Sigma Xi Awards in Engineering and Science

Michael Gennert delivers the 2008 keynote address.

2008 Research Awards

Keynote Address

Michael Gennert, head of WPI's Computer Science Department, delivered the keynote address on process of creating WPI's new undergraduate major program in robotics engineering.

Major Qualifying Project

  • Neal Orman, Computer Science, GPU Optimization of an Existing Free-Viewpoint Video System. Advisor: Robert Lindeman.

M.S. Thesis

  • Paola Pinzon-Arango, Chemical Engineering, Investigating the Effects of Cranberry Juice on the Physicochemical Properties of Escherichia Coli for the Prevention of Urinary Tract Infections. Advisor: Terri Camesano.

Ph.D. Dissertation

  • Kai Zeng, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Opportunistic Routing in Multihop Wireless Networks: Capacity, Energy Efficiency, and Security. Advisor: Wenjing Lou

Junior Faculty Researcher

  • Neil T. Heffernan, Computer Science

The Sigma Xi Outstanding Junior Faculty Researcher Award is given to Professor Neil Heffernan for his outstanding work in intelligent tutoring systems, artificial intelligence, and learning sciences.

Senior Faculty Researcher

  • Yi Hua Ma, Chemical Engineering

The Sigma Xi Outstanding Senior Faculty Researcher Award is given to Professor Yi Hua Ma for his outstanding work in the synthesis, characterization and industrial applications of composite Pd and Pd-alloy-porous stainless steel membranes for hydrogen separation and production applications.

Eric Overstrom delivers the 2007 keynote address.

2007 Research Awards

Keynote Address

Eric Overstrom, head of WPI's Biology and Biotechnology Department, delivered the keynote address at the 2007 Sigma Xi awards and induction ceremony.

Major Qualifying Project

  • Lori A. Ferris, Chemistry & Biochemistry, "Surface Inhibited Nucleation - A New Method for the Selective Growth of Stable Drug Polymorphs."  Advisor: Venkat Thalladi
  • Diana M. Otalvaro-Gutierrez, Chemical Engineering, "Numerical Studies of Zinc Oxide Synthesis Via Physical Vapor Transport."  Advisor: Jennifer Wilcox
  • Joshua A. Strauss, Chemical Engineering, "Inhibition of Staphylococcus Epidermidis Adhesion Using Self-assembled Monolayers." Advisor: Terri Camesano

M.S. Thesis 

  • Arzu Atabek Chemical Engineering, "Investigating Bacterial Outer Membrane Polymers and Bacterial Interactions with Organic Molecules Using Atomic Force Microscopy." Advisor: Terri Camesano

Ph.D. Dissertation

  • Mahmut Engin Ayturk, Chemical Engineering, "Synthesis, Annealing Strategies and Characterization for Thermally Stable Composite Thin Pd/Ag Alloy Membranes for Hydrogen Separation." Advisor: Yi Hua Ma
  • Kevin G. Cornwell, Biomedical Engineering, "Collagen and Fibrin Biopolymer Microthreads for Bioengineered Ligament Regeneration." Advisor: George Pins

Junior Faculty Researcher

  • Berk Sunar, Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Sigma Xi Outstanding Junior Faculty Researcher Award is given to Professor Berk Sunar for his outstanding work in applied cryptography.

Senior Faculty Researcher 

  • Elke A. Rundensteiner, Computer Science

The Sigma Xi Outstanding Senior Faculty Researcher Award is given to Professor Elke Rundensteiner for her outstanding work in databases, information and software systems, as well as large-scale information visualization and discovery.

