Each year, students in the Saint Louis University School of Science and Engineering participate in research and design capstone experiences. At the Senior Showcase, students present posters based on this experience.
Industry partners, faculty, staff, alumni, families, peers and the entire community are welcome to attend and check out the great work of our students.
2023 Student Projects
Air-Carrier Fatigue Mitigation Strategies
Ashleigh Bick-Dawes, Jacob Flowers, Tyler Lambert, Michael O'Donnell
Our project seeks to identify and examine air-carrier fatigue mitigation strategies and the effects of sleep quality and sleep deprivation. We want to examine the current sleeping conditions of the crew and how to best improve these conditions for the future. We're reviewing relevant documents and surveys to best tell a story on how the risk associated with fatigue can be decreased in aviation.
Culture in the Cockpit
Akio Hansen, Hannah Nodge, Curtis Scott, Ashley Storz
Our project will showcase the influences of culture and diversity that interact in an aviation context. We will focus on these impacts specifically within the cockpit and how all of these aspects come together to create various dynamic teams and scenarios. We discovered that culture has an impact on safety as seen through our various lenses of research. Overall, we have seen how culture and diversity shape the cockpit in regard to safety and teamwork.
Environmental Impacts of Aviation: Aircraft Design
Jerry Cockrum, Angie Lowell, Sisheng Ma, Nathan Seliner
The goal of our project is to find the most impactful ways through aircraft design to reduce aircraft emissions and improve fuel efficiency. By looking at many different types of aircraft, performance characteristics, and manufacturers, we found that a combination of varying aircraft design improvements is necessary to lowering emissions overall. From the widespread implementation of turbofan engines to switching to advanced composite materials and laminar flow airfoils, there are several key factors of aircraft design that can work together to help our industry achieve carbon-neutral growth.
Ground Infrastructure Considerations for Alternative-Energy Aircraft
Sam Byrne, Eric Deles, Kyle Kaestner, Marike Kobepa, Joseph Mason
Multiple air carriers and aircraft manufacturers are exploring alternative energy sources to meet carbon reduction targets. As there are multiple competing technologies, it is as of yet unclear which technologies will be adopted as the standard, and what the ground infrastructure requirements for these aircraft will be. This paper will explore what steps airports of various sizes might need to take in order to accommodate these new alternative-power aircraft.
Is the TSA an Illusion of Safety?
Stephen Lindberg, Nick Bohn, Adam Shelton, Andrew Sinelli
We are comparing data between the effectiveness of the TSA’s security to other security administrations in other countries.
Mental Health in the Aviation Industry
Marisa Warren, Chris Moll, Alma Karabas, Ijah Morgan
Our project will be regarding the discussion of mental health of aviation professionals. We will gather information from reliable sources to observe a rough idea of the mental state of aviation professionals. We will also look at the resources that are provided to enhance the quality of life for employees. Finally, we make a critical evaluation of how airline companies can improve, or continue to provide good resources.
Mitigating Stress in the Cockpit
Salem Alotaibi, David, Barajas, Zachary Carlson, Michael Place
Pilots are tasked to evaluate their physical and mental wellness before conducting a flight by utilizing the IM SAFE Checklist. The checklist asks pilots to evaluate their stress levels and determine whether or not they pose a safety risk to fly their aircraft. If stress poses a danger to a pilot and their operation, what are ways that pilots can mitigate their stress in order to safely fly, and are they effective? Our group researched how different stressors affect pilots in a multitude of aeronautical situations. We then examined the different ways pilots mitigate these stressors and referenced studies to determine if these mitigation strategies worked in reducing stress.
Runway Capacity in the U.S.: Current vs. Forecasted Needs
Fares Alenzi, Mohamed Almajid, Christian Henkel, Devin Henneberry, Chase Meyer
There aren’t enough runways to meet the growing concentration and demand of airline
travel in the US. Three reasons for this are: environmental concerns to building runways,
funding/resource issues to expanding airports/runways, and difficulties of acquiring
land to expand airports/runways. These issues are somewhat unique to the US in comparison
to other countries with more centralized government oversight and control. This paper
will ascertain that the current capacity of airports/runways will not be able to meet
growing demand, and it will examine these three primary roadblocks to expanding airport
infrastructure — specifically runways.
Socioeconomic Boundaries of Becoming a Pilot
Xander Jones, Jamison McCarty, Al Schulz, Holden Strickland-Amico
Our project focuses on the socioeconomic boundaries preventing those aspiring to become a pilot. Currently, the aviation industry is predominantly made up of white male students. Our project dives into boundaries preventing those who want to become a pilot. This may include financial, interest, and understanding of the pathway forward.
The Feasibility of Lowering Hiring Minimums in the United States: A Comparative Analysis
Logan Hine, Ahmed Lingga, Mince Mbisikmbo, Patrick Waterman
What effect would changing hiring minimums in the United States have on flight training and CFI’s? We want to look at hiring minimum data from other countries as they apply to airline jobs as well as private jet jobs to evaluate whether or not that has a large effect on CFI’s or flight training in general. We will evaluate how America has changed since hours went up and we hope to predict what would happen if hiring minimums (for airlines and charter jobs) were to be lowered.
Assessing Anemia in Resource-Poor Regions
Amogh Chariyaman, Andrew Kotz, Jake Little, Kevin Noonan
There exists a need within developing regions to quantify hematocrit reproducibly and accurately. Through lab testing, a distinct linear regression has been determined between the decent time of sampled blood in a solution of copper sulfate and hemoglobin/hematocrit concentration. Said correlation provides the basis for quantifiable test results which do not exist with current low-cost methods. Future work focuses on automizing the testing processes through infrared-photogate timing and data reduction algorithms. Ultimately, the project aims to implement the automized low-cost testing method in conjunction with Randolph Ministries in Haiti.
FREQSAT (Frequency Response Earthquake Satellite Constellation)
Ford Frazer; Cullen Leming; Blake Peftoulidis; Nicole Russ; Shane Todd
FREQSAT (Frequency Response Earthquake Detection Satellite Constellation) is a 3U-CubeSat constellation mission to detect Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) radiation as a means of detecting major earthquakes and transmitting data to the ground network efficiently. Based on QUAKESAT, a decommissioned single CubeSat mission from Stanford University back in 2003, FREQSAT aims to function as an innovative product that can expedite disaster relief methods and directly impact communities that may be affected by recurring earthquakes. The Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) mission will consist of 16 3U CubeSats and will operate in one of three projected orbit paths centered on earthquake hotspots in North America, East Asia, and the Middle East. FREQSAT boasts an effective COMMS network where there is streamlined communication both to and from the ground network and between each spacecraft. This product aims to be utilized by a myriad of governments and disaster relief organizations across the globe.
