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Symposium Proceedings


Note: Presentations are grouped by the student’s area of research (based on the faculty mentor’s academic department), not the student’s academic major.


Poster Session C: 

10:30 am - 11:30 pm

Architecture; Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering; Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; and Physics (37 posters)





C-01     Maggie Carathers and Dakota Copenhaver

Research Presentation Title:  The Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Faculty Research Mentor:  Paolo Sanza, Architecture


To design an affordable yet high-end chair with dual purposes for a variety of audiences. Residents from a range of communities and backgrounds can come together and share the uniqueness of the “duo” chair. Serving as both a chair or table, it can be concealed or advertised as one needs more space made available. The duality saves money, as the chair serves to be purchased as a “two in one” deal.


C-02     Kasey Fuquay, Caleb Toler and Amber Johnson

Research Presentation Title:  Fashioning a Plywood Chair

Faculty Research Mentor:  Paolo Sanza, Architecture


The 120 Degree chair is the intersection of comfort, stability, and universal design principles. The chair’s overall form started with a circle, broken into three 120-degree portions. One portion was removed and what remained of the circle was extruded. The resulting form is a shape comparable to a pie missing a slice. Armrests that extend from the back and terminate in small circular curves flank the sides of the chair. The uncurved 120-degree open-angle seat allows for ample back support. The width of the chair and armrests allow room for users to add cushions or sit in the chair however they feel most comfortable. Thick dowels that bore through several layers of plywood on either side ensure stability while rocking.


C-03     Hannah Hembree and Mattie Farve

Research Presentation Title:  The Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Faculty Research Mentor:  Paolo Sanza, Architecture


Frames are used to emphasize things and ideas. We frame things that need to be looked at and to highlight the beauty and importance of what sits within a frame. In the case of [simply framed], you become the artwork that is being highlighted and showcased. When you sit inside this chair, you are separated from what is outside the boundary that the frame creates. Being enclosed in this frame, you are sheltered from the insecurities you absorb and protected from what exists beyond the frame. Being the artwork inside the [simply framed] reminds us of worth, value, and importance. The [simply framed] gives us the opportunity to separate our emotions from our identity. The frame suggests that we are infinitely greater than what we think we are. Framework – Our design takes the simple form of a chair and outlines the side profile by creating a frame around the structure. The simple silhouette of a chair is formed by the more complex outline this shape created. Here the outline of the chair becomes a frame that highlights the underlying construction system and structure that gives this seat the strength it needs to stand and carry whatever it is meant to hold. We use mortis and tenon joints to connect the seat to each frame, and we use screws to hold these pieces more firmly together and protect the chair from shifting.


C-04     Hulen Howard

Research Collaborators:  Jared Macken

Research Presentation Title:  Parental & Co-Dependent Structures

Faculty Research Mentor:  Jared Macken, Architecture


The purpose of this research is to investigate observable effects on the built environment that are a direct result of the urban situation found in the “college town”. This is centered around investigating the ways single family homes have been altered to accommodate new assemblages of economic function. What is the impact of these on the form, program, and function of the original structures? How do these new structures affect the surrounding city? Existing discourse helped me understand the phenomenon of parental/co-dependent structures observed in Stillwater. I found structures that have an observable growth of assemblages, such as single-family homes that had grown into larger structures. I used architectural modes of representation to analyze and understand these structures. I identified these conditions and photographed them to create a case study list. From there, I drew them in axonometric form to highlight the co-dependent structures’ relationship to the original parent building. This allowed me to understand how the co-dependent structures were communicating with the parental. I began to understand what these structures went through, and what their current state signified. It was the visual manifestation of the urban and economic situation in Stillwater resulting in the creation of these architectural taboos. The existing structures were altered to create new uses of program, often to increase profit for the landlord. These structures have evolved with little thought other than economic need, but their study provides a new way to think about architecture and urban space. They start to become collective forms derived from singular structures. What happens if we start to design using parental and co-dependent forms as a way of thinking? Rather than looking at the entire project as a singular entity, we can begin to design one piece at a time. This could redefine the housing problem if we think of single-family homes as things that could grow.


C-05     Jack Massar

Research Collaborators:  Jared Macken

Research Presentation Title:  The Hi-Lo Club and its Cultural Effects

Faculty Research Mentor:  Jared Macken, Architecture


The Hi-Lo Club, a gay club in OKC, provided a cultural hub to the LGBTQ+ community from its opening in 1956 to its eventual closure in 2022. It was part of a larger community that included other Oklahoma LGBTQ+ societies and members. The Hi-Lo Club was located in the Donnay Building, a triangular, two-story structure made up of multiple businesses. The building takes on the resemblance of a main street facade due to the number of overhangs, the level changes, and the variety in store fronts; this causes it to stand out from the surrounding environment. This building had a form that did not comply to the building standards or even the typical storefront ideals of the time. Because both this community and this building were largely regarded as “other,” it poses the following question: are ostracized groups such as the LGBTQ+ community drawn to spaces that are unconventional? This research theorizes that a space that was seen as “strange” would be more welcoming to a group that was often ignored or treated with hostility for their differences than a building that appeals to the majority of society. The building fostered the community in a number of ways. For instance, it was the site of the Miss Gay Oklahoma pageant, a drag pageant; it supported The Gayly, a newsletter for the queer community; and was a safe space for ASP, an organization providing resources for AIDS and mental health. In addition, the Hi-Lo Club donated money to LBGTQ+ events and organizations, hosted activists, all while advertising itself as a place for the LGBTQ+ community to gather. As a result, the LGBTQ+ community gained strength as a community during a time when it was still a largely ostracized. Because of this, the architecture that surrounded a central piece of the community may have provided a feeling of safety for the community. Analyzing this structure and architecture similar to it will provide new insight to historical LGBTQ+ groups, provide a sense of empowerment to the community, and reveal a portion of history that is largely looked over in a way that hopefully encourages future research into the subject and awareness of LGBTQ+ history.