2006 Research Awards

Major Qualifying Project

  • Nicole J. Labbe, Chemical Engineering, "Ab Initio Studies of Cyclohexane Adsorption in Zeolites." Advisor: Jennifer Wilcox
  • Deanna L. Wolfson, Physics, and Helen A. Hanson, Physics, "Vertically Integrated Laser Radar Images: Performance and Analysis." Advisor: Germano S. Iannacchione

M.S. Thesis

  • Rebecca J. Rodenhiser, Mechanical Engineering, "An Ultrasound Method for Aircraft Wake Vortex Detection." Advisors: William W. Durgin, Hamid Johari

Ph.D. Dissertation

  • Federico Guazzone, Chemical Engineering, "Engineering of Substrate Surface for the Synthesis of Ultra-Thin Composite Pd and Pd-Cu Membranes for H2 Separation." Advisor: Yi Hua Ma

Junior Faculty Researcher

  • Edward A. Clancy, Electrical and Computer Engineering
    The Sigma Xi Junior Faculty Research Award is given to Edward A. Clancy in recognition of his contributions to electromyographic signal processing, instrumentation and analysis.
  • Cosme Furlong-Vazquez, Mechanical Engineering
    The Sigma Xi Junior Faculty Research Award is given to Cosme Furlong-Vazquez in recognition of his research on the development and dissemination of optoelectronic measurement methodologies with special emphasis on advancement of the emerging field of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS).

Senior Faculty Researcher

  • Gretar Tryggvason, Mechanical Engineering
    The Sigma Xi Senior Faculty Research Award is given to Gretar Tryggvason in recognition of his leadership in the development of numerical methods for flows with moving phase boundaries and pioneering the use of direct numerical simulations to study complex multiphase systems.

2005 Research Awards

Major Qualifying Project

  • Alexi M. Girgis, Physics, "Magnetotransport Calculations with the FEM." Advisor: L. Ramdas Ram-Mohan

M.S. Thesis

  • Ying Yang, Chemistry & Biochemistry, "Mechanism of Metal Delivery and Binding to Transmembrane Sites of Cu-transporting ATPases." Advisor: Jose Arguello

Ph.D. Dissertation

  • Erica C. Henning, Biomedical Engineering and Joint PhD Program in Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics, "NMR Characterization of Pathological Disease States: Monitoring Response to Single Dose Radiotherapy in a RIF-1 Tumor Model and the Role of Cortical Spreading Depression in the Evolution of Ischemic Stroke." Co-advisors: Karl G. Helmer, Christopher Sotak

Junior Faculty Researcher

  • Terri A. Camesano, Chemical Engineering
    The Sigma Xi Junior Faculty Research Award is given to Professor Camesano in recognition of her research in determining the adhesion forces of bacteria on surfaces with a goal of identifying the kinds of surfaces that can be made to minimize the formation of biofilms and bacterial colonialization.

Senior Faculty Researcher

  • L. Ramdas Ram-Mohan, Physics
    The Sigma Xi Senior Faculty Research Award is given to Professor Ram-Mohan in recognition of his development of the finite element method as an invaluable calculational tool in the fields of quantum mechanics, solid state and semiconductor physics, and for the international pre-eminence that he has earned for this work.

2004 Research Awards

Major Qualifying Project

  • Patrick Groulx, Mathematical Sciences, "Free Boundary Problems Arising from Cell Motility Models." Advisor: Professor Roger Y. Lui
  • Jill Pouliot, Ian Walton, Matthew Nolen-Parkhouse, Chemical Engineering, "A Fundamental Study of Microbial Adhesion." Advisor: Terri A. Camesano
  • Punit Prakash, Christian Salini, John Tranquilli, Electrical and Computer Engineering: "Adaptive Whitening in Electromyogram Amplitude Estimation for Epoch-Based Applications." Advisors: Edward A. Clancy, Donald R. Brown
  • Meghan Smith, Chemical Engineering, "Determination of Material Properties of Block Copolymer Solid-State Electrolytes." Advisor: Ravindra Datta

M.S. Thesis

  • Ray Emerson IV, Chemical Engineering, "Microbial Adhesion to Medical Implant Materials: An Atomic Force Microscopy Study." Advisor: Terri A. Camesano

