Missouri S&T announces Undergraduate Research Conference winners

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Nineteen students in eight categories received recognition and cash awards as winners of the 16th annual Undergraduate Research Conference at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

The conference featured oral and poster exhibitions that represented work from students in nearly every major at Missouri S&T. First-place winners were awarded a cash prize of $500. Second- and third-place finishers received $250 and $100, respectively.

During this year’s virtual conference, which was held in late April, dozens of Missouri S&T students presented their current research projects to the public. To view the complete list of students who participated along with their research abstracts, visit academicsupport.mst.edu/experientiallearning/ugrc.

The following students won oral presentation awards.

Arts and humanities oral presentation session:

Second place – Anthony Watson, a senior in history from Waynesville, Missouri, for research titled “A study of the modern progressive movement.” The research advisor is Dr. Petra Dewitt, associate professor of history and political science. 

Engineering oral presentation session:

First place – Derrick Barger, a senior in mechanical engineering from Willard, Missouri, for research titled “Thermal modeling of li-ion batteries using SP+3D model.” The research advisor is Dr. Jonghuyn Park, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.

Second place – Peter Holtmann, a senior in electrical engineering from Springfield, Missouri, for research titled “Realtime Sensor for Detecting Gallium Infiltration Attack.” The research advisor is Dr. Jie Huang, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. 

Third place – Maria Galbraith, a senior in engineering management from Jefferson City, Missouri, for research titled “Behavioral Science Can Increase Zipper Merge Usage.” The research advisor is Dr. Casey Canfield, assistant professor of engineering management and systems engineering.

Sciences oral presentation session:

First place – Steven Karst, a junior in physics from Ballwin, Missouri, for research titled “Machine Learning Optimizes a Survey of Dark Energy.” The research advisor is Dr. Shun Saito, assistant professor of physics. 

Second place – Anthony Lonsdale, a junior in physics from Liberty, Missouri, for research titled “Effect of Magnetic Moment on Thermal Conductivity.” The research advisor is Dr. Aleksandr Chernatynskiy, assistant professor of physics. 

Third place – Daniel Greenan, a senior in chemistry from St. Peter’s, Missouri, for research titled “Amorphous Carbon Aerogels from Xerogel Powders.” The research advisor is Dr. Chariklia Sotiriou-Leventis, professor of chemistry. 

The following students won poster presentation awards.

Arts and humanities poster presentation session:

First place – Jessi Schoolcraft, a senior in environmental engineering from Willard, Missouri, for research titled “Credibility and Divination in the Age of Reason.” The research advisor is Dr. Audra Merfeld-Langston, chair and professor of arts, languages, and philosophy. 

Second place – Dylan Clay, senior in aerospace engineering from Republic, Missouri, for research titled “Fear to Cooperation: A Brief History of the Space Race.” The research advisor is Dr. Diana Ahmad, Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor of history and political science.

Third place – Nikola Andric, a senior in computer science from Uzice, Serbia, for research titled “A Man Out West is a Man.” The research advisor is Dr. Diana Ahmad, Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor of history and political science. 

Engineering poster presentation session:

First place – James Kirtley, a senior in chemical engineering from Wildwood, Missouri, for research titled “Recovery of Degraded Lithium Ion Cathode Particles.” The research advisor is Dr. Xinhua Liang, associate professor of chemical and biological engineering.

Second place – Hattie Matthews, a senior in architectural engineering from Muskogee, Oklahoma, and Divyesh Shelar, a senior in architectural engineering from Rolla, Missouri, for research titled “Solar Panel Recycling in The United States.” The research advisor is Dr. Stuart Baur, associate professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering.                      

Third place – Casey Hines, a senior in engineering management from St. Clair, Missouri, for research titled “CO-Designing AI Tools to Reduce Kidney Discard.” The research advisor is Dr. Casey Canfield, assistant professor of engineering management & systems engineering.

Research poster presentation session: 

First place – Joshua Carpenter, a junior in geology and geophysics from Belleville, Illinois, for research titled “Dynamic Topography of the St. Francois Mountains.” The research advisor is Dr. John Hogan, associate professor of geology and geophysics.

Sciences poster presentation session: 

First place – Arpan Das, a senior in computer engineering from Wildwood, Missouri, for research titled “Twitter Sentiment Analysis of Major US Topics.” The research advisor is Dr. Sajal Das, professor and Daniel St. Clair endowed chair of computer science.

Second place – Natalie Gardner, a junior in chemical engineering from Rolla, Missouri, for research titled “Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Learning in Fruit Flies.” The research advisor is Dr. Matthew Thimgan, associate professor of biological sciences.

Third place – Elizabeth Feth, a senior in biological sciences from Beaufort, Missouri, for research titled “Gender and Ethnicity Bias in Wildland Fire Journals.” The research advisor is Dr. Robin Verble, associate professor of biological sciences.

Social sciences poster presentation session: 

Second place – Jessica Frame, a freshman in psychology from St. Charles, Missouri, for research titled “Evaluating a Game Designed to Teach Gender Bias.” The research advisor is Dr. Jessica Cundiff, assistant professor of psychological sciences.

The 2021-22 OURE Fellows scholarship recipients are:

Derrick Barger, a senior in mechanical engineering from Willard, Missouri, for research titled “The impact of degredation physics on cell temperature.” The research advisor is Dr. Jonghuyn Park, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. 

Alex Daniels, a junior in biological sciences from Troy, Missouri, for research titled “Assessing Nanoparticles Affects on Bacterial Cells.” The research advisor is Dr. David Westenberg, professor of biological sciences. 

Gabrielle Hightower, a senior in biological sciences from Kansas City, Missouri, for research titled “Quantifying Nanoparticle Toxicity for Bacterial Cells.” The research advisor is Dr. David Westenberg, professor of biological sciences.

Gladwin Labrague, a senior in chemistry from Rolla, Missouri, for research titled “Synthesis and Characterization of Portland Cement.” The research advisor is Dr. Thomas Schuman, professor of chemistry.

Sara McCauley, a senior in chemistry from Wildwood, Missouri, for research titled “Colorimetry and Improving Access to STEM Education.” The research advisor is Dr. Rainer Glaser, chair and professor of chemistry.

Ethan Prior, a senior in history from Mexico, Missouri, for research titled “From Bricks to Canvas.” The research advisor is Dr. Andrew Behrendt, assistant teaching professor of history and political science.