Research Symposium Highlights Hot Topics in Science, Engineering and Math

Tuesday, November 06, 2018
Research symposium in student union

Students showcased their research projects at the 15th annual Undergraduate Research Symposium.

More than 30 students presented discoveries in science, engineering and math October 31 as part of the 15th annual Undergraduate Research Symposium at Rose-Hulman.

Research topics included an investigation of the pollutants in wetlands, a study on hormone therapy, and research on the selective attention and identifications of arithmetic incongruences in mixed visual and auditory tasks.

“It was a really cool experience because I was able to design my own experiment,” said Anna Braun. “Usually teachers pick out the experiments, but I had the opportunity to develop my own, which is really good experience in preparing me for graduate school.”

Braun, whose research focused on perovskite materials, is a senior chemistry and chemical engineering major and has spent the last two summers interning with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo. She was also named a Goldwater scholar in 2017.

Most of the projects resulted from the Rose-Hulman Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (R-SURF) program, which provides Rose-Hulman undergraduate students a chance to conduct interdisciplinary research in a supportive team environment and expand their knowledge about science and engineering principles.

“The project inspired creative thinking, which is something you need in industry,” said Madeline Crews, a senior math and economics major.

Rose-Hulman students presenting at this year’s symposium were:

Madison Muncie, senior biochemistry major, on “Sodium Bicarbonate as a Fungicide,” and “Determining Thermodynamic Properties of Riboswitch-ligand Binding Using Isothermal Titration Calorimetry and Fluorescence Spectroscopy” (project with faculty mentor Mark Brandt, professor of chemistry).

Xiaoxiao Wang, junior chemical engineering major, on “Characterizing Microplastic Degradation and Degradation Compounds in Simulated Marine Environments” (with faculty mentor Heather Chenette, assistant professor of chemical engineering).

Zhen (Carmen) Ni, senior chemistry and chemical engineering major, on “Investigation on Catalytic Coupling of Epoxides and Dry Ice Under Mild Conditions” (with faculty mentor Stephanie Poland, assistant professor of chemistry).

Alexander Lacrampe, senior biology major, on “Investigating the Growth and Dispersal of P. Fluorescens M3A in/from Model Sinks” (with faculty mentor Jennifer O’Connor, associate professor of biology).

Rachel Shubella, junior chemistry and chemical engineering major, on “Claisen/Dieckmann Condensation of Diethyl Succinate” (with faculty mentors Rebecca DeVasher, associate professor of chemistry and Mark Brandt, professor of chemistry).

Anna Braun, senior chemistry and chemical engineering major, on “Investigation of the Degradation of Methylammonium Lead Triiodide Perovskite Films for Use in Photovoltaics” (with faculty mentor Rebecca DeVasher, associate professor of chemistry).

Melanie Foreman, senior biology major, on “A Comparative Ecological Survey of the Tres Brazos Amphibian Species” (with Ryan King).

Logan Fenimore, junior chemistry and chemical engineering major, on “Formation of Porphyrin Nanowires Via β-Cyclodextrin-Adamantane Host-Guest Binding” (with Noah Beltrami and Janarthanan Jayawickramarajah).

Elliott Tong, sophomore chemical engineering major, on “Case Study of the Genus Ephedra Over Time” (with faculty mentor Rebecca DeVasher, associate professor of chemistry).

Hannah Rowe, senior biochemistry major, on “Toxicological Effects of Cisplatin, Paclitaxel, and Their Metabolites.”

J. Blake McLemore, senior chemistry major, on “Phthalates and Potentials Toxic Effects on Humans” (with faculty mentor Rebecca DeVasher, associate professor of chemistry).

Taylor Secrest, senior biochemistry major, on “Ecotoxicity of Nanoparticles,” and
”Peltier Freezing Apparatus” (with faculty mentor Luanne Tilstra, professor of chemistry).

Cameron Perl, junior electrical engineering major, on “MEMS Based Beam Steering for Holographic LIDAR Systems” (with Brandon Hellman, Joshua Rodriguez and Yuzuru Takashima).

R.A. Dunnagan, junior physics major, and K.M. Colledge, sophomore mechanical engineering major, on “Determining the Nature of Galactic Center Radio Source N3” (with faculty mentor D.A. Ludovici, visiting assistant professor of physics and optical engineering).

Students presenting posters highlighting their work were Joshua Arroyo, Jon-Michael Beasley, Ezra Brunner, Madeline Crews, Collin Diedrich, Katlyn Edwards, D.H. Hughes, Gavin La Rue, Hannah Levine, Qiuyun Li, Lucas Mihlbachler, Emma Morris, Hunter Schoenborn, Emily VanHavel, Bryly Shipman, Xin Tang, Braden Timberman, Zachary Watson, Joseph Veglak and Qishun Yu.