Fayette LaunchBox Completes Third Annual Summer Mentorship Program


Brandy Sickles, Jacob Levendosky and Matthew D’Annolfo worked as a team under the supervision of Ajaya Warrier, assistant professor of chemistry, to study the photocycloaddition, or light reaction, of naphthalene and maleic acid. Their work has already won first place in the research category of the Spring 2022 Learning Fair.

“I was able to experience different aspects of the research environment, meet people and learn new things to help me move forward in the future. By participating in the Launchbox program, I feel like I have a better idea of ​​what to expect when I move to University Park this fall,” said Sickles, of McClellandtown, Pa., who plans to graduate in 2024 with a Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Medicine. and biomedical sciences.

Joshua Heller worked under the supervision of Rasoul Milasi, assistant professor of electrical engineering, to research and design an affordable non-contact thermometer for testing for COVID-19. He used sensors and microcontrollers to program the system and modeled the prototype using 3D printing technology.

“This mentorship program has shown me how valuable resources are at the Fayette LaunchBox. It has helped me take what I’ve learned in my classes and apply it to a real situation, because used my programming and problem-solving skills I learned in class to prototype the product,” said Heller, from Dunbar, Pa. He hopes to graduate in 2024 with a bachelor of science in technology from electromechanical engineering (EMET).

Joshua Krause took the opportunity to make a prototype simulator that recreates the childhood game “red light, green light” using a motion sensor.

“This program allowed me to deepen the concepts of the engineering degree and the minor in commerce that I am pursuing. It helped me gain knowledge about things that can benefit my process in the future. I now have direction or starting tips on what to do to start my own business,” said Krause, of Connellsville, Pennsylvania. He hopes to graduate in 2024.

Salanieta Waqanivalu has created a motion-sensing security sensor for her swimming pool, which triggers an LED light, buzzer and mobile notification. Professor Milasi advised her, as well as Heller and Krause.

“The main highlight of this research was being able to see the visions and goals I had at the beginning come to life. helped change the way I think when I approach and solve a problem,” said Waqanivalu, who was born in Fiji and plans to complete a Bachelor of Science degree at EMET in 2023.

To learn more, visit https://fayette.psu.edu/launchbox. To request information about Fayette LaunchBox, email [email protected] or call 724-437-7913.


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