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ABS Group Sponsors University of Houston Engineering Seniors for Capstone Project

December 14, 2020

This year ABS Group proudly sponsored engineering seniors at the University of Houston (UH) for their Capstone Design project. Advised by Cyber Engineers Keon McEwen and Harshal Patil, these soon-to-be graduates hosted a demonstration of their custom built rudder-propeller control system, which will serve as a testbench for cybersecurity purposes. The UH group of seniors (pictured from right to left) include Ryan Miles, Daniella Quevedo, Sean Schuepbach and Joshua Frenchwood.

"The idea was to come up with a model that could be a prototype for what we see on actual vessels. We envisioned creating a propeller and rudder model that could be useful in a cyber-attack scenario," said Patil. "Sean and Joshua acted as the electrical engineers while Ryan and Danielle acted as the mechanical engineers. Their presentation showcases all of the amazing work that was done."

UH seniors Ryan Miles, Daniella Quevedo, Sean Schuepbach, and Joshua Frenchwood
*This photo was taken pre-COVID-19 restrictions.

The first semester was spent brainstorming and designing, while the second semester was used to physically create the model. There was a fixed timeframe, budget, modeling instructions and desired functions required for the capstone to be completed. "We designed this system keeping cybersecurity in mind. We left some vulnerabilities open so that this project can be developed further in the future," said Frenchwood. "When we pass it on, cybersecurity engineers should actually be able to work on it."

The capstone project was a success with the future engineers gaining valuable experience. "Working with ABS Group taught me a lot about the maritime industry and the standards that are expected," stated Miles.

Schuepbach added, "Being in a multidisciplinary environment was a new experience altogether and Keon and Harshal were helpful in making sure we stayed on track."

"I went into engineering because of the endless opportunities," expressed Quevedo. "I'm looking forward to getting out into the world and incorporating everything I've learned."



About ABS Group

ABS Group of Companies, Inc. (, through its operating subsidiaries, provides technical advisory and certification services to support the safety and reliability of high-performance assets and operations in the oil, gas and chemical, power generation, marine, offshore and government sectors, among others. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, ABS Group operates with more than 1,000 professionals globally. ABS Group is a subsidiary of ABS (, a leading marine and offshore classification society.

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