R&D Showcase


More than 120 SEAS students participated in this year’s SEAS Student R&D Showcase, Entrepreneurship Prize competition, and SEAS Innovation Challenge.   Students presented their posters, research, and innovations and vied for $54,000 in prize money.  SEAS thanks all of our generous sponsors, listed below, and particularly our Platinum Sponsor, RiVidium, Inc. for their support of student research at SEAS.



Theoretical Poster Category:

1st Place ($5,000) - Nima Mobadersany, MAE graduate student, for “Perforation of cell membranes using contrast agent microbubbles in the presence of ultrasound” (Mentored by Professor Kausik Sarkar)

2nd Place ($4,000) - Jingxin Wu & Maotong Xu, ECE graduate student, for “Routing, fiber, band, and spectrum assignment (RFBSA) for multi-granular elastic optical networks” (Mentored by Suresh Subramaniam)

3rd Place ($3,000) - Mahdis Bisheban, MAE graduate student, for “Computational geometric system identification” (Mentored by Professor Taeyoung Lee)

Experimental Poster Category:

1st Place ($5,000) - Elizabeth Manning, CEE graduate student, for “The role of viscosity in mesophilic anaerobic digestion” (Mentored by Professor Rumana Riffat)

2nd Place ($4,000) - Qinmin Zheng, CEE graduate student, for “Achieving sustainable water purification: tailored graphitic carbon nitride for the removal of organic persistent contaminants”
(Mentored by Professor Danmeng Shuai)

3rd Place ($3,000) - Christopher Gloschat, BME graduate student, for “Novel capacitive electrode for cardiac model” (Mentored by Professor Igor Efimov)


Best Undergraduate Poster Category

Best Undergraduate Poster ($2,000) - Joseph Marbach, BME student, for “Oxytocin benefits patients with obstructive sleep apnea” (Mentored by Professor Matthew Kay)

Additional R&D Showcase Awards

Runners-Up Awards ($1,000 each towards conference travel to present research):

  1. Jaclyn Brennan, BME graduate student (experimental) for “Differential electrophysiological effects of ß1- vs ß2- adrenergic stimulation in the isolated canine right atrium” mentored by Professor Igor Efimov
  2. Yuanfei Bi, CEE graduate student (theoretical) for “Free energy landscape and nucleation pathways of gas hydrate nucleation” mentored by Professor Tianshu Li
  3. Zhitong Chen, MAE graduate student (experimental) for “Novel micro-cold atmospheric plasma device for cancer treatment” mentored by Professor Michael Keidar
  4. Kyle Choy, MAE undergraduate (theoretical) for “Molecular simulation of aqueous methane between na-montmorillonite clay interlayers” mentored by Professor Yongsheng Leng
  5. Kara Garrott, BME graduate student (experimental) for “Chronic activation of hypothalamic oxytocin neurons improves cardiac function in a rat model of left ventricular hypertrophy-induced heart failure” mentored by Professor Matthew Kay
  6. Mahmudul Hasan, CEE graduate student (experimental) for “Optimizing the dewatering of sludge obtained from different treatment processes along with the full scale application” mentored by Professor Rumana Riffat
  7. Engin Kayraklioglu, ECE graduate student (experimental) for “Mitigating communication costs in emerging parallel programming languages” mentored by Professor Tarek El-Ghazawi
  8. Shankar Kulumani, MAE graduate student (theoretical) for “Robotic autonomous exploration via exact occupancy grid mapping” mentored by Professor Taeyoung Lee
  9. Margaret Nowicki, MAE graduate student (experimental) for “Four dimensional printing of gradient scaffolds for cartilage tissue engineering” mentored by Professors Grace Zhang and  Michael Plesniak
  10. Hongchen Shen, CEE graduate student (experimental) for “Graphitic carbon nitride as a promising antimicrobial photocatalyst” mentored by Professor Danmeng Shuai

Entrepreneurship Prize Competition

This competition was held simultaneously during the R&D Showcase.  The judges selected six winners and awarded them each $2,000.

  1. Scott Barnes, MAE undergraduate student for “Predictive collaborative manufacturing robotics”
  2. Evan Kaufman, MAE graduate student for “A robotic vacuuming software tool with autonomous exploration via exact occupancy grid mapping
  3. Alina Kline-Schoder, BME undergraduate student for “Ultrasound-Enhanced Drug Delivery for Treatment of Onychomycosis”
  4. Ivan Suarez Castellanos, BME graduate student for “SonoInsulin: an ultrasound based treatment for type 2 diabetes
  5. Shuai Sun, ECE graduate student for “Hybrid photonic plasmonic interconnects (HyPPI)”
  6. Zhehan Yi, ECE graduate student for “A centralized power management system (PMS) for grid-connected photovoltaic-battery distributed generation systems”

Additional Award

AgileTrailblazers Innovation Award ($2,000) - SEAS alumnus Naeem Hussein of Agile Trailblazers, Inc. generously provided this award for an innovative project with potential commercial value and serving as the basis for a new or improved technology or science-and technology-based service or application.  The award was given to Connor Roberts, EMSE graduate student, for “Internet of Things device for a safer, more efficient medical asset management system.”  The award was presented to Connor by Santosh Jayaram, Agile Trailblazers’ chief operating officer.

SEAS Innovation Challenge

The SEAS Innovation Challenge provides SEAS students with a Raspberry Pi 3 (with wi-fi) motherboard to see how they can be used to develop the student’s research.  This new competition, devised by SEAS alumnus Randy Graves and SEAS Innovation Chief Evangelist Annamaria Tonya Kannon, takes place in phases.  The poster and prototype demonstration phase occurs during the SEAS Student R&D Showcase.  There is no formal judging during this phase of the competition.  

Keynote Speaker

Photo of Manny Rivera Manny Rivera is the founder and owner of RiVidium Inc. After a 23-year career in the Army, he retired in 2008 and shortly thereafter founded RiVidium.

Manny entered the military in 1984 as a private in the Field Artillery Corps and later changed his Military Occupation Specialties (MOS) to Military Police.  After nine years as an enlisted soldier and attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant, he attended the Officer Candidate Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, where he attained his commission as a Military Police Officer.  Upon completion of his company command time at Fort Eustis, Virginia, Manny transferred to the Acquisition Corps, where he held jobs at Operation Test Command, Fort Hood, Texas, and at the Army Test & Evaluation Command (ATEC), Alexandria, VA, as the aide-de-camp to the commanding general (ATEC).  He ended his career at the Army Chief Information Office working in the Army Architecture Integration Cell.  He is a certified acquisition professional and is also a Fort Bragg certified Jump Master, with more than 75 jumps.

Manny holds a bachelor of arts degree in finance from Virginia State University, a master of science degree in computer science from GW, and a graduate certificate in security and information assurance. 

Manny’s current vision for RiVidium is based on the company’s tag line, “The Missing Element in Technology,” and is called Elementals Vision. The Elementals Vision will see RiVidium moving most of its information technology capabilities to the Cloud while targeting the cyber war that is sure to come in the next years.