C-06     Nicholas Morey and Ian Strickland

Research Presentation Title:  The Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Faculty Research Mentor:  Paolo Sanza, Architecture


Sväva seeks to break free from the standard design of chairs in today's world. By applying the properties of tensegrity on a full-scale design, this chair offers a floating, weightless feeling. Designers Ian Strickland and Nick Morey desired to create a piece of furniture that captured attention and created intrigue. The delicate balance created by the tensegrity accomplishes this goal perfectly. Various models, both physical and digital, aided in this design process by showing both the strengths and weaknesses of the design. The chair was created through careful study of digital fabrication, with a focus on sustainability and responsible use of materials. The packaging was designed to be reused after it has served its purpose, and the plywood used to create the chair is the minimal amount required to carefully CNC the pieces.


C-07     Emily Nikkel and Olivia Bailey

Research Presentation Title:  The extraordinary in the ordinary

Faculty Research Mentor:  Paolo Sanza, Architecture


Arc Chair uses a combination of sharp angles and smooth curves to create a comfortable lounge chair. The profile is comprised of two contrasting forms: an angular arch which forms the legs and armrest; and a parabola curve which makes up the seat and backrest. The lounge seat is a single rectangle of plywood which is curved by placing holes in the wood in a horizontal pattern. The round back and angular legs create a dichotomy between smooth and sharp, forming one chair which exhibits both harsh and softness.


C-08     Jenkins Peek and Benjamin Freet

Research Presentation Title:  The Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Faculty Research Mentor:  Paolo Sanza, Architecture


Guided to explore the mechanical and methodical elements of the fabrication and digital design processes, our team has developed and fabricated a proposal for a new style of chair. Constructed out of plywood, the chair must be able to ‘flat pack’ into a box (similar to IKEA) in order to streamline the consumer’s assembly process. Our chair was inspired by the concept of ‘thought’: quite literally displaying the accompanying verb as the design for the chair. The Thinking Chair is constructed with the letter ‘T’ for the backrest, ‘H’ and ‘N’ for the sides, and ‘K’ acting as the seat. The letter ‘I’ is implemented as and showcases a void within the ‘T’ backrest. We wanted to take a different approach than our classmates for this project: to branch out and create a chair that is more visually representative than just conceptually designed. This design for the Thinking Chair was created to appeal to any audience, as every consumer has the notion of ‘thinking’. This project as well as our design proposal has helped us gain valuable, hands-on experience in a construction setting. We have learned how to effectively create a functional and meaningful piece of furniture through many tests and iterations.


C-09     Thomas Raber and Jaidyn Hess

Research Presentation Title:  The Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Faculty Research Mentor:  Paolo Sanza, Architecture


“The Extraordinary in the Ordinary” challenged us to use digital fabrication techniques to craft a chair out of the modest plywood material. The material itself presents unique challenges and limitations that dictate the complexities of our design. That said, we sought to create a chair that defies physics and appears to be floating midair. This rocking chair takes the feeling of being on cloud nine to a whole new level. The chair stands on two sweeping supports that provide the chair with a gentle rocking motion while also forming the armrests for the chair. The seating element appears to float effortlessly, providing the cloud-like feel to the chair. These seat pieces are etched with a whimsical, blustery pattern that pays homage to the ornamentation of antique rockers despite the modernity of the chair’s design and use of plywood. The CLOUD9 chair provides a modern twist to the classic rocking chair.


C-10     Hailey Schmidt and Christian Brack

Research Collaborators:  Paolo Sanza

Research Presentation Title:  Isjusta Chair

Faculty Research Mentor:  Paolo Sanza, Architecture


Tasked to design a flat-pack chair that utilizes traditional construction practices and digital fabrication and embodies a contemporary and evocative design. Our proposal resulted from rewarding research following an interest in exploring three-leg solutions rather than the customary four-legged chairs. The issue of the third leg provides an opportunity to aestheticize the basic elements of wood joinery. Communication and collaboration were critical components of the design process due to the group setting of the project. Because of this, the project was just as much about researching efficient collaboration as it was about researching chair design and construction techniques. This led us to come up with a solution that pleased both members of the team. Intrigued by the notion of tectonics, the chair celebrates such a notion by using a hardwood wedge to support the angled third leg. Our research emphasis on simplicity and functionality led us to a marketing scheme that embodies the basic functionality of a chair. “Isjusta Chair” adopts the role of the most basic version of itself in an aesthetic manner. This allows our design proposal to be inserted into any environment where the program of “chair” may be acceptable.


C-11     Whitney Waitsman and Justin Lay

Research Presentation Title:  The extraordinary in the ordinary

Faculty Research Mentor:  Paolo Sanza, Architecture


Inspired by the Mies Van Der Rohe dictum “less is more,” the Framing Chair uses just four pieces of plywood to compose a classic modern design that uses no hardware for its assembly. Utilizing digital fabrication techniques, the chair was fabricated by a CNC machine and complemented by other wood-working tools. The packaging design reflects sustainability concerns and is also intended to work as a multipurpose item through upcycling. After our sustainability and digital fabrication research, we were able to develop a product that highlights more than the chair itself. This project consists of an analysis of prevalent environmental concerns, economical value to the target market, graphic communication to the consumer including assembly instructions, and the physical labor of fashioning the plywood chair. The Framing Chair hopes to encapsulate each of these elements through a well-designed, thoroughly researched, and effectively functional chair.


