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A. B. engineering graduates Frank Giannelli ’07 and Russell Dinardi ’07 will present their research projects at the 114th Annual American Society for Engineering Education Conference and Exposition June 24-27 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Giannelli completed honors thesis research under the guidance of Sharon Jones, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and chair of A.B. engineering. Giannelli conducted a study of how to manage student-led service-learning organizations at the undergraduate level. He tested the management framework he developed on Lafayette’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders.

“Presenting your work at a national forum in front of professionals is a real honor,” says Giannelli. “It will provide me with an opportunity to talk to leaders in the field and receive feedback on how to continue to make my work better.”

Working with Jones helped Giannelli sharpen his problem solving skills, which will help him when he begins work as a project engineer for The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company.

“Professor Jones was not only my thesis adviser, but my academic adviser for four years, and for four years, she has been a great mentor to me,” he says. “Her guidance has really helped me develop the way I approach a problem, solve it, and then explain my results to others in a written way. She has a lot of experience working with service-learning organizations, and that experience really helped me write a strong paper. I wouldn’t want to work with anyone else.”

In addition to graduating with honors, Giannelli was a recipient of the Charles L. Best Memorial Prize in A.B. Engineering. He traveled to Honduras for a project with Engineers Without Borders and served as the Leopard mascot.

Dinardi completed independent study research under the guidance of Rita DeFrange, visiting instructor of civil and environmental engineering. He explored the implementation of engineering entrepreneurship education at Lafayette, making recommendations for new and innovative curricula specifically for the engineering track.

“I am very glad and feel privileged to be able to present my research at the conference,” Dinardi says. “It will be an honor to be presenting to respected members of the engineering community.”

Dinardi, who will soon begin work for IBM as a project manager, took a great deal away from working with DeFrange.

“Working with Rita DeFrange was a great learning experience for me in conducting research and learning about entrepreneurship,” he says.

A Marquis Scholar, Dinardi previously conducted EXCEL Scholars research with Jones for which he studied sinkhole-related property damage in the Lehigh Valley. He also participated in the three-week special Lafayette interim course Geology from A (Arches) to Z (Zion): the Geology of National Parks in the Western United States.

Honors theses and independent study projects are among several major programs that have made Lafayette a national leader in undergraduate research. The College sends one of the largest contingents to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research each year; 21 students were accepted to present their research at this year’s conference.

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