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Graduate Students Recognized in Engineers’ Week Poster Competition

As a part of Engineers' Week in February, more than 20 graduate students presented their work virtually for the 4th Annual Graduate Student Poster Competition. The poster competition serves as a way for graduate students to demonstrate their expertise and for the Villanova community to learn about the impressive research being conducted in the College of Engineering. Engineering faculty evaluated the posters in two categories: technical excellence and presentation excellence. The competition winners are listed below, followed by abstracts for the first place winners.

Presentation Excellence: First Place: Mackenzie Bowden, MSSE
First Place: Mackenzie Bowden, MSSE
Third Place (tie):  Michael Burns, MSWREE
Third Place (tie): Michael Burns, MSWREE

Technical Excellence:

  • First Place:  Luigi Siligato, MSME — “Machine Learning for Modeling Stress in Composite Materials.” Advisor: Dr. David Cereceda
  • Second Place: Bo Wang, PhD student — “Formation Control for Heterogeneous Planar Underactuated Vehicle Networks.” Advisor: Dr. Hashem Ashrafiuon
  • Third Place: Yue Qi, PhD student — “MIMO-NOMA with Different Levels of Secrecy.” Advisor: Dr. Mojtaba Vaezi

Presentation Excellence:

  • First Place: Mackenzie Bowden, MSSE — “Modified Pyrogenic Carbonaceous Matter for the Enhanced Sorption and Transformation of Munitions Constituent Residues.” Advisors: Drs. Ross Lee and Wenqing Xu
  • Second Place: Bo Wang, PhD student — “Formation Control for Heterogeneous Planar Underactuated Vehicle Networks.” Advisor: Dr. Hashem Ashrafiuon
  • Third Place (tie):  Michael Burns, MSWREE — “Evapotranspiration Crediting in Vegetated Stormwater Control Measures (SCMs).” Advisor: Dr. Andrea Welker

Ji Lang, PhD student — “How to deform an egg yolk? Soft matter deformation in liquid environment.” Advisor: Dr. Qianhong Wu

Luigi Siligato: “Machine Learning for Modeling Stress in Composite Materials”
This project focuses on designing neural networks to model stress distribution in composite materials. This process involves training various types of networks (fully connected, deep, convolutional) that map features of the material as well to predetermined stress values from finite element analysis. In doing this, networks can be created to predict stress in novel materials at a lower computational cost than traditional FEA.

Mackenzie Bowden: “Modified Pyrogenic Carbonaceous Matter for the Enhanced Sorption and Transformation of Munitions Constituent Residues”
Insensitive high explosive formulations are increasingly used to replace more sensitive energetic materials in military munitions. However, these munitions constituents (MC) residues are hazardous to the environment and pose a potential for contamination of DoD testing sites, as well as off-site migration. The interim results of this study demonstrate the viability of MC residues treatment by adsorption. They also both reinforce and further existing studies that pyrogenic carbonaceous matter (PCM) can facilitate the decay of legacy and insensitive high explosives.

Dr. Gerard Jones, Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research extended “a hearty thanks” to faculty judges: Profs. David Cereceda, Alan Johnston, Hashem Ashrafiuon, Joseph Yost, Shweta Shrestha, and Weijian Diao, all of whom volunteered their time and efforts.

He also acknowledged Yue Qi, who as leader of the CEER Graduate Club, “worked tirelessly to produce this event.” He offered a special thanks to the session chairs Abdul-rashid Zakaria and Danielle Holt who helped coordinate the two sessions.

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