Ph.D. Dissertation

  • Nehal Ibrahim Abu-Lail, Chemical Engineering: "The Effect of Biopolymer Properties on Bacterial Adhesion: An Atomic Force Microscopy Study" Advisor: Terri A. Camesano

Junior Faculty Researcher

  • José M. Argúëllo, Chemistry & Biochemistry
    The Sigma Xi Junior Faculty Research Award is given for his remarkable investigations of metal transport across cell membranes which have significant implications in the areas of health and the environment.
  • Germano S. Iannacchione, Physics
    The Sigma Xi Junior Faculty Research Award is given for his discovery of novel methods for investigating phase transitions in liquid crystals and for his leadership in the area of microcalorimetry.

Senior Faculty Researcher

  • Ryszard J. Pryputniewicz, Mechanical Engineering
    The Sigma Xi Senior Faculty Research Award is given in recognition for his worldwide preeminence in the field of holographic metrology and for his innovative applications of holography to engineering.

2003 Research Awards

M.S. Thesis

  • Virendra Warke, Materials Engineering, "Mathematical Modeling and Computer Simulations for the Rotary Degassing of Molten Aluminum: Inclusions and Hydrogen Removal Process." Advisor: Makhlouf Makhlouf

Ph.D. Dissertation

  • John S. Benco, Chemistry, "The Rational Design and Synthesis of Ionophores and Fluoroionophores for the Selective Detection of Monovalent Cations." Advisor: Grant McGimpsey
  • Michiel Nijemeisland, Chemical Engineering, "Influences of Catalyst Particle Geometry on Fixed-Bed Reactor Near-Wall Heat Transfer Using CFD." Advisor: Anthony Dixon

2002 Research Awards

M.S. Thesis

  • Amanda Kight, Biomedical Engineering, "Optimization of a Technique for Phosphorescence Lifetime Imaging of Oxygen Tension in the Mouse Retina." Advisor: Ross D. Shonat

Ph.D. Dissertation

  • Arjan Giaya, Chemical Engineering, "CVOCs (Chlorinated Volatile Organic Compounds) Adsorption on Hydrophobic Porous Materials and Thermodynamics of Confined Water." Advisor: Robert W. Thompson

2001 Research Awards

M.S. Thesis

  • Andrea Hera, Mechanical Engineering, "Development of Wavelet-Based Techniques for Structural Health Monitoring and System Identification." Advisor: Zhikun Hou

Ph.D. Dissertation

  • Christopher Heath, Chemical Engineering, "Binary Condensation in Z Supersonic Nozzles." Advisor: Professor Barbara Wyslouzil
  • Diana Lados, Materials Science and Engineering: "Fatigue Behavior of Cast Aluminum Alloys." Advisor: Professor Diran Apelian

2000 Research Awards

M.S. Thesis

  • Daniel V. Bailey, Computer Science, "Computation in Optimal Extension Fields." Advisor: Christof Paar

Ph.D. Dissertation

  • Daniel Grecu, Computer Science, "Flexible Learning in Multi-Agent Design." Advisor: David Brown

1999 Research Awards

Ph.D. Dissertation

  • Julie Fondurulia, Mathematical Sciences, "Assessing Importance of Pathological and Clinical Predictors in Prostate Cancer Studies." Advisor: Ming-Hui Chen
  • Cosme Furlong, Mechanical Engineering, "Hybrid, Experimental and Computational Approach for the Efficient Study and Optimization of Mechanical and Electro-mechanical Components." Advisor:  Ryszard J. Pryputniewicz

1998 Research Awards

Ph.D. Dissertation

  • Charles S. Buer, Biology/Biotechnology, "Laser Applications in Plant Biology." Advisors: Pamela J. Weathers and Grover A. Swartzlander Jr.
  • Qingyun Zhang, Mechanical Engineering, "Measurements of Passive Scalar Concentration Fields in Accelerating Jets." Advisor:  Hamid Johari.
 
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