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April 21, 2017 at 8:37 pm

Physics & Astronomy Undergraduates Take Honors at Research Expo

Jack Bruno with Ohio University Interim President David Descutner

Jack Bruno with Ohio University Interim President David Descutner

The Ohio University Student Research and Creative Activity Expo is an opportunity each year for Physics & Astronomy students to present scientific information in a format that is often used at international scientific conferences. A panel of  faculty members in the sciences serve as  judges determines the winning posters. This year, four undergraduate majors and six graduate students from the department received top honors.

“It is a friendly environment where our students have a chance to explain their work to people who may not be familiar with scientific concepts,” explains Dr. David Ingram, Professor and Chair of the department. “The Expo provides a useful goal for participants to work towards in describing research they may have played a major role in.”

Undergraduate Awardees Focus on Material Science and Aerospace Engineering

Two undergraduates from the Honors Tutorial College won First Place in their respective fields. Jack Bruno ’19, Physics-Engineering, won the Physics & Astronomy undergraduate prize for “Pulsed Laser Deposition of Metallic Thin Films.” Yonry Zhu ’18, Physics-Engineering, won the Mechanical Engineering undergraduate prize for “Plasma-Assisted Combustion in a Rotating Detonation Combustor.”

Jack Bruno

Jack Bruno

“Thin films are one of the largest and fastest growing sub-fields of material science, Bruno says. “They have wide-sweeping technological applications. And lasers are awesome. Thin films allow important advances in technology which benefit science and the public.” Bruno’s project was supervised by Dr. Arthur Smith, a professor in the department.

Yonry Zhu holding a scale model of a rotating detonation combustor

Yonry Zhu holding a scale model of a rotating detonation combustor

Zhu would like to become an aerospace engineer.

“My project is about applying non-thermal plasma to improve the operability of a rotating detonation combustor,” he explains. “These combustors promise significant efficiency improvements when used in gas turbine engines. Plasma and jet engines—what more could you want?”  Zhu is mentored by Dr. David Burnette, a Lecturer of Engineering and Technology Fundamentals in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology.

Undergraduate awardees receiving Second Place include Elloria Shaw, a senior at Tri-Valley High School in Dresden, Ohio, who attends classes on the Zanesville campus. Shaw presented, “The efficiency of wind turbines” and is advised by physicist Dr. Gabriela Popa.

Elloria Shaw with Dr. Descutner

Also receiving Second Place along with graduate student members of his research group is Ryan Tumbleson, an Honors Tutorial College engineering physics major who is advised by Dr. Saw-Wai Hla.

Tumbleson is part of a group of students from Chemistry and Biochemistry and include K. Kotturi, Y. Zhang, M. Raeisi, K.Z. Latt, R. Rabbani, K. Perumal, Y. Li, S. Sarkar. Their poster “A frame suspended into four Cucurbituril wheels: Meet the Ohio Bobcat Nanowagon.”

The group present the design, synthesis and characterization of the Ohio Bobcat Nanowagon, a [5] pseudorotaxane assembly bearing an H-shaped frame threaded into four Cucurbit[7]url (CB[7]) wheels. Tumbelson is training to be the “driver” of the Nanowagon in the upcoming inaugural International NanoCarRace, sponsored by France’s National Center for Scientific Research. The event takes place April 28-29 in Toulouse, France. Tumbleson was on his way to France for a short trip the day of the Expo.

Tumbleson's group's poster

Tumbleson’s group’s poster

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