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Engineering Students Attend 2023 ASEE NCS Conference

Written by: Jessica Pendrick

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Professor Tony Kerzmann was joined by four SSOE students, Nicholas Genco, David Marcano, Luke Sowinski, and Dylan Tobey, at the University of West Virginia for this year’s annual ASEE NCS Conference. 

The American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) was founded in 1893 and is a nonprofit organization, committed to furthering education in engineering and engineering technology. ASEE produces and publishes a wide range of publications, including multiple peer-reviews journals, magazines, and more. ASEE NCS (North Central Section) brings together students, educators, and researchers from the states of Michigan, Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. 

Student Spotlights:

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Dylan Tobey, a mechanical engineering student, won second place in Best Student Paper. His presentation was titled “Agrivoltaics: A Team-Based Analysis of Solar Energy and Agricultural Modeling,” and discussed a team project that he had participated in as an undergrad research assistant. He defined the concept called Agrivoltaics, “a system in which solar panels share the same land as crops or livestock.” His project also provided agricultural and solar modeling, which highlighted how to grow crops below solar panels, thus optimizing land usage. 

2023 ASEE NCS 2

David Marcano and Luke Sowinski, also mechanical engineering students, presented a poster on their project, “Design and Fabrication of an Electric Motor System to Replace an Internal Combustion Engine for Boat Propulsion.” The two mechanical engineering undergrads retrofitted an internal combustion engine outboard to run with an electric motor that was powered by batteries made by his club, Pittsburgh Electric Propulsion. They used skills gathered in class and through research to “transfer power from the motor to an existing drive shaft via a custom-made adapter plate, coupling, and cooling system.” They had previously competed in a 5-mile race at the American Society of Naval Engineers' annual Promoting Electric Propulsion for Small Craft (PEPSC) competition and placed 3rd overall, rivaling schools such as Princeton University and the University of Michigan. 


Nicholas Genko, an electrical engineering student, presented a poster entitled, “Launch of Student Engineering Team: Pittsburgh Electric Propulsion and Lessons Learned During COVID-19.” His work focused on the educational and professional development efforts made to create the Pittsburgh Electric Propulsion Club, where they focused on the design, manufacture, and racing of an all-electric boat in the American Society of Naval Engineers’ 5-mile PEPSC Competition. He also described the difficulties his team faced while dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.