Ice Melt Express
Maddie DeClue, Emma Kallianis, Payton Loftis, Jack Ross, Antoine Traboulsi
The aim of this project is to design a sidewalk ice melt spreader targeting home and small business owners in urban areas with a climate where icy sidewalks and low temperatures are prevalent. The Ice Melt Express is a remote-controlled salt dispensing robot that allows home and small business owners to easily de-ice their sidewalks and walkways. Unlike push salt spreaders and other current solutions, the Ice Melt Express allows the user to deice their sidewalks without having to step out into the cold weather. The device is battery-powered and features an aluminum frame, an independently powered broadcast spreader, two driven pneumatic wheels, a castering pneumatic balance wheel, and a 30-pound agitated hopper.
Griffin Goss, Juanita Latorre Jaramillo, Julia Maxwell, Louis Meyer, Mateo Salazar, Eduardo Teixeira, Jackson Woodside-Miller
The Long Endurance Buoyant Environment and Atmosphere of Uranus (LEBEAU) mission aims to provide important insights into the development of our solar system, features of ice giants, and our general knowledge of exoplanets. For this reason, a new flagship mission is being proposed to send three probes to Uranus to study its atmosphere. The three probes will be equipped with state-of-the-art scientific instruments designed to measure the composition of the atmosphere. Such measurements include but are not limited to temperature, pressure, and chemical composition. The orbit vehicle, which will carry the probes from Earth to Uranus, will gather data on the planet's magnetic field, radiation environment, and large-scale meteorological events, which will help to provide a better understanding of the overall dynamics of the Uranian system.
M.E.A. (Mars Exploratory Aircraft)
Chems Eddine Boudiaf, Alejandro Calleja Bezares, Atef El Nakib, Luis Andrés Mariño, Jorge Martín de Valmaseda, Ainhoa Muñiz Quintana
M.E.A (Mars Exploratory Aircraft) is a research study focused on developing the design of an aircraft that will ultimately be able to fulfill missions on the environment of Mars, in which it will travel 100km to a chosen area in which it will loiter to take necessary data with the onboard sensors and will return to the base. With the assumption of established human presence and the disposal of suitable terrain for taking off and landing on the Red Planet, the purpose of M.E.A is to facilitate the discovery of new terrains that might be of interest to scientists by sweeping large areas in short periods of time. Why choose M.E.A. when Rovers and a helicopter have already been on Mars? NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter and Perseverance Rover, although being milestones in the exploration of Mars, could easily be replaced by an astronaut, it‘s important to note that neither of them has the capabilities of M.E.A. which will be able to fly hundreds of kilometers in several directions at once which will ultimately be more efficient and safer than any other exploratory method previously used.
Ketura Bates, Jesed Diaz, Silvia Lockhart, Michael Joseph, Nguyen Truong
As drone flights become more sophisticated technology keeps evolving. There is a need
for equipment to be more reliable, less prone to failure, and have a satisfactory level of stealth. The consumer is in search of a drone with minimum to no noise, suitable for places that require minimum distractions. O-Bubble aims towards these desirable features mentioned above. The innovative characteristics of this drone are ultra-light, focused on recording silent indoor events, capable of running on 60dB flight sound in a 1ft distance, and an excellent recording time of 1 hour.
Michael Blunt, Pasquale Brandonisio, Jordan Decker, Aaron Staszewski, Daniel Verdico, Benjamin Young
The mission of Project Goose is to design, build, and fly a small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to be used for Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Light Attack roles. Goose is tasked with taking off from a 50-foot runway, cruise for 7.5 nautical miles, deploy a release glider containing a 2.5-pound payload which is then guided to its target, while the primary aircraft returns to land on a 100-foot runway. The payload Released Vehicle is a wing-only glider with a 2.4-foot span that is guided via a First Person View link to its target by a flight engineer while the primary aircraft is piloted by a second crew member. Additionally, the aircraft and its systems are to be assembled and airborne in under 10 minutes. To accomplish these mission parameters, the team designed and built an aircraft boasting an 8-foot wingspan and 15-pound Maximum Gross Takeoff Weight. The aircraft is capable of cruising at a speed of 40 knots for 25 minutes, providing a range of 15 nautical miles.
SANDY - The Beach Cleaning Device
Hannah Bessmer, Michaela Godlewski, Sheridan Grant, Christiana Hietter, Vassiliki Karamouzi , Natalie Lassak, Shaun Samuel
The magnitude of pollution that we see on beaches today threatens the health of humans and the health of our planet. After thoroughly researching the issue and realizing its magnitude, The Girls & Co. have proposed a solution to the problem. This group of engineering students designed, modeled and built a device with the capability of effectively and efficiently collecting waste on beaches. It's a device they are calling SANDY. Important elements of SANDY showcase the group's environmental concerns such as the device being battery-powered and made of sustainable materials. The importance of a device like SANDY extends beyond the walls of McDonnell Douglas Hall and has huge benefits for our planet.
Alex Christian, Sean Maguson, Max Matura, Joshua Quezada, Sally Shim
The goal of the Snakecharmers is to create an inexpensive and accessible modification for a standard wheelchair, that provides motorization to a wheelchair that did not previously have it. The Sidewinder is an independent modification that is designed to be attached to many standard hospital wheelchairs, providing motorization controllable through both a joystick, and a cruise control system. The Sidewinder is designed to be affordable for those who cannot invest in fully motorized wheelchairs, but still want the convenience of powered wheelchairs.
Stephen Hyndman, Eric James, Jeffrey Lewis
Design of a Search and identification vehicle(s) for natural disaster scenarios
Charles Carroll, Grace Coleman, Anthony De Luca, Hayden Eckstein, Jaclyn Heigert, Joseph Preboy, Humza Siddiqui
A solar-powered water desalination system for communities with limited access to drinking water. Used solar panels to power a heating coil that boils water. The boiled water condenses on a glass panel and runs into a bucket for use.
Reid Chunn, Eliot Ekindi, Ryan Evans, Elliott Guereca, Joel Kannath, Dylan Turner
The Spraybot is an automated solution to painting lines on sport fields and on other mediums. The Spraybot is designed to reduce manual labor, improve accuracy, decrease painting times, and reduce overall cost of marking by using a majority of off-the-shelf materials combined with proprietary programming to offer a low learning curve and high execution potential.
Team MOMO – Autonomous Glider Payload Delivery
Marcus Klupar, Francisco Bueno, Michael He, Fauzan Hasanbasri
Team MOMO is doing a design, build and fly project. We are competing in the AUVSI SUAS competition this May and are tasked with delivering payloads to multiple specified ground targets. To do this task we have decided to build two gliders that will each carry the same payload. These gliders will be dropped from a larger drone and land safely on the ground within 15 feet of their targets. The design of our glider is built around the requirements of the competition and the prebuilt UAS that will carry the glider. By using an iterative design process and verification tests, a 2.8 lb. glider will be built to satisfy the competition mission requirements.
