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Recently, the College of Engineering & Computing at Florida International University (FIU) showcased senior design projects by engineering students such as a virtual roll call for police officers, a “smart” sensor for the car and more, according to Florida International News.

The event hosted over 500 engineering seniors to display their hard work and final project.

“This was an excellent opportunity to showcase our student talents to the university and the community at large,” said John L. Volakis, dean of the College of Engineering & Computing.

One team developed Multi-Sense, a device with sensors for children and pets that are left inside a vehicle. The sensors resemble a smoke detector that is placed on the inside roof of a car. This device measures temperature, sound, motion and carbon dioxide. The “smart” device works in collaboration with the vehicle, so if the sensor indicates a high temperature reading, the ignition is activated and the car’s air conditioning will turn on or the windows will roll down.

“We were motivated by the number of deaths of pets and people [left in cars] every year,” said Alberto Roman. “We’re engineers and wanted to invent something to prevent this from happening.” Teammate Antonio Monsalve added, “We want this to be the new standard – for it to be the next airbag, seatbelt or anti-lock brake system.”

Multi-Sense team members. Credit: Florida International University

Another student, Juan Hernandez from the School of Computing and Information Sciences, created a virtual roll call for police officers. The software allows police officers to log on to computers from the actual vehicle and get a live roll call. A benefit of this software would be that police officers can spend more time outside of the police station.

“Many of the things we do have roots in the past. Computers, internet, mobile computing – all these things can bring police functions into the 21st century,” said Samuel Ceballos Jr., Police Chief for the Village of Pinecrest Police Department.

Juan Hernandez speaks with Pinecrest Police Chief Samuel Ceballos, Jr. Credit: Florida International University

One student designed a patient transfer system. They built a frame with three clamps, which can attach to a hospital bed and allow for easy transfer by pulling on the bedsheet.  

“Patient transfer is difficult,” said Rossana Zotti, head of the project. “Our goal is to alleviate [the strain on ] nurses – to save their backs and allow them to gain independence.”

Overall, this opportunity gave many students to meet with prospective recruiting companies, such as Microsoft who has hired 11 Florida International University (FIU) students so far. FIU plans to continue to host this event in the future.

“Our students are tackling real-world problems and identifying relevant solutions by integrating their knowledge from the classroom,” said Volakis. “This is an essential step in exploring their team-building and commercialization skills. We look forward to holding this event each semester.”

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