Rose Research Fellows Completes Its Inaugural Year with Culminating Symposium Poster Session

Friday, May 10, 2024
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Fifteen Rose-Hulman students were selected to be among the inaugural cohort of the Rose Research Fellows program. The students will celebrate their success with a symposium poster session on May 15 in the Kahn Room of the Mussallem Student Union.

Last fall, Rose-Hulman launched Rose Research Fellows, a unique program designed to give students the opportunity to conduct research and make meaningful connections with faculty during their first and second years on campus. Fifteen Rose students were selected to be among the inaugural cohort out of more than 100 applications received. The students will celebrate their success with a symposium poster session on May 15 at 12 p.m. in the Kahn Room of the Mussallem Student Union. 

Rose Research Fellows provides face-to-face classes, paid research experience and opportunities to develop a network with faculty and fellow students. Incoming and current first-year students may apply to the program.

“It’s been great to work with all the students and see their excitement about research at the start of their academic careers,” said Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering Irene Reizman, PhD. Reizman is also the Alfred R. Schmidt Endowed Chair for Excellence in Teaching and created the Rose Research Fellows program. “They really want to be engaged with these topics and be a part of the research community.” 

The first cohort of Rose Research Fellows spent the fall evaluating research ideas and identifying faculty mentors, while actively working on their research in the winter and spring quarters. The cohort also had opportunities to attend virtual speaker events with Rose alumni. The first event featured Erin Gawron-Hyla (chemistry, 1999), a research chemist at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and a workforce development lead for the Department of Defense Microelectronics Commons. Fellows also heard from Andrew Milluzzi (software and computer engineering, 2012), an imaginer at Walt Disney World who works in ride control systems.

Rose Research Fellow Taylor Donen, a first-year biomedical engineering major, worked in the biomaterials lab and focused her research on the synthesis and characterization of bioglass-based bone cement, which can be used as an alternative to plates and screws for bone fractures. The cement is a safer alternative for patients and can decrease recovery time. She worked on determining the mechanical, chemical and physical properties of the cement, which are all important to understand for its future application in the medical field. 

Donen was interested in pursuing research early in her undergraduate career to help her determine if it was something she wanted to pursue long-term as a career.

“I knew I was interested in research, even though I was majoring in engineering, because I wanted to discover new things and contribute in a way no one else has before. … I wanted to create my own path,” said Donen. “It was really cool to work on projects that have a meaningful impact.”

She describes being part of the inaugural cohort of Rose Research Fellows as “trailblazing” and hopes her experience will benefit students in the future. 

Jeremy Bergman, a first-year student majoring in engineering design, applied to be a Rose Research Fellow to dig deeper into topics of interest that his coursework may not explore. Specifically, he is interested in bio-inspired design and looking for ways to combine knowledge from nature and engineering. His research project examined whether there was a difference in grippers with beetle-derived geometries compared to industrial geometries, such as those used in robotic arms, and how successful each was in picking up a variety of objects.

Through the program, Bergman learned the specifics of how to conduct research and the importance of research in expanding scientific knowledge.

“The classes [I took as a Rose Research Fellow] were helpful in getting my research started in an organized way … and the individual research project gave me a lot of flexibility to explore my personal interests,” said Bergman. 

Reizman believes the Rose Research Fellows program illustrates the unique advantages that Rose-Hulman offers students.

“With Rose-Hulman’s focus on undergraduate education and the smaller size of our campus, it allows students to have an opportunity to work directly with faculty on research. That’s not always possible with other schools,” said Reizman. 

The following is a list of Rose Research Fellows, their research topic and faculty advisor.

  • Catherine Arrandale — “The Effect of Antibiotic on the Mechanical Properties of PMMA Bone Cement” (faculty: Renee Rogge, biomedical engineering)
  • Jeremy Bergman — “Mechanical Applications of Anterior Appendages in Beetles in Grasping and Controlling Objects” (faculty: Patsy Brackin, engineering design)
  • Jacob Cross — “Predictive Modeling with Kalman Filter for Enhanced Drone Tracking” (industry project: Pierce Aerospace)
  • Helena Donaldson — “Software Requirement Engineering: Perspective Changes Over Education and Career Path” (faculty: Ben Jelen, computer science and software engineering)
  • Taylor Donen — “Synthesis and Characterization of Bioglass-based Cement used for Orthopedic Applications” (faculty: Adel Alhalawani, biomedical engineering)
  • Hank Helmers — Data surveying tool (faculty: Robert Williamson, biomedical engineering and computer science)
  • Luis Antonio Hernandez Aguirre — “Heterogeneous Robot Collaboration” (faculty: Carlotta Berry, electrical and computer engineering)
  • Medhansh Khattar — “Use of Self-Organized Criticality in Mitigating Systemic Risk” (faculty: Wayne Tarrant, mathematics)
  • Daniel Leverett — “Challenges of Informational Asymmetry: Solving Games Marked by Both Incomplete and Imperfect Information” (faculty: Ian Ludden, computer science and software engineering)
  • Benjamin Myers — “Atomistic Modeling of Lithium-ion Batteries and Beyond” (faculty: Daniel Hashemi, physics and optical engineering)
  • Cesar Osornio — “Development of an Indirect Pendulum Thrust Stand for Electric Propulsion Engine Testing” (faculty: Ben Mertz, mechanical engineering)
  • Alexa Renner — “Braids on the Stranded Cellular Automata Model” (faculty: Josh Holden, mathematics)
  • Preksha Sarda — “Design of Photonic Crystals for Early Cancer Detection” (faculty: Hossein Alisafaee, physics and optical engineering)
  • Hayden Simmons — “Ground-based Follow up of Exoplanet Candidates via Photometric Detection of Transits” (faculty: Elizabeth Melton, physics and optical engineering)
  • Chong-Yi (Charlie) Su — “Lumerical INTERCONNECT Simulation of Non-Hermitian Ring Laser Gyroscope at Exceptional Points” (faculty: Azad Siahmakoun, physics and optical engineering)