The Captivating Curiosity Initiative: A Framework for Teaching Higher Order Thinking to Adolescents Through Engineering-Centered Curriculum
The careers of the future will be composed of people who think independently and who solve the complex problems of the future, and it will also be composed of artificial intelligence tools to perform repetitive tasks in place of people. The most fundamental principles necessary to arm the next generation for personal and professional success are complex problem-solving, critical thinking, and leadership skills. The current educational system is not capable of adapting fast enough to match the speed of innovation in the global economy, especially in relation to the further integration of artificial intelligence. The aim of this research is to find correlations between recent developments in adolescent learning methodologies, the correlations between intuition and decision-making, and how the logos that govern the field of engineering can be applied to adolescents beyond the scope or context of engineering.
The J.A.G. 1934
Michael Brady, Andres Castillo, Matt Metz, and Ben Wielgos
The John A. George (JAG) 1934 is a human portable, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aerial vehicle capable of performing reconnaissance as part of a quick response to forest fires, search and rescue situations, or other emergencies. The vertical take-off allows the aircraft to be launched in a radius of 10 feet and a clearing height of 100ft, allowing for launch without a proper runway. Moreover, the JAG is designed to be a lightweight aircraft, with a 48-inch wingspan and weighing less than 20 pounds in order to be carried comfortably in mountainous terrain. Under hot, smokey, wildfire conditions, the craft shall loiter with a range of two miles for observation of the landscape. The aircraft is powered by a contra-rotating electric propeller-motor system with an 8" diameter propeller which under normal power will be able to loiter for up to 30 minutes. During the loiter, a GoPro camera will capture video for reconnaissance, while the aircraft will be controlled remotely. For the landing, counter-rotating props allow for adequate stability for a safe landing and recovery.
Michael Kenney, Jeremy Throndson, Zac Tiberghien, Henry Vance, Stephen Wilson, Tyler Winkelmann,
The Pack-It! by Project Icebox is a portable air conditioning unit designed for converted camping vans. It aims to provide climate control and safety in off-grid locations. This device is ideal for people that wish to utilize existing 12V car batteries in their vehicle to regulate the temperature in a small enclosed space, like a converted van. The portable nature of the Pack-It! allows for mounting and use without any permanent modifications needing to be made to the vehicle. Its unique active thermoelectric cooling provides a more versatile and environmentally friendly solution to this common camping problem.
VFS Design-Build-Vertical Flight Competition
Keegan Hegger, Chris Imbriano, Will Jackson, Caleb Kasten, Anthony Rizzo
The team is participating in the annual Vertical Flight Society's Design-Build-Vertical Flight competition. For the competition, the team will design and build a large quadcopter within a given set of parameters provided by the Vertical Flight Society. The mission requires a vertical takeoff aircraft to complete as many laps around a 1km course as many times as possible while being as fast as possible. The quadcopter is limited to a 20-pound maximum weight and is estimated to have dimensions 4.5 ft x 4 ft x 1 ft. Based on the way points are awarded to teams, the quadcopter has been designed to carry a heavy payload and gain the most points by having the heaviest payload.
3D-Printed Bioreactor for Longitudinal Ultrasound Stimulation of Bone Cells
Ultrasound Stimulation for the use of bone repair has been on the market for over 25 years, and has been shown to radiographically improve bone healing for delayed or non-union bone fractures. However, the mechanistic understanding of how the ultrasound stimulation is transduced to elicit altered cellular behavior is not well understood, especially in longer term applications. We propose a novel acoustically permeable 3D-printed bioreactor for the study of longitudinal ultrasound stimulation of bone cells seeded in a 3D cryogel scaffold.
A Novel Device for Producing Mono-Dispersed Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) Microspheres
This project focuses on designing a microsphere manufacturing device that will produce mono-dispersed microspheres. The microspheres need to be of the appropriate shape and size. The device is composed of two cylindrical tubes: one stationary outer tuber and a rotating inner tube. The inner tube acts as a rotating drum to help form the microspheres. A timing belt pulley system along with an Arduino and servo motor rotates the inner tube. An application of the microspheres is for them to be inherently radiopaque and have an appropriate attenuation value, which is tested with MicroCT imaging.
Analog Leg Pressure Sensor System
Bridget Boland, Angie Carey, Sean Kim
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can affect sedentary patients who do not get much use of their legs or have been sitting for extended periods of time. The Kendall SCD Smart Compression system is an innovative device designed by Cardinal Health that produces a fruitful solution to combat such conditions. Our project's objective is to see exactly how the compression system affects pressure both outside and inside the leg. The internal pressure will be found using an analog leg that has pressure sensors implanted inside the system. The external pressure will be found by wrapping a pressure sensor map between the compression sleeve and the analog.
ArmWare Prosthetics 4B
Shakhboz Hasanov, Matthew Draper, Caroline Smyth, Arthur Sosin
The ArmWare Prosthetic is a 3-D printed myoelectric prosthetic hand for below-elbow amputees. Electromyography (EMG) sensors placed on the arm allow the user to control input by contracting their muscle. This input, processed via Arduino, activates the servo motor to pull on or release strings threaded through the fingers, controlling contraction of the hand and allowing the user to grasp and pick up objects. The body of the prosthetic is a 3-D printed forearm and hand movable finger joints,which encase the hardware. This device offers greater independence to amputees at a low cost. While currently this is targeted as a myoelectric prosthetic hand for below-elbow amputees, the core concepts can be used to expand into greater prosthetic markets.
Customizable 3D Bioprinter
Ali Hamed, Aakash Nagarapu, Nick Navarrete, Claire Lois
A common problem in many research labs evaluating cellular responses to stimuli is the inability to build irregular 3D scaffolds of various materials and stiffnesses to evaluate cell propagation. Based on a series of proposed modifications to an Ender Pro 3 printer presented by a team at Texas A&M University, we aim to bring 3D bioprinting technology to biomedical engineering research labs to provide a new method for scaffold design. Using a 3D printed method that has the capability to utilize UV crosslinking would allow for more precise designs that can be repeated for multiple experiments. In this project we aim to design and implement modifications to an Ender Pro 3 printer and print biocompatible scaffolds. Further, we aim to develop a unique polymer blend conducive to 3D printing.
Development of a Matlab Code for Efficient and Robust Analisys of Microscopy Images of Glioblastoma Cells and Cell Spheroids
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is an extremely aggressive form of brain cancer with limited treatment options. Understanding how this cancer behaves in the brain environment will be critical to developing and introducing new treatments. Current research has focused on replicating aspects, if not all, of the GBM niche. To properly replicate this microenvironment, images of the glioblastoma cells within the manufactured system are required. Due to the large number of images needed throughout the project, an efficient method for cell analysis was sought with the development of a Matlab code. The created MatLab code produces a live/dead assay of 2D and 3D culture of dissociated cells and spheroids with ±5% accuracy.
