Marylouise R.

Major/Minor

Junior, BS in Biomedical Engineering; Concentration in Tissue Engineering
Completed Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP) at the Boston, Massachusetts 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

Marylouise and her two teammates worked with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) to assess the current emergency power capacities and vulnerabilities at Massachusetts wastewater facilities. By combining and analyzing available data, the team was able to help their sponsor determine useful resources for facility managers in the event of a power outage, target where improvements could be made, and set the stage for future WPI projects to build upon their findings.

Reflection

Her team presented its findings to the commissioner of MassDEP and other high-ranking employees, and although she was nervous at first, Marylouise was struck by their gratitude for the team’s work. The fact that they made a tangible impact on the future of MassDEP is something she’s proud of, and is certain will stick with her.

Over the course of her IQP experience, she learned not only how to work well in a team, but to better manage her time, be a more effective leader, and increase her confidence, all of which she says have better prepared her for life after graduation.

Marylouise headshot
Hometown

Franklin, ME

Major/Minor

BS in Biomedical Engineering; Concentration in Tissue Engineering

Project Advisor(s)
Achievements
  • Working better in groups, increased confidence, improved leadership skills—all vital to my future success.
  • Sister of Alpha Gamma Delta which gave me a second family and the opportunity to be more active in campus and community service activities.
Aspirations
  • Working in a research lab on projects relating to the regeneration of vital tissues and organs in the body.

Typical workweek schedule

5:30 AM

Wake up and get ready for the day.

7:30 AM

Carpool to Union Station with members from another team.

8:00 AM

Board the train to Boston.

9:15 AM

Arrive at out sponsor's office and review what needs to be done for the day.

12:00 PM

Break for lunch and spend some time exploring the city.

1:00 PM

Return to the office and continue working on deliverables for the day.

4:20 PM

Catch the train back to Worcester from South Station.

Typical workweek schedule

7:30 AM

Wake up and get ready for the day.

9:15 AM

Meet with the rest of the group to carpool to the Worcester Project Center.

9:30 AM

Write out a "to-do" list before starting on the day's activities and working on our individual sections of the IQP report.

12:00 PM

Break for lunch.

1:15 PM

Continue working on our paper, or meet with our advisor if we have any questions.

5:30 PM

Head back home.

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Mary viewing a lab report
Participating in a waste water filtration plant tour as part of the project field work

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Project group on a ferry
Joining an architectural boat tour of Boston with all the students from the Boston Project Center

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Group giving presentation
Presenting final recommendations at the MassDEP office at the completion of the IQP

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Group meeting with shuffled papers
Conducting a kick off team meeting in Worcester for the project

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Looking over the edge of a wastewater treatment sediment tank
Participating in a waste water treatment plant tour as part of the project field work

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Group walking through the metro
Commuting on the train to the Boston Project Center with teammates

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Group crossing the street in downtown Boston
Enjoying a guided walking tour of Boston with teammates and other students from the Boston Project Center

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Group over viewing a poster with project details
Working on a classroom exercise during the preparatory coursework
Project-based learning has made me more confident and comfortable in group work. I believe that I can work better in a group now than I would have if not for WPI academics.