C-12     Andre Abit

Research Collaborators:  Ramanjulu Sunkar, Pei Jia Ng and Yofang Li

Research Presentation Title:  Overexpression of Sulfate Transporter Gene AST68 Plays a Role in Arsenic Tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana

Faculty Research Mentor:  Ramanjulu Sunkar, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Serge Andre P. Abit

Arsenic (As) is the most toxic metalloid that is widely distributed and abundant in the environment and poses toxicity problems in plants and animals. Arsenic can enter the human body through consumption of plants for food. Due to sessile nature of plants, it is imperative to find ways to help them tolerate As stress. Arsenic can accumulate in plant roots to levels that causes physiological and morphological disorders, and plant death. Plants can combat As toxicity via detoxification and tolerance mechanisms. Plants modulate several pathways that keeps arsenic below toxic levels. The sulfate assimilation pathway followed by cysteine biosynthetic pathway produces detoxification compounds such as glutathione and phytochelatins that lead to increased arsenic resistance and tolerance in plants. Furthermore, global gene expression analysis in response to As stress revealed a strong increase in transcripts encoding proteins involved in sulfate transport and assimilation. This led to our hypothesis that enhanced sulfate uptake has a key role in ameliorating As toxicity in plants via sulfate-derived antioxidants such as glutathione and phytochelatins. Hence, this study aimed to determine the effect of overexpressing AST68 sulfate transporter gene on alleviating As toxicity in Arabidopsis thaliana. We overexpressed a sulfate transporter gene, AST68, in Arabidopsis thaliana ecotype Columbia (Col) and evaluated whether or not the transgenic A. thaliana Col (OE3 and OE6) will tolerate As toxicity compared to the control (wild type) A. thaliana Col (COL) under different concentrations of Arsenite (0, 20, 30 and 40 microM). Our results supported our initial hypothesis. Under different Arsenite treatments, there were significant differences in the root lengths between the three A. thaliana Col strains. The average root lengths of transgenic OE3 and OE6 A. thaliana Col were around 17-25% longer than the wild type A. thaliana Col, which reveals that transgenic plants are more likely to tolerate As stress and grow better under stressed condition. The overexpression of AST68 has a significant effect on the A. thaliana Col root growth under As stress, potentially via increased production of sulfate derived compounds such as glutathione and phytochelatins that can ameliorate arsenic toxicity.


C-13     Jason Brown

Research Collaborators:  Audrey Dagnell, Xuejuan Tan, Robert Matts and Yong Cheng

Research Presentation Title:  Development of a new drug for cystic fibrosis patients with non-tuberculous mycobacterial infection

Faculty Research Mentor:  Yong Cheng, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an autosomal recessive disease affecting at least 100,000 children and adults in the world that is caused by mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene, which codes for a cell-surface chloride ion channel protein. The mutations in CFTR reduce the CFTR protein activity, negatively impacting chloride ion secretion and causing individuals affected by CF to produce a viscous mucus that can trap bacteria in their airways. Most of the morbidities and mortalities in CF patients are due to microbial lung infections. Chronic infections of non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) and resulting pulmonary disease are becoming increasingly common in patients with CF, yet there are no reliable and effective antibiotic treatments for these infections. It is therefore necessary to develop novel and effective antibiotics or antibiotic adjuvant therapies for CF patients with NTM lung infections. In Dr. Cheng’s lab, we are studying three antimycobacterial drugs that were identified by screening a library of compounds from the National Institute of Health. One compound (Cpd #3) significantly inhibited the growth of Mycobacterium avium, one of the most common NTM species found in the airways of CF patients with NTM lung infections, and the combination of Cpd #3 with clarithromycin (CAM) significantly improved the treatment efficacy. In addition to our data indicating that Cpd #3 has a low toxicity in macrophages (cell tolerance up to 25 µg/ml), our results suggest a potential application of Cpd #3 as a novel antibiotic for CF patients with NTM lung infections.


C-14     Owen Fleming

Research Collaborators:  Stephen Kotey, Xuejuan Tan

Research Presentation Title:  Investigation of lncRNA-miRNA Interactions in Mammalian Cells by pMirGLO Dual-Luciferase Reporter Assay

Faculty Research Mentor:  Yong Cheng, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) and microRNA (miRNA) are both noncoding RNAs within mammalian cells. Interactions between lncRNA and miRNA have been found to play important roles in modulating various physiological and pathological pathways. Within mammalian cells, miRNAs destabilize mRNAs, preventing their expression. However, lncRNA can physically interact with miRNAs and sequester miRNAs from binding to their target mRNA (sponging effect) thereby facilitating the expression of the mRNA. The pMirGLO dual luciferase reporter assay system is an effective system for studying the interactions between lncRNA and miRNAs. The focus of my work was to develop various pMirGLO plasmid systems for studying the interaction between the host lncRNA and their potential miRNA targets that might downregulate host immunity in human immune cells. To achieve my goal, I used the pMirGLO plasmid vector system and cloned the binding sites of the miRNAs inserted into it. To this end, I employed oligo annealing assay, restriction enzyme digestion, and ligation followed by transformation and plasmid isolation. The generated plasmid was confirmed by PCR and further DNA sequencing analysis in the OSU Genomics Core Facility.


C-15     Carlyn Guthrie

Research Collaborators:  Carlyn Guthrie, Xuejuan Tan, Lin Liu, and Yong Cheng

Research Presentation Title:  Development of a Novel COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate

Faculty Research Mentor:  Yong Cheng, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Over the past three years, COVID-19 has been one of the top public health threats in the world. The fast-spreading SARS-CoV-2 virus quickly caused a pandemic that has resulted in more than 6 million deaths around the world. To help combat the disease, pharmacological companies, such as Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson and Johnson, have created protective vaccines using cutting-edge biotechnology. Pfizer-BioNTech designed a vaccine based on the mRNA from the SARS-CoV-2 genome, while Johnson and Johnson designed a vaccine based on a viral vector. Despite these current vaccines, COVID-19 is still an issue among society, therefore new types of COVID-19 vaccines are needed to help stop the pandemic and prevent future outbreaks. In this study, we designed a novel COVID-19 vaccine candidate that has not been studied previously. The vaccine candidate incorporates the truncated SARS-CoV-2 spike protein from the virus genome and is transformed into Mycobacterium bovis BCG (M. bovis BCG). Analysis with Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and Western Blot proved that: (i) the DNA fragment encoding the truncated SARS-CoV-2 spike protein was successfully induced into the designated site on the genome of M. bovis BCG; and (ii) the spike protein was successfully expressed in our transgenic M. bovis BCG strain. As a result, a stable recombinant M. bovis BCG strain expressing the truncated spike protein has been achieved. We are currently evaluating the protective efficacy of this novel COVID-19 vaccine candidate in a pre-clinical mouse model. The resulting transgenic M. bovis BCG is currently being used to vaccinate mice. We expect that the transgenic M. bovis BCG will activate a protective immunity against a COVID-19 infection in mice.


