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Students shine at annual undergraduate research symposium

Each year, Lehigh's top undergraduate engineering researchers, as nominated by their home departments, showcase their work at the David and Lorraine Freed Undergraduate Research Symposium. This year's event, held on Wednesday, March 20 at the STEPS Concourse, continued the event's nine-year tradition of helping student-competitors hone their communication skills by expressing the significance and complexity of their work -- a key skill for future engineers to master.

More than twenty research presentations vied for prizes and bragging rights, including six presentations from Lafayette College students who are invited each year to participate. Winners, as selected by a judging panel of professional engineers, are awarded travel stipends to attend professional conferences that entail further opportunity for students to promote their work.

First place went to Lehigh materials science and engineering major Nadia Krook '14 for her research on "In Vitro Examination of Poly(glycerol sebacate) Degradation Kinetics: Effects of Porosity and Cure Temperature." Krook conducted her research under the guidance of Dr. Sabrina Jedlicka, assistant professor of materials science and engineering.

Lafayette's Isaac Lavine took second place for his work in "Modeling and Simulation of Hydrogen Diffusion and Reaction in Semiconductor Materials," and Lehigh computer science and business seniors Michael Beddow and Matthew Tessitore took third place for their work in "Phone Analytics for Groundcrew Efficiency." Corrin Pimentel was named the People's Choice award winner for "Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 Effects on Epilepsy." Pimentel, whose interest in the field is spurred by her own battle with epilepsy, conducted her research under the direction of Yevgeny Berdichevsky, assistant professor of electrical and computer eningeering.

Since 2005, the College of Engineering has hosted the annual David and Lorraine Freed Undergraduate Research Symposium. Envisioned by materials science professors Himanshu Jain and Wojciech Misiolek, and endowed by alumnus Andrew Freed '83 in honor of his parents, the symposium showcases undergraduate research achievement and encourages Lehigh students to enrich their learning experience through research. The symposium also aims to challenge its competitors, from both Lehigh and Lafayette, to communicate their ideas to a broad audience.

Krook, Beddow, Tessitore, and three other teams were also selected to present their research at the Lehigh 2013 Academic Symposium, which highlights research from across the university community.

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