2020 Alumni Reunion: Virtual Poster Participants and Presentations


Laura Schaerer, PhD Student in Biological Sciences

Email: lgschaer@mtu.edu

Area of focus: Microbiology

Topic: Microbial Communities of Bilge Water, Boat Surfaces and Port Water: A Global Comparison.

Project Summary: Bacteria are ubiquitous in nearly every environment on earth. Microorganisms may live on the hull and in the bilge water of a boat, and very little is known about these bacterial hitchhikers. My research aims to understand how microbes from the port water may impact the microbial community on a boat’s hull and bilge. In the largest boat microbiome study to date, we sampled boats and water in 20 ports on three continents to characterize the hull and bilge microbial communities on boats. 


Anne Linja, MS Student in Cognitive and Learning Sciences

Email: alinja@mtu.edu

Area of focus: Driver Decision Making and XAI

Topic: Rail Safety: Examining the Effect of Driving Experience and Type of Crossing on Safety Concerns.

Project Summary: “Vehicle-train collisions at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings continue to be a safety concern and despite improvements in warnings, many of these incidents are attributed to human error. In some cases, distractions other than railroad traffic, such as nearby highway intersections, may create additional burdens for drivers’ decision making. In this study, we systematically examined safety concerns across two types of Highway-Rail Grade Crossings: non-short storage and short-storage. In a controlled experiment, 48 college-aged drivers viewed a series of driving scene images and identified, rated, and explained up to five safety concerns in each image. Participants reported more safety concerns and higher average severity of those concerns for short-storage rail crossings than non-short storage, but these findings did not depend on rural vs. urban driving experience. Content analysis of the 1,230 safety concerns using chi-squared analysis revealed differences in attention to dynamic safety concerns by rail crossing type, but not to static concerns”.


Mehdi Malekrah, PhD Student in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Email: mmalekra@mtu.edu

Area of focus: Microelectronics

Topic: Langmuir-Blodgett Trough Emeraldine Based Polyaniline film: molecular weight investigation.

Project Summary: Emeraldine- Base Polyaniline (EB-PANi) has attracted extensive interest in electronics industry due to its excellent electrical properties, flexibility, environmental stability, and being cheap in fabrication. In this work, Langmuir-Blodgett trough technique is used to deposit EB-PANi film. Three different molecular weights (5k, 50k and 100k) of the polymer are chosen to investigate the effect of molecular weights on PANi film quality. For the polymer mixture preparation, Acetic acid (CH3COOH), N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP), chloroform (CHCl3), and for the doping hydrochloric acid (HCl) are used. AFM and ellipsometry are employed as characterization methods to measure the film surface roughness, uniformity, and thickness. Results showed 5k EB-PANi as promising film in terms of uniformity and deposition rate by having ~ 2 nm per layer thickness. Analyzing the data also showed Y-type deposition for doped film versus Z-Type deposition for undoped EB-PANi LB-trough film.


Sushree Dash, PhD Student in Physics

Email:  ssdash@mtu.edu.

Area of focus: Magneto-optic materials

Topic: Surface reconstruction and electronic transitions in bismuth-substituted iron garnets.

Project Summary: Earlier Studies show a seven-fold increase in Faraday Rotation at the air-sample interface. It occurs at 2-4 nm from the surface. We are diving into the Physics of why this happens? To do so, we look into the XAS and XMCD data that we collected at Argonne National Lab with Circularly Polarized X-ray light source. We also look into the HAADF Fe ion images that we collected from S-TEM at Michigan Tech.  


Masoud Sarabi, PhD Student in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Email: msarabi@mtu.edu.

Area of focus: Electromagnetics, medical antennas and radar systems

Topic: Application of leaky wave antennas for medical hyperthermia and automotive FMCW mm-wave radar system.

Project Summary: Leaky wave antennas have proven to provide attractive low-cost and robust solutions in RF and microwave industry. These antennas enjoy frequency scanning capability which make them eligible for medical hyperthermia and also automotive antennas (instead of arrays).