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Engineering Research Day showcases new innovations


Judges and staff members walked around the Interdisciplinary Research Building, examining rows of posters displaying wide-ranged research projects, as USF engineering students stood by their posters, confidently presenting their research to onlookers.

The College of Engineering hosted its sixth annual Research Day on Wednesday, attracting many people from the university, as well as the local community.

“It is very clear that engineering is a critical part in the research community,” Jose Zayas-Castro, associate dean for research at USF, said. “We hope to highlight the great works of the students.”

Projects on display ranged from energy efficiency and environmental sustainability, to roadway safety and indoor surveillance systems, to vocational rehabilitation for disabled people.

Juan Jose Marron-Monteserin, a master’s student in computer science, conducted research on tracking pedestrians and activity indoors.

Through the sensors embedded in smartphones, he was able to present a system that can trace human movement indoors, and map out the inside of a building.

This research, he said, can open doors to progression in surveillance technology, and possibly architectural mapping.

Yolanda Daza, a Ph.D. candidate in chemical and biomedical engineering, conducted three years of research on energy efficiency and ways in which carbon dioxide gases can be recycled into more desirable and useful resources.

The project, Daza said, is just the start of what might be a new solution for the energy crisis, recycling unwanted and excess carbon dioxide into a more useful and energy-efficient product, which she hopes to be used for power plants in the future.

Beth Fontes, director of development, said the roles of donors at the university encourage new research and innovation.

“It is a great opportunity to bring alumni, friends or industry partners to campus,“ She said. “Many people just want to give back.”