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Six students earn awards at college’s first virtual undergraduate research forum

Twenty-eight students presented their research at the eleventh annual Undergraduate Research Forum for Engineering and Architecture.

A video screenshot of McDonel overlays a research slide explaining red blood cells versus HBOCs.Second place winner Emily McDonel presented her research virtually using a pre-recorded video combined with slides.Hosted by Ohio State’s College of Engineering, Knowlton School of Architecture and Tau Beta Pi, the event welcomes students from all engineering and architecture disciplines to share their research, regardless of the stage of progress. Projects included research on an assessment tool for first-year engineering courses, improving electric vehicle battery performance, red blood cell substitutes and an unmanned air traffic management operations system [view the program to learn more].

This year marked the first virtual forum in the event’s history, with organizers, judges and presenters working to quickly transition from an in-person to a virtual experience due to mandatory event cancellations during the pandemic.

“Everyone involved remained dependable and willing to work through the challenges of this new event format to make it a success” said Forum Co-Chair Daniel McCormick, a fourth-year mechanical engineering major. “I would also like to congratulate all students who participated, as their continued engagement and enthusiasm for their research topics, even during remote learning, resulted in the many high-quality video presentations we received.”

Twenty-six faculty members and graduate students volunteered to serve as forum judges and assess the undergraduates’ presentations. The judges recognized six students for their exemplary research and presentation skills. Each winner received an Amazon gift card.

First place went to electrical and computer engineering major Andrew Palo for his project, “Kalman Filter for Noise Reduction in Aerial Vehicles using Echoic Flow.” His advisor is Inder Gupta, faculty emeritus of electrical and computer engineering.

“I chose to get into undergraduate research because of my dad. He is always pushing for me to challenge myself and every day I strive to be as amazing as he is,” said Palo. “My journey in undergraduate research has taught me to always persevere, and to always take that next step forward and challenge yourself.”

Food, agricultural and biological engineering major Emily McDonel received second place for her work on “Development of Hemoglobin-Based Oxygen Carriers (HBOCs) Through the Process of Co-Precipitation of Nanoparticles.” She is advised by Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Professor Andre Palmer.

Third place went to Marisa Lovell, a mechanical engineering major, for “Coupler System Design for Surgical Navigation in Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction.” She is advised by Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Professor Rob Siston.

Three students received honorable mentions: Mechanical engineering major Christopher Eubel for “Autonomy in Additive Manufacturing of Acoustic Metamaterials,” materials science and engineering major Allison Whitney for “Development of Textured Antireflective Coatings for Optical Path Length Enhancement in Solar Cells,” and aeronautical and astronautical engineering major Mikala Malkus for “An Application of Modal Decomposition to Supersonic Flow Over a Wall-Mounted Turret. Their advisors are Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Associate Professor David Hoelzle, Materials Science and Engineering Professor Tyler Grassman, and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Professor Datta Gaitonde, respectively.