2014 Macdonald Family Prize in Senior Design

*** Congratulations to the ECE Students who won prizes!!***

Following the day-long Senior Capstone Project presentations in computer, electrical and mechanical engineering on Friday, May 9th, 2014, judges unanimously named Team WCP16: High-Voltage MWC Augmentation the recipients of the 2014 MacDonald Family Prize in Senior Design.

Second prize will be awarded to Team WCP46: SAE Mini Baja Vehicle.

The prizes were awarded strictly on the content of the presentation (no written work beyond the presentation was considered) within the framework of: introduction (what was done & why?), problem identification, analysis of solution, design, build and test, schedule, budget, summary and conclusion, graphic aids quality, responses to questions, as well as the overall ability of the team to present effectively.

First prize recipients received $100 each and second prize recipients received $50 each. Students were recognized at the Watson School Commencement Ceremony on Saturday May 17, 2014.


First Place:
WCP16: High Voltage MWC Augmentation- video

Sponsor: Hipotronics
External Advisor: Michael Carsonteam 16 wcp
Faculty Advisor:
Jack Maynard
Sponsor Management Representative: John Brower
Team Member Names:                                        Major:
      Thomas Hollowell (Team Lead)                  EE
      Andrew Wong                                                 EE
      Tyler Constance                                              CoE
      Rob Panebianco                                             CoE
      Brian McCarthy                                               CoE


Second Place:
WCP46: SAE Mini Baja- video 
Faculty Advisor: Professor David Pavlick
Program Manager: Professor Selleck
Team Member Names:                                         Major:

Team Lead:
       Matthew Rocks (Team Lead)                       ME
Drivetrain Team:
       William Wozniak                                             ME
       Garreth Kaplan                                               ME
Suspension Team:
       Alex Stanton                                                     ME
       Benjamin Leiter                                               ME
       Keegan Mulholland                                         ME
Safety & Cockpit Team:
       Kurt Baldauf                                                     ME   
       Michael Burkus                                                ME
       Evan Engler                                                       ME  

Although both final teams were strong, the High Voltage MWC Augmentation Team was selected for their well-organized presentation that transitioned well from the customer's vision to adaptation because they did not "just take the scope literally." The solution was identified as creative, innovative and needed a cross-disciplinary approach which the team clearly articulated. The team brought a lot of energy to their presentation and had clear comfort with the information that they delivered. They presented failures (like the capacitor 'malfunction') with both professionalism and humor that that the judges could relate to easily. The team was recognized for the detail included in their project schedule and congratulated for setting a stretch goal that they achieved. For these reasons and more, the High-Voltage MWC Augmentation was selected for First Prize for the 2014 McDonald Family Prize in Senior Design.

The SAE Mini Baja Vehicle Team had a visually cohesive presentation that, while presented in three parts, came together under a common framework and presentation style. They used consistent methodology and recovered well (and learned!) from design flaws. By having greater responsibility for the resources available, judges felt that the team made decisions that were more in tune with those made in industry (where cost is real and impacts the deliverability of a product). The SAE Mini Baja Vehicle Team was selected as Second Prize winner for the 2014 McDonald Family Prize in Senior Design.

Over all, the judges remarked on the quality and strength of the student presentations that they saw and encouraged all of the students to be proud of the work that they completed as part of their senior capstone projects. The judges remind all student teams that as engineers they will have the responsibility to add value and relevance in all problems that they tackle. When working with non-engineers (as they will in many environments), they are encouraged to visualize and communicate the greater impact of engineering as applied to specific technical problems. Engineers will be expected to provide specific plans that will achieve lofty goals but have the skills to effect change. The judges have great confidence that Watson School students will have an outstanding impact as they launch their careers in this noble profession.


Written by: Michelle Gardner

Last Updated: 7/18/14