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Recognizing student achievement in engineering

Ceremony honours the brightest in Concordia's Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
May 1, 2012
By Lesley De Marinis

April 24 could have been the most stressful day for students in their final year of studies in Concordia’s Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. It was the day of the Design and Awards Day Ceremony, which meant it was the day to present everything they had learned, all rolled into a capstone project. A project on which their entire degree depends.

The capstone group project is a mandatory two-term, four-credit course required for graduation. “Everyone in their fourth and final year of an undergraduate engineering degree is required to work on a capstone design project in a team, bringing together all they have learned throughout their years of study,” says Maureen Thuringer, administrator of the department.

The display was followed by the Design and Awards Day Ceremony, an annual event recognizing both faculty commitment and students’ academic achievements, involvement in extracurricular activities, and capstone designs.

This year's winners of the Richard Cheng Design Award for Mechanical Engineering were Sabrina Ibarra, Stephen Jacobs, Giovanni Fancello, Andrew Farag, Jad Saleh and Nicholas Zacchia, supervised by Dr. Rolf Wuthrich. The team successfully completed the Design and Construction of a Linear Particle Accelerator as their capstone design project. The particle accellerator was hailed in the Gazette business section as possibly Montreal's first.

“I remember sitting in the first capstone course in September in which they gave us the course outline and mentioned how there are awards that can be won at the end of the year, and I ended up looking at one of my teammates saying ‘I want to win that award!’,” said Jad Saleh, the team captain. “And when we finally did, it was just too great!

“It made all of us feel so happy that the department appreciated the work we've done, and that our hard work has paid off. It is something that everyone on the team is going to put on their resumes, and something we'll always be proud of.”

Other winners included Abdul-Rahman Zukari, Maryam Raza, Doris Hidalgo, Michael Jarrett and Anthony Kamel, under the supervision of Dr. Onur Kuzgunkaya, who took home the Capstone Design Award for Industrial Engineering for their project MUHC Ambulatory Services Special Project: Reducing Patient Waiting Times and Improvement of Process Efficiency at the Gastroenterology and Transplant Clinics of the Royal Victoria Hospital.

“After almost eight months of hard work and deadlines set by the department as well as the group, I couldn’t ask for more!” said Raza. “Winning this award meant a lot to me as well as the group because we know we worked very hard to deserve it, and competing with five other strong teams was a challenge to us.

“The long hours and the weekends spent in the computer labs that became our second home finally paid off. I feel extremely happy and honoured that our project was chosen and it just reflects the hard work we all put in was appreciated by the department. Moreover, we wouldn't have won this award if it wasn’t for our supervisor, Dr. Kuzgunkaya, because he really put a lot of his time and effort into helping us and guiding us throughout the eight months.”

Related Links:
•  List of recipients  (document in text folder on server - coming very soon)
•  "Engineering student pays it forward" — NOW, March 26, 2012   
•  "TRIUMFant summer job at nuclear physics lab" — NOW, February 16, 2012
•  Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science 
•  Capstone project page 


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