2023 Awardees

* indicates Audience Choice winner. The Audience Choice Award is for the best Soundbite, which is a two-minute overview of their work presented as one slide to the audience.

Brandon Tapia
“Simulations to Predict Temperature and Plasticization Effects for Gas Separation in 3D CANAL Ladder Polymers”
Virginia Tech
  Camila Cersosimo
“Development and characterization of spray-dried quercetin-loaded nanocomposite microparticles (Q-nCmP) for the mitigation of pulmonary inflammation”
University of Rhode Island
Dien Nguyen
“Interfacial competition between surfactant and polymer excipients on a drug nanocrystal surfaceInterfacial competition between surfactant and polymer excipients on a drug nanocrystal surface”
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  Duncan Hill
“Evaluating the Mesh Size of Block Copolymer Gels via Dynamic Light Scattering”
Bucknell University
Emily Carpenter
“Real Time Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy Analysis on Anaerobic Electrochemically Active Bacteria Using Optimized Python Predictions”
University of South Carolina
  Gigi Wang*
“PAL 2.0: A Physics-Driven Bayesian Optimization Framework for Material Discovery”
Johns Hopkins University
Hannah Snider
“Characterizing the Claisen Condensation of Diethyl Succinate”
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
  Hannah Uhl
“Separation of HFC-32 and HFC-125 Using Imidazolium Based Ionic Liquids + Polyvinyl Acetate Ionic Liquid Polymer Membranes”
University of Kansas
Katie Traynelis
“High Throughput Mapping of Epigenetic Enzyme Activity”
North Carolina State University
  Luisa Dell
“Investigating Configurations of Two Quorum Sensing Systems”
University of California – Berkeley
Matt Mellor
“Synthetic, Compartmentalized Colloids for Tunable, Biomimetic Structures”
University of Rhode Island
  Mia Sisul
“Comparing Corrosion Rates of Bio-Graphene Coated Metals Using Electrochemical Analysis and Experimental Weight Loss Testing”
The University of Tulsa
Nicole Babineau
“Towards greener production of complex molecules: enhancing triterpenoid production in yeast via PAH1 gene mutation”
University of Minnesota – Duluth
  Matthew Zhang
“Engineering Peptides and Hydrogels with Controlled Degradation for Biological Applications
University of Delaware
Ryan Mann
“Melt-Blended Ternary Polymer-Clay Composites for Additive Manufacturing”
Virginia Tech
  Sara Olsen
“Investigating the Effects of Surface Stiffness and Viscoelasticity on Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Immunomodualtory Potenial”
Clarkson University
Sofia Luna
“The impact of matrix stiffness on the drug response of brain metastatic breast cancer spheroids”
The University of Alabama
  Saurav Padhye
“Using in silico and in vitro techniques to model aerosol behavior in pediatric upper airways”
University of Delaware
Tiba Hamza
“Design of Hydrogels Containing Acoustic Cavitation-Induced Mechanochemistry”
California Institute of Technology
  Timilehin Oluwole
“Determining the Oil Content of Seaweeds Native to Connecticut for Biofuel Production”
University of New Haven
Titus Szobody
“Developing Ionic Liquid-Based Mirrors for Next Generation Space Telescope Optics”
North Carolina State University
  Walker Radford
“Peptide synthesis optimization of Alzheimer’s Abeta42 and designer peptide assemblies”
Georgia Institute of Technology
Warren Callen
“Using lipophilic dyes to examine lipid nanoparticle structures with and without nucleic acid loading”
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  Zihan Lin
“Designing W-SiC compositionally graded films for extreme irradiation environments”
Princeton University

2022 Awardees

* indicates Audience Choice winner. The Audience Choice Award is for the best Soundbite, which is a two-minute overview of their work presented as one slide to the audience.

