Tag Archives: research

Participating in Exoskeleton Research

Lydia Seiter

Lydia Seiter,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 11 October 2019

I’ve conducted research myself as an undergraduate, but recently had the unique chance to be a subject in a research study. The Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISE) Department researches ergonomics and was in need of female test subjects. I participated in their study on Women and Exoskeletons, and how exoskeletons can be improved to better serve the women that wear them in occupational settings.

Exoskeletons are external, wearable systems that help to lift a load or to make a task easier.


I had never worn an exoskeleton before, so it was amazing to gain exposure to this workplace tool. It was also awesome that the ISE lab was specifically focused on how these tools affect and help women, based on our anatomy and biology.

My roommate and fellow Ambassador, Lydia, participated in the study with me. We did tasks like operating a drill and lifting a load progressively to different levels.

Workers who must complete very physical labor are in need of solutions that minimize their strain and injury, and I’m excited that Ohio University is invested in investigating these possibilities. This research study is truly Creating for Good!

My First Athens Summer

Jelena Mrvos

Jelena Mrvos,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 16 September 2018

Grad school has always been on my radar. Before I even got to college freshman year, I knew I wanted to get my Master’s, and maybe even my PhD someday. But the plan has always been to work for a while before going back for another degree.

For the first two years of school, I was right on track! I was on par with the ME curriculum flowchart to graduate in four years. I had an internship the summer before my Junior year with a company in Pittsburgh, and I was ready to come back to OU for two semesters and then intern somewhere else again. But my junior year really made me question the path I had set for myself!

Starting in spring semester of my sophomore year, I have been working under Dr. Cyders as a research assistant. That spring semester, things were pretty slow. But in the fall of my junior year, they picked up drastically! Throughout my third year, I got more and more involved in research.

Everyone I worked with was a graduate student, and they all went straight through after undergrad here at OU. It made me rethink my perspective! Why did I have my heart set on going into industry right after graduation? Why haven’t I thought about OU as an option for grad school? These are just a couple of the questions I started to think about. I wanted to get a taste of what grad school would be like. So, I decided to spend the summer in Athens and work full time as a research assistant.

After spending four extra months here, and diving head first into research, I could not be more content with my decision to forego another internship. I learned so much about myself, my academic interests, grad school, and much more this summer. I still am not entirely sure where I will be this time next year, whether it be grad school or industry. But I’m okay with that. No matter where I’ll be, I’m excited for what’s to come.

Independent Study

Quinn Mitchell

Quinn Mitchell,
Junior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 12 February 2018

Although I am taking lots of interesting classes this semester, the one I am most excited for is my independent study with Dr. Sarah Hormozi. An independent study is a class made for a student, or small group of students, to investigate a specific topic under the supervision of a professor.

I am so excited for this class because I had the opportunity to help design the curriculum. I have taken this opportunity to make a class that will be extremely beneficial to my development as an engineer. By the end of the semester, I will have developed many skills that I will need moving forward in my career.

Dr. Hormozi is involved in the study of non-Newtonian fluids, which is also one of my areas of interest. Consequently, the topic of our independent study is the flow of elastoviscoplastic fluids through porous media. The main objective for the semester will be to design and run a numerical simulation to relate pressure drop to flow rate for elastoviscoplastic flow in porous media.

To do this, we are collaborating with a group of researchers from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. This project will give me the opportunity to learn a series of extremely valuable skills including computational fluid dynamics, parallel processing, supercomputing, and programming in Fortran. I will also have the opportunity to meet engineers who are involved in the type of research that I plan to pursue in graduate school.

Biomedical Engineering Society Conference

Quinn Mitchell

Quinn Mitchell,
Junior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 17 October 2017

Last Thursday, I woke up early and tossed my suitcase in my car and drove to Columbus. I was on my way to the airport to fly to Phoenix, Arizona to attend the 2017 Biomedical Engineering Society Conference. I was going to the conference to present the research I had been performing in Dr. Monica Burdick’s lab.

When I got to Phoenix, I immediately headed to the hotel to quickly unpack, change, and head to the conference. After signing in, I skimmed the program and decided to join some other members of my lab in lecture session focusing on prosthetics. This was an extremely interesting session and a great example of how biomedical research can improve people’s life.

After this session, my labmates and I visited a few more presentations before eventually heading to dinner. We spent most of that night networking with other biomedical engineering students and professors.

