UNT senior studentsFive MEEN students really know what it takes to be green. Yassine Houl, Maher Albaghli, Basil George Kuriakose, Fadhel Ahmed and Azucena Camargo from the College of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical and Energy Engineering (MEEN) are auditing UNT’s Curry Hall as part of their senior design capstone project.

The capstone, which occurs in every engineering student’s senior year, is a culmination of their knowledge gained in classes, through hands-on work, and in internships throughout their time at UNT’s College of Engineering.

For these students, working with Schneider Electric as a sponsored program has given them the opportunity to develop their engineering skillset through practical experience in the field. And now with more than 80 percent of MEEN senior design projects sponsored by outside engineering organizations, students are gaining a leg up in the field.

“Most students who graduate need six months to a year to train, but UNT made us industry-ready – it’s a great plus for us and for industry,” said Houl.

UNT senior studentsMean Green degree touts sustainability

UNT’s Mechanical and Energy program, which is the first of its kind, offers students the chance to dive into mechanical engineering while also learning and gaining a new understanding of sustainable design principles.

“UNT is the only college in the nation that offers this program, and they have a strong passion for green energy,” said Kuriakose. “The program is very hard, but I’m excited to work with this team and put everything I learned these past four years into this project.”

Ahmed agreed.

“I was looking for any major about energy since energy is the future,” said Ahmed. “The program offers elective courses in areas like alternative energy and nuclear energy, and I like UNT’s green spirit.”

Learning by doing

As part of their capstone, the students walked Curry Hall alongside Steve Schliesing and UNT engineering alumna Madden Mengwasser, both from Schneider Electric, to get an insider’s look at what it’s like to conduct an energy audit. They inspected the building’s interior and exterior, covering lighting, HVAC equipment and controls.

“I really like the field – you get to learn the mechanical side and the energy side,” said Camargo. “Energy is very relevant; people are always trying to find new ways to create energy efficiency. Being able to work on this project has shown me there’s so much more to renewable energy than just what we think.”

This summer, the team will be drafting a plan for improving the building’s energy efficiency and will present it this fall.

“We have a really good team chemistry,” said Albaghli. “I’m happy we all work together well.”