printed prosthetic hand and a robotic quadruped. All of the students seemed excited to share their hard work with those who attended the event.
While all of the projects got some attention, Nguyen’s PC video game seemed to draw the biggest crowd. Some students praised the project, Lizzy Savaid ‘18, said “The 3D game is really cool, you could tell how much work he put into it.”
While this is the first year that the showcase was put on, Ficaro stated that, as both students and attendees seemed to truly enjoy the event, Tau Beta Phi would be more than happy to host it again next year.