Daniel W.

Major/Minor

Junior, BS in Robotics Engineering
Completed Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP) at the Bar Harbor, Maine Project Center.
An IQP is often called life-changing by WPI students, requiring teams to delve into a problem that matters to real people.
Project

Acadia National Park has faced traffic issues for decades due to its small size and popularity. Daniel and his team worked together to assess the feasibility of using intelligent transportation systems (ITS) to mitigate traffic congestion in the park. The team made recommendations on technology that could be implemented to provide park staff and visitors with real-time information to make better decisions about traffic management and where to go in the park.

Reflection

To Daniel, the most valuable part of his IQP experience was working with a team of people he had never met before to preserve the park’s natural beauty. In addition to learning several skills when it comes to working with others, he also got his first real taste of what professional project work is like, and what will be expected of him in the future.

The stunning mountains, ocean, lakes, and forests weren’t bad either.

Daniel
Hometown

Bethany, CT

Major/Minor

BS in Robotics Engineering

Project Advisor(s)
Project Sponsor
Achievements
  • Maintaining high academic standards by making the Dean’s List each term.
  • Working towards both a bachelor’s and master’s degree simultaneously.
  • Becoming a member of WPI’s Engineering Ambassadors.
Aspirations
  • Creating robotic solutions to improve the human condition and quality of life.
  • Starting a business with like-minded people.

Typical Workweek Schedule

7:30 AM

Wake up and head to breakfast at the dining hall.

8:00 AM

Return from breakfast and prepare for the day.

9:00 AM

Outline three or four tasks that need to be worked on and examine progress toward achieving objectives.

10:00 AM

Attend weekly meeting with advisor to check in on progress (as our presentation day approached, we met with our advisor multiple times a week to ensure that our work would be as effective as possible).

11:00 AM

Team discussion of advisor’s feedback; we also work on implementing any suggestions he made.

11:30 AM

Eat lunch, sometimes as a team, and sometimes in our respective cottages when working apart.

12:30 PM

As a team or as individuals, visit a popular location in the park to observe traffic conditions, examine intelligent transportation system (ITS) components, and figure out where ITS components could go. We also observed the crowds.

2:30 PM

Return to where we’re staying, the College of the Atlantic, to discuss our findings and disband to complete separate research.

5:30 PM

Dinner at the dining hall—our team usually ate together and discussed the project if needed.

6:30 PM

Hike out to Bar Island or spend time in town, visiting shops and enjoying Bar Harbor.

9:30 PM

Look over the day’s accomplishments and get a feel for how far along we were. Toward the end of the term, we also worked independently on papers and presentations.

11:00 PM

Go to bed.

Typical weekend schedule

7:30 AM

Wake up and walk to the ocean to watch the waves and get a feel for the day’s weather.

8:00 AM

Make breakfast in the cottage.

9:00 AM

Take a bike ride through Acadia National Park on the carriage roads.

11:30 AM

Stop for lunch, either in town or back at the cottage.

2:00 PM

Check into a local campground with a few friends from home (Bar Harbor is great because it’s close enough for people to drive up and visit).

2:30 PM

Spend the afternoon canoeing, or take a hike up a nearby mountain.

5:00 PM

Return to town for dinner at a local restaurant.

7:00 PM

Take a short hike up a mountain to watch the sunset and enjoy a great view of the horizon.

9:00 PM

Return to the campground to play cards, light a fire, and hang out for the evening.

11:00 PM

Stargaze beneath the Milky Way galaxy and thousands of stars (free of light pollution).

11:30 PM

Go to bed.

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Project
A team meeting with the project sponsor to discuss the progress of the project

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Investigating the existing bus transportation system at Nature Center in Acadia National Park  alt
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Investigating the existing bus transportation system at the Nature Center in Acadia National Park

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Talking to Charlie Jacobi, Traffic and Transportation Management Park Ranger at Acadia Park and the local sponsor of the project
Talking to Charlie Jacobi, Traffic and Transportation Management Park Ranger at Acadia Park and the local sponsor of the project

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Relaxing on the common area outside the students housing on the College of the Atlantic grounds.
Relaxing on the common area outside the students' housing on the College of the Atlantic grounds

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Enjoying a walk along the ocean front in Acadia National Park
Enjoying a walk along the ocean front in Acadia National Park

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Observing the tourist activity and related traffic congestion at Sand Beach nestled between the mountains and rocky shores of the east side of Mount Desert Island in Acadia National Park
Observing the tourist activity and related traffic congestion at Sand Beach nestled between the mountains and rocky shores

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Conducting a team debriefing following a meeting with their local sponsor from Acadia National Park
Conducting a team debriefing following a meeting with their local sponsor from Acadia National Park

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Taking in the beautiful weather in Bar Harbor during a break from project activity
Taking in the beautiful weather in Bar Harbor during a break from project activity
Overall, my collective experiences with projects at WPI have revealed and prepared me for the challenges and rewards of real-life engineering work in a powerful, firsthand way.