GRIE Presentation

Picking a poster child for innovation

• It’s that time of year again—time to celebrate the work of WPI graduate students with the 10th annual Graduate Research Innovation Exchange, or GRIE, at the Rubin Campus Center. Tomorrow (Wednesday, Feb. 3), project finalists will be chosen. Final judging will take place on April 11.

February 2, 2016
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The open poster session takes place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a break for lunch, and is segmented by category. From 8 to noon, master’s, PhD, and capstone students in the arts and sciences will present, as will business and social sciences, life sciences, and bioengineering majors. Engineering graduate students take the spotlight from 1 to 5 p.m. Following that, the entire campus community is invited to an ice cream social.

The event is not just about completed research projects, says Terri Camesano, dean of graduate studies and professor of chemical engineering, but also about the value of sharing work.

“Students will be better prepared for their future careers as leaders in industry, government, and academia if they can refine and develop their abilities to communicate the importance of their research projects,” Camesano says.

Presenting at the GRIE has its own rewards, she says, because not only are students forced to succinctly summarize their project’s relevance, they also are taught to highlight its impact. “Students also get great feedback from judges [some of whom are from outside businesses] or from other students or faculty who attend the poster sessions,” she says—feedback that may not happen if they were simply submitting a project to a professor. This also readies them for collaborative working environments, not to mention public speaking, she adds.

Camesano shared a few topics from the 188 presentations on display for this year’s GRIE:

  • Modified antimicrobial peptide collagen-binding and antimicrobial activities; Lindsay Lozeau (PhD student, chemical engineering)
  • Bioavailability of the anti-malarial drug artemisinin when orally delivered as pure drug vs. dried leaves of Artemesia annua; Matthew Desrosiers (PhD student, biology)
  • Modeling and simulation of tethered underwater kites for power generation; Yao Wang (PhD student, aerospace engineering)

If the subject matter resembles solutions to real-world problems, it’s because they do, says Camesamo. “They are working toward solutions to society’s biggest challenges [while being more actively engaged]. This is part of our culture at WPI.”

The final round of GRIE is held in tandem with the competition i3: Investing in Ideas with Impact, to be held  April 11, at the Rubin Campus Center. Judging for i3 will be from 1 to 3 p.m.; an awards reception will follow.

– BY SUSAN SHALHOUB

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