S&T’s Undergraduate Research Conference winners declared

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On April 29, 2014

MissouriSTlogo-green-web.pngThe winners of the 10th annual Undergraduate Research Conference at Missouri University of Science and Technology have been announced. The conference featured oral and poster exhibitions that represented a large section of majors.

On Wednesday, April 16, more than 100 S&T undergraduates presented their current research projects to the public. First-place winners in each category received a cash prize of $750. Second-place winners received $500 and third-place winners received $250.

For a complete list of students participating and their research abstracts, visit ugs.mst.edu/undergraduate/ugrc.

Oral presentation award winners, listed with their Missouri S&T faculty advisors, are listed below.

Arts and humanities session:

First place: Sophia Vojta, a sophomore in undergraduate studies from Rolla, Mo., for a project titled “What a Woman Is: Marianne and the Illusion of Representation in France.” Her research advisor is Dr. Audra Merfeld-Langston, assistant professor of French.

Second place: Anna Sakach, a sophomore in physics from Springfield, Ill., for a project titled “Hamlet’s Moral Double Bind.” Her research advisor is Dr. Kate Drowne, associate professor of English and technical communication.

Third place: Nelson Shreve, a senior in physics from Waynesville, Mo., for a project titled “Ivan’s Children: Suffering for the Infinite?” His research advisor is Dr. Joel Dittmer, assistant professor of philosophy.

Engineering session:

First place: Keith LeGrand, a senior in aerospace engineering from Kelso, Mo., for a project titled “Initial Relative Orbit Determination Using Multiple LOS Measurements and Gaussian Mixture Models.” His research advisors are Dr. Kyle DeMars, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and Dr. Henry Pernicka, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.

Second place: Clayton Buback, a senior in biological sciences from St. Charles, Mo., for a project titled “Precipitation of Porcine Hemoglobin by Nonionic Polymers.” His research advisor is Dr. Daniel Forciniti, professor of chemical and biochemical engineering.

Third place: Alexandra Slimmer, a senior in chemical engineering from Wildwood, Mo., for a project titled “General Thermodynamic Modeling of Gasification of Diverse Biomasses.” Her research advisors are Dr. Muthanna Al-Dahhan, chair and professor of chemical and biochemical engineering, and Dr. Gholamreza Zahedi, visiting assistant teaching professor of chemical and biochemical engineering.

Sciences session:

First place: Alan Landers, a senior in chemistry from Gainesville, Mo., for a project titled “Sustainable Harvesting of Solar Energy Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting.” His research advisor is Dr. Jay A. Switzer, the Donald L. Castleman/Foundation for Chemical Research Endowed Professor of Discovery in chemistry.

Second place: Katrina Ward, a senior in computer science from Yukon, Mo., for a project titled “Publishing Big Trajectory Data with Privacy Preservation.” Her research advisor is Dr. Dan Lin, assistant professor of computer science.

Third place: Melissa Buechlein, a senior in environmental engineering from St. Louis, for a project titled “Skin Uptake of Gas Phase Methamphetamine: Effect of Clothing.” Her research advisor is Dr. Glenn Morrison, professor of environmental engineering.

Social science session:

First place: Samantha Kempker, a senior in psychological science from Jefferson City, Mo., for a project titled “College-Student use of Protective Behavioral Strategies on the Missouri S&T Campus: A Review of Previous Research and Directions for Future Research.” Her research advisor is Dr. Amber Henslee, assistant professor of psychological science.

Poster presentation award winners, listed with their Missouri S&T faculty advisors, are listed below.

Arts and humanities session:

First place: Ashley Koesterer, a senior in business and management systems from St. Louis, for a project titled “The Branding and Quality of Coffee.” Her research advisors are Dr. Cassie Elrod, assistant professor of business and information technology, and Dr. Sarah Stanley, assistant professor of business and information technology.

Engineering session:

First place: Michaela Kuzara, a senior in ceramic engineering from Rolla, Mo., for a project titled “The Effect of Composition and Structure on the Dissolution Rates in Water of Alkali-Alkaline Earth Borate Glasses.” Her research advisors are Dr. Richard Brow, Curators’ Professor of ceramic engineering, and Kathryn Goetschius, a Ph.D. student in materials science and engineering.

Second place: Amanda Holmes, a senior in applied mathematics from Rolla, Mo., for a project titled “Natural Systems to Treat Toxins: Mass Removal of Chlorinated Solvents.” Her research advisor is Dr. Joel Burken, professor of environmental engineering.

