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Engineering graduate’s aerospace career is ready for liftoff

After making his mark at the University as a member of the Rocket ’Canes launch team, contributing to three major projects, and playing club soccer, Alexander Ezzy has earned a degree in mechanical engineering and will be applying his innovative spirit and design skills to the aerospace industry.
Alexander Ezzy

Alexander John Ezzy, a graduating senior in the University of Miami College of Engineering, is ready for his career to take off. 

After growing up in Maine, Ezzy brought his passion for engineering, space, and team sports to the University, making significant contributions in all three areas. For instance, he was president and captain of men’s club soccer and a practice player for the Division 1 women’s soccer team, while also serving as a teaching assistant. 

Ezzy also has made his mark in the University’s aerospace engineering field as a contributing member to the Rocket ’Canes launch team. He served on the payload subteam, which was one of 69 teams nationwide competing in NASA’s 2023 Student Launch Challenge. The annual competition requires students to design, build, and fly a high-powered amateur rocket and scientific payload to an altitude between 4,000 and 6,000 feet.

As a mechanical engineering undergraduate, Ezzy also contributed to two research projects, as well as a senior design project, with guidance from his professors. In the materials lab, he worked with Xiangyang Zhou, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, to combine supercapacitors and carbon fiber composite material into a structural supercapacitor with applications to the aerospace, automotive, and electronic industry. For that project, Ezzy was honored with the first-place prize in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Southeast Regional EnergyTech University competition and the third-place prize in the national competition with students from more than 180 institutions. 

Ezzy also worked with Francesco Travascio, associate professor of biomedical engineering, in the bio-mechanics laboratory analyzing lower limb asymmetry in soccer players—focusing on the relationship between lower limb asymmetry, player position, and limb dominance. He also helped calibrate and test the system as a test subject and observer and aided in data acquisition across male and female subjects with varying ages, positions, and experience levels. The results of his project provided a foundation for designing position specific training programs to reduce limb asymmetry and injury for soccer players.

For his senior design project, Ezzy developed “Smart-Strike,” a sensor-integrated baseball bat, under the guidance of Giacomo Po, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. Recognizing a market need for less expensive equipment for youth and semi-professional players, Ezzy used 3D modeling to optimize the innovative baseball bat. Along the way, he created a neural network machine learning algorithm to classify impact frequency response into impact location and deliver the results with an easy-to-read format. 

When Ezzy presented Smart-Strike at the 2023 Senior Design Expo, a panel of engineering industry judges voted his project first place as best “Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Design Project,” second place as the “People’s Choice” favorite design project, and first place as the “Overall Best Senior Design Project” for 2023. 

“This summer, I will be starting as a mechanical design engineer at an aerospace launch company,” he said. “I feel grateful to have had the opportunity to connect with so many amazing people during my time at the University of Miami.”