Christopher Allen
“Engineering Improved Bipartite Repressors for CRISPR-Based Gene Regulation in Cancer Cells”
Georgia Institute of Technology
Karim Al Zahabi
“Rheological Evaluation of Artificial Saliva Formulations and Substitutes”
University of Illinois – Chicago


Anastacia De Gorostiza
“Understanding the Nucleation and Growth of CsPbI3”
University of Texas – Austin
Ethan Frey
“Laser Patterning of an Egaln-Graphene Composite for Stretchable Electronics”
NC State University


Andrea Goertzen
“Systems-level Modeling Illustrates Metabolic Landscape of Diseases”
University of Nebraska – Lincoln
Mariel Gomez
“Synthesis of Novel α-1,3-Glucan Polymer Derivatives for Amorphous Solid Dispersion Technologies”
Virginia Tech


Ishika Govil
“Rational Design of Molecular Glues for Targeted Protein Degradation”
University of Delaware
Richard Huang*
“Elastic Turbulence Homogenizes Fluid Transport in Stratified Porous Media”
Princeton University


Winnie Huang
“Determining Sequence – Structure Relationships of Calcium-Responsive Repeat Proteins”
Stanford University
Aubry Hymel
“Lignin-Zein Composite: Synthesis, Three-Dimensional Printing, and Microbial Degradation”
Louisiana State University


Aidan Kindopp
“Aggregation Reduces Subcellular Localization and Cytotoxicity of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes”
University of Rhode Island
Teng-Jui Lin
“Quantifying Microglia Morphology Across Neuroinflammatory Rat Models with Unsupervised Machine Learning”
University of Washington


Samuel Mercer
“Plasmonic Effects Direct Gold Catalysts for Photocatalytic Methane Oxidation”
University of New Hampshire
Jason Ogbebor
“Ultrasonic Study of Water Confined in Nanoporous Glass”
New Jersey Institute of Technology


Stephanie Pecaut
“Efficient Electrochemical Nitrate Reduction to Ammonia on Novel Catalyst Ruthenium-dispersed Copper Nanowires”
Rice University
Maxwell Polanek
“Investigating the Effect of Mineralized Collagen Scaffolds on the Immunomodulatory Capacity of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Under Varying Co-culture Conditions”
University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign


Michelle Quan
“Analysis of Iron(iii) Doped Silica Nanorods Synthesized with Various Iron Reagents”
The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
Alyssa Rorie
“Wastewater Remediation: Comparing the Direct and Indirect Oxidation of Phenol”
North Carolina A&T sState University


Malena Rybacki
“Ligand Removal Energetics Control CO2 Electroreduction Selectivity on Atomically Precise, Ligated Alloy Nanoclusters”
University of Pittsburgh
Jasmine Tran
“Predicting Octanol/Water Partition Coefficients for the SAMPL7 Challenge Using SM12, SM8, and SMD Solvation Models”
Miami University


Donovan Vincent Jr.
“Optimization of Microfluidic Droplet System for Single-Cell Encapsulation”
Manhattan College
David Webster
“The Impact of Ceramic Particles on Ionic Conductivity in Composite Polymer Electrolytes”
University of Notre Dame


Ke Wen
“Engineering Stiffness Tunable Methacrylated Gelatin Hydrogels to Model Glycocalyx-Expressing Endothelium”
Northeastern University
Victoria Yang
“Surface Requirements for Optimal Biosensing with Disposable Gold Electrodes”
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2021 Awardees

* indicates Audience Choice winner. The Audience Choice award is for the best soundbite, which is a two-minute overview of their work presented as one slide to the audience.

** indicates Audience Choice Runner-Up winner.


Michael Bibbey
“Photocrosslinkable Affibodies for Efficient Cancer Treatment and Proliferation Inhibition”
University of Colorado Boulder
Carrie Bishop
“Epigenetic Effects of Extracellular Matrix Stiffness on Cardiac Fibrosis”
University of Colorado Boulder


Quinn Gallagher
“Modulating Heterochromatin Formation for Direct Cell Reprogramming”
University of Pennsylvania
Lauren Gerbereux
“Optimizing Hypoxia-Inducing Cryogels for Hypoxic Cell Culture Conditions”
Northeastern University


Cyrus Haas
“Identifying escape mutants on the SARS-CoV-2 Spike receptor binding domain using yeast screening”
University of Colorado Boulder
Daniel Haller
“Inducible Directed Evolution (IDE) of Complex Phenotypes in Bacteria”
North Carolina State University


