Six engineering graduate students named Leighton Riess Graduate Fellows

Tessa M. Pick
December 02, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Six engineering graduate students were recently selected to receive the Leighton Riess Graduate Fellowship in Engineering. This fellowship is coordinated by the Penn State Center for Biodevices, housed in the College of Engineering.

The Leighton Riess Graduate Fellowship in Engineering program supports graduate students in the College of Engineering who are conducting research in biological or biomedical-related topics. These students are recognized for their academic excellence with financial support to help fund their research and tuition.

Bowen Li, graduate student in engineering science and mechanics; Sumit Agrawal, graduate student in biomedical engineering; Yichun Tang, graduate student in mechanical engineering; Evan Heatherington, graduate student in mechanical engineering; Vinay Chandrasekhar, graduate student in electrical engineering; and Ferdousi Rawnaque, graduate student in acoustics were selected to receive the Leighton Riess Graduate Fellowship.

“The Leighton Riess Graduate Fellowships are a wonderful way to recognize outstanding engineering graduate students while advancing the work of the Center for Biodevices,” said Mary Frecker, professor of mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering and director of the Penn State Center for Biodevices. “This semester we had a unique opportunity to award fellowships to graduate students who are working to support their advisers’ Center for Biodevices Seed Grants or Grace Woodward Collaborative Research in Engineering and Medicine Grants, as well as the University’s Manufacturing and Sterilization for COVID-19 (MASC) Initiative.”

Li, advised by Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, Dorothy Quiggle Career Development Professor in the Penn State Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, will analyze data from wearable and flexible sensors for human health monitoring, disease diagnosis and evaluation with machine learning and deep learning.

Agrawal, advised by Sri-Rajasekhar Kothapalli, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, will focus on developing smart multimodal ultrasound and photoacoustic imaging systems integrated with artificial intelligence for diagnosing cancer and neurodisorders.

Tang, advised by Jing Du, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, will build and validate clinical image-based numerical models for the patient-specific prediction of the micromechanical environment around implants. According to the research team, this could help reduce complications in total shoulder replacement surgeries.

Heatherington, advised by Frecker and in collaboration with the Penn State College of Medicine, will conduct research focused on designing and testing devices to protect surgeons and other hospital personnel from aerosols generated during endoscopic skull surgery. According to the research team, the spread of COVID-19 is a significant area of concern in these surgeries.

Chandrasekhar, advised by Seyedehaida "Aida" Ebrahimi, assistant professor of electrical engineering, will contribute to research that focuses on developing and testing multiplex wearable electronic and electrochemical devices and systems for monitoring biochemical and physiological health markers.

Rawnaque, advised by Julianna Simon, assistant professor of acoustics and biomedical engineering, will focus on investigating the distribution of bubble nuclei in biological tissues, which will potentially improve ultrasound diagnosis and monitoring of decompression sickness.

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Last Updated December 09, 2020