Three Bedford Students Complete their Major Qualifying Project at WPI

May 13, 2024

Submitted by Worcester Polytechnic Institute

At Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), all undergraduates are required to complete a research-driven, professional-level project that applies science and technology to address an important societal need or issue. 

All graduating students must complete thesis work that is required as part of the university’s distinctive project-based educational experience. The Major Qualifying Project (MQP) is usually team-based and often focuses on very specific issues or needs of an organization that has partnered with the university to sponsor the student’s work.

Among the seniors competing an MQP are three from Bedford, including:

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  • Lauren Abraham (Biology and Biotechnology major) completed a project titled “Synthetic Genetic Circuit Function In Simulated Soil.”
  • Cole Parks (Computer Science and Robotics Engineering major) completed a project titled “FASTR: Flexible Articulating Surgical Transoral Robot.”
  • Cory Abraham (Mechanical Engineering major) completed a project titled “Design and Fabrication of a High-Impulse Testing Apparatus.”

“It’s inspiring to see the creativity and skills that our students bring to these projects, as well as the professionalism with which they present their research,” says Arne Gericke, interim dean of undergraduate studies and director of the Office of Undergraduate Research. “Their experience managing a major project like this-including identifying a problem and researching all of the implications and possible solutions while also managing team dynamics over an extended period of several months-sets them up well for success not only in their first jobs after graduation but throughout their careers.”

In addition to providing tangible work experience that proves valuable to employers, MQPs often lead to publications in peer-reviewed journals, presentations at regional and national conferences, patents, and entrepreneurial ventures. Others become useful innovations and products for their corporate sponsors.

Prior to their MQP, students complete an Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP), usually in their junior year, with a team of other students across disciplines. The projects may or may not relate to the students’ fields of study and are sponsored by organizations across the globe to give students real-world experience addressing problems that lie at the intersection of science and society. 

Learn more about WPI at

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