Tag Archives: research

Quintin Fettes

Quintin Fettes,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 2 October 2016

Another research opportunity at Ohio University has brought me closer to the goals and aspirations I once had as a kid. I’d always wanted to be a doctor, so that I could help sick people get better; I’d always wanted to make the first true Artificial Intelligence, like Arnold in the second Terminator movie; and I’d always wanted to be a professional Athlete.

My research in Artificial Intelligence started during Spring Semester of my Sophomore year. I reached out to one of my professors at Ohio University to study machine learning, a sub-field of Artificial Intelligence. The next semester, I was offered a research position in the Smarthealth Laboratory working with Dr. Marling and Dr. Bunescu, where we write AI programs to help patients with Type 1 Diabetes manage their condition. Ultimately the work will help these patients live more comfortably and safely.

It was here that I realized OU had given me the opportunity to apply my unique skills as a Computer Science major to help people. I’m not a physician, but I still have the feeling that my 8-year-old self is proud.

My latest research project was awarded to me by the Russ College Undergraduate Research Fund. I’m now able to research with Dr. Vigo in the SCOPE laboratory. Here, we work on the mathematical modeling of human conceptual behavior. In other words, my job is to help apply mathematics to computers to help them form concepts in the same way that a human would. It’s a long way from the science fiction AI, but I don’t think I’ve disappointed my younger self.

In short, Ohio University has taken what I thought was a decision to only be a computer scientist, and it’s opened my eyes to the cross-disciplinary work that will help me contribute to almost all of the fields I had once intended. Now, I just have to make a smart robot that can hit a 450ft homerun. I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity, and I hope this isn’t the last time you read about my research.

Summer Research in Germany

Caroline Wilson

Caroline Wilson,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular


Athens, OH 27 August 2016

I spent my summer doing research in the chemistry department at the University of Leipzig. For eleven weeks, I worked on a project under a PhD student which involved solid-state peptide synthesis and a novel reversible PEGylation approach.

Peptides have the potential to act as potent therapeutics, but this is often limited by their breakdown in the body. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) can be added to prevent this elimination, but it also impairs the peptide’s ability to function—thus, we worked on an approach which would allow PEG to be reversibly linked to the peptide so that its release could be controlled.

I don’t have a background in chemistry research, so this summer marked a lot of firsts for me. I was able to gain hands-on experience working with methods which I had learned about in the classroom, like liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. Furthermore, I gained experiences outside of the lab which made my summer unforgettable.

Although I spent most of my weekends exploring the city with a group of international students that I met through a fellow Bobcat in Leipzig, I did have a few experiences with travelling.


In high school, I participated in the German American Partnership Program (GAPP), through which I spent a month living with a host family in Munich. This summer I was able to visit my high school exchange student, Clara, at her university in Rothenburg.


We spent the weekend exploring the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage town, and catching up since it had been 5 years since we had last seen each other.

I was also able to travel to Amsterdam with my Finnish friend, Ella, for another weekend trip. The eight-hour bus rides there and back were almost unbearable, but the time we spent in the city made it more than worth the trip.

Amsterdam Canal Tour

From a canal tour (above) to an ice bar (below); from the Anne Frank House to a museum of the Red Light District, we packed as much of Amsterdam as we could into our short visit. I fell in love with the city.

Amsterdam Ice Bar

My experiences in Europe would not have been possible without the financial support of the Cutler Scholars Program. I am grateful every day to have been the recipient of such incredible generosity.

Caroline wilson

Caroline Wilson,
Junior, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 18 April 2016

This past weekend I had the absolute privilege of attending the Association of American Physicians and American Society for Clinical Investigation Joint Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. The conference lasted from Friday to Sunday, and I sincerely enjoyed every minute of it.

The research project which I have been working on over the past couple of years is in collaboration with a DO/PhD student from the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine named Ashley Patton. Our project involves investigating the early development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, as well as analyzing the effect of a novel group of compounds on the progression of the disease.

Research Poster

Attending the AAP/ASCI meeting offered us the opportunity to share our work with leading researchers and emerging students in the biomedical field. I may very well have been the only undergraduate in the room for the whole weekend, but I would not have traded my experience for anything.

Ashley and I left on Thursday to allow us some time to see the sights before the conference began. We landed at 1:00 pm, and then proceeded to soak in everything that Chicago had to offer.

Chicago Bean

Over the course of our trip, we marveled at “the Bean,” sampled some famous popcorn, tried Chicago deep-dish pizza (TWICE!), trekked up and down the Magnificent Mile, traveled the Chicago River walk, ate squid ink pasta, basked in the sun in Millennium Park, and took in the incredible skyline from the tallest floor of the “Sears” (now known as the Willis) Tower.

Willis tower

It was the perfect mix of business and entertainment. The majority of our time was spent listening to presentations and panels with a group of talented speakers which included everyone from a Nobel Laureate to a former NASA astronaut.

Recently, I have struggled to identify what my path will be after graduation, but attending this conference really invigorated me because I realized that many of the most gifted minds in the world have no idea what they want to do: they follow their passions at any costs, and in this way, they succeed brilliantly in their endeavors.

I think the thing that struck me the most was a quote from a panelist on the last day. Despite being a super successful scholar and entrepreneur, he said, “I am no smarter than anyone else. The only reason that I am here is that I have been willing to fail over and over and over again.”

