Award-winning Research on Display at GRAD 2013: The Innovation Exchange

March 15, 2013

Graduate researchers share their passions.

A remarkable number of bright and talented young men and women filled the upper level of the WPI Rubin Campus Center (where master's candidates pitched their work) and the Great Hall in Alden Memorial (where PhD candidates engaged the crowd with their findings), all sharing their ideas and innovations, as part of GRAD 2013: The Innovation Exchange.

This year, nearly 250 master's- and PhD-level students presented informative posters that demonstrated the need for their chosen research topic, described their methodology, and revealed their progress to date. Categories for the projects were business and social science, engineering, life sciences and bioengineering, and science. Twenty-eight of the presenters earned awards and recognition, including cash prizes that are integral to furthering their research. 

As it has been since its inception in 2006, GRAD is a showcase for our graduate research enterprise, one that introduces the WPI community to the breadth, diversity, and quality of the remarkable work in which our graduate students are engaged. But GRAD also assembles graduate researchers from diverse departments and programs, with seemingly unrelated research interests, and allows them to get to know each other and to learn about what they do and how they do it. Students gain new perspectives on the problems they're exploring, discover new tools and techniques, and recruit new partners to help make the quest for answers more productive.

Also our process every year, teams of faculty judges reviewed the posters and interviewed the participants. The judges chose recipients of first-, second-, and third-place awards in each category, based on the following criteria:

• Quality and importance of the research itself 

• Clarity of the poster 

• Students' ability to explain their work and answer the judges' questions

Richard D. Sisson Jr., dean of graduate studies and George F. Fuller Professor of Mechanical Engineering, praised all the participants for doing inventive and important work. 

"On display here are many scientific breakthroughs that may soon have a lot of commercial value and value to society," he said. "We welcome this opportunity to recognize and showcase the accomplishments of our graduate students."

Michael B. Manning, associate provost for research, noted that this year’s program reached new heights. "The bar has been raised to a new level. The quality of the presentations has improved every year to the point where the talent of the student presenters is at an all-time high," Manning said.


First Place Winners - MS 

• Life Sciences and Bioengineering – Christopher J. Legacy 

• Science – Zehao Li 

• Engineering – Daniel K. Nyren and Adam C. Panzica 

• Business and Social Science – Michael R. Blair 

First Place Winners – PhD 

• Life Sciences and Bioengineering – Amanda L. Clement 

• Science – Tim Nelson 

• Engineering – Anthony G. Spangenberger and Ivo T. Dobrev 

• Business and Social Science – Raafat M. Zaini

Second Place Winners – MS 

• Life Sciences and Bioengineering – (Tie) – Jennifer L. Cooper and Erin K. Flaherty 

• Science – Anthony G. Gianfrancesco 

• Engineering – Meinan He 

• Business and Social Science – Jeanine Gordon 

Second Place Winners – PhD 

• Life Sciences and Bioengineering – Melissa W. Mobley 

• Science – (Tie) – Dovan Rai and Lei Cao 

• Engineering – Kemal S. Arsava 

• Business and Social Science – Kim M. Kelly 

Third Place Winners – MS 

• Science – William R. DiSanto 

• Engineering – Sina Askarinejad 

• Business and Social Science – Mei Han

Third Place Winners – PhD 

• Life Sciences and Bioengineering – Yuan Yin 

• Engineering – Yinjie Cen 

• Business and Social Science – Saeed P. Langarudi 

Gordon Research Award – PhD 

• James L. Kingsley 

Overall People’s Choice – MS/PhD 

• Zehao Li