Distal Third Tibia Fracture
For my project, I created a testing protocol to load a distal third tibia fracture into a MTS machine to examine the strengths and durability of specific plates and screws fixated onto the bone.
Isaac Beck, Mohit Grewal, Tyree Hicks, Ray Cedric Solijon
Glove perforations occurs often in the surgical room. This project is not to make
a glove that prevents perforations but detecting those perforations. Our project is
using a camera to detect the perforations. This is done by making use of the fact
that most surgery's have a double layered gloves and they are different colors. Our
camera detects the color of the under glove to detect a perforation of the top glove.
Improving Extracellular Vesicle Stability and Bioavailability through Electrostatic Nanoparticle Encapsulation
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) derived from mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) contain bioactive
molecules (e.g., proteins, microRNAs) unique to the cell of origin, making them beneficial
for tissue regeneration. However, EV administration in vivo results in rapid clearance
from the bloodstream, and retaining them in damaged tissues for a prolonged period
is difficult. This project aims to enhance the therapeutic potential of EVs by preventing
their clearance and degradation after administration.
To achieve this, we prepared gelatin nanoparticles (GNPs) using the desolvation method. By adjusting the Type A and Type B gelatin solution to pH 4.0 or pH 8.0 before the desolvation step, we imparted a net positive or negative charge on the GNPs. The hydrodynamic size and the zeta potential of the positively charged GNPs were 64 nm and 8.5 mV, respectively, while that of negatively charged GNPs was 55 nm and -4.6 mV. Preliminary studies suggest that positively charged GNPs can be taken up by fibroblasts and are not cytotoxic. We confirmed the electrostatic attachment of positively charged GNPs to negatively charged MSC-EVs by observing a shift towards a larger hydrodynamic size and lower zeta potential. Future studies will investigate the impact of unmodified and GNP-modified MSC-EVs on myoblast proliferation, differentiation, and myokine secretion.
Infrared Image Recognition
Thermal Infrared Imaging is a growing field of image recognition with potential to significantly improve the safety of our daily life, applicable to car safety and home surveillance. I interfaced a MLX90640 (a mini-thermal imaging camera) with a Raspberry Pi Pico. I programmed the Raspberry Pi with CircuitPython, brought the sensor data directly into the PC as a 2D array of values, then manipulated the data to display a heat map. I also explored other Raspberry Pi boards and manipulations. This work relates to a larger project with Dr. Gai, which explores various machine-learning algorithms in the classification of digits captured by infrared sensors. To do this, we constructed the linear-discriminant analysis (LDA) and also adapted a spiking deep belief network. The ultimate goal is to develop a real-time system that performs infrared image classification for various safety applications.
Powered Hand Orthotic for Paralysis Patients
Jeremy Roenker, Aakash Nagarapu, Madi Person, Meghan McCabe
Approximately 50 million people worldwide experience hand impairments as a result
of stroke and spinal cord injuries . Individuals without bimanual hand function
experience a loss of independence when completing daily activities, such as picking
up a water bottle. In an effort to reinstate bimanual hand function within this population,
wearable robotics are being developed. Although there has been significant advancement
in current technology, present designs struggle to develop a solution that fully mimics
the complex dexterity of the human hand without harming the user . Moreover, most
solutions only provide the user with the ability to flex their fingers to grasp objects
but do not assist in releasing. Although the assistance in grasping objects is beneficial
for individuals with partial control of their hand, this design would not allow those
with complete hand paralysis to pick-up and release objects. Implementation of a glove
that allows for finger extension, grip assistance, and object release has the potential
to reduce the physical and mental effort required to perform bimanual tasks while
allowing the individual to perform daily living tasks.
Group 3’s proposal for a solution to restore the ability to pick-up small objects in individuals experiencing hand paralysis as a result of stroke is a powered orthotic glove that utilizes small actuators to generate finger movements that replicate normal hand function. Our approach will include a voice recognition input component that allows the user to speak to open and close the glove, and then an output response will be produced by soft actuators integrated on the back of the glove controlled by an Adafruit feather bluefruit system.This design will fulfill the predetermined requirements needed for the powered orthotic glove, including that the glove portion will weigh less than 0.5 kilograms while the waist belt will weigh less than three kilograms. Additionally, the design will have multiple joint control such that each finger will have three bending degrees of freedom and the thumb will have two degrees of freedom. Furthermore, the design will allow an individual to grasp and pick up an object that weighs between 70 kilograms, such as an egg. This design proposal will produce a glove that can be worn by individuals who suffer from hand paralysis to pick up everyday objects, allowing them to regain a sense of independence in their lives.
Robotic Glove for Patient with Hand Paralysis
Olivia Johnson, Claire Mitchell, Emily Nunn
The voice activated robotic glove is a proposed solution to assist individuals facing hand paralysis with fine motor manipulation skills. An injury resulting in impairment to one or both hands strips away one of the body’s vital tools for self-sufficiency. The design described in this report will produce an AVR microcontroller driven system that will use voice commands to induce finger movements. More specifically, implementing this light-weight and portable embedded system in the robotic glove will make it powerful enough for the user to pick up a 70 g item, like an egg, effectively allowing individuals to regain a sense of independence. The user interface consists of a voice recognition system and multiple spring controlled linear actuators. A sound recognition sensor receives keywords from a microphone to let the user initiate the opening and closing of the glove.
Ryan Andersen, Rowan Elwart, Adelia Grapperhaus, Lindsey Postula
This technology, SafeKey, provides a method to catalog items and determine whether those items are in a predetermined area. A box is designed and manufactured to keep a log of its contents and maintain the security of those items. If an item is removed from the box, it will alert the appropriate user to this fact. Applications of this technology could be valet stands, building manager's offices, and car share services. In general, the technology should apply to any scenario where a user wants to keep track of an item in a communal space.
Abhinav Kumar, Jithin Martin, Nina Oforji, Rashid Ormani, Eric Suter
This goal of this project is to develop a personal-assistance robot which carries objects for a user. The user will place an object on the top of this robot and then walk to their destination with the assistant in tow following closely behind. The robot will follow a human user wearing a discrete symbol which it recognizes and knows to follow. Upon reaching the destination the user can remove objects from the robot and place them in a more permanent place. This device would restore some mobility and independence to the user who then need not rely on others to move objects for them. A target user is someone who is capable of moving relatively-heavy or otherwise difficult-to-carry objects short distances from a table/shelf to the robot, but who is not able to do so over longer distances. In essence this robot is analogous to a wagon or cart without the need to risk injury by pushing/pulling the vehicle. There is currently only one company making a product remotely similar to the proposed device, which is marketed toward wealthy technology enthusiasts who otherwise have little serious reason to use it. The goal is to recreate this technology for use in a more affordable product targeted toward people who have a serious reason to use it.
