Mechanical Engineering Senior Wins First Place in International Competition

by Emily Jerome

2009-2010 Mechanical Engineering senior Maxim Budyansky placed first at the ASME International Old Guard competition this year. The competition took place at the 2010 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition in Vancouver, Canada.

Maxim’s presentation was based on his senior design project, titled ‘Coherent Gradient Sensing Shearing Interferometry Adapted to the Nano-World.’ Budyansky worked with teammate Christopher Madormo on a project sponsored by Prof. George Lykotrafitis, who also served as the team’s faculty advisor. The goal of the project was to develop an optical technique that would ultimately allow for quantitative measurement of curvature and mechanical properties of cellular specimens.

This successful project was recognized with the Faculty Award at the School of Engineering Demonstration Day event in April. The award is granted to the Mechanical Engineering design team that most successfully applies fundamental Mechanical Engineering principles to design solutions.

Budyansky also placed first with his presentation on the project at the 2010 ASME Northeast Regional Student Professional Development Conference at Union College, allowing him to participate in the international competition. Three of the five other top awards in the competition went to UConn students, who were competing among more than a dozen area universities.

Sponsor and project advisor Prof. George Lykotrafitis commented that “(Budyansky) is self driven, inquisitive, and very bright. His work has been outstanding and while still a senior he prepared a manuscript for journal publication based on his independent study work. In particular, he demonstrated an ability to focus on the important portions of the problem, to go beyond what was asked of the project, and to provide physical explanations for his analysis.”

Prof. Tom Barber, head of the Mechanical Engineering Senior Design program, expressed his pride in Budyansky’s accomplishment, and noted that it speaks to a larger success. “Feedback from industry tells us that communication and teaming abilities are important requisites for new engineers. In the Senior Design course we prepare students in these skills through presentations and competitions. What Maxim achieved competing at the international level demonstrates that UConn Mechanical Engineering has been successful in meeting these goals.”

The first place prize at the ASME International meeting included a certificate of achievement and a check for $2,000. This is the first year that one of UConn’s Mechanical Engineering students, among participants representing Mechanical Engineering programs all around the world, won first place. In 2006 another Mechanical Engineering senior, Matthew Teicholz, received the second place award in the same competition.

Budyansky is currently a graduate student at the Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design program in the biomedical engineering department at Johns Hopkins University. We offer our congratulations on his achievement.

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Biomedical Engineering

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