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October 26, 2010 > Innovative technology for a more secure tomorrow

Innovative technology for a more secure tomorrow

By Alyson Whitaker
Photos By courtesy of DeVry University

Imagine a world in which an airline cockpit is immune to a hostile takeover or a system is in place to prevent breaches in high-security facilities. These innovative designs were among the projects showcased by student teams at DeVry University's Fall Senior Technology and Business Fair in Fremont on Wednesday, October 13.

All students in the business or technology programs were required to complete a capstone senior project in order to qualify for graduation. Teams worked together for two to three semesters developing their projects. The first phase was to identify a need, along with a customer, and come up with a preliminary design. Plans were reviewed with faculty advisors and a prototype created and evaluated before a final model was presented to faculty advisors. The final phase was to present the product at the fair and receive feedback from professionals in each field of study.

Projects were judged by a panel of industry experts from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, BEA Systems, Lockheed-Martin, and other local employers. Teams were evaluated based on their level of knowledge of the product, communication skills, project management, technical expertise, and real world application of the product.

Advisors were available to consult with teams, but no specific direction or theme was given for the projects. This year, security was a common thread among several of the projects. Whether in the business world, healthcare field, or airlines and homeland security, students identified areas of potential improvement and focused their projects accordingly.

The project winning "Judges Choice" in the field of Computer Engineering Technology and Electronics Engineering Technology was The Pilot Authentication System (PAS). Designed by Douglas Bashaw, Clayton Richey, and Matthew Roddewig, PAS is designed to protect the safety of millions of airline passengers by preventing security threats and potentially irresponsible behavior on the part of pilots. A mock-up cockpit requires a fingerprint scan before the autopilot feature can be disengaged or coordinates of the aircraft changed. In addition to monitoring and verifying the identity of pilots, technology enables screening for sobriety and an acceleration sensor is able to determine if the cockpit door has been opened by force.

Associate College Dean Dennis Mueller recognizes the need for students to gain real-world experience through their senior projects. "These projects give students the opportunity to get feedback from professionals in the field to help them establish the appropriateness and marketability of their product to meet the needs of society and actual businesses and industry. They are able to apply what they have learned in the real world."

Other "Judges Choice" winning project teams included:

Biomedical Engineering Technology-Exercise/Fitness Monitor; Adam Alkhato, Jason Seranno

Game and Simulation Programming-Team of Doom + 2; Daniel Breneman, Matt Trivundza, Richard Dreyer

Business Administration-New Wave; Cassie Morgan, Jeremiah Tinajero, Julie Cabrera

Network and Communications Management-Team Network; Casey Spillman, Chee Thao, Karmdeep Mand

For more information on DeVry University, visit their website at

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