Student / Alumni Spotlight

Pablo Giraldo-ClavijoPablo Giraldo-Clavijo

Civil engineering graduate student conducted a research project

May 2019

Civil engineering graduate student Pablo Giraldo-Clavijo conducted a research project that focused on investigating the effectiveness of styrofoam (a new type of lightweight materials) traffic noise walls as compared to conventional metal or concrete noise materials.

According to U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, noise barriers do not completely block all noise; they only reduce overall levels of sound. Effective noise barriers typically reduce noise levels by 5 to 10 decibels (dB), cutting the loudness of traffic by as much as one half. Giraldo-Clavijo’s final thesis research project could lead to a better understanding of how to select the best noise reduction material.

Read more of his story here


Eric ShultsEric Shults Jr.

Kennesaw State University's 2019 Student of the Year

May 2019

Civil Engineering senior, Eric Shults Jr. was chosen as KSU's 2019 Student of the Year by the Student Affairs department - amongst a long list of nominees. He was chosen based on his dedication and leadership roles in the ASCE student chapter throughout his years here, and for his accomplishments in getting KSU's engineering program recognized throughout the Southeast.


Brian DuncanBrian Duncan

Mechanical Engineering Technology Alumni Chosen as Director of Engineering for Cobb Gallery Centre

May 2019

Brian Duncan is a mechanical engineering technology alumni who has recently joined the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority as the Director of Engineering. Duncan is responsible for maintaining the physical plant, show services, and delivery of utilities for shows and events at the Cobb Galleria Centre, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, and Galleria Specialty Shops.

Duncan joins the Authority from Georgia Power, where he was the chief engineer at the corporate headquarters in downtown Atlanta. Previously, Duncan spent 15 years at the Northpark Towncenter office park in Sandy Springs, where he rose through the ranks from his position as an HVAC technician to become the chief engineer.

“I’m excited about this opportunity,” Duncan said. “I’m used to working in facilities, and I appreciate the added experience of participating in something meaningful and making sure people are enjoying themselves while they’re in our venues.”

Duncan holds numerous licenses and certifications, including an unrestricted air conditioning license. Originally from McDonough, Duncan lives in Cumming with his wife and two children.


Eric NzukiEric Nzuki

Mechanical Engineering Honors Ambassador accepted to Summer Undergraduate Research Program

May 2019

Eric Nzuki, an 2018-2019 Honors College Student, has recently been accepted into the Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering/Sciences (SURE) Program at Georgia Tech. Supported by funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Intel Corporation and other federal and corporate sponsors, this 10-week summer program is designed to attract qualified under-represented minority and women students into graduate school in the fields of engineering and science.

Each summer, approximately 40-50 students of at least junior-level undergraduate standing are recruited on a nationwide basis and paired with both a faculty member and a graduate student mentor to undertake research projects in the College of Computing, College of Engineering, and College of Sciences. Past SURE participants have cited that the program sharpened their understanding of everyday research, allowing them to plan and prepare for graduate school. Georgia Tech's SURE Program greatly impacted their understanding of modern-day research theory and concepts and as a result, strengthen their self-confidence in their ability to do well in future technical/scientific courses.

"I'm humbled and excited by this opportunity to conduct research that will bring insight to help manufacturers create better products," Eric says. He says that after he graduates in December of this year with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering, he wants to work as a Mechanical Engineer in either Manufacturing or Research and Development, all while attending graduate school for Engineering.

-Story from the spring Honors College newsletter


Brenton JamesBrenton James

Mechanical Engineering alumni going after one more degree to add to his list

April 2019

Brenton James is a KSU Mechanical Engineering alumni. He has two bachelor degrees, one minor, one concentration, and many awards, scholarships, and internships.

After graduation he traveled to places such as the French Open in Paris, France and New York City. As an additive manufacturing intern, he also traveled to United Technologies headquarters in Farmington, Connecticut and Pratt and Whitney headquarters in East Hartford, Connecticut.

He is currently working at United Technologies - Pratt and Whitney at their Columbus Georgia site. He has been with them since October 2018 as a full-time manufacturing engineer working to develop the blades/vanes that go into jet engines.

He wants to pursue his masters in aerospace engineering at Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University.


Cadmiel Velazquez-riveraCadmiel Velazquez-rivera

Mechanical engineering student making changes in the industry

March 2019

Cadmiel Velazquez-rivera is a current mechanical engineering student at Kennesaw State University. Cadmiel first started with a small internship at M+A Matting company. He was a manufacturing engineering intern. While there he saved the company $30,000 in labor. He studied the manufacturing/production of products being manufactured. Cadmiel utilized lean manufacturing and created work instructions for continuous improvement that could be made around the plant. He gained knowledge about quality control and product testing. Cadmiel assisted management by conducting time studies based on optimizing operations to maximize both speed and efficiency of mats being produced. He designed factory set up drawings to maximize efficiency of floor workers.

Cadmiel worked with automatic trim tables to boost daily production. He broke each individual role in the trimming process to its basic components to better understand how the process functions. Cadmiel timetabled the packing process to determine the most efficient way to pack products. He implemented specific work procedures on what is expected from each role.

