College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Students showcase work at research symposium

Dozens of College of Engineering students gave detailed presentations at a symposium on April 15, on topics ranging from “bio-rubber” made from vegetable oils to preventing ice formation on paved surfaces.

The Symposium on Undergraduate Research & Creative Expression allows students in all colleges to share their research with peers, mentors and other members of the university community.

Ryan Hall
Ryan Hall

Ryan Hall, a senior in materials engineering, shared his research on polymer blends, which he’s been working on for eight months. He’s no stranger to the research symposium, though: Hall has presented twice before and has done nine research projects during his time at Iowa State.

“I find research very fascinating,” he said. “When I heard of this new polymer blend project developing in my lab, I couldn’t help but get involved.”

Hall is working to publish his current research on polymer blends, and will wrap up that project when he graduates in May. He’ll focus on polymer chemistry and its application to solar cell technology in graduate school.

Another senior in materials engineering, Catherine Meis, presented research for the second time at the 2014 symposium. Her research—titled “Investigation of Spray-Coated Silver-Microparticle Electrodes for Ionic Electroactive Polymer Actuators”—was even published in the Journal of Applied Physics.

Catherine Meis
Catherine Meis

It’s not typical for undergraduates to have work published as more than supporting authors, but Meis said she was fortunate enough to be the first author on the paper accepted by the journal. Reza Montazami and Nastaran Hashemi, both assistant professors of mechanical engineering, are Meis’ research mentors and authors on the paper.

“My mentors were instrumental in guiding the research project and helping me write the paper,” she said. “I was very excited when the paper was accepted about a month ago. The work really paid off, and I learned so much.”


Other College of Engineering students presenting research at the symposium:

  • Kate Hunter (Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering) – “The Effects of Vibrational Cues on Physiological Development in Polistes fuscatus (paper wasps)”
  • Alex Avendano (Mechanical Engineering) – “Measuring Fracture Toughness of Agar Gel”
  • Sullivan Stewart (Industrial Engineering) – “In-Vivo Cartilage Scaffolds”

    William Cord_CE
    William Cord
  • Christopher Isely (Chemical Engineering) – “Replacement of Petroleum-based Rubber with “Bio-rubber” from Vegetable Oils”
  • Nigel Lee (Mechanical Engineering) and Hsiang Sing Naik (Mechanical Engineering) – “Graph Based Automated Analysis for Plant Root Phenotyping
  • Hsiang Sing Naik and Nigel Lee – “Automated Phenotyping of Corn”
  • Ryan Goetsch (Aerospace Engineering) – “Lagrangian Particle Tracking for Modeling of Multiphase Flows”
  • Rohan Sharma (Aerospace Engineering) – “L.A.S.E.R. (Light Aircraft Solar Extended Range)” and “Computational Approach to Function Minimization and Optimization with Constraints”
  • Rachel Philiph (Materials Science Engineering) – “Macrophase Separation Using Block Copolymer Blends”
    Jianqiu Huang_ME-1
    Jianqiu Huangs”
  • Ryan Everly (Mechanical Engineering) and Esdras Murillo (Electrical Engineering) – “Energy Efficient Dehumidification by Solar Driven Desiccant Systems
  • Brenda Klutzke (Mechanical Engineering), Kellen O’Brien (Materials Science Engineering) and Zane Pennock (Civil Engineering) – “Plastic Recycling in Ghana”
  • Andrew Reynolds (Construction Engineering) – “Economic Haul Radius as Affected by Diesel Fuel Cost”
  • Jianqiu Huang (Mechanical Engineering) – “Biomass Fast Pyrolysis”
  • William Cord (Civil Engineering) – “Heated Transportation Infrastructure: Prevention of Ice Formation on Paved Surfaces”
  • Jacob Harry (Aerospace Engineering) – “Developing Explosion Models for Optimal Fragmentation of a Hazardous Asteroid”
  • Michael Davies (Computer Engineering) – “Designing High Thermal Conductive Materials Using Artificial Evoluion”
  • Yiwen Meg (Electrical and Computer Engineering) – “TMS Effect on Growth Rate of N27 Neuron Cells”