College Students Complete NSF Summer Research Program at WPI

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

WORCESTER, Mass. Eight students from seven colleges spent the last two months working with WPI mechanical engineering professors on engineering mechanics and materials research projects. The students, all of whom will graduate in 1997, participated in the National Science Foundation's Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. Their projects explored cutting-edge problems in areas such as lost-foam casting, fractals and surface engineering, robot manipulators, intelligent processing of materials, structural control, respiratory physiology, turbulent jet mixing and finite element method.

Students received $2,550, a travel allowance and housing in a shared room during the program, which ran from June 3 to Aug. 9. Each participant was required to submit a written report, give a presentation, and critique the program, which included a workshop on graduate school opportunities.

"The participation of the students in this program is an effective mechanism to provide training, enthusiasm, motivation and encouragment to pursue research as a career in engineering mechanics and materials," says Joseph J. Rencis, associate professor of mechanical engineering, who served as program coordinator.

A list of the participants, their hometowns, schools, projects and WPI faculty mentors follows.

Katherine L. Horning, Worcester, Mass., WPI, "Dynamics of an Unbalanced Shaft Interacting With a Limited Power Supply," Mikhail F. Dimentberg, professor of mechanical engineering.

Yogesh Patel, Long Island City, N.Y., The City College of New York, "Effects of Time Delay on Feedback Control Systems," Zhikun Hou, assistant professor of mechanical engineering.

Noah Vawter, Worcester, Mass., WPI, "Bifucation of Pulmonary Ventilation With Changes to Carbon Dioxide and Oxygen Concentrations," Mustapha S. Fofana, visiting assistant professor of mechanical engineering.

Ayman A. Wahba, Long Island City, N.Y., New York Institute of Technology, "Penetration and Mixing of Unsteady Jets in Crossflow," James C. Hermanson, assistant professor of mechanical engineering.

Jeffry S. Nyman, Memphis, Tenn., University of Memphis, "Topography and the Characterization of Surfaces Using Scale-Based Fractal Analyses," Christopher A. Brown, associate professor of mechanical engineering.

Felix R. Torres-Diaz, Humacao, P.R., University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, "Virtual Reality Modeling Language in Finite-Element Applications," Joseph J. Rencis, associate professor of mechanical engineering."

Jui-Chen Ma, Cambridge, Mass., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, "Development of an Integrated Design for Robot Manipulators," Mohammad N. Noori, professor and head of the Mechanical Engineering Department.

Brian Hewitt, Sterling, Mass., Western New England College, "The Effect of Mold Metal on Aluminum Castings in the Evaporated Pattern Casting Process," Satya Shivkumar, associate professor of mechanical engineering.

WPI is an independent, technological university founded in 1865.