Two Engineering Posters Receives First Place Awards at Villanova's 2008 Sigma Xi Poster Day

The Villanova chapter of Sigma Xi, a national scientific research society, held its Poster Day on April 18 in the Connelly Center. The event is a chance for graduate and undergraduate students from all over the University involved in the sciences to highlight their research. There were approximately 36 teams (including teams from Engineering, Chemistry, Biology, Astronomy, Psychology, and Computer Sciences) presenting posters, with eight Engineering teams. Judges awarded six first place prizes in different categories for outstanding posters.

Beyond the prizes, one of the most important aspects of the Sigma Xi Poster Day is that it provides a focus for student research in the sciences. Teaming graduate and undergraduate students and faculty helps Villanova build the next generation of researchers in this country, a critical need in a rapidly changing globalized economy.

One of the winning engineering teams presented a poster on "An Experimental Laboratory for Unmanned Surface Vessel and Control Research." The student team members were:

Reza Soltan, Graduate Student, ME
Lucas McNinch, Graduate Student, ME
Ryan McCloskey, Undergraduate Student, ME
Geoffrey Haas, Undergraduate Student, ME
Timothy Flynn, Undergraduate Student, EE

They were supervised by Professor Kenneth Muske, in the Department of Chemical Engineering, and Professor Hashem Ashrafiuon in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

The other winning Engineering poster was on "Optimizing Production of Tumor Antibody Fragments: Comparison of Yeast and Bacterial Hosts." The team consisted of
Kyle Doolan, an undergraduate Chemical Engineering student who worked on the project last summer while doing research at MIT, and Michael Smith, an MIT Chemical Engineering graduate student. Their faculty advisor was K. Dane Wittrup also from MIT.

Sigma Xi was founded in 1886 at Cornell University by Frank Van Vleck, a junior faculty member, and a group of engineering students. Today it has approximately 60,000 members.

In addition to the judging of the posters, students heard an address by Dr. Sunil Shende, Department of Computer Science at Rutgers University Camden, on Networks and attended a reception.