Fourth-year Engineering students participate in virtual Project Day

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: April 14, 2021 1:35 p.m.

The COVID Screening Checkpoint was one of the projects presented at the 2021 Capstone Project Day.
The COVID Screening Checkpoint was one of the projects presented at the 2021 Capstone Project Day. Photo: Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences

For the second year in a row, fourth-year students from the University of Regina’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science gathered virtually to showcase their passion and ingenuity at the 2021 Capstone Project Day. 

Ammar Alvi, Neel Khatri, and Shannon D'souza presenting virtually at the 2021 Capstone Project Day.

"The capstone project, as the name indicates, is the crowning achievement of an engineering degree, the bridge to practicing engineering,” said Dr. Esam Hussein, Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. “I am proud of the quality of the projects, their innovation, creativity, and practicality. Despite working remotely due to the COVID-19 restrictions, our students managed to maintain team spirit and delivered what is expected from them and beyond, with the support of our capable faculty members. Our staff have also played a crucial role in enabling us to emulate virtually the ambiance of the traditional project-day format." 

Students studying in Electronic Systems, Environmental Systems, Industrial Systems, Petroleum Systems, and Software Systems engineering presented for fellow students, professors, and guests throughout the day on Saturday, April 10 on Zoom. Breakout rooms were also held for the trade show and poster session.   

Electronic Systems Engineering COVID Screening Checkpoint poster.

This year, a generous donor established a $500 prize to be awarded to each of the winners in each of the five programs. 

The challenges of running operations safely during the COVID-19 pandemic was the centre of Electronic Systems Engineering students Ammar Alvi, Neel Khatri, and Shannon D'souza’s project. 

They created the COVID Screening Checkpoint, a device that implements a computer vision solution to ensure the user is properly wearing a face mask before entrance access is given. It also provides a fast and accurate method to ensure users are tested for both their body temperature and blood oxygen level. Additionally, the users are guided through a series of general COVID survey questions conducted through a contactless user interface. The device also supports an automatic hand sanitizing dispenser to promote hygiene and a multi-user key card authentication system to prevent unauthorized entry. 

“We wanted to solve the issue of companies having to screen individuals for COVID-19 at entrances,” D’souza said. “We wanted to reduce contact exposure at entrances between the employees and users and automate the screening process at the same time. It seemed like a truly relevant issue at the time when we selected our project, and it was something we looked at and thought we could make this safer.” 

Software Systems Engineering Photo Organizer poster. 

Software Systems Engineering students Allan Wambold, Jiaan Nie, Sopuru Ugwuonah, and Ali Rizvi had a focus on when people weren’t in COVID-19 times, but on vacation.    

Specifically, they created the Photo Organizer, a system for labelling and organizing photos. 

The group set out to create an interface that users can have on their mobile device or their desktop that focuses on automatically labeling images by using a machine learning model. The model can identify and provide information about landmarks as well as assign labels to each photo so they can be sorted into appropriate file folders. The user can also export the file folders and share them via Dropbox. 

“I would call it a multi-life improvement,” said Ugwuonah. “Just having the convenience of having your photos sorted for you, that’s the main goal and to educate people on landmarks or whatever we choose to expand our project to beyond landmark recognition.” 

Studying the use of relatively new technology in a long-established industry was at the base of Petroleum Systems Engineering students Linda Kuruvila, Mitchell Bentley, and Akshita Tyagi’s project, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Design Study in a Depleted Heavy Oil Reservoir

The group set out to run a design study on using carbon capture sequestration on the depleted Banff heavy oil reservoir and to see if an environmentally and economically efficient carbon sequestration process could be optimized for carbon storage and oil recovery. 

Petroleum Systems Engineering Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Design Study in a Depleted Heavy Oil Reservoir poster. Akshita Tyagi presents virtually at the 2021 Capstone Project Day.

The group ran several simulations using data gathered from the reservoir, and from that were able to find an optimal CO2 injection strategy. 

“A big thing in this industry is when people think of petroleum, they think of dirty oil, but this project shows the opposite side of that,” Bentley said. “Even with the skills we presented and the work we’re talking about, it’s still petroleum-based engineering but it’s environmentally in tune. Economically wise it doesn’t seem like it’s a completely feasible strategy but if you’re looking at it from an environmental aspect, which is the way we are looking at it, volume wise there is a significant amount of CO2 being removed. If you can recover oil and capture CO2, it is a good thing.” 

Industrial Systems Engineering SaskPower Smart Streetlight Project poster.

Helping the environment through lower energy consumption is just one of the many benefits from the SaskPower Smart Streetlight Project that Industrial Systems Engineering students Shaji Faruqi, Aryia Alaghband, and Angelo Palamara created in collaboration with SaskPower. 

Last summer, the group began discussions with representatives from SaskPower about developing an adequate management system for streetlights in Regina. The group developed a system that uses energy-efficient LED lights that are constantly monitored through a variety of radars and sensors, and controlled from a remote operation centre. 

Through the operation centre, the user can create dimmer schedules, improve maintenance response time, collect real time data, enhance public safety, and give SaskPower a stronger control of their assets. 

“We were pretty surprised SaskPower didn’t have any kind of management system in place so when we got to learn about that, we thought this was something we could do for managing these assets and making viewing information about them a little bit easier,” said Alaghband. 

The group has already initiated a pilot project in Harbour Landing in Regina, and they will be presenting their findings from their project to SaskPower later in the spring. From that point, there is potential that other parts of the city and province will see this technology being used.  

Angelo Palamara presents virtually at the 2021 Capstone Project Day.

Another group looking to offer solutions to a community issue are Environmental Systems Engineering students Tomika Pinay, Akabom Ekpenyon, and Nathan Avery. 

Their project, Designing a Wastewater Treatment Plant for Pasqua First Nation, was inspired because of the large amount of boil water advisories on First Nations throughout Canada. The group focused on creating a design for the construction of a wastewater treatment plant on the First Nation, which is located about 65 kilometres from Regina and home to approximately 2,500 residents. 

Pinay, a member of the Pasqua First Nation, noted that it is expensive to hook all homes up to the First Nation’s main sewage line and for the homes not connected to the main sewage line, a truck needs to pump their sewage and haul it away. 

The group concluded that the best option for Pasqua First Nation is to implement a clustered septic tank system. 

“We are planning on writing a proposal of the project and presenting it to the leadership of Pasqua First Nation to see if that is something they want to explore in their community plan,” said Pinay. “If they decide to use it, great, if they don’t, that’s fine because we learned a lot through the process and maybe it will inspire other First Nations communities to use it for their first wastewater treatment plant.” 

Environmental Systems Engineering Designing a Wastewater Treatment Plant for Pasqua First Nation poster. Tomika Pinay presents virtually at the 2021 Capstone Project Day.


You can see the full program from Project Day here and a full list of the posters here