Engineering science and mechanics graduate student receives Sigma Xi top prize

Tessa M. Woodring
December 03, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Kazim Kerim Moncal, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Penn State, was awarded first place for his oral presentation on his 3D bioprinting and robot-assisted surgery research at the 2019 Sigma Xi Annual Meeting and Student Research Conference

“I was really honored and thrilled to be awarded the top oral presentation award among all of the participants,” Moncal said. “This generous award will help  me focus on my  education as I enthusiastically continue working toward the development of science and technology.”

headshot of graduate student in white lab coat

Kazim Kerim Moncal

IMAGE: Penn State

Moncal’s research aims to improve control over surgical procedures and reduce or eliminate manual actions in those procedures, specifically bone graft fabrication, including craniomaxillofacial (CMF) tissue reconstruction, which includes surgery on the mouth, jaw, face and skull areas. Moncal explores the use of situ-bioprinting — robot-assisted deposition of various biological materials directly into a precise site — to reconstruct anatomically-correct tissue type, such as bone. 

“CMF malfunctions affect 7% of newborn children and as many as three million adults each year in the United States due to congenital disorders and traumatic injuries,” he said. “My research focuses on development of bio-inks, which can be printable using extrusion-based bioprinting technology to manufacture bone regeneration scaffolds for CMF reconstruction.” 

Moncal presented his research to scientists, engineers and peers at the conference in Madison, Wisconsin, on Nov. 16. Sigma Xi members judged presentations based on scientific thought, method and communication skills. 

To become a member of Sigma Xi, also known as the Scientific Research Honor Society, individuals are nominated by two current members based on their potential to advance their research. With the top oral presentation prize, Moncal received a medal, monetary award and a nomination for Sigma Xi membership with initiation fee and first year dues paid. 

“This society has a high number of Nobel Prize winners that have been members, including Albert Einstein and many others,” he said.

While attending this year’s conference, Moncal, who serves as the delegate and student president of the Penn State Sigma Xi chapter, had the opportunity to attend an informational meeting that featured strategic tactics that will help further improve the Penn State Sigma Xi chapter. Moncal also spoke with a variety of scientists who offered insights into issues surrounding the changing global environment and climate change — the main focus of the conference. 

“It was a wonderful opportunity for me to meet a lot of scientists from very diverse backgrounds who are tackling the same problem and see how they are approaching our biggest issue — climate change — from different perspectives,” Moncal said. 


(Media Contacts)

Last Updated December 03, 2019