That was my biggest takeaway from the weekend, and I can only hope that in my life, regardless of my triumphs and trials, I can show the same strength to get back up each time I fall.

Summer Co-op Plans

Alexa Hoynacke

Alexa Hoynacke,
Junior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 24 March 2016

Its crazy to think about how there is only one more month left of my junior year. As the semester comes to a close I have been extremely busy with class, research, and work. As finals approach classes have been getting busier and busier.

Spring semester is always crazier than the fall because OU has so many great events when the weather gets better. A huge event coming up is the Student Expo, which is a university-wide research exposition. I have been working on my research project for almost 2 years now and in 2 weeks I will finally be presenting it in front of judges at the Student Expo.

Once my junior year comes to an end I will be moving back home (Cleveland area) for the summer to start my summer internship. I am extremely excited to be working with Eaton Corporation this summer.

Eaton Logo

Eaton is a multinational power-management company. I will be working as an Industrial Engineering Intern in the Operations Sector. I will be working in a team in my department and with one other intern.

I received this internship by going to the Society of Women Engineers National Conference in Nashville this past fall. I am so grateful that I was given the opportunity to go with the OU chapter of SWE to this conference. Working for Eaton has been a goal of mine for a while now so I am counting down the days till I can finally start my summer internship.

Research in the Motor Control Lab

Alexa Hoynacke

Alexa Hoynacke,
Junior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 11 October 2015

Fall semester is almost halfway done and I cannot believe how fast my junior year is flying by! This past summer I worked as a research assistant with the Motor Control Lab, which is a part of the College of Health Sciences and Professions. As a research assistant I was placed with the FLAG Study. Most of my summer was dedicated to writing and adjusting code, pilot testing, data collection, and analyzing pilot data.

A large part of the Motor Control Lab is working with virtual reality gaming to help find solutions for back pain. Here is a picture of me suited up in our motion capturing sensors and using an Oculus Rift.

Suited Up for Motion Capture

This past week has been very exciting because The FLAG study which has been my main focus for the past few months finally opened for enrollment. I cannot wait to see how the data collection process goes during these next few months.

Coming in as a freshman I would have never expected my college career to lead me towards research in biomechanics and motor control, but I very glad it did. I hope to continue with my research and pursue my Masters and possibly a Ph.D focused around biomechanics and ergonomics.

Summer Research Work at Ohio University

Alyson Meister

Alyson Meister,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 2 October 2015

I spent my second summer in Athens this year. Last summer I stayed to take a class and I had a lot of fun, but this year I wanted to get more out of my time here and I did!
Not only did I take a class to get ahead and make my senior year a little easier, I also spent time doing research for a few professors. I worked on two projects over the summer with very different focuses, since I’m not exactly sure where I want to direct my career after graduation.

For one project, I worked with a team of students to design and build a test rig to collect data on an innovative particle capture system. Our system was specifically designed to capture coal fly ash which is typically done by Electrostatic Precipitators (ESPs) which are large, expensive, and require high voltages. This project required a lot of hands-on work in the machining labs, troubleshooting, and collaboration with students and professors.

I also did an independent study project dealing with the material properties of bones. This project was mostly computer-based work and involved writing MATLAB codes and running statistical tests on acquired data. I also completed an abstract for the Biomedical Engineering Society and will be presenting my work at their conference in Tampa, FL next week. This will be my first time presenting individual research work and I am really excited and nervous!

Overall I’d say my second summer in Athens was a success and I gained a broad range of skills and experiences that will benefit me in the future!

Institute of Navigation Conference

Natasha Norris

Natasha Norris,
Senior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 18 September 2015

This past week, I attended the Institute of Navigation Conference in Tampa, Florida. This is the first conference I have attended related to my research in avionics navigation. I co-authored a paper with my advisor discussing our research related to a high-gain dish antenna data collection of GPS signals. Moreover, the purpose of the conference for me was to realize if going into avionics navigation research was the right area of study when I go into graduate school next Fall.

I sat through a variety of presentations, from using the magnetic field combined with Wifi for locating yourself inside a building to a variety of ways to analyze the GPS signal and code. I was overwhelmed with all the knowledge and research being presented, but I definitely realized that this is what I want to do in graduate school.

The variety of topics got me excited for my future in research. I found there were so many problems still in the navigating world; though this might not sound like great news to you, it only sounds like I have more research to do to find solutions, which is wonderful to me.

While attending the conference, I noticed how few women were in attendance and that I was the only undergraduate attendee. On the first day, this intimidated me. First, these are the top engineers in navigation, how could I ever hold a conversation and seem at least a little intelligent? Secondly, I had never really experienced a situation before where I felt like a minority as a woman in the engineering world.

But as the conference went on, I had encouragement from everyone I met to continue my studies in navigation. Many told me stories of how they started and that I needed to remember that they had been in my seat before and it can only go up from there. They also encouraged me to attend a Women in Positioning, Navigation, and Timing meeting; the meeting encouraged women early in their PNT career to continue working and empower themselves.

Not only did I benefit in my research from this conference, but I grew in confidence in my knowledge, I learned that there is so much support in the navigation field for women, and I am sure about my path to avionics navigation research for my future graduate studies. This trip became the most beneficial experience I’ve had in my engineering career, and I extremely thankful to Russ College for this opportunity.