Exoplanets, UAS, CubeSats and Augmented Reality: Student Research Celebrated at Discovery Day

The Office of Undergraduate Research at Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University announced the recipients of the sixth annual Discovery Day Awards, held on April 10. Discovery Day, the University’s Undergraduate Research Symposium, was the culmination of hard work and significant achievements for over 300 student researchers representing the four colleges at the Daytona Beach Campus – Engineering, Arts & Sciences, Business and Aviation. 

In addition to the traditional student and faculty poster presentations, this year’s event featured a series of oral presentations and an awards ceremony. Students competed for seven awards with cash prizes, including one community choice winner and six awards for best poster judged by a panel of faculty and staff. The 2018-2019 Ignite Research Grant recipients were also announced.

“Every year at the Discovery Day Student Research Symposium, we are continually impressed with the hard work and significant achievement of our student researchers, and their faculty mentors, as they develop skills in inquiry, research and scholarship. To celebrate their hard work is incredibly rewarding,” said Kadie, Mullins, Director of Undergraduate Research at Embry–Riddle’s Daytona Beach Campus.

The winners for team-based projects were:

1st Place – Characterizing Giant Exoplanets through Multiwavelength Transit Observations: HAT-P-5b, led by David PeQueen.

2nd Place – Mie Scattering-Based Particle Sizing Diagnostic, led by Clayton Birchenough.

3rd Place – Level 3 Rocket, led by Francisco Pastrana.

The winners for individual projects included:

1st Place – Constraint Programming Mapping and Evaluation Techniques Applied to Critical Unmanned Aerial System Decision-Making, by Courtney Thurston.

2nd Place – An Investigation of the System Architecture of High Power Density 3U CubeSats Capable of Supporting High Impulse Missions, by Naia Butler-Craig.

3rd Place – The Heat of Change, by Katalina Montalvo.

discovery day

The Community Choice poster winner was:

Integration of Augmented Reality and Neuromuscular Control Systems for Remote Vehicle Operations, Led by Adam Berlier.

Also recognized at the event were Faculty Mentor of the Year, Professor of Electrical Engineering Dr. Ilteris Demirkiran and Undergraduate Student Researcher of the Year, Deanna DeMattio.

The 2018-2019 Ignite Research Grant Recipients Announced

Ignite is a campus–wide initiative to inspire knowledge discovery and spark a student’s passion for research. Ignite grants are rewarded annually to undergraduate student groups, giving them opportunities for academic and professional growth. Projects that received Ignite research grants include:

MESSI: Microgravity Experiment for Spirulina as Superfood In-Vitro, led by Deanna Dobson and mentored by Dr. Pedro Llanos.

Water Desalination Test Rig: Test various methods of water desalination to support clean water research, led by Rachel Hunt and mentored by Dr. Marc Compere.

Machine Learning Prediction Model for Child Abuse: Research identifying factors leading to the removal of an at –risk child to assist Partnerships for Strong Families, led by Maegan Revak and mentored by Dr. Mihhail Berezovski.

Remote Control Systems Using Magnetic Fields: Develop a control system using magnetic fields to create a more user-friendly control device for UAVs, led by Audrey Swiatocha and mentored by Dr. Shuo Pang

Design and Development of a Controlled Environment Experimentation Chamber: Construct and test an environmentally controllable experimentation chamber to grow plant and micro–organic life, led by Collin Topolski and mentored by Dr. Pedro Llanos.

The Growth of Super Foods Under Mars Lighting Conditions: Develop adequate ways to feed astronauts through the growth of nutrient rich plants in Mars–like conditions, led by Deanna DeMattio and mentored by Dr. Rafael Rodriguez.

Project NAUTILUS Phase II: Continue developing a stationary surface vessel to which AUVs can dock and recharge allowing for enhanced research expeditions, led by Devon Vail and mentored by Dr. Pang.

Project SHRED: Design and test a more efficient surfboard fin design using aerodynamic theory, partial computation fluid dynamic analysis and wind tunnel testing, led by Noah Ingwersen and mentored by Dr. Zhang.

Cross-platform Training via Augmented Reality and Neuromuscular Control Systems: Build upon previous projects integrating augmented reality and neuromuscular control, led by Charles Pollock and mentored by Dr. Divo.

Knee Exoskeleton Controlled by EEG and EMG Based Multi-sensor Data Fusion with Soft Robotic Actuators as Artificial Muscles: Design and construct a lower knee exoskeleton using EEG and EMG multi sensor data fusion to improve controllability, led by Umul Banin Jafri and mentored by Dr. Divo.

Project Drone Defense: Utilize autonomous drone performance to aid pilots in training, develop new flying tactics, and supplement rescue missions, led by Allan Parra and mentored by Dr. Demirkiran.

The 2018 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows include John Dennehy, Ethan Hale, Katya Rivera, Michael Shekari and Collin Topolski.