BMES Conference

Much like Thursday, I spent Friday listening to experts in the biomedical engineering field discuss their cutting-edge work. The best thing about the conference was that I was not just listening to these speakers, but I also had the opportunity to have conversations with them. It was a great experience to meet researchers whose work I had read about in journal articles.

Around 8:00 am on Saturday morning, it was my turn to present on my work with plasma-based cervical cancer therapies. This would be the first time that I had ever given a talk to a room full of engineering professors and students from universities around the country. The presenters that went before me had done a fantastic job, so I felt that I had a high standard to meet.

I gave my presentation, fielded a few questions, and sat back down. I was relieved that I had managed to talk at a reasonable speed throughout the whole ordeal, something that I struggle with in normal conversation.

I flew home Saturday afternoon, and except for a few flight delays, it was a great trip!

Preparing for the Student Research and Creative Activity Expo

Quintin Fettes

Quintin Fettes,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 5 April 2017

For many students, research and creative activity goes on behind the scenes with the outside world largely unaware of their work. Students work on their scientific, artistic, musical and other pursuits in their free time as an extracurricular activity, developing their skills from composing and performing a new piece of music to trying to predict the onset of diabetes in mice using computers. However, the Student Research and Creativity Expo provides the opportunity to share all of their creations with the community and university.

This year, I’ll be co-presenting my senior design team’s work on Rufus, the RoboCat. As our senior design project, the Robocat has served as an introduction to engineering principles, mobile development for android devices, software development for robotics, Arduino programming, natural language processing, and image analysis.


The improvements we’ve made have focused on the behavior and usability of the cat, ultimately producing a wider platform for the next team to begin developing and provide a flashy engineering project to get children interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM); in short, we’ve given the RoboCat a stronger brain.


Ultimately, the Student Research Expo is giving hundreds of students, us included, the opportunity to present and feel pride in the result of hard work. Hundreds of our peers, professors, and high school students will come to admire the work of the college students and those that want will get the opportunity to be judged and ranked against our peers. The student research expo has given us all a great opportunity.

Research over Winter Break

Nathan Arnett

Nathan Arnett,
Junior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 12 January 2017

Christmas break always seems to come at the perfect time—after 15 weeks of classes and more immediately after a mentally-taxing finals week, the break always seems much needed. Going home to see family and spend the holidays with them is something I look forward to every year, and this year was no different.

However, this year’s break wasn’t all relaxing. I have been a member of an on-campus molecular biology lab since Fall 2015, working under the close supervision of a postdoctoral fellow in the lab. For some time, we have been planning a large ‘mouse study’ looking into the link between Growth Hormone and melanoma cancer, and the study was to take place in early January following winter break.

However, over break, the postdoc I work with took advantage of one of her free times of the year and took a vacation with some friends—leaving me in charge of cell culture preparation for the study.

Living only an hour and a half away, the multiple visits I made to the lab over break were well worth it. It was great experience to take on serious responsibility in such early stages of a large project such as this, and it also gave me a small dose of seeing Athens (albeit, a nearly empty Athens) when I otherwise would have been missing it!

All in all, my break was very enjoyable, and being able to still further my experience while helping out on large project made it that much more enjoyable.

Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment

Joshua Greenlee

Joshua Greenlee,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 28 November 2016

One of the greatest decisions I have made with my time at Ohio University is getting involved in undergraduate research. I began the spring semester of my freshman year at the Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment (ISEE), working with another undergraduate student researching and developing a cost-efficient way of precipitating out harmful cations in fracking water.

After the completion of this project, I began a new project at ISEE testing the pyrolysis of coal in a fluidized bed to produce tar, which would later be treated with different chemicals and polymers to produce asphalt binder. Both projects gave me excellent undergraduate research experience and improved my independence, as each project required the responsibility and work ethic typical of a graduate student.

For the past year, I have worked in Dr. Goetz’s lab at OU studying the efficacy and toxicity of a novel compound in the treatment of ovarian cancer. I previously worked with a graduate student on this project, but after he graduated I was left to finish the project independently. If all goes well, I should be authored on a publication about this research by the end of the academic year.

Overall, my experience has led me to realize that I was made to pursue a career in academic research. It also helped direct me into figuring out what type of a field I wanted to pursue after graduation. If I never would have started researching as an undergraduate, I may never have discovered my affinity for cancer research, or research in general for that matter. If you are interested in participating in undergraduate research with a professor, I would encourage you to send them an email expressing your interest. I’m sure glad I did!