Engineering Design Team Takes Second Place at ASEE-NE Conference

Engineering Design Team Takes Second Place at ASEE-NE Conference

The all-female senior engineering design team won second place at the ASEE-NE Conference held at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, Massachusetts.

Four senior engineering students from Fairfield University’s School of Engineering showcased their design for a robotic surgery training device in front of an audience of engineering students, industry professionals, and research leaders at the American Society for Engineering Education's New England Conference (ASEE-NE) last weekend in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Biomedical engineering majors Jenna Madigan ’22, Stephanie Prado ’22, Clarissa Rotonto ’22, and Chloe Stokinger ’22 were awarded second place for their senior design project — a robotic surgery training dome — developed under the mentorship of assistant professor of electrical and biomedical engineering Susan Freudzon, PhD. The device is designed to improve robotic surgery training for invasive surgeries by giving surgeons real-time quantitative feedback on their suturing technique. 

"It was a pleasure to work with the students this semester and to see how the project has progressed throughout the year," said Dr. Freudzon, noting that the students won three separate grants for their project: the Hardiman Scholarship offered through Fairfield University’s Office of Research and Grants, a CT NEXT grant, and the CT New Product Business Competition. 

"Currently available robotic surgery training devices do not provide quantitative feedback, so surgeons depend on visual confirmation that the task was successfully completed," noted Dr. Freudzon. "This device is different because it provides feedback to the user with indicator lights about the level of forces applied to the dome."

"This feedback would ideally help surgeons to know what to improve on, to reduce wound healing time and other health risks," said Prado.

On winning second place, Rotonto said, “When it was announced I was surprised and thrilled that [our] hard work throughout senior year paid off. I know that our design could someday directly impact the healthcare that patients receive. The reason why I became an engineer was to use my knowledge to have a positive effect on the most people possible. I am honored to be a part of such an impactful project.” 

After receiving her undergraduate degree in May, Rotonto plans to continue her biomedical engineering studies in Fairfield's Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering program next year.

The ASEE-NE National Conference annually attracts participants from around the Northeast and provides a platform for engineering professionals to connect, share cutting-edge research, and network. This year’s conference afforded Fairfield students the opportunity to participate in a variety of research presentations and workshops across engineering disciplines that covered sustainability, entrepreneurship, DEI pipeline for STEM, and more. 

In addition to the winning design team, Shamrock Barrera '22, John Dowling '22, Alexander Maier '22, Kostiantyn Kaldaras '22, Bibek Timalsina '22, and Ali Al Rawendoozi '22 also attended and presented research at the conference. 

Tags:  School of Engineering and Computing,  Top Stories


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