Missouri S&T announces Undergraduate Research Conference winners

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On May 6, 2015

MissouriSTsignature-green-webThe winners of the 11th annual Undergraduate Research Conference have been announced at Missouri University of Science and Technology. The conference, which was held in mid-April, featured oral and poster exhibitions that represented nearly every major at Missouri S&T. Winners received a cash prize of $750. Second- and third-place finishers received $500 and $250, respectively.

At the event, over 100 Missouri S&T undergraduates presented their current research projects to the public. For a list of all the students who participated and their research abstracts, see ugs.mst.edu/experientiallearning/ugrc.

The following students won poster presentation awards.

Arts and humanities poster session:

First place – Rebekah Harrah, a senior in English from Rolla, Missouri, for research titled “Reading Comprehension Strategies in Chemistry 1.” The research advisor is Dr. Daniel Reardon, an assistant professor of English and technical communication.

Second place – Rachel Miller, a senior in computer engineering from Tulsa, Oklahoma, for research titled “Marcel Ayme’s Wartime Journalism.” The research advisor is Dr. Audra Merfeld-Langston, an assistant professor of French.

Third place – Kelly Dunlap, a senior in chemical engineering from Ballwin, Missouri, for research titled “Translating Knowledge: Bess, Migraines, and more from Diderot and d’Alembert’s Encyclopedie.” The research advisor is Dr. Audra Merfeld-Langston, an assistant professor of French.

Engineering poster session:

First place – Mason Donnell, a sophomore in chemical engineering from Willard, Missouri, for research titled “Endotoxin Purification Using Cationic Nanoparticles.” The research advisor is Dr. Sutapa Barua, an assistant professor of chemical and biochemical engineering.

Second place – Thomas Roth, a senior in computer engineering and electrical engineering from Weatherby Lake, Missouri, for research titled “Implementation of Robust Data Reduction Techniques to Rapid Millimeter Wave Imaging.” The research advisors are Dr. Kristen Donnell, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, Dr. Mohammad Ghasr, an assistant research professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Dr. Reza Zoughi, the Schlumberger Distinguished Professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Third place – Justin Hoyt, a senior in electrical engineering from New Haven, Missouri, for research titled “Multi-Coil Magneto – Inductive Communications for Wireless Sensor Networks.” The research advisor is Dr. Y. Rosa Zheng, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Research proposal poster session:

First place – Tyler Sundell, a senior in geology and geophysics from St. Robert, Missouri, for research titled “Confining the Data of the Decaturville Structure.” The research advisors are Dr. John Hogan, an associate professor of geology and geophysics, and Dr. Alan Chapman, an assistant professor of geology and geophysics.

Second place – Therese Galbraith, a junior in mechanical engineering from Holts Summit, Missouri, and Yahya Abu-Hijleh, a junior in aerospace engineering from Rolla, Missouri, for research titled “Micro Piezoelectric Windmill.” The research advisor is Dr. Lian Duan, an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.

Third place – Harriet Lumula, a senior in biological sciences from Rolla, Missouri, for research titled “Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria.” The research advisor is Dr. David Westenberg, an associate professor of biological sciences.

Sciences poster session:

First place – Seth Kitchen, a sophomore in aerospace engineering from O’Fallon, Missouri, for research titled “On the Existence of Perfect Cuboids.” The research advisor is Dr. Matt Insall, an associate professor of mathematics and statistics.

Second place – Alan Landers, a senior in chemistry from Gainesville, Missouri, for research titled “Sustainable Harvesting of Solar Energy via Photoelectrochemcial Water Splitting.” The research advisor is Dr. Jay Switzer, the Donald L. Castleman/FCR Endowed Professor of Discovery in Chemistry.

Third place – Isaac DiGennaro, a senior in chemistry from Holts Summit, Missouri, for research titled “Simple Method to Measure Ion Association in Strong Electrolyte Solutions.” The research advisor is Dr. Rex Gerald, a senior research scientist in chemistry.

Social sciences poster session:

First place – Conner Sprague, a senior in engineering management from Willard, Missouri, for research titled “Evaluation of Gamification Techniques in Social Media Environments.” The research advisors are Dr. Elizabeth Cudney, an associate professor of engineering management and systems engineering, and Dr. Susan Murray, a professor of engineering management and systems engineering.