Jacob Hewes
“Formulation Design in Histone Peptide Nanocarriers”
University of Delaware (Honors College)
Isaac Hopwood
“Mechanical characterization of Cu and Ni based metals produced via hydrogel enabled additive manufacturing”
University of Arkansas


Melanie T. Huynh
“Adsorbed xenon propellant storage: are nanoporous materials worth the weight?”
Oregon State University
Olivia Irvin
“Developing a Diversifying Base Editor in Saccharomyces cerevisiae”
Georgia Institute of Technology


Sonia Li
“Aquatic Photochemistry of Plastic Debris Materials: Oxidation of Polypropylene and Polyethylene”
University of Minnesota- Duluth
Julia Miller
“Engineering Stem Cells with CRISPR to Improve β-Cell Differentiation In Vitro”
Washington University in St Louis


Edward Neves
“Biomaterial-based tumor models to analyze the role of glioma extracellular matrix in therapeutic efficacy”
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Greta Olsen
“Physical Property Characterization of Ionic Liquids Using a High-Pressure View Cell”
University of Kansas


Nicholas Sbalbi
“Solvent-Assisted Reshaping of Multicomponent Colloids”
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Ava Self
“Human Manganese Superoxide Dismutase-Functionalized Reduced Graphene Oxide for Cancer Therapy”
Pennsylvania State University


Aditya Shah
“Elucidating Structure-Function Relationships for Carbon Capture Materials Using Data Mining and Machine

The University of Texas at Austin
Julia Simon**
“Optimizing Electrochemical Stripping Reactor Components for Wastewater Treatment and Sensing Applications”
Stanford University


Nicholas Snyder
“Modeling electrode geometry changes in zinc-based batteries using COMSOL Multiphysics”
University of California, Los Angeles
Hrishikesh Srinivasan
“Tin Oxide-Carbon Composite Anodes for High-Capacity Lithium-Ion Batteries”
The University of Texas at Austin


Alexis Voulgaropoulos*
“Effects of early geometric confinement on the transcriptomic profile of human cerebral organoids”
North Carolina State University
John Weiss
“Pyrolysis of Co-N-C Electrocatalysts for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction”
University of South Carolina – Columbia


Cindy Wong
“Energy Storage with Seawater Electrolysis: Ability of Oxide Coatings to Manipulate Selectivity Towards
Oxygen/Chlorine Evolution at a Buried Interface”

Oregon State University
Maxim Zhelyabovskiy
“Phase-Transitional Catalyst-Assisted Membraneless ZnI2 Aqueous Battery”
Georgia Institute of Technnology

2020 Awardees


Lucas Attia
“Evaluation of UiO-66 Nanoparticles as Pulmonary Drug Delivery Vehicles”
University of Delaware
Elizabeth Bury
“Characterization of the Mechanical and Electrical Behavior of Galinstan Dispersions and Host Matrices”
University of Alabama


Chi Cao
“V8C7 as a Catalyst for the Oxygen Evolution Reaction”
The University of Texas at Austin
Caitlin Carmody*
“Ballistic Seed Dispersal in Leafy Spurge”
Montana State University


Ivy Chen
“Engineering Yarrowia lipolytica for Production of Medium Chain Methyl Ketone”
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Emily Doyle
“Polysulfide Dissociation Mechanisms and Self-Discharge within Magnesium Sulfur Batteries”
The University of Notre Dame


Sydney Floryanzia
“Fabrication of a 3D Microfluidic Co-culture Model of the Blood-Brain Barrier”
North Carolina State University
Amous C.H Goh
“Process safety incidents across 14 industries”
Purdue University


Mira Khare
“Methane Absorption Simulation Benchmarking in Metal Organic Framework Compounds”
Oregon State University
Kathy Feng Liu
“Harnessing chiral self-assembly for helical mesogenic actuators”
Stanford University