Synthesis and Optimization of Poly(DMA-co-SBMA) Polymer as a Lubricous Coating for Microgels: Towards Application in the Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis
Andrew Schab, Grace Almgren, Maitreyi Bhagat
Osteoarthritis is a common orthopedic condition characterized by pain and loss of function in the joints. A feature of osteoarthritis is compromised mechanical properties driven by chemical changes in the synovial fluid. Biotherapies have been developed to reduce inflammation, but do not restore the mechanical properties of osteoarthritic joints. Here, we have developed lubricious hydrogel microspheres to restore mechanical properties and offer the potential for drug delivery into synovial joints. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) microspheres (100-400 μm) were fabricated via electrospraying and dip-coated into a copolymer consisting of dopamine methacrylamide (DMA) and sulfobetaine methacrylate (SBMA) monomers, forming a Poly(DMA-co-SBMA) coating. Microspheres were tested for mechanical properties such as storage modulus, injectability, and coefficient of friction. Coated microspheres were compared to non-coated microspheres and synovial fluid samples from patients with and without osteoarthritis. Future work will investigate the capability of these lubricious microspheres to deliver biotherapies, offering a dual-action treatment for osteoarthritis.
The Design of an Optimized Electrospun Scaffold for Retinal Pigment Epithelium Cell Interaction
The Bruch’s membrane, between the retina and choroid in the eye, provides structural and functional support for Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE) cells. RPE cells work with photoreceptors to maintain normally functioning vision. This project aims to create an in vitro model of RPE cells on the Bruch’s membrane. Electrospinning, a fibrous scaffold fabrication technique, is utilized for the production of a synthetic Bruch’s membrane. RPE cells are introduced to the optimized scaffold in a static flow situation to investigate the cell-scaffold interactions.
The modification of three-dimensional filament printer to produce ionically crosslinked hydrogels
Danielle McTigue, Natalie Roush
This study aims to create ionically crosslinked hydrogels using a 3D printer. 3D printing has gained interest in tissue engineering due to its precise deposition. Hydrogels are crosslinked polymers that maintain specific structures due to their composition. A complex hydrogel with small-diameter depositions can be fabricated using a modified 3D printer. A coaxial nozzle and separate syringe pumps were utilized to push a 1% alginate and 10% CaCl2 solutions through 0.090-inch diameter tygon tubing separately at rates of 0.40 milliliters per minute and 21.00 milliliters per hour, respectively, via a 22-gauge needle. Preliminary cyclic data confirmed that the 3D-printed hydrogels have comparable mechanical properties to the current model. Hydrogels fabricated with decreased flow rates produced diameters of 2 microns congruent with replicating the extracellular matrix. The various two-dimensional prints had length errors beneath 5 percent. These results indicate that 3D-printed hydrogels are suitable scaffolds for use in tissue engineering.
Three-Dimensional Confined Bioreactor for Collagen Deposition
Collagen is an important building block for the body, especially for articular cartilage. Tissue engineering allows for collagen production experiments from cells in vitro, or outside of the body to replicate extracellular matrix structure and exhibit collagen production and accumulation from cells to initiate polymerization of procollagen outside of the cells, resulting in increased collagen formation to self-assemble into fibrils to make up articular cartilage where collagen is a prominent component. However, many methods do not produce a realistic biomimetic environment outside of the body. Existing methods are either two dimensional or involve macromolecular crowding, interfering with cells’ ability to secrete collagen due to macromolecular interactions with the cell’s surface. The confinement method will be tested in combination with the development of a 3D bioreactor to monitor the amount of collagen secretion and improve the biomimetic properties of a cell environment. The model will answer whether it is feasible to create a 3D confined model and monitor diffusion and degradation rate of materials based on the material choice including the membrane to achieve the desired outcome of increased collagen deposition like the body’s natural environment.
Tibia Bone Fracture Model
Garrett Ellebrecht, Nate Platcher, Anna Zurawski
This project is a proposal for a new fracture model that displays the biomedical properties of metaphyseal distal third tibia fractures treated with intramedullary nailing with and without provisional reduction plating. The strength and design of the model will be established using finite element method (FEM) software before the physical development of the model is completed. The need for this model is demonstrated mainly in orthopedic surgery to understand the advantages and disadvantages of reduction plating, as there are patients with open, type III fractures that require surgical repair. Currently, there are no tibia models used in these applications, so it is difficult for orthopedic surgeons to understand or develop new methods of fracture treatments. Although the immediate application is to demonstrate how different methods of reductional plating affect tibia healing, this model could lead to further development of fracture models of other long bones.
A Research-Based Capstone Project for Organic Chemistry Lab
Kristen Kamp, Brian Woods, Louisia Yang
A multi-week research-based project was installed at the end of the two-semester organic lab sequence for chemistry majors. Up to this point in their academic careers, organic students (primarily sophomores) are adept at performing lab experiments that follow a thorough stepwise protocol. However, they have little experience with open-inquiry type labs or the research process. Most chemistry majors join a research group in their junior year, so this project was designed to introduce students to a research-like project. Collectively, the students performed a two-step synthesis of a series of molecules that have potential anti-bacterial activity. Working in groups of two, students were assigned a target molecule to synthesize, characterize, and report their results. The development and implementation of the pilot versions of this project will be presented, as well as lessons learned along the way.
Counter-screening N-hydroxynapthyridinones (HNOs) and N-hydroxypyridinediones (HPDs) Against Human Ribonuclease H 1
Mahima Bhasin; Daniel Bradley; Jala Chalichama; Holly Furby; Emma Inmon; Alaina Knier; Qilan Li; Anna Pan; Annabella Robinson; Razia Tajwar; John E. Tavis; Molly Woodson
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) chronically affects over 290 million people worldwide and kills up to 820,000 people yearly by inducing liver failure and liver cancer. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a double stranded DNA virus part of the hepadnaviridae family. It replicates using reverse transcription. Inhibiting the HBV ribonuclease H (RNase H) can prevent HBV replication. The N-hydroxypyridinediones (HPDs) and N-hydroxynapthyridinones (HNOs) are known HBV inhibitors. Human RNase H 1 and HBV RNase H are similar in structure and metabolic activity, so counter-screening of huRNase is essential. From all the compounds screened, the HNOs had the highest inhibitory effect on huRNase H 1. The HPDs had the best overall response to HBV (SIHBV) and were not extremely toxic to huRNase H 1. Compounds 1465, 1466, 1467, and 1618 have the best overall SI values. They are not the most potent, and they have decent antiviral activity.
