News & Announcements

Senior Design 2023 Inspired Serious Real-World Solutions

The Washkewicz College of Engineering has completed another academic year and our two-semester long intensive Senior Design capstone program culminated the pre-commencement activities. The program had twenty amazing team projects that were sponsored by area organizations as well as Cleveland State University. “We always have impressive showings at our annual Senior Design Symposium and Poster Competition, but this year was truly special,” said Dr. Michael L. Adams, Chair and Associate Professor of the Engineering Technology Department and Senior Design Program Director. Learn more about the winning teams and their projects below.

First Place Winning Team

2023 senior design first place winners

Pictured left to right: Dean Richard Schoephoerster, Kenneth Bender the Tinker, Russell Buttress the Marine, Shereen Elfadil the model student, and Dr. Zhiqiang Gao, senior design instructor.

Project Title: Autonomous Nursery Cart
Team Members: Kenneth Bender, Russell Buttriss, and Shereen Elfadil
Faculty Advisors: Zhiqiang Gao and Qin Lin
Department: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Industry Sponsor: National Fluid Power Association

“The first-place winner goes to team 132, Autonomous Nursery Cart”, as the voice of Mike Adams, the WCE Senior Design Director, came through the loudspeakers the night of May 6, in the CSU Student Center Ballroom packed with students and their families, I was halfway to the podium to celebrate with this extraordinary team. This project started back in the fall of 2021, when all three team members, Ken Bender, Russell Buttriss and Shereen Elfadil, took my EEC 318 (Signals and Systems, later renamed Design, Analysis and Simulation of Dynamic Systems) class. “It was a privilege to see the three of them put this together, from Ken’s term paper proposal in the fall of 2021 to the podium of Senior Design Symposium on May 5, 2023,” said Dr. Zhiqiang Gao, Associate Professor & Director of the Center for Advanced Control Technology, with the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.

Second Place Winning Team

second place senior design team

Pictured from left to right: Dean Richard Schoephoerster, Shakeeb Rahman, Kevin Minn, Brian Dowhan, Ian Henning, Andrew Zollos, Leul Mezgebe, and Professor Toufik Aidja, faculty advisor.

Project Title: Automated Hydroponic System
Team Members: Shakeeb Rahman, Andrew Zollos, Ian Hennings, Brian Dowhan, Kevin Minn, and Leul Mezgebe
Faculty Advisor: Toufik Aidja
Department: Engineering Technology
Industry Sponsor: Rockwell Automation

“As for my overall impression of the program, I can confidently say that it was a transformative experience for me. The program allowed me to explore my passion for engineering and work with a fantastic team, while also giving me the opportunity to develop my entrepreneurial skills. Being recognized for our hard work and dedication feels truly rewarding and validates our efforts to create a meaningful project.

“Our Automated Hydroponic System project was indeed entrepreneurial in nature, as it aimed to offer a sustainable and efficient solution for urban agriculture. We were grateful to have the support of Rockwell Automation throughout the process,” shared team lead, Shakeeb Rahman. He will be working with Rockwell automation as a Leadership Development Program associate in Product Engineering and Development

Third Place Winning Team

third_place_winning_teamPictured from left to right in the photo: Dr. Richard Schoephoerster (Dean of the Washkewicz College of Engineering), Jake Szaniszlo, Darien Stanley, Alan Klosinski, Professor Bogdan Kozul (faculty advisor)

Project Title: Real-Time Inline Quality Inspection System
Team Members: Jake Szaniszlo, Darien Stanley, and Alan Klosinski
Faculty Advisor: Bogdan Kozul
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Industry Sponsor: Welser Profile

“Cleveland State’s engineering program provides all the resources and opportunities necessary to be a knowledgeable and successful professional. The engineering senior design capstone is a unique and invaluable experience which bridges the gap between classroom and experiential learning. It has aided in my personal development of technical and collaborative skills needed to be an effective project engineer." Said, Jake Szaniszlo, team lead. Jake will be working at Swagelok as part of their Engineering Career Development Program. He is also part of CSU's 4+1 Accelerated Program and hope to complete my MSME in the coming years while working full-time.

Honorable Mention Team

honorable_mention_2023Pictured from left to right: Dr. William J Atherton, Satnam Singh, Jaykumar Prajapati, Bee Boettcher.

Project Title: SimSURROGATE Foot
Team Members: Brandon Boettcher, Jaykumar Prajapati, and Satnam Singh
Faculty Advisor: William Atherton
Department: Engineering Technology
Collaboration: Cleveland Clinic

“The Senior Design Project was an incredibly challenging and empowering experience.  It was a lot of fun and inspiring to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty with a real-world problem that hadn't been solved yet.  It was an honor to work with such an experienced and accomplished team at the Cleveland Clinic. Our biggest drive for this project was being able to apply the knowledge we've gained during our educational journey to make a meaningful contribution to the scientific and medical community,” said Bee Boettcher, team lead.

“Our seniors are the true showcase of this event, and they put on an impressive display of hands-on ingenuity. The quality of the finished work for many of the projects was well beyond our expectations, and the wide range of multi-disciplinary project ideas was astounding,” stated Dr. Adams.

“The event itself ran without a hitch, largely due to the dedication and hard work of Tisha Barnes, who is our Engineering Technology Department and Senior Design Program Administrative Assistant. She was supported by the rest of the Washkewicz College of Engineering staff as well as student employees. My hearty thanks to Tisha, the college staff, and our students for such a wonderful event this year!” explained Dr. Adams. We are also grateful for this year’s sponsors: 

  • ABEDA Group
  • Akron Children's Hospital
  • C&W
  • Cleveland State University - Global
  • Dominion Energy Ohio
  • FirstEnergy Corp.
  • Great Lakes Cheese
  • Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival
  • Martian Sky Industries
  • NASA Glenn Research Center
  • Nexus Engineering Group
  • Permco
  • Rockwell Automation
  • Safran
  • Shaker Numeric
  • Sherwin-Williams
  • The Mortgage Collaborative
  • Virtec Enterprises
  • Welser Profile
  • Xadite

To learn more about the Senor Design Capstone program and other projects please visit

About CSU and the Washkewicz College of Engineering

​​​​​​Cleveland State University is a public institution located in Cleveland, Ohio. The university has an enrollment of more than 16,000 students in programs at the baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral levels. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is currently awaiting reaffirmation of accreditation. Washkewicz College of Engineering offers graduate and undergraduate program. The undergraduate programs are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) ( This year, the College will celebrate its Centennial Anniversary. To learn more about the College, please visit: