U.Va. Undergraduate Engineering Students to Present Research

April 28, 2010 — University of Virginia undergraduate engineering students are preparing to present research on topics that range from better medical care for injured soldiers through new applications of global positioning systems to improved statistical modeling for severe weather watches and warnings.

The 23rd annual Undergraduate Research Design Symposium will be held May 5 from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Dome Room of the Rotunda. A poster session and award reception will follow in the Wilsdorf Hall Atrium from 3:15 to 4:30 p.m.

Engineering School faculty members and industry representatives will judge the projects and present awards to first-, second- and third-place individual winners. One award will be given for the best team project.

"The Engineering School prides itself on offering undergraduates the opportunity to work alongside faculty members and graduate students in developing innovative research," said Barry Johnson, the school's associate dean for research. "This event demonstrates that U.Va. engineering students have seized this unique opportunity to gain firsthand experience in research and creatively develop new scientific and technical solutions to some of today's most pressing challenges."

The 2010 finalists:


• William Jacobs, engineering science and physics double major, "Dynamic Simulation of Energy Dissipation in Carbon Nanotubes"

• Chris Myers, systems engineering and applied math double major, "Stochastic Models of Severe Weather Watches and Warnings"

• Kathryn Ridder, mechanical engineering major, "Deformable Gel Phantom Design and Construction for Validating In Vivo MRI"

• Peter Bakkum, computer science and economics double major, "Accelerating SQL Database Operations in a GPU with CUDA"


• Brittany Aspinall, McKinsey Bond, Andee Olson, Erin Stoecker and Brittany Williams, systems engineering majors, "Supporting Food and Exercise Monitoring for Overweight and Obese Children"

• Ravi Katari, Ben Baker and Drew Harmata, biomedical engineering majors, "Multi-Cellular Microtissues Composed of Adipose-Derived Stem Cells and Human Microvascular Endothelial Cells"

• Fletcher Burns, Katherine Odegaard, Leah Register, Matthew Restivo, Alex Swindler and Robert Wiederecht, engineering science, electrical engineering, computer science, mechanical engineering majors, "SOS: Saving Our Soldiers - Combating Casualties through GPS and Modern Medicine"

• Sunit Mitra, Paul Winslow and Jim Yen, electrical engineering majors, "Wireless Mesh Network of Portable Devices Using VHF Radio Bands"

• Joe Bozzay, Diana Burk and Matthew Gillen, biomedical and neuroscience majors, "Design of a Catheter Implant for Controllable and Chronic Drug Release in the Medial Dorsal Thalamus to Treat Epilepsy"

• Tenzin Choden, Kristen Gruenther and Jenny Lee, biomedical engineering majors, "Incorporating Transcriptional Regulation into the Metabolic Reconstruction of the Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Pathogen"