As the eighth oldest institution for higher learning in the United States, Rutgers is celebrating its 250th anniversary on November 10, 2016. To celebrate this monumental milestone, I Am Rutgers will be featuring Rutgers’ most involved and accomplished students in a new series, “250 for 250.” This year-long series will serve as a reflection of Rutgers’ diverse student body and status as a premier national research university.
If you have ever wondered what a fourth year industrial engineering student at Rutgers University does, besides study all the time, Aiyana Delfin can give you a glimpse into what her fourth year is looking like.
Aiyana is an extremely involved and passion-driven student who enjoys experiencing and doing new things around campus. She is a sister of Phi Sigma Rho, a national Engineering Sorority, and she is a part of the IIE, The Institute of Industrial Engineering. She also serves as a mentor to other students in the DELLC, the Douglass Engineering Living Learning Community. Aiyana currently holds an internship with Nine Block, a pallet manufacturing company, through which she gets the chance to go to their outdoor plant, and see first-hand how things are made. With the little free time she has, Aiyana enjoys playing for the intramural volleyball team.
As a fourth-year industrial engineering student, Aiyana had to create and present a major senior project with three other students. I Am Rutgers sat down with Aiyana to learn more about her project,
For my senior design project, we started working on it in the spring of our junior years so we’ve had a whole year to work on it. We based it off of the Amazon picking challenge, so we had to design an autonomous system to pick and retrieve items from shelves using imaging processing, 3D sensors. We got a budget of $600, which is one of the challenges we had to face; it’s a small amount for a project like this so it definitely made things more difficult. The way the project worked was we had a book shelf that had twelve bins on the shelf and there were items in each bin that ranged from plush toys to a cheez-its box that could be in any order. Our system took a camera and moved it to the bin to take a picture of the bin and then it decided the orientation of the items and whether they needed the use of a suction cup or a gripper. We 3D-printed the gripper that we had, and for the suction cup, we ran a vacuum through our robot to pick up items and it would stop based on whether it picked up the item or not so it knew when to drop the item when it was done.”
This fascinating project required months of tedious hard work and coding. Aiyana’s final project was one of the biggest challenges she has faced at Rutgers thus far, but it has only strengthened the passion she has for her future career plans. Aiyana plans to go into supply chain management or facilities layout because she thrives off of working hands on with people as opposed to having a daily desk job.
While some students knew from the very beginning that Rutgers was their first choice, Aiyana had a few doubts as a high school student:
When I was growing up and also in high school, I was always a shy person; well shy at first really. I didn’t think that Rutgers was for me at first because it was such a big school, so it felt overwhelming and I actually applied to other smaller schools.”
This feeling, however, quickly dissipated as she stepped foot on campus for the first time,
But when I actually saw the school, I felt like the other schools just didn’t have enough for me because I wanted to branch out. Sometimes you just want to do something new and Rutgers helps you grow and experience new things. When I visited Rutgers, every campus had it’s own sort of feel to it. So if I need a new feel or something different, I can just go to a different campus whenever.”
Rutgers University gave Aiyana all of the opportunities to branch out that she had been looking for all along. While some may not be immediately sold on becoming Scarlet Knights, a closer look into what the school has to offer can make anyone eager to come to Rutgers. The chance to try new things she normally would not have done before college were all possible thanks to her decision to become a Scarlet Knight.
Rutgers has provided me more and then some. I never expected that I would join a sorority. I never expected to meet the people I am now friends with. I found it amazing to meet people just like me. It’s really so different from high school, and when I look back I’m just like wow, there is no comparison. The people you meet, the things you learn, the beliefs and ideas – it’s just so different in college.”