Professor Fred Looft served as advisor for the Winner and Runner-Up of this year’s Great Problems Seminars – Grand Challenges Poster Competition.

The winning entries in the Grand Challenges competition are Saving Green by Going Green: A Case Study of the Roof at Atwater Kent and Making the Car of Tomorrow, Today.

Professor and Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Head, Fred Looft, served as advisor to two of this year’s winning entries in the Great Problems Seminars. The teams competed in the Grand Challenges competition. The winning project was entitled, “Saving Green by Going Green: A Case Study of the Roof at Atwater Kent,” with team members David Boroyan ME, Ryan Gall CM, Harsha Prasad EV, and William MacDowell RBE. The runner up was a project entitled, “Making the Car of Tomorrow, Today,” with team members Jeffrey Bardon IMGD, John Foy BE, John Kilfoil RBE, Devon Martin, CM, Tara Meinck BE, and Michael Potter CE.


Professor Looft commented to ECE faculty, “If anyone is looking for a really meaningful, fun, and creative way to contribute to the WPI community and get first year students involved, this is a blast!”


The Great Problems Seminars (GPS), supported by a gift from the Eric Hahn Family Trust, is a two-course introduction to university-level research and project work which focuses on themes of current global importance. Everything the students do is tied to current events, societal problems, and human needs. GPS is all about important problems. The skills developed are exactly what students need to be successful in their project work at WPI, and in their future career. The Grand Challenges seminar is built around a sequence of team and individual projects tied to major challenges facing engineering in the 21st century: energy, transportation, housing, food distribution, recycling, and health care. In all cases, material science and sustainability will be a unifying theme.  

January 28, 2011

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