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University of Arizona engineering students develop solutions for community

University of Arizona College of Engineering Design Day 2022
Posted at 5:28 PM, May 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-02 20:28:52-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — When Gabriella Vindiola started her senior project, she didn't just want to create something. She wanted to leave her mark on Tucson.

"There were a lot of big company projects that were really exciting and had a lot of cool things. To me, it was important to do something that would benefit my community," said University of Arizona College of Engineering student, Gabriella Vindiola.

Vindiola used everything she learned at the University of Arizona College of Engineering to create a device to help feed elephants at the Reid Park Zoo.

"The elephant habitat is kind of a pinto bean shape. Right now, zookeepers walk along the edges and throw elephant pellets over the fence. It's pretty limited to have far they can throw. This device is placed right in the center and it rotates 360 degrees. It's able to reach parts of the habitat that zookeepers can't," said Vindiola.

Vindiola's invention is one of dozens that were presented by students on Monday.

"This is the Craig M. Berge Engineering Design Day. It's where our seniors present their capstone projects. They spent the whole year working on a project. Today, they're showing it off," said University of Arizona College of Engineering Director, Larry Head.

For the last two years, Design Day took place virtually.

"You didn't get what you see here, today. You didn't see all of this interaction, people talking, students answering questions," said Head.

"It's been a while since I've been in a huge room with a lot of people. I walked around earlier and there are so many interesting projects," said University of Arizona College of Engineering student, Nizhonabah Davis.

A few stand out inventions will be awarded with cash scholarships, but all students will walk away with the knowledge to launch a successful career.

"Being able to practice leadership skills, learning how to work on a team, and manage a team, are skills I hope to take into the industry later on," said Vindiola.