Joshua McGee
“Microfluidic Synthesis and Purification of Protein Nanoparticles”
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Emma Peterman
“Integrating Computational and In Vitro Modeling Techniques to Elucidate Mechanisms of Pulmonary Drug Delivery”
University of Delaware


Lauren Simitz
“Rheological Characterization of Oxidized Carbon Black Suspensions in Aqueous Salt Solutions for Use in Flowable, Capacitive Deionization Electrodes”
Northwestern University
James Sinoimeri
“Hypoxia-Inducing Cryogels for Preclincial Anticancer Drug Screening”
Northeastern University


Pranav Thacker#
“Towards the engineering of robotic tactility”
North Carolina State University
Hansen Tjo
“Charge Density Roles in Polyelectrolyte-Micelle Self-Assembly”
University of Massachusetts, Amherst


Luke Tomasovic
“Designing a Broadly-Neutralizing S. aureus Vaccine by Nanopatterning Cytotoxic Antigens”
Georgia Institute of Technnology
Luis Mario Trevisi
“Controlling Silica Encapsulation of Iron Oxide Magnetic Nanoparticles via Modified Stöber Strategies”
University of Oklahama


James Wang
“Investigation of Non-ribosomal Peptide Synthetases and Chlorinases in the Ochratoxin A Biosynthetic Pathway”
University of California, Los Angeles
John White
“Novel Electrodeposition Methods for Palladium-Zinc Alloys as Catalysts for Ethanol Oxidation”
University of Alabama


Brendan Wirtz
“Detection of lithium plating on graphite electrodes in lithium-ion batteries using differential voltage profiles”
University of California, Berkeley
Juliana Yang
“Application of a Novel Electrochemical Biosensing Platform ESSENCE for Breast Cancer Detection”
New Jersey Intitute of Technology


2019 Awardees


Andee Beierle
“Passive resonant sensors for wireless detection and quantification of ionic compounds in opaque systems”
Iowa State University
Research advisor: Nigel Reuel
Michael Bowen
“Mind Over Matter: Intelligent Quantum Dot Synthesis Enabled by a Modular Continuous Flow Reactor”
North Carolina State University
Research advisor: Milad Abolhasani


Jamie Chuvalo-Abraham
“Identification of RNA oxidation as a novel biomarker of air pollution exposure”
The University of Texas at Austin
Research Advisor: Dr. Lydia Contreras
Thomas Colburn
“High performance roll-to-roll printed PTB7-Th:PC71BM organic solar cells enabled by rapid additive removal”
Stanford University
Research advisor: Prof. Zhenan Bao


Kasie Coogan
“Fabrication of Microporous Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogels through Salt Leaching”
The University of Alabama
Research advisor: Shreyas Rao
Derek Dardzinski
“Surface Reactivity of MoS2 with Varying Defect Densities Studied by Ambient Pressure X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy”
Oregon State University
Research advisor: Gregory Herman


Bhavish Dinakar
“Controlling CO2 Adsorption Capacity in Diamine-Functionalized Metal-Organic Frameworks”
University of California, Berkeley
Research advisor: Jeff Long
Madison Driskill
“Nanofabrication Using Self-Assembled Monolayers”
University of Arizona
Research advisor: Anthony Muscat


Noah Eckman
“Direct Laser Writing of Three-Dimensional Graphene-Laden Microstructures and Further Applications”
University of Maryland, College Park
Research advsior: Ryan Sochol
Madeleine Goedegebuure
“Development of a Luminescent Insulin Secretion Reporter Platform for High-Throughput Drug Screening for Diabetes”
Washington University in St. Louis
Research advisor: Jeffrey Millman


Marola Issa
“Charged Nanoparticles Quench the Propulsion of Active Janus Colloids”
Cleveland State University
Research advisor: Christopher Wirth
Daniel Krajovic
“Recyclable Shape-Memory Elastomers”
University of Rochester
Research advisor: Mitchell Anthamatten


Magdelene Lee
“Super-Resolution Visualization of Peptide Self-Assembly with Alexa-488 Dye”
University of Alabama
Research advisor: Rein Ulijn
Kristine Loh
“Understanding Time-Dependent Light-Matter Interactions of Mo2TiC2 MXene Films”
Drexel University
Research advisor: Jason Baxter


