Partnership with Quad gives mechanical engineering seniors real-world experience in sustainable manufacturing

Quad UG project
(L-R) Ramon Santos, Ryan DeLoge (Quad), Ryan Donald, Manav Menon, Mohamed Yahiaoui, and Jared Raczka.

A recent collaboration between Quad’s Packaging Division and UWM’s College of Engineering & Applied Science connected four mechanical engineering undergraduate students with a real-world project in sustainable manufacturing.

For their senior design capstone project, the students – Ryan Donald, Manav Menon, Jared Raczka and Raymon Santos —helped evaluate a pilot reverse osmosis water reduction project in Quad’s Franklin, WI, facility. By the end of the capstone, they developed plans to improve the efficiency of the company’s reverse osmosis systems and processes and recommended additional steps to reduce Quad’s water consumption. 

Donald, who has studied both sustainability and mechanical engineering, was excited to work with a company committed to responsible consumption and production. “This project was a great experience and everyone at Quad was helpful and knowledgeable about the process,” he said.

Quad mentors who supported the students along the way included Ted Tracy, engineer, and Ryan Endthoff, mechatronics apprentice, both of whose engineering expertise and enthusiasm in working with the students drove the project.

“We were honored at the opportunity to work with UWM students,” said Ryan DeLoge, Quad’s social responsibility and engagement specialist. The students’ plans and recommendations, he said, will help achieve Quad’s Packaging Division’s goals.

All students in the course execute and present an industrial project that involves new product design, product improvement, failure analysis and resolution, product design changes necessitated by manufacturing process changes or other similar endeavors, explains Mohamed Yahiaoui, PhD, lecturer, mechanical engineering. They work in small teams and collaborate with sponsors and college faculty.

“The students collaborate with practicing engineers as they solve open-ended problems,” Yahiaoui says. “They hone their written and oral communication skills, satisfy competing objectives, and are exposed to ethical, environmental and legal issues—all of which are important to succeed in the workplace.”  

According to DeLoge, the company intends to replicate “all the great work” created through this partnership in their other packaging facilities and help the packaging division meet its 2025 goal of reducing annual water consumption by 5 percent.

For information on partnering with the College of Engineering & Applied Science, contact Mike Andrew, director of corporate relations: andrewmg@uwm.edu or 414-251-8313.