Students Anna Hempowicz. Miguel Madrid, and Kareem Saleh's NASA-sponsored research is getting a big assist from Omega Engineering donations to UB.

On a recent summer afternoon, University of Bridgeport (UB) mechanical engineering student Shikha Khutal peered into a hand-held device as its screen glowed purple, red, and orange. Where others might see an iridescent Rorschach test, Khutal saw thermal-imaging patterns displaying electronic images of temperature variations.

That, in turn, enabled Khutal so see the different ways that heat affects and penetrates different materials.

“I am conducting simulations using computer-based heat transfer software,” she explained. “To truly know that the simulation is correct, I must have experimental results that demonstrate those computer results are correct.”

Central to her work: a hand-held thermal-imaging camera that Omega Engineering recently donated to the University. It was part of a massive shipment of equipment given to benefit UB’s engineering laboratories, physical sciences departments, and outreach STEM programming.

“It’s a real bonanza,” said Senior Vice President for Graduate Studies and Research and School of Engineering Dean Dr. Tarek Sobh.

Shipped to UB in more crates and boxes to count, Omega’s donation included temperature controls, pressure and extraction sensors, electrical and mechanical systems, and other materials typically found in automation equipment.

“There’s no doubt that Omega Engineering’s generosity greatly benefits the University’s engineering laboratories, physical sciences departments, and outreach STEM programming,” Sobh said. “It creates new opportunities for our students to use state-of-the-art equipment and it complements the University’s ongoing robust research endeavors. I know that faculty and students are all most appreciative.”

To show Omega just how much the gift means to UB, Sobh and colleagues invited Omega Corporate Relations Manager Kathleen Kwiatkowski  to tour its engineering labs.

“Meeting the students at UB was an excellent experience,” Kwiatkowski said. “Their enthusiasm for learning is a great testament to the University. Omega looks forward to our continued support of the incredible youth at the University of Bridgeport.”

UB engineering majors Anna Hempowicz and Kareem Salah, along with Miguel Madrid from Wesleyan University, helped to welcome Kwiatkowski.

The three students are participating in USIP (Undergraduate Student Instrument Project), a NASA-sponsored project that involves high-altitude ballooning. As they showed off their work, they explained how they use cameras donated by Omega to conduct onboard payload experiments related to thermal imaging of the earth.

“It really provides them with hands-on experience and spurred ideas for many possible experiments,” Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Jani Pallis, who is advising the trio.

Omega Engineering, Inc. is one of four business segments of Spectris, a UK-based company with offices in more than 30 countries.

Media contact: Leslie Geary, (203) 576-4625,