From investigations into massive geological changes in Africa to studies of wastewater treatment processes and a proposal to use mobile devices to predict traffic patterns, research by dozens of graduate students at Missouri University of Science and Technology was on display last month. On Monday, March 7, Missouri S&T’s office of graduate studies recognized the top presentations during an awards banquet.
The university’s seventh annual Graduate Fellows Research Poster Session was held Feb. 22 in the Havener Center of Missouri S&T to showcase the research efforts of 50 students who are either Missouri S&T Chancellor’s Fellows or Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellows. “These are students who have proven their academic excellence and were selected for the fellowships through a very competitive process,” says Dr. Venkat Allada, vice provost for graduate studies.
During an awards banquet on Monday, March 7, the following six students were recognized for their outstanding research:
- Cory Reed of Union, Missouri, a Ph.D. student in geosciences and geological and petroleum engineering, was the first-place winner for his poster titled “Implications for Passive Rifting Through Thick Lithosphere in the Malawi Rift Zone from Mantle Transition Zone Discontinuity Depths and Travel-Time Residuals.” Reed is investigating the possible causes of a massive rift in Africa that is slowly splitting the continent.
- Michael Wisely of St. Louis, a Ph.D. student in computer science, was the second-place winner for his poster titled “Distributed Traffic Prediction.” Wisely’s research examines the possibility of creating a collaborative network of mobile devices to predict traffic conditions based on drivers’ travel habits.
- Kenneth Campbell of Rolla, a Ph.D. student in civil, architectural and environmental engineering, was one of two third-place winners for his poster titled “Oxygen Transfer in Activated Sludge Operating at Low DO: Effects of Mixing.” Campbell’s research looks at the role of oxygen transfer in wastewater treatment plants when the dissolved oxygen concentration is relatively low and examines the impact of mixing on oxygen transfer.
- George Shannon of Fenton, Missouri, a Ph.D. student in engineering management and systems engineering, was one of two third-place winners for his poster, “Automated Ontology Learning from Text.” Shannon’s research deals with developing new and less expensive approaches to computational intelligence for systems engineering applications.
- Erica Ronchetto of Chesterfield, Missouri, a Ph.D. student in materials science and engineering, received honorable mention for her poster, “Cyclic and Static Aging of Soda-Lime-Silicate Glass.” Ronchetto’s research compared the strength of thin soda-lime-silicate glass fibers under different conditions.
- Jordan Wilson of Rolla, a Ph.D. student in civil, architectural and environmental engineering, received honorable mention for his poster, “Phytoscreening: High Density, Low Cost.” Wilson’s research examined the impact of tree trunk diameter on removing contaminants from the ground through a process known as phytoforensics.
Faculty judges for this year’s program were Dr. Bonnie Bachman, professor of economics; Dr. Steven Corns, associate professor of engineering management and systems engineering; Dr. Richard Dawes, associate professor of chemistry; Dr. Garry Grubbs, assistant professor of chemistry; Dr. K. Krishnamurthy, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering; and Dr. Prakash Reddy, professor of chemistry.