Georges Motchoffo Simo
“Surfactant Choice Determines Toxicity and Uptake of Biodegradable Nanoparticles in the Brain”
University of Washington, Seattle
Research advisor: Elizabeth Nance
James Owens
“Silver Nanoparticle Pulsed Synthesis and Attachment to Cellulose Nanocrystals”
Virginia Tech
Research advisor: Dr. Michael Bortner


Thomas Porter
“Compact Surface Modification of Quantum Dots for Applications in DNA Nanotechnology”
The Ohio State University
Research advisor: Jessica Winter
Priyanka Raghavan
“Optical Room Temperature Nanodiamond Hyperpolarizer and its Performance Optimization”
University of California, Berkeley
Research advisor: Ashok Ajoy


Mahmoud Ramadan
“Mitigating Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion of An Oilfield Biofilm Consortium on Carbon Steel in Hydrotest Using 2,2-Dibromo-3-nitrilopropionamide (DBNPA) Coupled with A Chemical Synthesized 14-mer Peptide”
Ohio University
Research advisor: Tingyue Gu
Sanjna Shah
“Investigating Metal Oxide Supported Cu as Catalysts for the Electrochemical Reduction of CO2 to Hydrocarbon and Oxygenates”
University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
Research advisor: Paul Kenis


Soham Sinha
“Addressing age related hearing loss through engineering accessible and affordable hearing technology”
Georgia Institute of Technology
Research advisor: Saad Bhamla
Henry Squire
“Solvation and Mobility of Organic Redox Active Species in Deep Eutectic Solvents”
Case Western Reserve University
Research advisor: Burcu Gurkan


Gavin Yeung
“Combinatorial Synthesis of MgxZn1-xO thin films for use in CdTe solar cells”
Colorado School of Mines
Research advisor: Colin Wolden


2018 Awardees


Grace Anderson
“Attainable Volumetric Targets for Adsorption-Based Hydrogen Storage in Porous Crystals: Molecular Simulation and Machine Learning”
Colorado School of Mines
Research advisor: Diego A. Gómez-Gualdrón
Matthew Burroughs
“Examination of the Binding Interaction Between Piperine and the Regulatory Light Chain of Myosin Protein”
North Carolina State University
Research advisor: Dmitri Tolkatchev


Michael Doane
“Optimization of Biomass Pretreatment Using Lignin-Modifying Enzymes and Ionic Liquids”
University of Massachusetts – Lowell
Research Advisor: Prakash Rai
Holly Ekas
“CRISPR-PIN: Modifying Gene Position in the Nucleus via dCas9-mediated Tethering”
The University of Texas at Austin
Research advisor: Hal Alper


Jesse Hinricher
“Cost-Effective Polysulfide and Polyiodide Inexpensive Redox Flow Battery for Large-Scale Energy Storage”
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Research advisor: Fikile Brushett
Seth Kriz
“Non-Specific Virus Detection Using Gold Nanoparticle Aggregation”
Michigan Technological University
Research advisor: Caryn Heldt


Zvikomborero Machikiti
“Development of Green Production of Bioplastics”
Lafayette College
Research advisor: Lindsay Soh
Shawn Mengel
“Cathodic Deposition of Metal-Capped Copper Zinc Tin Sulfide”
Drexel University
Research advisor: Aaron Fafarman


Emily Moschella
“Porous Matrimid® Support Membranes for Organic Solvent Separations”
Georgia Institute of Technology
Research advsior: Ryan Lively
Hyeonji Oh
“Enhancement of membrane proteins extraction and post-purification”
Pennsylvania State University
Research advisor: Manish Kumar


Ivan Pires
“Quantification of Active Apohemoglobin Heme-Binding Sites via Dicyanohemin Incorporation”
Ohio State University
Research advisor: Andre Palmer
Gabrielle Rabadam “Electrospun Drug Release Film for the Targeted Delivery of Chemotherapeutic Agents”
Northeastern University
Research advisor: Thomas Webster