C-16     Amber Meeker

Research Collaborators:  Yong Cheng, Xuejuan Tan and Carlyn Guthrie

Research Presentation Title:  Understanding the Functional Role of Macrophages in Cystic Fibrosis during Mycobacterium abscessus Infection

Faculty Research Mentor:  Yong Cheng, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Macrophages are a type of phagocytic white blood cell and have two main cellular status: M1 and M2. M1 macrophages being pro-inflammatory and more aggressive microbe killer than M2 macrophages which is more for tissue repair. Mycobacterium abscessus (M. abscessus) is a bacterial pathogen that is frequently identified in the patients with cystic fibrosis. My project is focused on understanding how macrophages regulate protective immunity against bacterial infections. One of the main aims of my project is to analyze macrophage functions in the context of M. abscessus infection using an in vitro cell culture system. I have successfully learned cell culture techniques and will use these skills to (i) culture macrophage cells collected from the femur bone marrow of mice, (ii) polarize naïve macrophages into M1 and M2 macrophages, (iii) infect the macrophages with M. abscessus to determine their antibacterial roles, and (iv) determine the difference in antibacterial response between the M1 and M2 macrophages using a CFU assay, Fluorescence microscope, confocal microscope, and other immunological tools. Western blot, PCR, and microscope analysis techniques will also be used throughout the study. M. abscessus is becoming a big threat in patients with cystic fibrosis and there is no effective treatment available. Learning exactly how macrophages work can help come up with more creative solutions to treat diseases, solving a growing problem of drug and antibiotic resistance.    


C-17     Lydia Stinson

Research Collaborators:  Charlie Vermeire, Xuejuan Tan and Yong Cheng

Research Presentation Title:  Role of Mycobacterial Outer Membrane Vesicles in Their Resistance to Oxidative Stress

Faculty Research Mentor:  Yong Cheng, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Outer membrane vesicles (OMV) derived from the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria contain bacterial components and are believed to be intimately involved in the host-pathogen interactions. While the role of OMV in intercellular communication is well supported, the signals that are being conveyed are not yet well understood. This study seeks to understand the relationship between exposure to OMV produced by hydrogen peroxide stressed Mycobacterium abscessus (M.abscessus) and M.abscessus hydrogen peroxide tolerance. To achieve this, a hydrogen peroxide sensitivity screen is conducted to observe the range at which M.abscessus growth is partially but not entirely inhibited. Based on these results, M.abscessus is cultured at a partially inhibitory amount of hydrogen peroxide and OMVs are isolated via a series of ultra-centrifugations. Using vesicles from control and hydrogen peroxide treated conditions, the impact of OMV exposure on M.abscessus  growth across a hydrogen peroxide gradient is compared to M.abscessus growth without exposure to OMV. In the future study, I will perform proteomic analysis for these isolated OMVs.


C-18     Kyle Van Pelt

Research Collaborators:  Yong Cheng, Xuejuan Tan and Stephen Kotey

Research Presentation Title:  Long Non-Coding RNAs and Their Role in Fighting against Mycobacterial Infections in Macrophages

Faculty Research Mentor:  Yong Cheng, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


lncRNAs are a group of RNAs that are longer than 200 nucleotides but do not appear to encode for any particular proteins. lncRNAs have been proven to have a major role in regulating host-pathogen interactions in the context of bacterial infections. For example, the host lncRNA MEG3 eliminates mycobacterial survival inside macrophages by activating autophagy. In the current study, our preliminary data suggest that the host lncRNA mir155HG mediates the transcription of a panel of cytokine genes in macrophages during mycobacterial infection. Cytokines are proteins that play critical roles in cell signaling in immune cells in response to microbial infections. In the future study, I will further perform biochemistry and molecular biology experiments to understand the role of mir155HG in host defense against mycobacterial infections in human and mouse immune cells.


C-19     Charlie Vermeire

Research Collaborators:  Xuejuan Tan, Yurong Liang, Stephen Kotey, Steven Hartson, Lin Liu and Yong Cheng

Research Presentation Title:  Exosomes Released by Mycobacterium abscessus-Infected Macrophages Facilitate Mycobacterial Intracellular Survival within Host Cells

Faculty Research Mentor:  Yong Cheng, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


While environmental exposure to NTM rarely causes infection in healthy individuals, exposure to NTM often results in serious respiratory infections in immunodeficient patients, such as those living with CF. Treatment of such infections is complicated not only by the expanding antibiotic tolerance of NTM, but also by the ability of NTM to survive within alveolar macrophages. While host immune cells may utilize several defense mechanisms against invading pathogens, NTM have evolved mechanisms for their survival within alveolar macrophages. Recent studies suggest that bacteria-infected macrophages release extracellular vesicles (EVs), such as exosomes, that can regulate the cellular function of recipient cells. The involvement of such macrophage-released exosomes in the host-pathogen interactions of NTM infections, however, remains unclear. Mycobacterium abscessus (M.abscessus) is one of the main NTM species identified in the airways of CF patients with microbial lung infections. This study aimed to determine the functional role of exosomes released from M.abscessus-infected macrophages in M.abscessus-host interactions using a mouse macrophage cell culture model. Preliminary data suggest that exosomes released by M.abscessus-infected macrophages aid mycobacterial survival in recipient macrophages compared to exosomes from uninfected macrophages. Additionally, proteomic data identified 34 proteins that are unique in exosomes purified from M.abscessus-infected macrophages versus those from uninfected macrophages.


