“Seeing the possibilities” in a student-designed software

Celena Shepherd, Communications

May 17, 2023

This month, an Olsson-sponsored student design team took home the gold.

Working closely with Olsson’s Brian Orton, five University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) students developed an interactive application that automatically finds differences between computer-generated and real-world models. The software, which the students developed for Olsson, should increase project efficiency and enrich data of 3D structures.  

The students – Damien Niyonshuti, Devin McGuire, Jessica Chen, Harish Krishnappan, and Emmett Myers – completed the project through a program at UNL’s Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management's Design Studio. The program invites industry partners like Olsson to submit business challenges to 20 student teams who develop software solutions for complex problems.

The problem submitted by Brian and his Olsson colleagues may sound straightforward, but the technology didn’t exist before the UNL students went to work. They created custom algorithms and integrated multiple technical platforms to create the software.

“For Olsson, I hope this technology ends up being a tool that saves time for our people, makes their lives better, and helps us better serve our clients,” Brian said. “There’s something special about being on the front-end of a technology and seeing the possibilities. The students developed really great results and should be incredibly proud.”

Devin, a senior at the Raikes School, said he enjoyed tackling the challenge with new, complex technology.

“This project feels very leading edge and innovative,” Devin said. “It has really pushed me to learn and grow in my skills and I know it will carry with me into my future career.”

The Olsson student team was recognized as one of the top two teams – receiving the gold accolade – for its innovative work. The group got the opportunity to present its software solution with peers, professors, and industry partners at the Raikes School annual design showcase on May 5.

Team product manager and associate design studio senior Damien said the showcase was an exciting culmination of a year’s work.

“What I’m most proud of, is seeing something start as an idea become complete and fully functioning,” Damien said. “It’s really such an incredible experience to collaborate and be a part of.”