Grad Winners

Congratulations to the Winners of the GRAD 2014 and i3 Competitions.

April 18, 2014

On Monday April 14, 2014, the Odeum of the Rubin Campus Center was bustling with activity as the finals of WPI’s two annual graduate research competitions were held. Here are the results:

GRAD 2014: The Innovation Exchange

A total of 65 master’s and PhD candidates displayed posters describing their research in the finals of this poster celebration. The finalists were selected at an all-day open poster session on March 19. Judges yesterday chose the following winners (note, due to the large number of entries, two first-place winners were chosen at the master’s and PhD level in Engineering). All first-place winners received $500 cash awards; second-place winners received $200 awards; third-place winners received certificates.

Business and Social Science

Master’s Level

1st: Siavash Mortazavi, School of Business; Advisor: Soussan Djamasbi

2nd: Korinn S. Ostrow, Learning Sciences and Technology; Advisor: Neil Heffernan

3rd: Maura A. Ferrarini, Social Science and Policy Studies; Advisor: Janice Gobert

PhD Level

1st: Raafat M. Zaini, Social Science and Policy Studies; Advisor: Khalid Saeed

2nd: Raha Moussavi-Aghdam, Learning Sciences and Technology; Advisor: Janice Gobert

3rd: Ozge Yasar, Learning Sciences and Technology; Advisor: Janice Gobert


Master’s Level

1st: Aaron M. Birt, Materials Science and Engineering; Advisor: Diran Apelian

1st: Yuwei Zhai, Materials Science and Engineering; Advisor: Diana Lados

2nd: David E. Kent, Robotics Engineering; Advisor: Sonia Chernova

3rd: Hayley R. Sandgren, Materials Science and Engineering; Advisor: Diana Lados

PhD Level

1st: Kemal S. Arsava, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Advisor: Yeesock Kim

1st: Ivo T. Dobrev, Mechanical Engineering; Advisor: Cosme Furlong

2nd: Kwabena Kan-Dapaah, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Advisor: Nima Rahbar

3rd: Jennifer A. McInnis, Mechanical Engineering; Advisor: Stephen Nestinger


Master’s Level

1st: Sarah E. Schultz, Computer Science; Advisor: Ivon Arroyo

2nd: Tianhe Wang, Interactive Media and Game Development; Advisor: Dean O’Donnell

PhD Level

1st: Erin M. Kiley, Mathematical Sciences; Advisor: Vadim Yakovlev

2nd: Jeffrey P. Bibeau, Biology and Biotechnology; Advisor: Luis Vidali

3rd: Gawain M. Thomas, Physics; Advisor: Qi Wen

Life Sciences and Bioengineering

Master’s Level

1st: Erin K. Flaherty, Biology and Biotechnology; Advisor: Elizabeth Ryder

2nd: Jennifer L. Cooper, Biomedical Engineering; Advisor: Marsha Rolle

3rd: Kristin L. Carattini, Biomedical Engineering; Advisor: Anjana Jain

PhD Level

1st: Jason M. Forte, Biomedical Engineering; Advisor: Raymond Page

2nd: A. Zoe Reidinger, Biomedical Engineering; Advisor: Marsha Rolle

3rd: Amanda L. Clement, Biomedical Engineering; Advisor: George Pins


Master’s Level

1st: Christopher J. Legacy, Chemistry and Biochemistry; Advisor: Marion Emmert

2nd: Samantha A. O’Connor, Physics; Advisor: Nancy Burnham

3rd: Jeffrey Peters, Physics; Advisor: Germano Iannacchione

PhD Level

1st: Nguyenho Ho, Mathematical Sciences; Advisor: Sarah Olson

2nd: Shaun A. Marshall, Physics; Advisor: Izabela Stroe

3rd: Xika Lin, Computer Science; Advisor: Elke Rundensteiner

People’s Choice Winner ($250 cash prize): Amruta Gorhe, Master’s Candidate, School of Business; Advisor: Eleanor Loiacono

Raffle Winner ($100 cash prize): Kyyas S. Seyitmuhammedov


I3: Investing In Ideas With Impact

This research presentation competition encourages graduate students to think like entrepreneurs. Master’s and PhD candidates make three-minute pitches, without visual aids, describing the benefits and marketability of their innovations. The 12 finalists were selected in contests organized by the deans of Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and School of Business after preliminary elimination rounds at the department and program level. The finalists’ presentations were judged by panels of business leaders and entrepreneurs who selected winners for Best Concept and Best Presentation; each winner received a $1,000 cash prize.

Best Concept Prize

Lindsay Lozeau, PhD Candidate, Chemical Engineering: “AMProtection: Preventing Implant Infections in the First Place.” Advisor: Terri Camesano

Best Presentation Prize

Sarah Hernandez, PhD Candidate, Biology and Biotechnology: “Diagnosing Pre-Cancer.” Advisor: Tanja Dominko

Gordon Research Conference Prizes

Finally, Nancy Ryan Gray, PhD, director of the Gordon Research Conferences (GRC) and one of the i3 judges, donated three Gordon Research Conferences Prizes that were awarded to i3 finalists. The prizes will make it possible for these students to attend GRC conferences, which are forums for presentation and discussion of frontier research in the biological, chemical, and physical sciences, and their related technologies.

Lindsay Lozeau

Sarah Hernandez

Morgan Stanton, PhD Candidate, Chemistry and Biochemistry: “The Next Step in Cell Culture: Modified Scaffolds.” Advisor: Christopher Lambert

People’s Choice Winner ($250 cash prize): Sarah Hernandez

Raffle Winner ($100 cash prize): Sina Askarinejad