C-20     Matt Fries

Research Collaborators:  Jeff Sadler

Research Presentation Title:  Water Reuse in Oklahoma

Faculty Research Mentor:  Jeff Sadler, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering


Increasing droughts and water demand are putting growing stress on our water resources. Water reuse or reclamation has recently been looked at as an approach for more fully utilizing water resources. Despite the rise in attention given toward water reuse, there are still major challenges, including cost (economic and environmental) and negative public perception.  Additionally, in Oklahoma, there are but few publicly accessible informational resources regarding water reuse. This investigation includes researching and documenting existing solutions in Oklahoma, documenting other potentially useful approaches from outside of Oklahoma, and determining the costs, barriers, and benefits of these approaches to publish as an educational resource on water reuse in Oklahoma. The background research performed revealed that most of the water reuse projects around Oklahoma are utilizing this technique for industrial application or irrigation. Although these are the most prominent uses, there are currently plans for Indirect Potable Reuse (IPR). The application of reclaimed water ranges in type relative to the water quality category that the treated water meets. Although much progress has been made toward this range, there are many challenges still in front of water reuse for IPR as well as effective use in irrigation and industrial applications. In addition to these barriers, there is a common misunderstanding of water reuse in public perception. Despite these obstacles, water reuse is increasing in Oklahoma and time will result with even greater development and more full utilization of water resources.


C-21     Krosbi Smith

Research Presentation Title:  Small Scale Prototype of Integrated ASBR Floating Cover

Faculty Research Mentor:  Doug Hamilton, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering


C-22     Kyler Dennis

Research Collaborators:  Aaron Alexander

Research Presentation Title:  Evaluation and Comparison of wet-bulb Psychrometers and Dew-point sensors

Faculty Research Mentor:  Christian Bach, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Problem Statement: AHRI 210/240 and AHRI 340/360 rating standards include performance rating methods required to evaluate federally mandated efficiency requirements. HVAC companies need a way to test their units to these standards, but recommendations and guidelines for testing are limited. Measurement of air humidity at sub-freezing temperatures is particularly challenging since the predominant method relies on evaporation of water.

Background: During the summer I worked with OCAST at AAON to design a wet bulb aspirating psychrometer for measuring humidity at low ambient conditions. A pre-existing design was modified to increase repeatability between testing, ease maintenance, and increase system reliability. While I was getting to design the wet bulb psychrometer I familiarized myself with relevant standards and research studies. Furthermore, I was able to run testing on units using the chambers at AAON. Approach: A wet sock is used to measure wet bulb temperature, requiring the air to be heated to prevent freezing. ASHRAE/AHRI 41.6 specifies psychrometer dimensions and control parameters, and introduces a study showing 0.5 K (0.9 R) repeatability between psychrometer testing, for a temperature range of 32°F to 119°F. My study will evaluate psychrometer performance for extreme conditions below 32°F and compare the results against a high accuracy reference dew point meter. Experiment Overview: Brenner (2014) assessed the design guidelines to still construct an aspirated psychrometer that can measure the wet-bulb

Figure 1 Schematic of the wicking setup modeled temperature within ±0.05 K (0.09 R).1. From                            (Brenner 2014) this study it was determined that the radiation shield was not needing to but did draw focus on the wicking height and control of the water level. Therefore, the test matrix will investigate sensitivity of wet bulb accuracy to water level, wet bulb suppression, and entering dry-bulb temperature.


C-23     Angel Diaz Santana and Isaiah Vasquez

Research Presentation Title:  Virtual Reality Flight Simulation Pilot Training

Faculty Research Mentor:  Nicoletta Fala, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Developing the skills to fly an airplane requires many hours of training, years of study, dedication, and most importantly, an exceptional ability to make the best decisions in adverse situations. However, the training resources can be very inaccessible due to cost or environmental conditions. Flight simulation, and virtual reality flight simulation in particular, aim to improve our ability to train pilots in both routine and abnormal scenarios more easily. In the present study, we train a group of students with no prior experience in piloting in flight simulators of different capabilities. We evaluate participants on their performance in different situations and simulators and ask for their opinion on their performance and their confidence while operating the simulators. Their actual performance in the experiment will determine the impact of the simulators on their ability to learn a set of skills. Through this experiment we aim to determine how well different types of simulators can help student pilots learn the basics of flying an aircraft through a safe, virtual, simulated environment.


C-24     Sam Glenn

Research Collaborators:  Mitchell Ford

Research Presentation Title:  Morphological characterization of wing shapes of tiny insects

Faculty Research Mentor:  Arvind Santhanakrishnan, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


The bristled wings of numerous species of tiny insects such as thrips and fairyflies show remarkable diversity in shape, ranging from short, teardrop-shaped to long, slender profiles. We document the interspecific diversity in forewing shape of thrips and fairyflies based on principal component analysis of wing geometries of 13 species of thrips and 28 species of fairyflies. Wing shapes and geometric characteristics (chord, wingspan, wing area) were measured in ImageJ from published forewing images of thrips and fairyflies. The first three principal axes of variation were found to be linearly correlated (p << 0.01) with: Axis 1 = total wing area (AT, R^2 = 0.91); Axis 2 = ratio of leading edge to trailing edge wing area (LE/TE, R^2 = 0.46), and Axis 3 = LE/TE (R^2 = 0.2). While wing area is well known to directly impact aerodynamic force generation, the effects of varying LE/TE on the flapping flight of tiny insects are unknown. Based on this information, we fabricated 3 scaled up elliptical wing models with LE/TE of 0.5, 1 and 2 which were tested at Reynolds number (Re) = 10 on a 3D flapping robotic model to determine the effect of LE/TE variation on flapping wing performance. Time varying lift and drag forces will be presented to examine aerodynamic effects of varying LE/TE.


C-25     Noah Greeson and Chaz Daggett

Research Presentation Title:  Development of an Engine Control Unit for an Additively Manufactured Turbojet

Faculty Research Mentor:  Kurt Rouser, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


This paper presents the design and development a custom engine control unit for an additively manufactured turbojet designed by students at Oklahoma State University. This project aims to create a method by which to manage inputs into the engine, such as throttle, as well as display data output by the engine, such as temperature and engine speed, onto a laptop for easy viewing. This engine control unit will be versatile and adaptable, able to run a wide variety of turbojets and enabling research activities for performance improvements. Initially, the engine control unit will be tested on an existing 10-lb thrust Kingtech K45 turbojet to ensure its performance and tune its capabilities. After this phase is deemed successful, the engine control unit will be tested on another engine to test compatibility and consistency. Ultimately, the unit will be able to be swapped between any engine seamlessly. Recommendations are made for future development, including automatic start sequence and the ability to view engine data on a mobile device via Bluetooth.


