Engineering – UROP Summer Symposium 2021

Research Discipline(s): Engineering

Lasers: Optical Tweezers for Medicine

Using laser beams as a means of manipulating and trapping particles on the nanoscale has been proven extremely beneficial to the fields of chemistry and biology. These “optical tweezers” are highly useful for their non-invasiveness and precise delivery of nano-objects such as metal nanoparticles. In this study, we will optimize a two phase ligand exchange process to develop stable metal nanoparticles. This two phase ligand exchange technique is a reliable and relatively straightforward method of producing stable metal nanoparticles capable of being used in a variety of biological applications.

Lasers: Optical Tweezers for Medicine

Using laser beams as a means of manipulating and trapping particles on the nanoscale has been proven extremely beneficial to the fields of chemistry and biology. These “optical tweezers” are highly useful for their non-invasiveness and precise delivery of nano-objects such as metal nanoparticles. In this study, we will optimize a two phase ligand exchange process to develop stable metal nanoparticles. This two phase ligand exchange technique is a reliable and relatively straightforward method of producing stable metal nanoparticles capable of being used in a variety of biological applications.

African Futurist Greenhouse

Colonialism may be in the past, but its legacies live on today, with populations still marginalized by income and still “primitivized” by the colonial view. New movements like AfroFuturism resist these stereotypes by combining technological sophistication with an anti-primitivist view of Black culture. In the book African Fractals, Dr. Eglash makes the case for scaling geometries–the nonlinear shapes found in nature–as a tradition in African design. Together with professor Audrey Bennett at UM’s Stamps School of Art and Design, and Olayami Dabls, the owner of Dabls’ MBAD African Bead Museum, they have developed a proposal to create an African Futurist greenhouse that will utilize the scaling geometry traditional to African homes, jewelry, and sculptures. Funded by Stamps and Poverty Solutions, this greenhouse will grow plants that furnish seeds for Dabls’s beadwork, food for local consumption, and more generally embody a decolonial approach that combines the circular economy of Indigenous traditions with the beauty and utility of culture-technology hybrids.

African Futurist Greenhouse

Colonialism may be in the past, but its legacies live on today, with populations still marginalized by income and still “primitivized” by the colonial view. New movements like AfroFuturism resist these stereotypes by combining technological sophistication with an anti-primitivist view of Black culture. In the book African Fractals, Dr. Eglash makes the case for scaling geometries–the nonlinear shapes found in nature–as a tradition in African design. Together with professor Audrey Bennett at UM’s Stamps School of Art and Design, and Olayami Dabls, the owner of Dabls’ MBAD African Bead Museum, they have developed a proposal to create an African Futurist greenhouse that will utilize the scaling geometry traditional to African homes, jewelry, and sculptures. Funded by Stamps and Poverty Solutions, this greenhouse will grow plants that furnish seeds for Dabls’s beadwork, food for local consumption, and more generally embody a decolonial approach that combines the circular economy of Indigenous traditions with the beauty and utility of culture-technology hybrids.

Great Lakes Water Policy

As climate conditions worsen, natural freshwater supplies of ground and surface water are depleted for a variety of uses and water becomes an increasingly sought-after resource. Policymakers have responded to this situation with several documents that govern how water can be withdrawn, diverted, distributed, and reallocated to different basins. This research compares the strengths and weaknesses of two different water resource management agreements: the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact that governs the eight Great Lakes states and two provinces of Canada and the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act which was recently passed in California. Both documents aim to disarm future water controversies, but they deal with seemingly polarized water supply scenarios. The research brings together several different sources of information about water policy and identifies gaps between the policy and its application. The contexts and purposes of these documents hint at how they will hold up to debate in terms of environmental, economic, and social sustainability.

The Great Lakes Compact and Water Level Variability

The Great Lakes Compact is an agreement guiding water management of the Great Lakes. The Compact has been signed and approved by the governors of the eight states within the Great Lakes basin (Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania) and the two Canadian provinces within the Great Lake basin (Ontario and Quebec). The Compact was signed into law by President George W.Bush in 2008. The Great lakes play a significant role in the regional economy and support recreation, and wildlife habitat and a balanced ecosystem of the environment.

Design of a Do-It-Yourself Geiger-Muller counter with smartphone mapping application

A Geiger-Muller survey meter is a device for measuring radioactivity by detecting and counting ionizing particles. Antique Geiger-Muller (GM) survey meters recovered from fallout shelters were gifted to teachers by several nuclear scientific societies to demonstrate radiological principles. Although these GMs accomplish some educational objectives, they fail to engage students with modern technology to motivate nuclear careers, develop students’ electronic or software skills, or provide individuals with a more hands-on approach when it comes to exploring radiological sciences. This is why the Do-It-Yourself Geiger-Muller (DIYgm) project was created. This project has as its objective to expose students to STEM topics such as computer programming, circuit-building, and soldering, while maintaining a special emphasis on radiological and nuclear science disciplines.

Data Mining for Modeling Drivers’ Response to a Leading Vehicle’s Merging/Demerging Maneuver

Although there have been many recent strides in automated vehicle features (e.g., lane-keeping assist or automatic emergency braking) and autonomous vehicles (e.g., Cruise), there is still a significant need for research on human drivers’ behavior and decision-making. One larger goal of this research is to increase users’ acceptance and comfort with these driving technologies by helping align the technology’s actions / warnings more closely with human behavior and expectations. This research project, in particular, applies data mining (including statistical and machine learning methods, primarily via MATLAB code) to naturalistic driving data in order to model drivers’ behavior in response to two specific scenarios: cut-ins and cut-outs of the lead vehicle on US freeways.

Cultural Cybernetics: Merging Artisanal Tradition with Digital Fabrication

Colonialism may be in the past, but its legacies live on today, with populations still marginalized by income and still “primitivized” by the colonial view. New movements like AfroFuturism resist these stereotypes by combining technological sophistication with an anti-primitivist view of Black culture. In the book African Fractals, Dr. Eglash makes the case for scaling geometries–the nonlinear shapes found in nature–as a tradition in African design. Together with professor Audrey Bennett at UM’s Stamps School of Art and Design, and Olayami Dabls, the owner of Dabls’ MBAD African Bead Museum, they have developed a proposal to create an African Futurist greenhouse that will utilize the scaling geometry traditional to African homes, jewelry, and sculptures. Funded by Stamps and Poverty Solutions, this greenhouse will grow plants that furnish seeds for Dabls’s beadwork, food for local consumption, and more generally embody a decolonial approach that combines the circular economy of Indigenous traditions with the beauty and utility of culture-technology hybrids.

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