Skip to main content

Engineering Undergraduates Present at 2018 Undergraduate Research Symposium

by Griffin Davis ’22 EE

On Friday, September 21, 2018, the Center for Research and Fellowships, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Office of the Provost, and the College of Engineering hosted Villanova University’s annual Undergraduate Research Symposium. More than 100 summer research projects were presented during this poster session, 17 of which were from the College of Engineering. Representing the Chemical, Civil and Environmental, and Mechanical Engineering departments, 28 engineering students were on hand to talk about their summer research internships or fellowships, faculty-directed research, undergraduate thesis projects and other sponsored projects.

Huy Nguyen ’21 ChE

One student who was particularly eager to speak about his work was Huy Nguyen ’21 ChE. Using Villanova dining hall food waste, Huy developed a new adsorbent for treating wastewater.  His adsorbent, Hydrochar, is more cost-effective than the standard Powdered Activated Carbon adsorbent. Though a third as powerful, activation of Hydrochar is expected to triple its success, making it comparable to PAC, and giving Huy the opportunity to develop cost-effective activation methods in future research.

Elizabeth Cullen ’19 ChE

Elizabeth Cullen ’19 ChE also set out with sustainable efforts in her research. Standard aluminum coagulation, a method of water treatment that increases the size of pollutant molecules so that they are easier to remove, deposits itself in the ground and in water, harming the environment. Elizabeth experimented with using Moringa Oleifera, a plant with charged proteins capable of coagulation, as a natural coagulant. In its current state, Moringa Oleifera is not as successful as aluminum, but Elizabeth’s next steps will be to achieve better protein extraction to increase success, as well as test against E. coli as Moringa Oleifera has bacteria-killing properties.

The following is a complete list of Villanova Engineering students who participated in the 2018 Undergraduate Research Symposium:

Chemical Engineering

Analyzing Biogas Technology in West Java, Indonesia by Melwin Rajan and Luis Jordan
Advisor: Dr. Justinus Satrio

Investigation of Nanocellulose-Nanocomposites in Collaboration with Bogor Agricultural University by Clarissa Sandev, Kelsey O’Donnell, Lisdayana Nurimalisa and Farah Fahma, PhD
Advisor: Dr. Justinus Satrio

Use of Moringa Oleifera as a Natural Coagulant in Water Treatment by Elizabeth Cullen
Advisor: Dr. Dorothy Skaf

Effect of MYB and p65 Transcription Factors on Trans-gene Expression by Reilly McCracken
Advisor: Dr. Jacob Elmer

Investigating the Adsorption Capacity of Hydrochar Made from Villanova Dining Hall’s Foodwaste for Methylene Blue and Comparing with that of Powdered Activated Carbon (PAC) by Huy Nguyen
Advisor: Dr. Justinus Satrio

Optimization of Naïve T Cell Growth by Madeline Ostrom
Advisor: Dr. William J. Kelly

Verification of Anti-Biofilm Formation of Coating Materials by Samantha Portelli and Fangyuan Zhang
Advisor: Dr. Zuyi Huang

Materials for CO2 capture by Atomic Layer Deposition by Stephen Sobota
Advisor: Dr. Michael Smith and Dr. Charles Coe

3D Printing with Polymer Nanocomposites by Nicholas Yoo
Advisor: Dr. Michael Smith

Production and Storage of LtEc as a Blood Substitute by Houston Curtis
Advisor: Dr. Jacob Elmer

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Evaluating Stream Flashiness at the Headwaters in Developed Watersheds by Hailey Brockett
Advisor: Dr. Andrea Welker

Impact of Morphology on GSI Infiltration by Conner Huggins
Advisor: Dr. Virginia Smith

Effectiveness of Solarization Treatment as an Intervention Strategy to Reduce Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria in Cattle Manure Stockpiles by Bridget Gile and Noelle Mware
Advisor: Dr. Xu Li

Mechanical Engineering

Improving the User Interface of Data Center Modeling Software by Anthony Etim
Advisor: Dr. Aaron Wemhoff

Autonomous Quadrotors and Lower-Body Exoskeleton by James Pedersen, Ella Palmese, Joseph Bauman and Nicholas Kennedy
Advisor: Dr. Hashem Ashrafiuon

SeaCat: Autonomous Surface Vehicle by Reed Watkins
Advisor: Dr. C. Nataraj

Developing Ultra-Light Silver Nanowire Aerogel for Enhancing Energy Storage Materials by Lin Zhang, Aarya Deb and Liu Xiaosong
Advisor: Dr. Gang Feng