C-26     Madison Hill

Research Collaborators:  Christopher Petrin and Bryce Lindsey

Research Presentation Title:  Determining the Cause of Erroneous Infrasound Data

Faculty Research Mentor:  Brian Elbing, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Since the second half of the twentieth century, meteorologists have used radar to detect tornadic activity during thunderstorms. Although this method of tornado detection is proven and robust, its range for measurements near the ground is limited by the curvature of the earth and obstructions. It is for this reason, that the southeast US that has hilly terrain produces the most tornado related deaths, which this problem is only going to grow with evidence that Tornado Alley is moving eastward. Tornado detection now requires a method that allows for obstructions such as hills and trees. Infrasound provides a potential radar substitute because of its ability to deflect around objects. The purpose of this project is to determine the source of infrasound in tornadoes in order to develop a new method of detecting them. My portion of the project entailed troubleshooting infrasound sensors that were part of a microphone array used to record wind data. During field testing, the microphones in question recorded signals below their noise floor. Physically, this is impossible, since the noise floor is the amount of noise the microphones naturally produce. In order to determine the source of the data issue, the microphones were brought into the lab and compared with a working microphone from another wind microphone array. During lab testing, the problematic microphones were connected to a DAQ one by one with the working microphone. A signal was played for a certain amount of time while the microphones recorded the data. Each microphone’s data was plotted against the reference microphone’s data in frequency response and voltage vs. time graphs. The data suggested that there was in fact a problem with the problematic microphones. The root cause of the issue with the microphones has not yet been discovered, but I will continue to perform more tests and analyze the data in order to figure out the cause.


C-27     Josiah Huff

Research Presentation Title:  Development of Test Frame for Collection of Material Properties

Faculty Research Mentor:  Wei Zhao, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Determining the material properties of a sample material is an important first step in many areas of engineering research. These properties are often found using a universal test machine based on the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards. However, the high cost of these machines means that they are often shared between researchers which translates to long wait times and delayed research. This project aimed to develop a test frame that could rapidly, easily and accurately obtain the material properties data necessary for other research. Constructed from aluminum, the test frame is designed to conduct ASTM three-point bending tests on rectangular test coupons. Deflection and strain can be obtained using dial indicators and strain gauges. This data can then be used to find various other material properties comparable to the properties found by a universal test machine.


C-28     Adam Leicht

Research Collaborators:  Mahdi, Mohammed Abir and Zhao, Wei

Research Presentation Title:  Additive Manufacturing and Testing of Thin-walled Non-uniformly Stiffened Structures

Faculty Research Mentor:  Wei Zhao, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Limited by the traditional manufacturing capabilities, and to avoid the waste of the raw materials, the Aerospace industry today largely uses plates with uniform straight stiffeners as the standard in aircraft structure load-carrying members to improve the lateral loading carrying capacity.  With the development of additive manufacturing, it is possible to fabricate non-uniform shaped stiffeners for the thin-walled aerospace structures without any waste of the raw materials. In addition, the design optimization study shows that non-uniform stiffener has a higher strength-to-weight ratio, with around a 30% increase in strength compared to the model with traditional uniform stiffeners. To demonstrate this improved structural performance, we manufacture two stiffened plates, each with traditional uniform and non-uniform stiffeners, using a resin 3D printer. A single plate strip model was first fabricated and tested from a 3-point bending test based on American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard to examine the material properties. The measured force-displacement during the Instron machine bending test has been collected and will be used to compute the material properties of the resin for the 3D printed structure. After that, the same resin material has been used to fabricate the same weight stiffened plates with uniform and non-uniform stiffeners. Compression tests on these two stiffened plates will be conducted to verify that non-uniform stiffener plates are more efficient than their standardized counterparts.


C-29     Carson Manhalter

Research Collaborators:  Mason Biliske, Zac Bycko, Trey Dorrell, Dev Patel, Michael Patman, Tanner Price, Christopher Rathman and Alexander Turner Camacho

Research Presentation Title:  Different Port and Infill Geometries of Additively Manufactured Hybrid Rockets

Faculty Research Mentor:  Kurt Rouser, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Rocket systems have made a resurgence in the various industries, ranging from defense contracting to travel. Developing more efficient and controllable rocket systems are important qualities companies look for when innovating. Hybrid rocket systems have sparked interest as viable options for companies since they are able to be throttled and shut down easily (like liquid rocket systems) and are safer than solid rocket engines (since the oxidizers are stored separate from the fuel), even if they are not as simple and widely used and researched as solid rockets. Another benefit of hybrid rocket systems is that they are customizable. Nearly every component of the engine can be improved to optimize the overall performance. Changing the port geometry (the shape of the port, or tunnel that the oxidizer travels through the fuel grain) or the infill geometry (the shapes or patterns that are part of the overall additive manufacturing process) are relatively simple variables to change and test to optimize the performance of a hybrid rocket engine. Development, manufacturing, and testing will be conducted at Richmond Hills Research Complex with available rocket propulsion equipment. Different port/infill shapes will be designed with CAD software (primarily SolidWorks) and manufactured with polylactic acid (PLA), a thermoplastic polyester. Testing of port geometry and infill geometry will result in more efficient, higher performance hybrid rocket engines leading to more effective systems wherever they are used. In industry, this could usher in more reliable reusable rocket engines and developments for rocket-assisted take-off (RATO) for high-speed unmanned aircraft to accelerate quicker.