Optimizing measurement of flavin reduction potential upon aptamer binding using spectroelectrochemistry
The ability of biomolecules to bind to and change the properties of redox cofactors expands their potential reaction scope. Previously we have identified RNA aptamers capable of preferential binding to oxidized forms of flavin and subsequently shifting the reduction potential. The reduction potential shifts were determined using the enzyme xanthine oxidase. Specifically, xanthine oxidase reduces a common mediator, which then reduces the flavin and a reference dye in a spectroscopically monitored competitive assay. While aptamer binding was observed under a variety of conditions, the use of enzymes limits the conditions under which the reduction potential can be determined. Spectroelectrochemistry reduces the common mediator electrochemically and monitors the competition assay spectroscopically. Spectroelectrochemistry has been used for the study of proteins, but it has not been applied to aptamer characterization. Using our previously reported aptamer, we have investigated the ability to use spectroelectrochemistry for measuring reduction potential changes for aptamer-bound redox cofactors.
Progress in Thermodynamic Characterization of RNAs Containing Inosine for Improved Structure Prediction
Kip Friend, Danyang Liu, Brent Znosko
Inosine is a naturally occurring non-canonical nucleotide often found in the wobble position of the tRNA anticodon loop that has been known to increase transcriptome diversity due to its ability to form base pairs with cytosine, uracil, and adenine. While Inosine has previously been studied and nearest neighbor parameters derived for I•C and I•U base pairs, there remains a need to characterize inosine when it occurs in other types of secondary structure motifs. Zuber et al. identified a subset of nearest neighbor parameters which have the greatest impact on secondary structure prediction, highlighting dangling ends, terminal mismatches, and internal loops as motifs of key importance [Zuber, J., Hongying, S., Xiaoju, Z., McFadyen, I., and Mathews, D.H. (2017) Nucleic Acids Research 45(10), 6168-6176]. In the present work, RNAs containing inosine within these key motifs are being thermodynamically characterized using optical melting experiments. To date, ten duplexes have been purified and optically melted. Ultimately, when data collection is complete nearest neighbor parameters will be derived and incorporated into an improved model for accurate prediction of the stability and secondary structure of RNAs containing inosine.
Integration of Electrodes into 3D Printed Microfluidic Devices with Electrophoresis Applications
Molly Melzer, Major Selemani, Emily Currens, Dr. Scott Martin
The application of stacked PolyJet printing utilizing stage drops and multiple prints has allowed for the embedding of capillaries and electrodes in microfluidic electrochemical devices. The implementation of carbon ink and gold 100-micron diameter electrodes has been pursued for capillary electrophoresis with electrochemical detection. Two separate device designs have been investigated, both using stacked PolyJet printing. The first uses liquid support, a gold electrode, and embedded capillary and the second uses a brass mold to form channels, a carbon electrode, and thermal bonding to secure the print with channels to the print with the carbon electrode. Separations of catechol, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine using grounded and floating potentiostats will be presented. Using a 3D printing approach for electrochemical devices allows rapid and customizable production of detection devices allowing quick changes in electrode types and design and quick turnarounds for same day to day after print detection.
Isobaric 6-plex and tosyl dual tagging for the determination of positional isomers and quantitation of monounsaturated fatty acids using rapid UHPLC-MS/MS
Michael Armbruster, Christopher Arnatt, Rhea Caldwell, James Edwards Mahmoud Mostafa, Scott Grady
Unsaturated fatty acids are notoriously difficult to separate and quantitate which result in longer separation and analysis times. Our derivatization approach multiplexes fatty acids using two tags which yield individualized fatty acid reporters. Using this strategy, we were able to simultaneously separate and quantitate 16 different fatty acids with a single sample injection. The derivatization strategy utilizes two tags: a quaternary amine 6-plex isobaric tag for separation efficiency and quantitation, and a chloramine-T tag for double bond identification. Upon derivatization, the fatty acids were separated and analyzed with reverse phase ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-UHPLC) coupled with tandem mass spectrometry. 16 fatty acids standards were separated using a 3.5-minute RP-UHPLC method resulting in 14 of the 16 standards having resolutions greater than one. Each fatty acid standard was quantified using a characteristic reporter fragment. This strategy improves the signal-to-noise ratios and increases the peak resolution for the quantitation of fatty acids.
Expedient Synthesis of Thioglycosyl Superarmed Donors
Thioglycosides are common building blocks used in synthesis of biomedically relevant compounds. Our group discovered an unusually reactive class of thioglycosides that we named “superarmed building blocks.” The superarming reactivity was achieved via modulating protecting groups. Despite high reactivity and potential broad application in synthesis, building blocks equipped with the superarming protecting group pattern are tedious to prepare. For example, the synthesis of superarmed thioglycosides requires six or seven synthetic steps, several chromatographic purifications of intermediates, the use of toxic reagents, and may lead to weeks of benchwork. Poor accessibility to sugar building blocks in general, hampers the development of many therapeutic agents and diagnostic platforms. Reported herein is a streamlined approach to the synthesis to super-armed building blocks equipped with thioethyl, thiophenyl, and thiotolyl anomeric leaving groups.
Synthesis of Potential p38β Selective PROTACs
Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is a debilitating neuromuscular disease with no known cure. Misexpression of the DUX4 gene causes progressive muscle degeneration in patients with FSHD, and the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) is an important regulator of DUX4 activity (1). The p38β isoform has been identified by our group as a target for selective degradation when treating FSHD, and PROTAC (Proteolysis-targeting chimera) molecules are being developed accordingly. PROTACs are heterobifunctional molecules used in targeted protein degradation, consisting of a “warhead” ligand that binds the protein of interest and an E3 ubiquitin ligase binding ligand, connected by a linker (2). Experimental PROTAC molecules have been synthesized by attaching a warhead with a known affinity for p38 to VHL and CRBN ligands, connected by alkyl and PEG linkers of differing lengths, in addition to other moieties affecting linker rigidity. In the future, SAR studies will be used to inform further synthesis of PROTACs.
Thermodynamic Characterization of RNA Hexaloops
Prediction of RNA tertiary structure from sequence first relies on the prediction of secondary structure using free energy minimization. Hexaloops, hairpins with six nucleotides in the loop, are a common RNA secondary structure motif; however the current model used to predict their stability derived from data collected for hairpins of various sizes. Here, 19 hexaloops that are common in nature were optically melted to determine the thermodynamic parameters ΔH, ΔS, ΔGo37, and TM. By combining this data with 107 previously melted hexaloop sequences from the literature, a new hexaloop-specific model to predict free energy contribution was derived using a multivariable linear regression. Compared to the current model, this new model is more accurate and simpler to use. This updated model and new experimental data can be used in secondary structure prediction software to generate more accurate results.