Third place: Emily Dierkes, a senior in mechanical engineering from St. Louis, and John Schaefer, a senior in aerospace engineering from St. Louis, for a project titled “Applications of Active Aeroelastic Wing Technology.” Their research advisor is Dr. Kakkattukuzhy Isaac, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.

Research proposal:

First place: Abagail Campbell, a sophomore in biological sciences from Rolla, Mo., for a project titled “Characterization of Biomass-Degrading Acidophilic Microorganisms in Red Lake.” Her research advisor is Dr. Melanie Mormile, professor of biological sciences.

Second place: Alex Bertels, a senior in computer science from Dorsey, Ill., for a project titled “Automated Red Teaming and Remediation Tool.” His research advisor is Dr. Daniel Tauritz, associate professor of computer science.

Third place: Lauren Anderson, a junior in biological science from Columbia, Mo., for a project titled “Serotonin Synthesis via Tryptophan-Producing E. Coli.” Her research advisors are Dr. Katie Shannon, associate teaching professor of biological sciences, and Dr. David Westenberg, associate professor of biological sciences.

Sciences session:

First place: Samuel Turpin, a senior in applied mathematics from Jefferson City, Mo., for a project titled “Statistical Methods for Detection of Differential Methylation in Human Disease Studies.” His research advisor is Dr. Gayla Olbricht, assistant professor of mathematics and statistics.

Second place: Nathaniel Kamrath, a senior in computer science from Newburgh, Ind., for a project titled “Adaptive Selection Operators in Evolutionary Algorithms.” His research advisor is Dr. Daniel Tauritz, associate professor of computer science.

Third place: Justin Beltz, a senior in chemistry from St. Charles, Mo., for a project titled “The Neuroprotective Effects of the Novel Thiol Antioxidant, N-acetylcysteineamide (NACA), on SH-SY5Y Neuroblastoma Cells.” His research advisor is Dr. Nuran Ercal, the Richard K. Vitek/Foundation for Chemical Research Endowed Chair in biochemistry.

Social science session:

First place: Natasha Stoneking, a senior in psychological science from Kearney, Mo., for a project titled “Generalization of Stereotype Threat Interventions in Women.” Her research advisor is Dr. Brandi Klein, assistant professor of psychological science.

The following students, listed with their Missouri S&T faculty advisors, were selected to be 2014-15 Opportunities for Undergraduate Research Experiences Fellows:

Adrian Black, a senior in biological sciences from Rolla, Mo., for a project titled “Quorum Sensing in Bradyrhizobium Japonicum.” Her research advisor is Dr. David Westenberg, associate professor of biological sciences.

Anthony Bitar, a freshman in biological sciences from Rolla, Mo., and Caleb Trecazzi, a junior in chemistry from Kansas City, Mo., for a project titled “Effects of B3 Bioactive Glass Length on in Vivo Angiogenesis.” Their research advisors are Dr. Delbert Day, Curators’ Professor Emeritus of ceramic engineering, and Ali Mohammadkhah, a Ph.D. student in materials science and engineering.

Rachel Connell, a senior in biological sciences from St. James, Mo., for a project titled “Antibacterial Properties of Metal Doped Glass.” Her research advisor is Dr. David Westenberg, associate professor of biological sciences.

Valentine Hollingsworth, a senior in chemical engineering from Rolla, Mo., for a project titled “Thermodenuder Penetration and Volatile Component Removal Study: Investigation of Improvements and Their Implementation.” His research advisor is Dr. Philip Whitefield, interim vice provost for academic affairs and professor of chemistry.

Sean Howell, a junior in information science and technology from Rolla, Mo., for a project titled “Factors that Influence Usability and Effectiveness of a Performance Dashboard: A Case Study.” His research advisor is Dr. Bih-Ru Lea, associate professor of business and information technology.

Montana Long, a sophomore in information science and technology from Platte City, Mo., for a project titled “Enterprise Mobility Strategy: How Marketing Factors Improve Customer Relationship Management.” Her research advisor is Dr. Bih-Ru Lea, associate professor of business and information technology.

Justin Lovelady, a senior in biological science from St. Peters, Mo., for a project titled “Biofilm Formation and the Antibacterial Properties of Silicon Nitride and Other Biomaterials.” His research advisor is Dr. David Westenberg, associate professor of biological sciences.

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