Eight engineering students won highly competitive Summer Undergraduate Research Fund (SURF) Awards that will allow them to conduct scholarly research in faculty laboratories this summer. Three of the eight engineering recipients ultimately elected to accept other summer research opportunities.
A total of 70 SURF grants were awarded by the Office of Undergraduate Research, across the entire university. Applicants were required to submit detailed proposals describing their research plans, a budget, timeline and letters of recommendation. Applicants’ proposals were reviewed by a faculty committee representing all schools and colleges, and SURF award recipients are chosen through a competitive process.
The students who will conduct SURF-funded research, along with the titles of their intended work and mentors, are:
Rachel Adams and Michele Dalena, both Biomedical Engineering majors (2015). Rachel and Michele will continue their ongoing research under the mentorship of Dr. Wei Sun in the Tissue Mechanics Laboratory (Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering). Rachel’s project is entitled “Development of a Tissue Treatment and Sorting Protocol in the Fabrication of Transcatheter Aortic Valves,” while Michele’s project is entitled “Modifications of Transcatheter Aortic Heart Valve Suturing and Design.”
Virginia Cousens, a Chemical Engineering major (2014). Virginia will conduct her research, entitled “Facilitated Transport of Soil Bacteria by Protists,” under the mentorship of Dr. Leslie Shor (Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering).
Takumi Otsuka, a Biomedical Engineering major (2015). Takumi will study “The Role of Dyslexia-Associated Gene DCDC2 in Pre-NMDAR Regulation in Thalamocortical Pathways” under the mentorship of Dr. Joseph LoTurco, Department of Physiology and Neurobiology.
Julio Yela, an Electrical Engineering major (2014). Julio will continue his ongoing research under the mentorship of Dr. Ali Bazzi in the Advanced Power Electronics & Electric Drives Laboratory (Electrical & Computer Engineering). His research topic is “Dual AC and DC Output Power Electronic System for Solar Photovoltaic Applications.
Julio recently received two other scholarships: the Connecticut Energy Foundation Scholarship for Smart Energy Use, Conservation and Sustainability, sponsored by the United Illuminating Company, and an Anonymous Donor Bridge Scholarship.