Impact Award, Fall 2022
Rocco Francone chose mechanical engineering systems as his major based on his desire to apply mathematics and science to a variety of innovative options provided by mechanical systems and their components.
Francone realized that he was on the right path for himself when he was enrolled in computer-aided drafting and design, or CADD, and solid modeling courses.
“I became heavily invested in the design aspect of mechanical engineering systems,” Francone says. “I knew that this area was something that I wanted to prioritize as I learned more about concepts and fundamentals from other classes.”
One professor that was instrumental in Francone’s growth as a student in the Fulton Schools was Associate Professor Changho Nam.
“He provided much insight into my understanding of engineering design and its application to a variety of real-world examples,” Francone says. “Despite the difficulty of the concepts presented in his lectures, [Dr. Nam] was easy-going and encouraged me to ask more questions and take on more opportunities that were presented to me by my major.”
Francone was surprised about the amount of teamwork and coordination that was associated with different mechanical engineering systems projects.
“It was interesting to collaborate with others and utilize different experiences and insights to complete project goals,” he says. “Getting out there, meeting new people and working toward a goal helps develop new experiences that can shape an engineer.”
A memorable opportunity to collaborate was during Francone’s capstone project, which he completed in the spring 2022 semester.
“Collaborating with Discount Tire, my team utilized our knowledge of mechanical engineering and materials to develop a solution capable of removing tape weight residue from tires,” he says. “When we presented our solution at Innovation Showcase, it truly felt like a personal accomplishment.”
Francone says that once he has many years of experience in his field, he aspires to help others in the long term.
“I would enjoy taking on a mentoring role to help teach others how to navigate through the larger engineering environment and find an area of focus,” he says.
Engineering has changed Francone’s life by making him more considerate of the processes that engineers undertake to solve problems.
“Being more analytical of how individuals understand the issue at hand and work toward creating a solution is an important characteristic of engineering,” he says. “Developing and improving products leads to greater quality for consumers and workers alike.”