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Swanson School Students Bring Ideas to Life at 18th Design Expo

Fall 2023 Design Expo

From a pedestrian lift bridge and hybrid energy systems to surgery tools and fast fashion, the winning projects at the Swanson School of Engineering’s 18th biannual Design Expo revealed how undergraduate students were applying their nascent knowledge to solve real world problems. 

Hosted by the School’s Office of Academic Affairs on Thursday, December 7, 2023, the Design Expo featured 70 student teams from across five departments, with some sponsored by faculty from other University of Pittsburgh schools as well as UPMC hospitals, government agencies, and industry. Several projects were presented by seniors in the School’s Capstone Design or Product Realization courses, and all were judged by Pitt alumni, faculty, and industry volunteers. 

“Classroom lectures and lab sessions are the basic parts of engineering education; what makes an engineering student successful is being able to apply what they learned in hands-on research, development, and execution,” explained Mary Besterfield-Sacre, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Nickolas A. DeCecco Professor of Industrial Engineering. “Since we launched the Design Expo in 2014, it’s become an end-of-semester competition that showcases not only our students’ ingenuity, but also their passion for engineering and problem solving.” 

Winners below; view the program for a full list of participants. Visit Flickr for the Expo Photo Album.

Fall 2023 Design Expo Best Overall Project 
Best Overall Project 
Nasal Surgery Tool 
Mentor: Michael McDowell – Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh 
Sebastian Gutensohn, Claudia Kiely, Briana Malik, Natasha Mody, Raymond Murray, Alisa Zhang 

Fall 2023 Design Expo Peoples Choice Award
People’s Choice Award 
Regional Adjustable Pressure Prosthetic Socket 
Kristin Bindas, Katherine LeClaire, Camilo Rodriguez Rozas, Azariah Torain, Madeline Viteri, 
Savannah Waymer 


Faculty Advisor: Dr. Mark Gartner 

1st Place Colorimetric Urinometer Apparatus 
Mentor: Jim Ibinson, MD, PhD – VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System 
Zainab Almuallim, Christopher Garland, Stephanie Hachem, Katelyn Lipa, Edwin Rock, Nickolas Sierra, Ariella Tucci 

2nd Place Nasal Surgery Tool 
Mentor: Michael McDowell – Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh 
Sebastian Gutensohn, Claudia Kiely, Briana Malik, Natasha Mody, Raymond Murray, Alisa Zhang 

3rd Place Regional Adjustable Pressure Prosthetic Socket 
Kristin Bindas, Katherine LeClaire, Azariah Torain, Camilo Rodriguez Rozas, Madeline Viteri, Savannah Waymer 

Civil and Environmental Engineering 
Faculty Advisor: Professor John Sebastian 

1st Place Bridgeville Pedestrian Lift Bridge 
Faculty Mentors: Dr. John Oyler, Dr. Kent Harries, Professor John Sebastian 
Industry Mentor: Justine Cimarolli – Bridgeville Borough 
Justin Barlow, Wesley Conklin, Nicholas D’Andrea, Jenna Wilson 

2nd Place Robb Hollow Intersection Improvements 
Faculty Mentors: Dr. Mark Magalotti, Dr. Alex Stevanovic, Dr. John Oyler 
Zachary Busch, Matthew Lewis, Griffin Mikovitz, Connor Mondock 

3rd Place Chartiers Creek Dam Removal 
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Werner Loehlein 
Industry Mentor: Lisa Hollingsworth-Segedy – American Rivers 
Victoria Herron, Cesar Rodriguez, Adele Sedlar, Jenna Sutton 

Electrical and Computer Engineering 
Faculty Advisors: Dr. Mohamed Ashraf S. Bayoumy and Dr. Nathan Youngblood 

1st Place Music Notation to Audio A 
Mason Dill, Nathan Evans, Maggie Killmeyer 

2nd Place Music Notation to Audio B 
Jack Carnovale, Chloe Hale, Cameron Henning 

3rd Place Hydropanic Chamber 
Industry Mentors: Sean Dowhy, Ray Kovacs Jr. – Bechtel Plant Machinery, Inc. 
Ashton Bloom, Jake Higgins, Tamer Muddi, Killian Rush 

Industrial Engineering 
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Scott Streiner 

1st Place Stop the Spread: UPMC Infection Prevention 
Kathryn Burkert, Matthew McCormick, Michael Reynolds, Elizabeth Sidelnikov 

2nd Place Efficient Heart Stalking: Streamlining Cardiac Telemetry Monitoring and Distribution at UPMC Shadyside 
Ken Ching, Sierra LeRoy, Ahsen Malik, Anna McDonald 

3rd Place (TIE) ID(ea)L Collator Configuration Analysis 
Industry Mentor: IDL Print 
Alex Amentler, Maria Luciana, Stephen Vandrak 

3rd Place (TIE) Matching Moms to Mentors with Machine Learning 
Industry Mentor: Nurture PA 
Tom Chimes, Gloria Givler, Nicole Lipa, Andrew Polar 

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science 
Faculty Advisor: Dr. David Schmidt 

1st Place Acoustically Enhanced Uniaxial Extension Tester: A Novel Approach to Detect Tissue Damage 
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Timothy Chung 
Yuqi Chen, Peter Jacobs, Elias Mignogna 

2nd Place Indirect Adaptive Control of a Cyber-Physical Solid-Oxide Fuel Cell Hybrid Energy System (Engineering Science | Faculty Advisor: Dr. Paul Ohodnicki) 
Mychal Amoafo 

3rd Place Design for Manufacture of a Loading Platform for Standing CT Scanning 
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Mark Miller 
Ryan Bagett, Derick Basile, Daniel Schultz, Justin Starcich 

Art of Making: Hands-On System Design and Engineering 
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Joe Samosky 

1st Place Custom Cane: A Walker-Cane Fusion to Make Bathrooms More Accessible to Individuals with Limited Lower-Body Mobility 
Eden Brunner, Rachel Da Cruz, Aragya Goyal, Amna Imran, Joshua Summers

2nd Place The Fashion Library: Extending the Life Cycle of Fast Fashion Clothes 
Lauren Gilfillan, Lauren Harrington, Caeden Wargo, Jason Worrell, David Zhang 

Product Realization 
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Eric Winter  
Project Mentors: Marc Weber Tobias – Security Laboratories and Ilana Hull, MD, – UPMC 

1st Place MyDose 
Shreyo Das, Amilia Niksic, Jacob Rendall, Elizabeth Sidelnikov, Megan Toner

2nd Place Enclosed Space Control 
Rachel Eskander, Paul Kyros, Rahul Reddy, Maggie Walker