Pantastic - 5 Guys One Capstone Project; The Burden of Cultivating a Professional Online Persona: How Our Social Media Presence Affects Our Professional Image and Employment Opportunities

Forrester, Thomas, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Powell, Harry, EN-Elec/Computer Engr Dept, University of Virginia
Ferguson, Sean, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

Leaving kitchen appliances unattended while cooking is one of the most common causes of kitchen-related fires and deaths. Many individuals lead a busy lifestyle and are constantly multitasking to get all of their important tasks completed. Oftentimes, individuals will attempt to multitask while they are cooking and inadvertently leave their kitchen appliances on and unattended for an extended period. To mitigate this issue, in my capstone project, my team and I developed and constructed a device called Pantastic.
Pantastic is an internet of things (IoT) kitchen safety device that can detect and alert users if their kitchen appliances have remained at an unsafe temperature for an extended period. Pantastic is wall-mounted and uses a non-contact infrared (IR) temperature sensor controlled by a microcontroller to record the temperature of a kitchen appliance. The temperature is recorded and sent to a website via Wi-Fi where the user can see a real-time graph of the current and previous temperatures recorded by the device. To alert users and surrounding agents of dangerous temperatures, the device uses a piezo buzzer and an LED array to provide sensory alert signals. With the creation of Pantastic, users can multitask in the kitchen without the fear of forgetting to turn off their kitchen appliances before it is too late.

My STS research thesis explores how employers have begun to screen current and potential employees’ social media accounts. As a result of this practice, it has become imperative for individuals to be aware of the things they post online and understand how the posts they make could impact their current and future job opportunities. As it currently stands, there are no laws or regulations preventing employers from screening social media accounts. However, is it truly fair for employers to judge employees and candidates for the content they post online? How does this process hurt candidates? Can this process be beneficial for both the employer and the employee? My STS research paper discusses the practice of social media screening and shows how it can be both good and bad for all parties involved. In addition, it discusses what the future may hold for the practice of social media screening.

Overall, my capstone project taught me how to work with a team to conceptualize, design, construct, and test a device. My team and I were successful in creating a device that can mitigate kitchen related-fires. My STS research project taught me to be mindful of the content I post online and showed the positive and negative effects of social media screening by employers.
I would like to thank my capstone team members, Andrew Tam, Kai Wong, Noal Zyglowicz, and Tyler Hendricks for their hard work and support in the completion of our technical project.
I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to Dr. Harry C. Powell Jr. for his guidance and support throughout my capstone project. Without his help, my team and I would not have been successful in the completion of our project.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Temperature, Infrared Sensor, Kitchen Safety, Internet of Things (IoT), Social Media, Social Media Screening, Online Persona

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering
Technical Advisor: Harry Powell
STS Advisor: Sean Ferguson
Technical Team Members: Andrew Tam, Kai Wong, Noal Zyglowicz, Tyler Hendricks

Issued Date: