News from the WPI Office of Undergraduate Research


Undergraduate Research

Virtual Undergraduate Research Showcase

Research, discovery, design, and innovation are core to the undergraduate experience at WPI. The Virtual Undergraduate Research Showcase D 2020 hosts research and design work of WPI students and their advisors.  Undergraduates were invited to communicate their work and share it with the larger community using slides and videos that they created.  You can see presentations by individuals and by student teams from almost all majors offered at WPI.  You can hear seniors talking about their Major Qualifying Projects and you can also see work by some of our more junior students.   Above all, you can see Lehr und Kunst – Theory and Practice – on display.

Undergrads interested in showcasing their MQP and research work, should fill out the registration form (only one registration per team, please).  After registration, you will receive further instructions about submitting slides and a video but meanwhile check out our FAQs Page.

Featured Showcase Projects

With so many great projects to see at the Virtual Research Showcase, and not nearly enough time to see them all in one sitting, this newsletter will showcase a few featured projects each week.

Call of Karen - Interactive Media & Game Development, Provost MQP Award Winner

Call of Karen is a comedy PC simulation game featuring a 1950s suburban housewife who strives to maintain a sense of normalcy as Cthulhu descends upon the world, starting with her home. Play as Karen, a hard-working and underappreciated wife and mother who is just trying to go about her day when chaos strikes! Complete typical 50s housewife tasks as your house slowly descends into madness. See, hear, and read more.

Students: Diana Kumykova, Mikel Matticoli, Kate Olguin, and Tom Tawadros

Major: Interactive Media & Game Development

Advisors: Profs. Farley Chery and Gillian Smith





Co-Designing for Gold Mining Safety - Chemical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, Provost MQP Award Winner

The use of mercury in artisanal and small scale gold mining in Ghana poses serious environmental and health risks. The purpose of this project is twofold; to improve safety by prototyping a device to reduce mercury exposure, and to document our novel co-design approach. We prototyped three iterations of retorts, blending our technical expertise with miners’ local expertise. By allowing miners to lead the stages of design and grounding our partnership in mutual respect and sharing of ideas, our partners recognized their own capacity to shape their own outcomes. See, hear, and read more.

Students: Isabel M. Azevedo, Madison E. Cunniff, Van W. Harting, Rediet Merra Tegegne, and Rosa Reynoso

Majors: Chemical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering

Advisors: Profs. Pratap M. Rao and Robert Krueger





Parthenope: A Robotic Musical Siren - Electrical & Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Robotics Engineering, Provost MQP Award Winner

Parthenope is a robotic musical siren developed to produce unique timbres and sonic gestures. Parthenope uses perforated spinning disks through which air is directed to produce sound. Computer-control of disk speed and air flow and a variety of nozzles allow pitches to be precisely produced at different volumes. The instrument is controlled via Open Sound Control (OSC) messages sent over an ethernet connection and can interface with common Digital Audio Workstations and physical controllers. See, hear, and read more.

Students: Matthew Bisson, Jordan Grotz, and Michael Sidler

Majors: Electrical & Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Robotics Engineering

Advisor: Prof. Scott Barton







Early Research Experience in E Term

The Early Research in E Term (EREE) Program for rising first and second-year WPI students will be starting in June.  Thirty-one students will be working with twenty-one faculty members on research problems in the sciences, humanities and arts, and engineering. They are supported by the Office of Undergraduate Research, the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program, and a Women's Impact Network (WIN) Impact Grant

Eight students will be participating in the Summer Training in Arts and Sciences Research (STAR) Program, supported by the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences, as well as DraftKings.

Stay tuned for more information about the students and their projects.


Summer Professional Development Series for Undergraduates (SPuDS)

Summer research students from EREE, STAR/DraftKings, and others will participate in the Summer Professional Development Series for Undergraduates (SPuDS).  SPuDS aims to provide these 40+ young researchers the complementary and supplementary experiences and reflections that will aid students in their career development as they progress towards graduate school and into their careers.  SPuDS is supported by the Office of Undergraduate Research, the Office of the Dean of Engineering, and the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences.