by Alana J. Mauger
The QuadForge Undergraduate Research Program earned Montgomery County Community College’s 2014 Innovation of the Year award last week during an annual ceremony recognizing projects that advance the College’s mission and strategic goals.
The College’s QuadForge program is an open source research project that provides freshmen and sophomore Engineering and Computer Science students with the unique opportunity to develop autonomous quad rotor flight vehicles, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UVAs). The project is made possible by a unique collaboration with the Science and Technology Competence Center in Switzerland, which provides funding for the program.
The QuadForge program partners with industry and government entities to provide real-word product deliverables. To date, students and faculty involved with the project have delivered four quad rotor UVAs to the Suisse Government, which is using them to survey and deliver data between weather stations to aid in predicting potential disasters, such as landslides.
The team’s accomplishments include developing modular flight platforms that feature onboard wi-fi and 4G communications, first-person view, high definition video recording, customized mission computers and the world’s first full weatherization, which enables the UVAs to fly in any environment, such as saltwater, snow and rain.
Those recognized as part of the QuadForge Undergraduate Research Program include Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Andrew Ippolito; Associate Professor of Engineering William Brownlowe and Adjunct Engineering Lecturer Jean Jacques Reymond.
To learn more about the QuadForge project , visit quadforge.net.
The College’s Innovation of the Year nominees are evaluated against criteria established by the League for Innovation in the Community College—an international organization committed to improving community colleges through innovation. Award criteria include quality, efficiency, cost effectiveness, replication, creativity and timeliness.
As recipient of the College’s award, the QuadForge Undergraduate Research Program will be forwarded to the League for Innovation in the Community College for national recognition in a program that is designed to showcase innovation at America’s community colleges.
Other projects nominated the 2014 Innovation of the Year at the College included the Cone 6 Transition project that reduces the carbon footprint of the College’s Ceramics firing; curriculum pathway mapping; Mustangs Academic Success Program in support of the College’s student athletes; Green Office Initiative; College Pathway Academy for Health Professions, in partnership with Phoenixville High School and Phoenixville Hospital; Production Internship Program with MCCC’s Lively Arts program; the University Center framework; and the Veterans Resource Center.