Determining the reduction potential shifting ability of flavin-binding DNA aptamers
Aptamers are identified based on their ability to bind to specific molecules. However, upon binding, aptamers can also impact the properties of their ligands. Recently, we have reported the ability of a flavin-binding RNA aptamer to shift the reduction potential of the bound flavin. To explore if DNA aptamers have similar abilities, we have undertaken a series of spectroscopic assays on recently reported DNA aptamers for flavin adenosine dinucleotide (FAD) and riboflavin. Flavin binding has been assessed in the presence of different divalent metal ions and under a range of pH conditions. The reduction potential of the bound flavin is being analyzed using a previously reported xanthine oxidase enzymatic assay as well as by spectroelectrochemistry. The results of these studies are expected to reveal reduction potential shifts, if any, by DNA aptamers and will contribute to the understanding of DNA’s impact on flavin redox behavior.
Identification of DNA Aptamers for IL-17 and IL-20 for Psoriasis and Diabetic Wound Healing
Two interleukins are implicated in the pathophysiology of the diabetic wound healing process namely Interleukin 17 (IL-17) and Interleukin 20 (IL-20). IL-17 is a proinflammatory cytokine while IL-20 induces keratinocyte proliferation. Currently, antibodies exist for both IL-17 and IL-20, but no other biomolecule therapeutics, such as aptamers, could overcome some of the challenges associated with antibodies. DNA aptamers are a preferable over antibodies for inhibition due to cost and improved stability. Using a magnetic bead based systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX) approach, potential aptamers for the IL-20 protein have been isolated and sequenced and experimentation is underway to determine binding affinity and to compare with known RNA aptamers. For IL-17, we have completed the SELEX rounds and are commencing with cloning to isolate potential aptamers for testing and comparison with recently reported DNA aptamers. Our progress on these characterization studies will be discussed.
Iron-Catalyzed Linear Trimerization of Terminal Alkynes
Celia McGhiey, Jamie Neely, Madeline Stockell, Mitchell Vandercar
Catalyzed trimerization of terminal aryl alkynes proves to be a useful and efficient way to form C—C bonds. However, this process favors the formation of substituted benzene derivatives, which is reported in all but one previous study. To combat this issue, we have discovered an electron-rich iron (II) complex, tBuLFeOEt2, in which tBuL is a bis-pyrrolide pyridine pincer ligand. This complex selectively creates linear 3,5-diene-1-yne products, which are more synthetically useful intermediates than the cyclic products created without the catalyst. The linear products of interest can be made with both electron-rich and electron-poor terminal aryl alkyne substrates. Product selectivity and yield are affected by the reaction concentration and solvent. Current work is focused on studying the substrate scope of this catalyst as well as the isolation and characterization of the linear trimerization products.
Investigating the Reactivity of Differently Protected Galactosyl Chlorides
Koenigs-Knorr reaction conditions classically involve the glycosidation of a glycosyl halide donor with a glycosyl acceptor (alcohol) in the presence of a silver salt as an activator. Traditionally, the per-O-benzylated (armed) donor is more reactive under these conditions than the per-O-benzoylated (disarmed) donor. However, recently discovered reaction conditions have indicated a reversal in this traditionally understood reactivity trend. In this project, we are investigating the reactivity trends of differently protected galactosyl chlorides in a cooperatively-catalyzed Koenigs-Knorr glycosylation reaction.
Effects of Atomic Oxygen on Cell Biology using Dibenzothiophene S-Oxide Derivatives
Bashar Aziz, Ankita Isor, John Petroff, Ryan McCulla
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have proven invaluable in extracting vital molecular information in various bioanalytical techniques. However, we are particularly interested in investigating the potential of atomic oxygen, O(3P), in these methods because compared to other ROS, O(3P) has a higher selectivity for electrophilic oxidation of alkenes and thiols. Unfortunately, previous research on cellular responses to O(3P) has been limited due to the harsh conditions required to generate O(3P) and the associated by-products. To address these challenges, we have synthesized 2,8-diaxetoxymethylDBTO, a water-soluble molecule that produces O(3P) upon UV-A irradiation through photodeoxygenation. With this clean source of O(3P), we can now study the effects of O(3P) on cell viability, gene expression, and cell cycle distribution.
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Synthesis of SAE-14 Analogs: Antagonists for G-Protein Coupled Receptor 183
The management of neuropathic pain (NP) targets opioid receptors to modulate their signal transduction and this is known to have side effects such as addiction and dependencies. GPR183 (Epstein-Barr induced gene 2, EBI2) is a non-opioid receptor involved in NP generation. SAE-14, a novel small molecule was shown to antagonize GPR183 and mitigate the development of NP. We aim to investigate the structure-activity relationship of SAE-14 by synthesizing its analogs. This will optimize the functional groups and pharmacophores responsible for the binding interaction of this small molecule.
Forest Park Trolley Extension Project
Urja Gajera, Donovan Jones, Adrian Martin, Francis Peters
The Forest Park Trolley Extension Project is an urban revitalization project located in St. Louis, Missouri. The project consists primarily of a rail extension to the existing Loop Trolley, which services the Delmar Loop and Forest Park. Structural analysis and design, stormwater analysis, foundation design, and vertical and horizontal alignment design was completed in the development of this project. The extension will include 1200 ft of additional track into the Forest Park end of the alignment, from the Missouri History Museum where the track currently ends, to the Dennis & Judith Jones Visitor Center. The project also includes the design of trolley shelters located at the two additional trolley stops, an overhead cable system to power the trolley, and roadway improvements at the intersection of Grand Drive and DeBaliviere Circle. The goal of this project is to encourage cross-travel between Forest Park and the Loop, and to make the service more convenient.
Cooper Chiburis, Brandon Hoff, Kelsey Hoover, Kayden McCullough, Harrison Wooters
Crossroads Consulting, a senior design team, was tasked to redevelop the northeastern plot of land near McDonnell Douglas Hall and the Lindell-Olive intersection that aimed at improving Saint Louis University’s (SLU) campus. The first element of the project was to redesign the Olive-Lindell intersection to improve pedestrian safety, traffic flow, and mobility in the area. Currently this intersection is a busy crossroad that links SLU’s campus to the surrounding metropolitan area of St. Louis, and it has been the scene of several accidents and frequent time delays. The second element of the project is implementing and designing a new dining hall for SLU. The dining hall will provide new dining options for students that spend most of their time east of Grand Blvd. The team sought to create a space that would serve as an option for community gathering, dining, and entertainment. Overall, the Lindell-Olive Redevelopment project supplied an excellent platform for students to showcase their creativity, critical thinking, leadership, and design abilities.
