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Product Design students help Generac see the light

Apr 5, 2022

For Sabrina Cameli ’22, the best part of her Product Design class’ collaborative project with Generac Power Systems was being able “to make a portable light tower as unique as our minds could fathom.”

The semester-long partnership sponsored by global innovator Generac provided students real-world experience that included in-depth market research, design concepting and

Josh Homesombath presents at Generac

visualization, full-scale prototypes and final models.

“The most exciting thing about the project was being able to communicate with users and [hear] their concerns with using a light tower on construction sites,” said Josh Homesombath ’22. “Knowing that Generac wanted to develop a compact, lightweight and affordable light tower for them, they were quite excited to be able see such a product be geared towards their field.”

Generac’s design team, led by Shane Harbour ’06, Senior Industrial Designer, provided input and mentoring to the students throughout the process.

“We brought this project to MIAD students because as alumni and Generac design leaders, Shane and I knew that our company would benefit from their innovative ideas and fresh approaches to our product,” said Casey Dougherty ’10, Generac’s Director of Innovation and Design. “And we were not disappointed! It was a rewarding experience for our team and for the students. We are proud to be able to help train and provide real-world experience to the product designers of tomorrow.”

“I was quite excited to be able to translate my 2D design sketches with the company, because it allowed me to see the perspective of how a company like Generac critiques and evaluates their product,” said Homesombath.

“It was an amazing opportunity to go through the design process and get professional feedback from the team and be able to create a product that would make a great addition to my portfolio,” said Cameli.

Light Tower models by MIAD Product Design students

Students made their final presentations to the Generac team in December 2021. Their work was judged by Generac and prizes awarded as follows:

  • First Place: Bart Kamyk – $1,000
  • Second Place: Lucas Hubert and Connor Sannito – $600 each
  • Third Place: Szymon Salamon and Emma Moratti – $400 each
  • Special Mention: David Soller, Jayson Jackson and Sabrina Cameli – $300 each

Students were also invited to the onsite display installation of the lighting at a Summerfest stage, one of the world’s largest music festivals, with complimentary tickets to an exclusive show.