April 24, 2018

WPI regularly serves as a hub for innovation and groundbreaking research, but for one day each April—known as Project Presentation Day—the entire campus transforms into a stage where seniors have the opportunity to present their Major Qualifying Projects (MQPs), capstone projects they’ve been working on for the better part of a year. Usually undertaken in teams, the MQP is a professional-level design or research experience in which students take what they’ve learned during their time at WPI and combine it with their own natural skills and talents to tackle and solve a wide variety of real-life issues.

What kind of issues, you ask? Well, how much time do you have?

One side of campus housed apps designed to sense depression in users, studies on the effectiveness of exergames, and in-depth presentations on the work of Jean-Paul Sartre, while another showcased robots designed to do everything from assembling sandwiches to locating and recovering humans underwater. Students presented the results of their research into diseases like tuberculosis and Alzheimer’s, and offered solutions on how to harvest energy from the deep ocean.

With classes canceled, students, faculty, and staff, as well as family members, alumni, and external sponsors, were able to spend the day learning about the students’ work and celebrating their achievements.

The MQP is designed to help students further envision what they’re capable of after graduation, and if Friday’s presentations are any indication, the students aren’t the only ones who have bright futures ahead of them—the world does, too. Check out some photos of just a few of the projects that were on display across campus.

Campus was bustling with visitors on Friday afternoon, all eager to check out the myriad projects and presentations.


(L-R) Nicholas Hernandez, Yao Long, Jasmine Feliciano, and Julia White worked together to create a wave energy converter to harvest the kinetic energy of waves and convert it to electrical. "Waves are always one of the most consistent sources of energy," White explains. "70% of the world is ocean, so there's a lot of potential there to power our world."


Zachary Armsby, Richard Cole, Brandon Coll, Joseph Martin, and Andrew Nagal built upon the work of past MQP teams to create a legged robot capable of walking unsupported. The tradition will continue, with their work and accomplishments built upon by future teams to further improve the project.


Larissa Naidoo holds special guest Larry, who is sporting the work of herself, Alli McCarthy, and Michael Hellmich on their project, "Cough Counter for Dogs," a collar that uses sound frequencies to count coughs in small dogs with pulmonary issues, sponsored by Tufts University.


Don't let the cute plushy fool you—lionfish are an invasive species in the Caribbean, and the Lionfish MQP team designed and created a harvester to act as a sustainable solution for population control of the fish. When attached to an autonomous submarine robot, the harvester will be able to sense lionfish, determine their location, and harvest them.


Rachael Naoum (left) and Alessandra Paolucci created a fully scalable prosthetic arm using 3D printed designs, making the arm more attainable for children and families.


Three different MQP teams collaborated on different design and analysis aspects of CubeSat Missions. According to Matt Sanchy, that teamwork and need to regularly interact with other members of the teams gave him an edge that’ll prove invaluable after graduation.


"Yeah, we're done with our presentation. It went great; one step closer to graduation!"