Dock Safe

May 12, 2016

Students Maria Alexandra Rangel and Thomas Hunter address important need for rowers

WPI seniors Maria Alexandra Rangel and Thomas Hunter have created an innovative stand-alone dock lighting system that was installed Wednesday at Donahue Rowing Center in Shrewsbury.

The 12-foot long plank, which features solar panels on top and lighting on the edge, will serve to safely guide rowers back to the dock at nighttime when it may be difficult to navigate. The plank, which matches the existing dock material constructed of wood and recycled materials, was donated by the town of Shrewsbury. The dock lighting system will serve to prevent boats from inadvertently bumping into the dock, which can cause costly hull damage. The dock lighting also provides additional safety to all persons using watercraft on Lake Quinsigamond at night.

Rangel and Hunter have worked on the system for two years with support from Stephen Bitar, an adjunct professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at WPI, as well as Angela Snell and Dan Rowley from the Shrewsbury Department of Parks and Recreation. Rangel, who is also a member of the women’s volleyball team, is majoring in electrical and computer engineering. Hunter, a WPI crew team member, is completing a double major in mechanical engineering and electrical and computer engineering.

By Andy Baron