WPI's Sigma XI Chapter Honors Outstanding Research

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WORCESTER, Mass. - June 21, 2005 - Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) recognized five research projects with the Sigma Xi Research Awards during the university's Faculty Honors Convocation. The awards are presented by the WPI chapter of the national research society and honor an undergraduate project, master's thesis, Ph.D. dissertation, as well as junior and senior faculty projects for outstanding research and contributions to the WPI community.

L. Ramdas Ram-Mohan, a professor of physics, and electrical and computer engineering, won the Senior Faculty Research Award for his development of the finite element method as an invaluable calculation tool in the fields of quantum mechanics, solid-state and semiconductor physics, and for the international pre-eminence that he has earned for his work. Ram-Mohan lives in Northborough, Mass.

Terri A. Camesano, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, was given the Junior Faculty Research Award for 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 formations of bio-films and bacterial colonization. She resides in Newton, Mass.

Erica C. Henning was recognized for her Ph.D. dissertation, "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." Henning was co-advised by Karl G. Helmer, research associate professor of biomedical engineering, and Christopher H. Sotak, professor and head of the Biomedical Engineering Department, on her joint Ph.D. program in biomedical engineering and medical physics. She graduated in May, and resides in Worcester, Mass.

Ying Yang earned the graduate student award for her master's thesis, "Mechanism of Metal Delivery and Binding to Transmembrane Sites of Cu-transporting ATPases." Yang, a resident of Boston, was advised by associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry José M. Argüello, and received a master's degree in chemistry and biochemistry last month.

Alexi M. Girgis received the Outstanding Major Qualifying Project Award for his project, "Magnetotransport Calculations with the FEM," which was advised by professor Ram-Mohan. The WPI major qualifying project is a senior capstone experience that requires students to use what they have learned in their major discipline to solve a significant professional-level problem or master a research challenge. Girgis graduated in May with a bachelor's degree in physics, and is from Providence, R.I.

About Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1865, WPI is a pioneer in technological higher education. WPI was the first university to understand that students learn best when they have the opportunity to apply the knowledge they gain in the classroom to the solution of important problems. Today, its first-rate research laboratories support master's and Ph.D. programs in more than 30 disciplines in engineering, science and the management of technology