On April 6, Virginia Tech sent a cohort of eight undergraduate students to present their work in undergraduate research and creative scholarship at the 31st Annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at the University of Memphis in Memphis, Tennessee.
Established in 1987 by the Council on Undergraduate Research, NCUR exists to highlight and support excellence in undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative endeavors across all disciplines and varieties of institutions of higher education.
Participating in NCUR allows students the opportunity to share their research, hone their communication skills, and receive feedback from and engage in discussions with students and faculty from myriad fields of study.
The students who presented at NCUR 2017 are:
- Emilia Carotti of Leesburg, Virginia, a sophomore majoring in Civil Engineering in the College of Engineering. She gave an oral presentation titled “Effects of Non-Structural Components on Vibration Serviceability of Building Structures.” Her mentor is Mehdi Setareh, professor of Architecture in the School of Architecture and Design.
- Lauren Delbridge of Wilkesboro, North Carolina, a senior majoring in Landscape Architecture in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. Her poster presentation was titled “Coal Ash Wastescape: Designed Remediation of Chesterfield Power Station's Coal Ash Ponds.” Lauren’s mentor is Wendy Jacobson, an associate professor of Landscape Architecture in the School of Architecture and Design.
- Kevin Duke of Ellicott City, Maryland, a third year Architecture student in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. He gave an oral presentation titled “Floor Vibration Serviceability: Evaluation and Control.” His mentor is Mehdi Setareh, professor of Architecture in the School of Architecture and Design.
- Ahmed Elnahhas of Kuwait City, Kuwait, a junior Mechanical Engineering major in the College of Engineering. He gave an oral presentation titled "Open-air Ultrasonic Acoustic Energy Transfer Uning Piezoelectric Transducers for Wirelessly Charging Low-power Sensors." His mentor is Shima Shahab, assistant professor in the department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics.
- Alec Masella of Augusta, Georgia, a senior majoring in Literature and Language in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Alec delivered two oral presentations: “Attention Spans: a More Thorough Look” and “Stitches: the Relationship between Women and Fabrication in Short Legal Fiction.” His mentors are Quinn Warnick, senior director of academic innovation and user experience in TLOS, and Nancy Metz, professor of English.
- Jerry Stieg of Drakes Branch, Virginia, a junior majoring in Mechanical Engineering in the College of Engineering. He gave an oral presentation titled “An Experimental Investigation Toward Ultrasound-Responsive Shape Memory Polymer-based Mechanisms.” Jerry’s mentor is Reza Mirzaeifar, assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering.
- Kyle Titus-Glover of Randallstown, Maryland, a senior majoring in Engineering Science and Mechanics in the College of Engineering's Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics department. Kyle delivered a presentation titled “Topoisomerase: The Architect of Genomic Infrastructure.” His mentor is Alexey Onufriev, associate professor of Computer Science and Physics.
- Codi Wiersma of Palmyra, Virginia, a senior majoring in Geosciences in the College of Science. He gave a poster presentation titled “Understanding the Sub-Surface Geochemistry during the Evolution of the Natron Rift.” Codi’s mentor is Sarah Stamps, assistant professor of Geosciences.
“NCUR offers the unique opportunity of exposing individuals to a great diversity of ideas and people, and thus is an invaluable experience,” said Civil Engineering student Ahmed Elnahhas.
Senior Landscape Architecture student Lauren Delbridge agreed.
“Having the opportunity to travel to NCUR 2017 with Virginia Tech students representing some of the many fields of study Tech has to offer, opened my eyes to the diversity within our own university," she said. "Going into the trip, it was hard to imagine how architects, engineers, an English major, and a geophysicist could find common ground. But, we quickly found that we all shared a passion for experiencing new places, meeting new faces, in supporting each other, and in sharing our passions for research."
Applications for the National Conference on Undergraduate Research open annually in early January. Travel and hotel accommodations of students who present at NCUR are provided by the Office of Undergraduate Research.
Information about this and other opportunities for undergraduate students to conduct and present research can be found on the website of the Office of Undergraduate Research.