Thursday, April 27, 2017

CETA Hosted its Annual University of Hartford Graduate Architecture Thesis Presentations

Ryan Miller presenting his design.

Fahad Baker presenting his thesis project.

On Monday, April 24, CETA hosted its Annual Master of Architecture Thesis Presentations in the Harry Jack Gray’s 1877 Club. The work of 16 second-year graduate students was on display from 12:00 to 1:00pm, followed by individual presentations and reviews of each project.  The event was culminated by a reception in the Rotunda from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

Students featured included: Ahmed Abdelghany, Hajar Aldouri, Fahed Baker, Tomas Botero, Daniel Condon, Laura Crowley, Alyssa Danielewicz, Jameson Gay, Lance Green, Todd Josselyn, Matthew Lawrence, Ryan Miller, Juan Pinto Castaneda, Evan Switzer, Ronald Wassmer, and Kalkidan Zerfu.

Graduate Program Director and Thesis Coordinator Daniel Davis, AIA, was pleased with a high turnout, as approximately 250 people were in attendance.

Thesis Supervisors Mark Hopper, AIA; Craig Saunders, AIA and Tyler Smith, FAIA supported a wide range of student projects,  including academic buildings, museums, a rehabilitation retreat, a refuge center, a library, a community center, a transit oriented development, an urban market, an office building, and a tiny house.. Twenty-one industry professional reviewers attended the event and provided feedback following each student presentation.  These reviews from practicing architects help prepare students for their professional lives where design presentations are an integral part of having a project built.

Reviewers represented the following list of prestigious firms: Newman Architects, TSKP Studio, Svigals + Partners, SLAM Collaborative, JCJ Architecture, Smith Edwards McCoy, Tecton Architects, DRA Architects, Oak Park Architects, Quisenberry Arcari Architects, Friar Associates, Crosskey Architects, MBH Architecture, Richter & Cegan, LA, Wieber Powell + Grunigen, Thompson Edwards Architects, STV, and Turner Construction.

Selected thesis projects will be exhibited throughout Connecticut including the AIA/Connecticut Gallery in New Haven, designated architectural firms, and selected other venues. Thesis Awards will be announced at graduation ceremony.  The M.Arch. thesis presentations are an excellent showcase of architectural design talent at the University of Hartford to the wider professional community.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Engineering students research the use of sound waves to stimulate bone growth

The students observe and analyze results.

Ahmad Arabiyat '17, Jacqueline Maynard, '17, and Jason Reynolds, '17 perform research in CETA's new Tissue Engineering Lab.

Did you know bones weaken in space? Experiencing microgravity, or weightlessness, can be thrilling for astronauts. “But,” says biomedical engineering major, Jacqueline Maynard ‘17, “a side effect is the loss of as much as 40 percent of their bone mass in a single expedition, making fractures and long term complications like osteoporosis very likely.”

To counteract this and potentially help the general population that has degenerative bone conditions, Jacqueline and other students in the College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture (CETA) are conducting experiments in the University’s new Tissue Engineering Lab. The project is funded by the NASA Connecticut Space Grant Consortium, a federally supported grant, internship, and scholarship program for students pursuing careers in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (STEM).

Our students are testing whether the mechanical vibrations of sound can alter the stem cells of mice grown in an artificial environment. Prior research has shown that when mechanical vibrations are applied to the cells at the right frequency, they may increase or maintain bone mass, possibly because sound waves stimulate muscles, much like exercise does. “We believe acoustic waves could be a therapeutic approach we can potentially use to stimulate bone formation and improve bone health,” says Andrea Kwaczala, assistant professor of civil, environmental, and biomedical engineering.

The research also involves two acoustic engineering students, Anna Elefante ’17 and Lucas Shearer, ’17. With their advisor, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Eoin King, Anna and Lucas designed and built a desktop acoustic chamber with a cell culture plate holder to house the cells. “This system allows us to apply sound or ‘white noise’ waves at varying frequencies to stimulate cell growth,” says Anna.

Fellow student researchers Ahmad Arabiyat ’17 and Jason Reynolds, ’17, biomedical engineering majors with pre-med concentrations, are optimistic about the project’s future.

“It’s too early to predict the final outcome,” says Ahmad. “But the vibrations have caused the number of cells to increase, which is very exciting and motivating.”

Jason says the next logical step would be for the acoustics team to develop a portable acoustic chamber.

“This chamber would collect real-time data on environmental conditions like pH and temperature,” he explains. “Since it’s portable, it can potentially travel through space.”

UNOTES - 4/26/17

Friday, April 21, 2017

Students Showcase Work at CI and CETA Mix and Mingle Event

The CI and CETA Mix and Mingle event took place on April 18, 2017 in the Architecture Studio on the University of Hartford campus. Students showcased their work to those in attendance, including professionals from Gilbane Building Company, JCJ Architecture, Id3A, Tecton Architects, Clohessy Harris & Kaiser, LLC, Eversource, MBH Architecture, Crosskey Architects, The Master's Construction Corp. and Szewczak Associates.

CETA student and Construction Institute Student Organization President Mutazz Bulter (Senior, Architectural Engineering Technology major) said that student feedback was very positive, and that this is the type of event that students ask for.  "I personally felt that it was a great event. I liked the atmosphere of it where it wasn't too formal and we were able to be candid with professionals about what we want for our futures and our current experiences as college students and aspiring young professionals.", said Butler.

Additional student feedback was also positive.

"I thought the event was great! We were able to meet with professionals, give them tours of the architecture studio, network, and even show our own work. It was definitely a great time." - Jezelle Gordon, Senior, Architectural Engineering Technology major.

"The Mix and Mingle was a fun event that turned into spontaneous conversation which helped me gather some tips and info to help further my studies and future." - John Turner, Sophomore, Architectural Engineering Technology major.

"I thought it was a good opportunity for student to meet with professionals and learn a few things." - Justin Barros, Junior, Architectural Engineering Technology major.

For more information on how you can become involved in the Construction Institute Student Organization or with CI workshops and events, contact the CISO at or Laura Eldredge at

UNOTEs - 4/21/17

Thursday, April 20, 2017

CETA Scholarship and Recognition Event at Konover, on April 18, 2017, was a success!

CETA had their yearly awards luncheon to distribute scholarships and recognize students for their academic success on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. The event kicked off with a presentation by Dean Lou Manzione to recognize the donors that make CETA scholarships possible, and to congratulate students on their success in the rigorous academic programs we teach in the College.

The CETA students, faculty, staff and a small group of generous CETA donors shared a lunch catered by Aramark. The lunch was followed by short speeches by two students from each department thanking the CETA donors for their generosity. The students were asked to share what being a scholarship recipient means to them. Each student presentation was unique and heartfelt.

Ninety-six CETA students received scholarship awards and twenty-two students were selected by the faculty in their departments to be recognized for high academic achievement and accomplishments in the CETA community.

CETA was proud to award just over $180,500.00 to students.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this event possible!