Second place – Emily Puleo, a senior in chemistry from St. Louis, for research titled “A Microcontroller – Facilitated Complex Span Task for Examining the Effects of Background Music on Working Memory Capacity.” The research advisor is Dr. Rex Gerald, a senior research scientist in chemistry.

Third place – Lindsey Carlson, a junior in information science and technology from Republic, Missouri, for research titled “User Interfaces in a Collaborative Online Shopping Context.” The research advisor is Dr. Fiona Fui-Hoon Nah, a professor of business and information technology.

The following students won oral presentation awards.

Arts and humanities oral presentation:

First place – Emily Weigel, a senior in chemistry from Rolla, Missouri, for research titled “Marcel Ayme’s Wartime Journalism.” The research advisor is Dr. Audra Merfeld-Langston, an assistant professor of French.

Second place – Nelson Shreve, a senior in physics and philosophy from Waynesville, Missouri, for research titled “Causation: Hume’s Concern and Kant’s Response.” The research advisor is Dr. Joel Dittmer, an assistant professor of philosophy.

Third place was not awarded for this category.

Engineering oral presentation:

First place – Patrick Brennan, a junior in chemical engineering from St. Charles, Missouri, for research titled “Composite Aminosilica/Polymer Hollow Fiber Sorbents for Co2 Capture from Flue Gas.” The research advisors are Dr. Ali Rownaghi, an assistant research professor of chemical and biochemical engineering, and Dr. Fateme Rezaei, an assistant professor of chemical and biochemical engineering.

Second place – Cody Spratt, a senior in chemical engineering from Washington, Missouri, and Tong Mou, a senior in chemical engineering from Rolla, Missouri, for research titled “Dynamic Simulation of Entangled Polymers Undergoing Deformation.” The research advisor is Dr. Joontaek Park, an assistant professor of chemical and biochemical engineering.

Third place – Elizabeth Robinson, a junior in ceramic engineering from Las Vegas, Nevada, and Shannah Withrow, a senior in aerospace engineering from Odessa, Missouri, for research titled “Testing of Active Compressions – Decompression Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation.” The research advisor is Dr. Hank Pernicka, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.

Science oral presentation:

First place – Ashley Demster, a senior in chemistry from Rolla, Missouri, for research titled “Epitaxial Methylammonium Lead Iodine Perovskites for Inexpensive and Efficient Solar Harvesting.” The research advisor is Dr. Jay Switzer, the Donald L. Castleman/FCR Endowed Professor of Discovery in Chemistry.

Second place – Caleb Holtmeyer, a senior in chemistry from Owensville, Missouri, for research titled “Electrodeposition of Mercury Cadmium Telluride Nanorods.” The research advisor is Dr. Manashi Nath, an assistant professor of chemistry.

Third place – Reid Herndon, a senior in geology and geophysics from Paducah, Kentucky, for research titled “The Characterization of Soft Sediment Deformation in Hawkesbury Sandstone Shale Lenses South of Maroubra Beach.” The research advisor is Dr. John Hogan, an associate professor of geology and geophysics.

Social science oral presentation:

First place – Kelly Payton, a senior in psychological science from Owensville, Missouri, for research titled “The Trouble with Lying: An Empirical Study of the Interaction Between Agreeableness, Lie Type, and Counterproductive Workplace Behaviors.” The research advisor is Dr. Nathan Weidner, an assistant professor of psychological science.

Second place – Arielle Bodine, a senior in applied mathematics and economics from St. Charles, Missouri, for research titled “Putt for Show, drive for Off-Course Dough?” The research advisor is Dr. Michael Davis, an associate professor of economics.

Third place – Joseph Volpe, a senior in economics from St. Louis, for research titled “The Impact of Mid-season Super-Star Trades on NBA Attendance.” The research advisor is Dr. Michael Davis, an associate professor of economics.

The 2015-2016 OURE Fellows recipients are:

Natalie Holste, a sophomore in biological sciences from Romeoville, Illinois, for research titled “Synthetic Biology Approach to Making Drought Tolerant Bradyrhizobium japonicum.” The research advisor is Dr. David Westenberg, an associate professor of biological sciences.

Nicholas O’Gorman, a junior in mechanical engineering and electrical engineering from Manchester, Missouri, for research titled “Robotic Surveillance Spider.” The research advisor is Dr. Theresa Swift, an assistant teaching professor of electrical and computer engineering.

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