Vinod Raman
“Performance drop-off due to heterogeneous surface absorption in thermophotovoltaic devices”
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Research advisor: Andrej Lenert
Morgan Seidler
“Crosslinked, Single-Ion Conducting Polymer Electrolytes for Post-Lithium Ion Batteries”
University of Notre Dame
Research advisor: Jennifer Schaefer


Nicole Sempertegui
“A combined compression molding, heating, and leaching process for fabrication of micro-porous polycaprolactone scaffolds”
The University of Alabama
Research advisor: Shreyas Rao
Alexander Shearer
“Stimuli-Responsive Nanoscale Hydrogels for the Controlled Intracellular Delivery of Chemotherapeutic Agents”
The University of Texas at Austin
Research advisor: Nicholas Peppas


Devan Shell
“Design and Fabrication of a Soft, Flexible Antenna System for Wearable Biomedical Devices”
Catawba College
Research advisor: Michael Dickey
Allison Tang
“Regenerating Inactivated Carbene Transfer Heme Enzymes”
Research advisor: Frances Arnold


Eric Wang
“Molecular structure of the long periodicity phase in the stratum corneum”
University of Maryland
Research advisor: Jeffery Klauda
Nathan Wang
“Synergistic Enhancement of Beta-Peptide Antifungal Activity Against C. albicans Biofilm Formation”
University of Wisconsin – Madison
Research advisor: Sean P. Palecek


Trent Weiss
“The Use of Selective Polymerization of Poly(Methyl Methacrylate) for Oxide Deposition onto Nanowire Transistors”
Georgia Institute of Technology
Research advisor: Michael Filler

2017 Awardees


Jacob Baltzegar
“Functionalized Gold Nanoparticles as Novel Alzheimer’s Therapeutics”
University of South Carolina
Research advisor: Melissa Moss
Brandon Clark
“Inorganic Nanowire-Modified Polyelectrolytes for Vanadium Flow Battery Membranes”
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Research advisor: Amy Peterson


Marlow Durbin
“Synthesis and Mechanical Testing of Polyimide and Polyimide-Ionic Liquid Composite Polymer Filaments”
University of Alabama
Research Advisor: Jason Bara
Andrew Kristof
“Single-Cell Analysis on the Effects of Fluid Shear Stress on Cancer Cell Deformability and Migration”
North Carolina State University
Research advisor: Adam Melvin


Sierra Lear
“Discovering Cre expression patterns under different C. elegans neuron-specific promoters”
Tulane University
Research advisor: Anne Robinson
Kyle Lennon
“Towards Efficient Photon Upconversion in CdSe(Te)/CdS/CdSe Nanostructures for High-Efficiency Photovoltaics”
University of Delaware
Research advisor: Matthew Doty


Daniel Lundberg
“Silicon Quantum Dots for Luminescent Solar Concentrators”
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Research advisor: Uwe Kortshagen
Ryan Morelock
“Electrodeposition of Palladium Alloys for Catalytic Conversion”
University of Alabama
Research advisor: Qiang Huang


Clare Murray
“Engineering Y. lipolytica”
University of Texas at Austin
Research advsior: Hal Alper
Ramadoss Gokul
“Engineered Biomaterials Enable Cell Replacement Therapy to Restore Motor Function in Parkinson’s Disease Model Rats”
University of California – Berkeley
Research advisor: David Schaffer


Rebecca Slotkowski
“A high-throughput growth-based screen for CRISPR PAMs reveals novel SpyCas9 targeting rules in bacteria”
North Carolina State University
Research advisor: Chase Beisel
Adarsh Suresh
“Visible Light Induced Activation of Diamond Semiconductor for Chemical Photoreduction”
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Research advisor: Robert Hamers


Aristotle Zervoudakis
“Weak Polyelectrolyte Complexation Driven by Associative Charging”
University of Notre Dame
Research advisor: Jonathan Whitmer
Brian Zhong
“Alpha-helical, Hydrolysis-mediated Polymer-drug Conjugates derived from Poly(propargyl-L-glutamate)”
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Research advisor: Paula Hammond


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