STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Wilmington’s Gake & Woods Complete Research Projects At Worcester Polytechnic Institute

WORCESTER, MA — Two Wilmington students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) recently completed intense, hands-on research projects.

Matthew Woods, a member of the class of 2020 majoring in mechanical engineering, was a member of a student team that completed a project in Massachusetts. The project was titled Habitat for Humanity: Cultural Assessment of Habitat for Humanity MetroWest/Greater Worcester ReStores. In their project summary, the students wrote, “In the course of undertaking participant and non-participant observation as well as competitive benchmarking, we were able to discern that the problem is not the donation process, but breakdowns within the organization.”

Michael Gake, a member of the class of 2020 majoring in industrial engineering and professional writing, was a member of a student team that completed a project in Nantucket. The project was titled Waste Characterization: Study & Outreach on Nantucket. In their project summary, the students wrote, “This project developed a waste characterization process for the Department of Public Works that was then conducted to collect data about the waste stream.”

At WPI, all undergraduates are required to complete a research-driven, professional-level project that applies science and technology to addresses an important societal need or issue. About two-thirds of students complete a project at one of the university’s 50-plus off-campus project centers, which are located around the world. A signature element of the innovative undergraduate experience at WPI, the project-based curriculum offers students the opportunity to apply their scientific and technical knowledge to develop thoughtful solutions to real problems that affect the quality of people’s lives-and make a difference before they graduate.

“The WPI project-based curriculum brings students out of the classroom and their comfort zones and into the global community to apply their knowledge to solve real problems,” said Professor Kent Rissmiller, interim dean of WPI’s Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division. “Students are immersed in a new setting, solving open-ended problems and working with people of different backgrounds-all valuable perspectives for surviving and thriving in today’s global marketplace. They also learn the meaning and magic of teamwork; make a real and meaningful difference in their host community; and gain a competitive edge for any resume, or graduate or professional school application.”

About Worcester Polytechnic Institute

WPI, a global leader in project-based learning, is a distinctive, top-tier technological university founded in 1865 on the principle that students learn most effectively by applying the theory learned in the classroom to the practice of solving real-world problems. Recognized by the National Academy of Engineering with the 2016 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education, WPI’s pioneering project-based curriculum engages undergraduates in solving important scientific, technological, and societal problems throughout their education and at more than 50 project centers around the world. WPI offers more than 50 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs across 14 academic departments in science, engineering, technology, business, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts. Its faculty and students pursue groundbreaking research to meet ongoing challenges in health and biotechnology; robotics and the internet of things; advanced materials and manufacturing; cyber, data, and security systems; learning science; and more.

(NOTE: The above announcement is from WPI via Merit.)

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