Student News

Lia Bonacci, a sophomore in the Biomedical Engineering program, has received a Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program (NREIP) award. The NREIP is a 10-week summer research opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students that allows them to carry out research at one of the U.S. Navy’s 19 laboratories under the guidance of a mentor.  Lia, who participates in the Honors Program, will spend her summer working at the Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory (NSMRL) in Groton, CT. Following graduation, Lia plans to attend graduate school in preparation for a career involving “the research and development of devices that aid those with various disabilities, such as those suffering from paralysis or the loss of a limb. I am interested in devices that work with the human body to closely mimic a desired biological system, such as a prosthetic arm that could be controlled by the user’s brain…I would love to work with brain-computer interfaces, as I find this technology fascinating.”


Raymond Chan, a senior in Civil Engineering and president of the UConn chapter of Chi Epsilon, the civil engineering honor society, has been presented the 2012 Arthur N.L. Chiu National Chi Epsilon Scholarship by the national Chi Epsilon organization. He received the honor in recognition of his outstanding academics and extensive extracurricular activities. Raymond is an undergraduate research assistant in the Smart Infrastructure Laboratory, a 2011 recipient of the John Lenard Endowed Scholarship, and a 2011 New England Scholar. For his Honors thesis on the topic of structural health monitoring, he is applying smart sensors to collect and analyze static and dynamic state data from structures using the Abaqus program to model lab-scale structures.

The Civil & Environmental Engineering Department honored two graduate students for their dedicated, outstanding performance as Teaching Assistants (TA): Ph.D. student Chad Johnston and M.S. candidate Ramandeep Josen.  Chad (adv.: Dr. Marisa Chrysochoou), was a research assistant for three years and has co-authored three papers to date. He recently received the SoE Koerner Family Fellowship and the Environmental Professionals Organization of Connecticut Fellowship.  He was a TA for a Soil Mechanics course, teaching three lab sessions among his other duties. Ramandeep (adv.: Dr. Adam Zofka), has progressed from undergraduate Research Assistant to graduate Research Assistant and TA. He has co-authored two journal publications, and he received the New England University Transportation Center (NEUTC) Fellowship in 2011. Ramandeep was a TA for the Geomatics & Spatial Measurement class, where he interacted with students on everyday basis and taught them how to operate modern surveying equipment.

Mechanical Engineering doctoral student Shaopeng Liu (adv.: Dr. Robert Gao), won the Philips Young Investigator Award  2nd prize at the 33rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society held in Boston, August 30 – September 3, 2011.  He was honored both for the quality of the paper itself – on which he served as the first, student author – and for his oral presentation.  The paper, entitled “SVM-Based Multi-Sensor Fusion for Free-Living Physical Activity Assessment,” was co-written with Dr. Gao, Dinesh John, John Staudenmayer and Patty Freedson.

Alexander Velázquez, a senior in the EUROTECH program earning a B.S. in Computer Science & Engineering and a B.A. in German Studies, was awarded the UConn Department of Career Services’ inaugural Intern of the Year Award.  In receiving the award, Alexander said: “It is an honor to have been chosen as the first recipient of this award at the University of Connecticut. I had the tremendous opportunity to intern at the High Performance Computing Center (HLRS) in Stuttgart, Germany, last summer. The experience provided me with a strong sense of accomplishment, and it is rewarding to have my hard work recognized with this award.”  An Honors student, Alexander was nominated for the award by EUROTECH co-director Dr. Friedemann Weidauer. During his internship, Alexander performed a variety of computing tasks, including the integration of a pedestrian traffic module into a driving simulator to account for basic motion patterns, mutual acknowledgement and avoidance, navigation of a road map, and cooperation with vehicular traffic in crosswalks. He also visited a Porsche research center to install and troubleshoot the latest codebase of the driving simulator.

The Center for Transportation and Livable Systems (CTLS) is still accepting applications for the Transportation Undergraduate Research Fellowship (TURF) program, a summer research opportunity for undergraduate students interested in transportation studies. Fellowships include a stipend of $2,000. TURF Fellows conduct research supporting the theme “Sustainable and Livable Transportation Systems” under the supervision of a faculty advisor. Proposals must be submitted by 5 PM on Friday, March 30, 2012. Click here for details.

Categories: award, Biomedical Engineering, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, emagination, Fellowship, Headline, Mechanical Engineering, Research, Scholarship, Students, Transportation