Cadmiel created standard operating procedures based on task assigned by the plant. He incorporated the use of pictures and step by step details in a how to guide. He translated documents to Spanish and communicated them to the non-English speaking employees.

Later Cadmiel applied to work as Shaw Industries as a co-op and got the position. There he has learn how to weld, drive lift trucks, and work on his own machine designs. Currently he is working on a project that would save the company thousands of dollars a month. It involves fixing the issues of carpets being torn apart by shelves. Cadmiel is also helping with a clutch installations and safety measures for a work area.


Danica RobersDanica Roberts

Electrical Engineering Senior Receives Grant

November 2018

2018 NSF Travel Grant Recipient, Danica Roberts, is an Electrical Engineering Senior at Kennesaw State University - pursing minors in computer science and mathematics. In addition to her studies, she has been active in her campus community, serving in key leadership roles in organizations like Society of Women Engineers, Student Government Association, and Department of Housing and Residence Life.

Danica’s research interests currently lie heavily in connected and autonomous vehicular systems. Danica received a travel grant from the National Science Foundation to attend the 2018 IEEE Vehicular Networking Conference in Taipei, Taiwan from December 5 to 7, 2018. This conference will provide her the opportunity to conduct investigative research on vehicular networks, as we all connect with some of the most influential researchers on vehicular networks.

Read more of her story here


Tyler GraggTyler Gragg

Mechatronics engineering student making glass-breaking soundwaves

October 2018

Tyler Gragg is a mechatronics engineering student who set out to make a handheld device to break glass, using sounds! He programmed all of it himself to automatically determine the resonant frequency and produce 130db of sound. Gragg designed and manufactured a 3D printed enclosure for all the electronics, which he designed and wired himself as well. Gragg also made all of the code, files, and diagrams.

An overview of his project can be seen on Wine Glass Shattering Audio Gun.

Wine glass shattering audio gunWine glass shattering audio gun
Wine glass shattering audio gun electrical Wine glass shattering audio gun custom circuit

Macey RoacheMacey Roache

Industrial Engineering student, engineering change in the Atlanta Hawks warehouse

September 2018

Macey Roache has been hired to work with the Atlanta Hawks as their Retail Warehouse Manager. As an IE student, Roache has actively engaged in providing designing and establishing process for the Hawks. Essentially, their warehouse had little to no known processes for receiving and distributing freight effectively. Roache has been tasked with taking a budget, analyzing that budget, and requesting materials to create the most efficient processes for the warehouse.

Additionally, Roache handily handles hiring of key staff members - to build a team that will be able to sustain the ever-growing process the warehouse will endure during the Hawks’ season. The warehouse has gone from an inventory amount of approximately 1 million to almost 4 million. Roache has also used this degree plan to provide solutions for an offsite storage - for both overage and seasonal inventory. He has collaborated with an outside company to house inventory until they need it. Space is an issue, as with most sports organizations.

Moreover, Roache was approved travel to another NBA organization in order to collect data from them, to bring back and implement throughout their new design process. Effectively creating and establishing partnerships across a larger spectrum of teams in the NBA. The visit was well received and they collected substantial data to help their process and thus drive sales.

Roache said, “KSU has been instrumental in establishing a solid educational foundation. My working experience has only gotten me so far. Without KSU I would NOT be able to handle the wonderful opportunity I’ve been given in totality. Go Owls!!! (And Hawks).”


Addie Thornton, civil engineering studentAddie Thornton

Civil Engineering student Awarded $5,000 Scholarship by New South Construction

August 2018

Addie Thornton is working toward her Civil Engineering degree with a minor in Construction Management and certificate in Land Surveying. Addie was chosen as one of four recipients for the $5,000 New South Foundation scholarship, based on her student organization involvement, volunteer service, academics, and passion to pursue a career in project management.

New South Construction has been in business for nearly 30 years and was started by Doug Davidson. Some of their biggest clients are Delta Air Lines, The Coca-Cola Company, The Atlanta Braves, Druid Hills Golf Club, Wesleyan School, Emory University, and General Mills. The New South Foundation makes it their goal to provide scholarships to undergraduate students who come from families in the construction industry or in some way have ties to the construction industry.

Addie attended the New South Construction Foundation scholarship reception on Wednesday, July 18th. The reception was held at New South’s warehouse located in Hapeville, Georgia. At the reception, she was able to meet with other scholarship recipients, discuss career goals, and received professional advice from the New South team.

Pictured from left to right: Doug Davidson (Chairman/CEO), Addie Thornton (Civil Engineering student), and Dan Smith (CFO/Executive Vice President)

Brackner Bueres-TorresBrayckner Bueres-Torres 

Mechanical engineering student and entrepreneur making waves in the Atlanta area

July 2018

Brayckner Bueres-Torres is our Feature Friday. He is a Mechanical Engineering student and a motivational speaker to high schools in the Atlanta area! He is the CEO of BBT brand, which provides service to help companies use social media to market and advertise their business. He hosts College Knowledge podcast on how to succeed in high school and in life. In addition, he is interning this summer at Helpfully LLC, located in Ponce City Market. Check him out at Brayckner.com

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