The Virginia Tech College of Engineering Graduate Student Committee held the 2011 Paul E. Torgersen Graduate Student Research Excellence Awards on March 30 at the Graduate Life Center.

In its 21st year, the annual competition showcases the top research performed by graduating master’s and doctoral students from the College of Engineering. Winners were as follows:

Masters of Science Poster Presentations

First: Elizabeth Voigt of Lindsborg, Kan., mechanical engineering. Advisor: Pavlos Vlachos.  Research Title: “Hydrodynamic Characterization of an Arterial Flow Bioreactor.”

Second: Arsalan Heydarian of Harrisonburg, Va., civil and environment engineering. Advisor: Mani Golparvar-Fard.  Research Title: “A Visual Monitoring Framework for Integrated Productivity and Carbon Footprint Control of Construction Operations.”

Third: Alek Duerksen of is Charlottesville, Va., mining and minerals engineering. Advisor: Erik Westman. Research Title: “A Feasibility Analysis of Wind Power as an Alternative Post-mining Land Use at Surface Coal Mines in West Virginia.”

Ph.D. Poster Presentations

First: Robert Neal II of Richmond, Va., biomedical engineering and sciences. Advisor: Rafael Davalos. Research Title: “Irreversible Electroporation for Non-Thermal Focal Ablation in Patient Tumor Therapy.”

Second: Matthias Hofmann of Zürich, Switzerland, electrical and computer engineering. Advisor: Yong Xu. Research Title: “Holey Scaffold Imaging for Regenerative Medicine.”

Third: Shuaiwen Song of Shenyang City, China, computer science. Advisor: Kirk W. Cameron. Research Title: Iso-Energy-Efficiency:  “An Approach to Power-Constrained Parallel Computation.”

Masters of Science Oral Presentations

First: Brady Drew of Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., mechanical engineering. Advisor: Pavlos Vlachos. Research Title: “Liquid Entrainment by Round Turbulent Gas Jets Submerged in Water.”

Second: Stephanie Beeman of Fulton, N.Y., biomedical engineering and sciences. Advisor: Stefan Duma. Research Title: “Effects of Muscle Bracing in Low Speed Frontal Crash Tests.”

Third: Alondra Izquierdo-Roman of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, biomedical engineering and sciences. Advisor: Chris Rylander. Research Title: “Mechanical Tissue Optical Clearing Technique Increases Imaging Resolution and Contrast Through Ex Vivo Porcine Skin.”

Ph.D. Oral Presentations

First: Thomas McQuigg of Williamsburg, Va., aerospace and ocean engineering. Advisor: Rakesh Kapania. Research Title: “Compression After Impact Experiments and Analysis on Honeycomb Core Sandwich Panels with Thin Facesheets.”

Second (Tie): Mehmet Kosoglu of Istanbul, Turkey, mechanical engineering. Advisor: Chris Rylander. Research Title: “Fiberoptic Microneedle Device for Transdermal Light Delivery;” and Haris I. Volos of Limassol, Cyprus, electrical and computer engineering. Advisor: R. Michael Buehrer. Research Title: “Cognitive Radio Engine for Wireless Link Adaptation.”

The awards program was named after Paul Torgersen, dean of the College of Engineering from 1970 to 1990, and president of Virginia Tech from 1993 until 2000.