College of Engineering

UMass Dartmouth engineering design team wins competition

A senior design team of students from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's Electrical and Computer Engineering department is the overall winner of the 6th Annual Student Design Contest hosted by the Rochester Institute of Technology Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) student chapter.

The team comprised of Dan Precourt of Raynham, Mass., Serge Khalife of Lebanon, Jonathan Horton of Barrington, Rhode Island and Erik Siggelkoe of Millis, Mass., earned the top award of $5,000 at the May 13 event sponsored by Fairchild Semiconductor, RIT electrical engineering department and IEEE Region 1.

The students designed and built a video projection system that allows the ambient lighting to adaptively blend in with the dominant colors of images on a TV screen. The five-member judging panel unanimously selected the UMass Dartmouth team as the winner, describing the project as innovative, well-designed and full of commercial potential.

A total of 23 teams competed, including groups from Rochester Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, Rutgers University, United States Military Academy West Point, Stevens Institute of Technology, the University of Kentucky, the University of North Carolina, the Royal Military College of Canada and Santa Tomas University from Bogota, Colombia.

Team leader Precourt explained that the students are given a problem or idea by a customer, in this case, Wireless Techniques of Stoughton, Mass., and it is their job over two semesters to plan and construct a product solution. Mr. Christian Granata, founder of Wireless Techniques, plans to market the award-winning product.

Associate Professor Howard E. Michel was the Senior Design Course instructor, while Chancellor Professor Lester W. Cory served as the team's technical advisor.

Scott Chilstedt of Braintree, Mass., Dan Corbera of Taunton, Mass., Chris Mitchell of Milford, Mass., Eric Theberge of Westport, Mass. and Aaron Lawrence of Rochester, Mass. made up a second UMass Dartmouth team that won the Best Innovation Prize. Their design of a wireless emergency locator known as G-Track Mobile, to assist people with disabilities, earned them $500.

For more information, contact Dr. Dayalan Kasilingam, chairperson of the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at 508-999-8534 or

Author:  "Dayalan Kasilingam, Ph.D."
Date:  17-5-2006
Submitted by:  Elizabeth Moreau
Department:  College Of Engineering - Ece

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