2013 Dean's Student Research Awards Announced

Dean Darryll Pines has announced the winners of the 2013 Dean’s Doctoral and Master’s Student Research Awards.

Dr. Pines created the competitions to give top Clark School student researchers special recognition that will be valuable in launching their careers, and to show all students the importance of high quality engineering research. Students submitted their work through competitions at the department level and members of department advisory boards served as judges for this competition. Winners are listed below.


First Place

Jane Cornett, Materials Science and Engineering

Advisor: Professor Oded Rabin (MSE)

“Thermoelectric Transport Phenomena in Semiconducting Nanostructures”

Jane’s research uses theoretical techniques to model the thermoelectric properties of nanostructures, including nanowires and thin films. Thermoelectric materials, which can convert waste heat into useable electrical energy, present a promising approach to tackling the escalating energy crisis. Her research can be used as a guide for future experimental work in the field of nanostructured thermoelectrics.

Second Place

Alek Nacev, Bioengineering

Advisor: Professor Ben Shapiro (BioE)

“Magnetic Drug Targeting: Developing the Basics”

Alek’s research project involves targeted drug delivery to tumor locations for cancer therapy, and employs the use of control theory, system design, modeling and optimization, and intelligent mechatronics. Magnetic systems are intelligently designed to place therapy at the desired locations for treating hepatic breast cancer metastases.

Third Place

Sagar Chowdhury, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor: Professor S.K. Gupta (ME)

“Planning for Automated Optical Micromanipulation of Biological Cells”

Sagar’s research is aimed at turning optical tweezers into autonomous robots that can manipulate microscale objects. This research will help automate and increase the speed of the cell manipulation process. Cell manipulation is a first step for many experiments in biology and medicine, from disease diagnosis to drug discovery and development.



First Place

Nitinun Varongchayakul, Materials Science and Engineering

Advisor: Professor Joonil Seog (MSE)

“Direct Observation of Amyloid Nucleation under Nanomechanical Stretching”

Nitinun studied the nucleation mechanism of silk-elastin-like peptide (SELP) nanofibers using time-lapse lateral force microscopy. In this process, the mechanical force stretches the protein chain along the scan direction, which leads to nuclei formation. Using this technique, a single nanofiber pattern with a directional control was successfully created.

Published May 7, 2013