C-30     Dawson Manning

Research Presentation Title:  Design and Evaluation of Propeller Flow Controls to Suppress Boundary Layer Separation for Low Reynolds Number Operations

Faculty Research Mentor:  Kurt Rouser, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


This paper presents the design process and experimental results for six double-bladed propellers with varying flow controls to suppress boundary layer separation. The motivation for this study is the need to improve propeller performance for small, unmanned aircraft. The six propellers were constructed using computer aided design software an edited from a scanned 16-inch by 10-inch pitch (16x10) APC propeller that has been given different flow controls integrated into each variation. Three propellers have a singular rectangular jet acting as a flow control while the other three will have four cylindrical jets. Both geometries (single rectangular jet and 4 cylindrical jets) vary at three different angles 20◦, 30◦, and 40◦  measured off the surface of the propeller. The jets themselves are located at 50% span of the propeller because this area generally has the largest surface on the propeller. To test the performance of the jet geometries and angles versus the base, the advanced ratio was kept constant as velocity increases hence an increase in Reynolds number. The testing conditions for density, viscosity, propeller diameter, and cord length are kept constant. The experiment tests advanced from 0.25 to 0.7 in increments of 0.05 at velocities: 30, 40 and 50 ft/s. This is achieved by adjusting the rpms of the propeller to give the desired advanced ratio. The advanced ratios were chosen for this experiment because typically the efficiency of an unmodified propeller at low Reynolds number stalls or becomes less efficient around an advanced ratio of 0.6. This experiment was designed to observe the upper end of the advanced ratio spectrum to monitor the effects the efficiency at low speed and low rpm. These advanced ratios are then be plotted directly with propeller efficiency and the coefficient of thrust. This indicates which jets were suppressing the boundary layer separation most efficiently by directly relating the efficiency and thrust to the advanced ratio trends.


C-31     Brock Rouser

Research Presentation Title:  Experimental Wake Survey of Low Reynolds Number Wind Tunnel Test Section

Faculty Research Mentor:  Ryan Paul, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


In most wind tunnel configurations uniform air flow is desired for testing. The ATRC 058 subsonic wind tunnel attempts to achieve uniform flow through the use of flow straighteners at the inlet. This study attempts to validate the assumption of uniform flow in the wind tunnel through the use of a five-hole probe mounted on a mechanical actuator. The actuator is able to position the five-hole probe at various points in the tunnel with high precision and accuracy. The probe can then record data which is later processed through a MATLAB script to generate a colored flow map of the cross section with vector representation of angular flow. The cross section of the wind tunnel test section measures 42 -in by 35 -in. The five-hole probe allows for a wide variety of measurements to be taken such as air velocity, angle of attack, and angle of sideslip. In order to utilize the actuator and probe an ISEL CNC controller and desktop computer need to be able to communicate with each other in for accurate positioning of the probe in the test section. Three separate LabVIEW virtual instruments (vi’s) facilitate communication with the controller, control the wind tunnel operating velocity, and record data from the five-hole probe. The tunnel was run at 30 mph and data points were collected at 2 -in intervals across the height and width of the tunnel. The actuator was programmed to wait for five seconds while the probe was recording. The five-hole probe continuously records data at 50 Hz and streams it using RS232 protocol. Results show the cross-sectional flow map of the wind tunnel and angular flow characteristics. Observations from this study assist in future testing in the ATRC wind tunnel. Future studies using the five-hole probe and actuator system will be able to generate flow maps and perform wake surveys of various aerodynamic systems.


C-32     Kate Spillman

Research Collaborators:  Brian Elbing

Research Presentation Title:  Reducing Wind Noise Effects on Infrasound Sensors

Faculty Research Mentor:  Brian Elbing, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Heliotropes are large, charcoal-covered, balloons (5m-7m in diameter) that use the Sun’s heat to generate lift and rise to the stratosphere. Previous research has shown that heliotropes are useful for recording infrasound (low-frequency, below human hearing sound, <20-Hz) from earthquakes. However, as the balloon travels in the atmosphere, the sensor is attached to the end of a 100-ft chord and travels behind it. Although the wind effects decrease as the balloon travels higher into the atmosphere, this “drag” generates wind around the sensor. The next step in this process is to come up with a solution to mitigate its effects.There were numerous lab tests to figure out which materials/setups would best filter wind noise. Each of these materials had sensors enclosed within a styrofoam box (known as payloads) that had four squares cut into each side. The cutouts were replaced with one of the materials. For the first field test, five different materials were utilized; clean (no material and no cutouts), Sunbrella, foam, Sunbrella and foam, and a quad disk that was developed by Sandia Laboratories. For the set-up, each were secured a few feet above the ground in-line with each other. A subwoofer was then used as an infrasound source to output frequencies (10-Hz to 40- Hz) at a certain angle relative to the payloads. In addition to the subwoofer, an anemometer was placed in-line with the sensors to record the wind velocity/direction. The results were then processed and analyzed to see which material was able to filter out the most wind noise. However, with this initial set-up, the payloads could only be oriented one of two directions. In order to obtain more useable results, it was decided that the payloads be mounted to tripods so that they could be oriented any direction relative to the wind. A base-line test was performed to see how well this new setup worked. The subwoofer outputted frequencies of 22-Hz and 26-Hz. Since the data appears promising, the next step in the process is to adjust the tripod setup up for more accurate testing.


C-33     Jacob Taylor

Research Collaborators:  Farhan Istique, Hamid Ikram and Dipa Saha

Research Presentation Title:  Validating Simulation Models for Thermal Energy Storage to Support Efficient Use of Renewable Energy

Faculty Research Mentor:  Christian Bach, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


A fully integrated Thermal Energy Storage (TES) system makes use of Thermal Energy Storage tank and the TriCoil™ heat exchanger integrated into a normal residential heat pump system. The TES tank is a large, well-insulated tank of water buried several meters below grade. The TriCoil™ heat exchanger makes use of both refrigerant and water loops to interface with both a regular outdoor compressor unit and the TES tank respectively. The TES tank serves as a thermal battery where the water can be heated or chilled and used later to condition the air inside the residence.  This capacity to store charge in the TES tank allows the system to perform effective load shifting. Load shifting refers to shifting electrical demand on the grid (load) away from times of peak demand to times of much lower demand. Load shifting is especially relevant when considering the use of renewable energies like wind and solar. Peak production times for renewables are often significantly separated from the times of peak demand. This can result in significant amounts of renewable energy remaining unutilized during peak production and a significant deficit during peak load that, for the time being, must be met with conventional sources like fossil fuels. Load shifting methods like TES allow more of the renewable energy to be captured while it is available and reduces demand for non-renewable sources during peak load. Other solutions for this kind of load shifting, such as large banks of lithium-ion batteries, have been successfully deployed, but these come with significant drawbacks. In conclusion, the Thermal Energy Storage system provides capacity for a residential heat pump systems to shift is load away from times of peak demand. This load shifting capacity is an important way to reconcile the gap in the availability of renewable energy and the demand for it. The TES system is also much more environmentally friendly than other load shifting solutions such as lithium-ion batteries.


