Taking second place in the engineering undergraduate category was Electrical Engineering junior Brianne Conte, who was mentored by Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering Jacob Elmer, PhD. Brianne used innovative technologies to create an affordable chromatography system that provides equally high purity and functionality compared to a commercial system. (A chromatography system is used to separate the components of a mixture for later use, and is thus a form of purification). A commercial system can cost approximately $44,000, while Brianne’s working prototype was completed for about $550.
The first place graduate student award went to Tao Dai for “Environmental Impact of an Industrial Kitchen: A Case Study.” Mentored by Mechanical Engineering Department Chair and Professor Amy Fleischer, PhD, and Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies Aaron Wemhoff, PhD, Tao conducted a gate-to-grave life cycle assessment of 11 types of food to evaluate the environmental impact of a typical industrial kitchen.
Finally, Dieter Bender, a Mechanical Engineering graduate student, took second place for “Improving Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Outcomes Using Model Based Optimization.” His mentor was Professor and Villanova Center for Analytics of Dynamic Systems Director C. Nataraj, PhD. Dieter’s study proposed a novel approach for gaining a broader understanding of CPR physiology and the elemental principles underlying its outcomes.