Midtown Vertical Garden
Amelie Buchard, Jess Garcia, Salim Nur, Bonnie Peccola, Jacob Reznikov
Beyond BeLeaf is an advocate for increasing green spaces on SLU’s campus. The proposed location is the unused lot on SLU’s North Campus at the intersection of Grand Boulevard and Laclede Avenue to enhance greenery, stimulate biodiversity, and foster knowledge and education for the Midtown community. The proposed Midtown Vertical Garden is a two-story, open-air structure that would provide three levels of space for plants and people to flourish. The structure has been designed to be made of steel and reinforced concrete slab to build the garden upward and increase the amount of space available for use. The whole project encompasses the structure, a parking lot, and a bioretention basin. The Beyond BeLeaf team is proud to present the Midtown Vertical Garden as an innovative way of designing urban green spaces.
Kateri Heithaus, Shenouda Kamal, Nguyet Nguyen, & Katie Zalewski
Arch Engineering STL is pleased to design a new dining and entertainment option on campus – The Brewhouse. The Brewhouse will be located on the southwest corner of the half-acre plot of land between Oliver Hall and Hermann Stadium. The project site is located near Hermann Stadium and Chaifetz Arena, which will bring many fans to campus and increase the number of customers to The Brewhouse.
Arch Engineering STL considered three alternatives and finalized the design that best fit our client’s requirements. The design of The Brewhouse considered many different aspects including the structural integrity of the building, the foundation, hydraulic design, transportation travel demand, and the civil site plans. The team created a schedule and cost estimate for the design and construction process to finalize the plans of The Brewhouse. The goal of this project is to provide students with more dining options and social areas to convene.
Controlling a Swarm of Drones
Logan Blaesing, Kunj Patel, Taylor Streff
Controlling a Swarm of Drones is a project involving the use of virtual reality (VR) to control a set of drones. The goal of this project is to allow users to issue commands through a VR headset in which a specified number of drones will execute those tasks. These commands include but are not limited to: takeoff, land, formation flying, and patterns. Added functionality will support users being able to hand off drone control to another user. Future development and scalability will introduce this novel technology into fields such as emergency services, surveillance, and law enforcement.
Machine Learning Code Generator
Kaitlyn Ashabranner, John Coffman, Boran Li, Tyler McMahon
Machine Learning Code Generator is an open-source web application that models the work of machine learning experts and allows users to generate machine learning code through a simple graphical user interface. The goal of this project is to allow people to use machine learning code to analyze data without requiring familiarity with writing machine learning code.
Tyler Bush, Cori Diaz, Logan Wyas
Mouser is a desktop application designed for animal testing research. The goal of the application is to automate data entry and storage in a laboratory experiment, allowing a researcher little computer interaction while in the lab environment. Animals in an experiment are embedded with an RFID chip which can be scanned and automatically entered into the Mouser application along with other electronic measurement-taking devices. Mouser also features a login system with restrictions for administrator-identified features for differing clearance levels.
Network Congestion Control Emulation
Andrew Berry, Anh Nguyen
Congestion control is a mechanism used to control the arrival of data packets into a network, enabling a better use of a shared network infrastructure and avoiding any collapse within the network. Over the years, different congestion control protocols have been developed in response to observed congestion and collapse while fully utilizing the bandwidth of the network. These protocols use different network algorithms to avoid congestion therefore, it is hard to compare them when subjected to the same network conditions. This project aims to optimize an existing network emulation system that evaluates these different protocols by subjecting them to the same emulated network scenarios. We leverage two different open-source software- Pantheon and Mahimahi which allow users to achieve this goal. We optimize the emulation system by combining the two applications into a single software and adding more functionalities such as traffic prediction and real-time monitoring of the network.
Traison Diedrich, Austin Howard, Sinuo Liu
The Pi4Micronaut Library empowers creators to create custom IoT applications by combining Raspberry Pi microcomputers and specialty hardware. Pi4Micronaut is based on the use of embedded applications via the Micronaut Framework and Pi4J, a java library which allows the Raspberry Pi and hardware to communicate with each other. Combined with our library, anyone can easily plug in a variety of hardware components, LEDs, Rotary Encoders, RFiD scanners, LCDs, and more, to a Raspberry Pi and create a remotely-accessible, serverless application without the hassle of understanding the intricacies of how each hardware component works. While we only offer support for a small number of hardware components now, in the future we plan to offer support for almost any component a Raspberry Pi can handle. Using our library, we have already built a remotely-accessible attendance system using RFid cards and scanners, but the possibilities are endless.
Seeing is Believing
Daniel Mao, Carlos Salinas, Vishnu Sivaprasad
Seeing is Believing (SIB) is a learning management tool focused on language learning. SIB is a web application that helps students improve their pronunciation of words by producing spectrograms of student's voices.
Speech Transcription and Tagging
Omar Al Akkad, Sean Gerty, Drew Hediger, Jake Wahle
We look to be able to transcribe audio samples into a written format that is accepted by SALT (systematic analysis of language transcripts) software. SALT is an app that analyzes the speech of children and scores it according to their metrics.
Design and Fabrication of One- and Two-Dimensional Semiconducting Nanomaterials and Heterostructures for Low-Power Electrical Applications
The study of nanomaterials, especially their integration into nano-scale electronics, remains at the forefront of contemporary research developments. As technology shrinks in size, a need to maintain performance and low-cost solutions arises. Many such materials exhibit semiconducting properties and enhanced electrical performance when their dimensions shrink as the surface area to volume ratio increases, allowing higher sensitivity and better transport. Many previous studies show the promising capabilities of one- and two-dimensional materials, and when combined into heterostructures, they exhibit new capabilities. Some materials that have shown such unique behaviors are Graphene (Gr), Zinc Oxide nanowires (ZnO NWs), and Molybdenum Disulfide (MoS2). In this study, we compare the electrical performance of ZnO NWs/Gr and ZnO NWs/MoS2 heterostructures, especially related to their semiconducting properties and viability to be marketed as diodes or other circuit elements in the electronics industry.
The Effects of Gamma Radiation on Microwave Resonators in Various Materials
Grant Osmon and Abigail Sohm
Microwave resonators are a fundamental component in microwave-based communication circuits and are present in everyday devices such as amplifiers, tuners, filters, and oscillators. In this research, the resonators of coplanar waveguides are being studied and compared to themselves before and after being exposed to Cs-137, a source with high amounts of gamma radiation. After examining the circuit’s microwave resonators and their corresponding internal quality factors, we can see the resonators shift and the internal quality factors decrease drastically. Several circuits have been used of various materials. Currently, Niobium circuits are being printed onto intrinsic silicon wafers and being compared to Niobium circuits printed onto a thin layer of quartz. By exposing these circuits to extreme temperatures at about 67.5mK, one can see the resonators and measure their internal quality factors. Using superconducting microwave resonators to study radiation and materials will lead to better radiation detectors and lower decoherence in qubits.