C-34     Alexander Turner Camacho

Research Collaborators:  Kurt Rouser, Mason Biliske, Dev Patel and Trey Dorrell

Research Presentation Title:  Process Development for Fabricating Aluminum Infused ABS Filament for Hybrid Rocket 3D-Printed Fuel

Faculty Research Mentor:  Kurt Rouser, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


This poster presents process development for fabricating acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) filament that contains a percentage of aluminum powder for hybrid rocket engine 3D-printed fuel grains. Hybrid rockets use solid fuel and liquid or gaseous oxidizer such that they benefit in terms of increased safety and reduced cost and complexity and typically have a higher specific impulse than solid rocket motors but lower than liquid rocket engines. The use of a filament 3D printer to fabricate ABS fuel grains has been shown to be effective for tailoring and improving performance with potential enhancement from metal powder infused in the ABS filament; however, there is a critical need to develop a process to manufacture such filament. This study documents previous research that led to a process that allows for ABS filament of 1.75 mm in diameter to be produced through the use of a Filastruder and Filawinder. Along with recent work and research that has led to the capability of creating ABS filament that has a percentage of aluminum and new advancements in creating a more reliable, efficient, and consistent method of producing aluminum infused ABS.


C-35     Stephen Young

Research Collaborators:  Trevor Wilson

Research Presentation Title:  Evaluation of seismoacoustic signal detection on a microbarometer array

Faculty Research Mentor:  Brian Elbing, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Earthquakes have been shown to produce two types of waves: acoustic waves in the atmosphere and seismic waves in the earth. Although these waves propagate in different mediums, they have aligned characteristics and can both be used to increase the understanding of the source physics. The frequency of acoustic waves produced by earthquakes typically are below the human threshold of hearing, or 20 Hz. These sound waves are termed infrasound and are generated by the low-frequency oscillation of the earth’s surface during an earthquake. Infrasound has the unique ability to propagate thousands of kilometers due to low attenuation in the atmosphere. A common technique for studying infrasound produced from earthquakes (and other sources) is the use of a sensor array. One such array, OSU1, was deployed at Oklahoma State University from 2016 through 2022 and consisted of 3 Chaparral Model 24 microbarometers. The study will use ground truth information provided by United States Geological Survey (USGS) to determine the effectiveness of earthquake monitoring utilizing the OSU1 acoustic array. The results will evaluate OSU1’s ability to detect acoustic and seismic waves and present preliminary findings on its ability to infer source characteristics such as magnitude and depth.


C-36     Brandon Dang and Jack Chartier

Research Collaborators:  Chulho Yang, Huaxia Wang and Roger Tan

Research Presentation Title:  Auxetic Structures for Use in Pressure Sensors

Faculty Research Mentor:  Chulho Yang, Mechanical Engineering Technology


With advancements in additive manufacturing, the creation of auxetic structures has become significantly more accessible. Auxetic structures are types of materials that exhibit a negative Poisson’s ratio due to controlled deformations in the opposite lateral direction to that of typical materials. These properties can be used in creating pressure sensors for seating in two major applications. First, it was found that the stresses in the part are concentrated in specified uniform areas, making it an ideal location for a strain gauge. Additionally, studies have found that auxetic meshes have increased energy absorption properties alongside the ability to dampen external vibrations, which would be ideal for this application minimizing the interference with the sensors. Finally, it is theorized that due to the increased density and shrinking cross-sectional area under compression, an auxetic structure can exert a more concentrated pressure, which can be ideal for maintaining higher resolution in smaller pressure sensors. By using FEA to simulate a non-auxetic hexagonal mesh alongside various types of auxetic mesh, it was found that a re-entrant mesh had a more concentrated stress with a higher maximum compared to the hexagonal mesh, and by using a conductive filament to print a strain gauge in the part, a basic pressure sensor can be ingrained within the auxetic mesh to give a pressure sensor with a large range than the non-auxetic mesh. Acknowledgement: This work was supported by the Technology Innovation Program (20019115) funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry, & Energy (MOTIE, Korea).


C-37     Garrett Thornton

Research Collaborators:  Martin Yang and Tristen Lee

Research Presentation Title:  Cost-Effective Semiconductor Detector for X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy

Faculty Research Mentor:  Eric Benton, Physics


The OSU Radiation Physics Laboratory is developing a low-cost silicon PIN photodiode detector for X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy. We aim to produce an economical detector for classroom and laboratory XRF applications. Our design centers on a custom-built, dual-stage charge-sensitive preamplifier (CSP) coupled with a 1-cm2 Hamamatsu photodiode. Picocoulomb-order current pulses outputted by the photodiode are integrated and amplified by the CSP, producing millivolt-order voltage pulses. After gaussification, the signals are sorted into energy spectra using a multichannel analyzer and data acquisition software. Our experimental methodology begins with CSP circuit design, simulation, and assembly. The CSPs are then calibrated via monoenergetic γ-ray emissions from 241Am and 109Cd radionuclides and tested in observations of high-Z metal fluorescent emissions. Using our laboratory-produced CSP, we have observed the K-series fluorescent emissions from Pb, W, and Ta samples using a 109Cd excitation source. Future tests seek to study detector resolution and electronic noise threshold response at low temperatures via liquid nitrogen cooling. The development of cost-effective CSPs will make XRF spectroscopy a more accessible process in the laboratory and the classroom.

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