As a competitive swimmer in middle school in the early 2000s, Elizabeth Gregorio was fascinated by Michael Phelps. How did he dominate the sport so completely? And how could she use what she learned about him to make herself go faster in the pool?
Decades later, Gregorio is still a swimmer—but is now expanding her interest in the movement of bodies in water as she works toward her Ph.D. in fluid dynamics at the George Washington University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science (GW Engineering). Gregorio’s interests have evolved, too. Rather than swimming speed, she’s interested in how Olympic divers create their almost splash-free dives. Unlike swimmers, who arrow into the water with their fingers pointed and hands together, divers execute a “rip entry” with their palms held perpendicular to the arms, then widen their arms through an underwater somersault after impact.
“They kind of pull the splash down with them,” Gregorio explained at GW Engineering’s 2023 Student Research & Design Showcase last week.
She was one of more than 250 presenters—undergraduates, master and Ph.D. students, postdoctoral scholars and research scientists—who presented their work across two crowded floors of Science and Engineering Hall Friday afternoon.
“I’m always just amazed when I hear from our students about all the incredible things that you all are doing, with that focus on having that impact on the world that really our school is all about,” GW Engineering Dean John Lach said at the showcase.
Read the full article on GW Today.