Gianna M. Curcio’s (EC ’14) Capstone resides within the field of Aging and Rehabilitation Engineering. After surveying city sidewalks, family gatherings, and hospital waiting rooms, Gianna saw the abundant need for more effective mobility aids.  Gianna’s project sought to redesign the walker from both her mechanical engineering and sculptural perspectives. Her advice to begin before junior year and work over summers is helpful to students in *all* fields.

redesigned walkersTo all aspiring Honors Capstone Students reading this report, I recommend that you begin contemplating possible Capstone topics prior to your junior year. At the beginning of my senior year, I changed the entire premise of my Capstone because of difficulties with the scope and ambiguity of my initial proposal. In light of my difficulties with finding a new topic during the hectic academic semester, I would suggest utilizing summer interludes as times to think creatively and find the intersection of your array of interests so that when you return to school you can not only solidify a topic, but know with certainty that it is a topic in which you will be personally invested.

From the onset, I would suggest forming a network of resources and supporting figures that express an interest in your topic. Coupled with this support system it is important to be respectful of your Advisor and Reader’s time, and keep them updated weekly about project status.

Now, I’ll give a special “shout out” to my fellow engineering students out there! I did it, and so can you!  Think long and hard about your senior year work load and goals leading up to graduation.  If you are ready to handle the volume of research, analysis, and compilation required for independent study in addition to Senior Design, full steam ahead. It’s no joke!