GW Engineering Students Display Thought-Provoking Research at the 2023 R&D Showcase

April 28, 2023

GW Engineering students presenting their posters

More than 250 undergraduate, master, and Ph.D. students, postdoctoral scholars, and research scientists from the School of Engineering & Applied Science and other schools around GW congregated in the Science & Engineering Hall today for the Research & Development (R&D) and Senior Design Showcase. The R&D Showcase was founded by GW Engineering alumnus Randolph “Randy” Graves in 2007 and has become an annual event for the school where students can practice presenting their research.

Asif Mahmood, a graduate student in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, said, “The showcase is great practice presenting to individuals outside of my department. Often as engineers, we go too far into the scientific bubble and need to step out and practice explaining our projects with more context and less industry-specific jargon. The chance to view other students’ work was another motivation to participate as we can benefit from the other’s knowledge.”

Since 2022, the showcase has included senior design and capstone projects. The B-1 Level of the Science & Engineering Hall featured 45 projects, including various design thesis projects from students in the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, such as the project “Mindstill: A Meditative Installation Created in a Visual Programming Environment.” The lower level also featured an interactive VR headset used for the project, “VR-Based DICOM Viewer for Clinical and Surgical Planning.”

The poster presentations continued on the first floor, where participating students displayed 74 state-of-the-art research projects. Participants presented a diverse set of research projects on topics such as Wildfire Detection and Notification Systems, Computer Controlled Robots for Handling Small Liquid Samples, and the Impact of AI Model Visualization on Decision-Maker Insights.

RyeAnne Ricker, a 4th-year Ph.D. student in the Biomedical Engineering Department, presented her research which utilizes a combination of Raman Spectroscopy and machine learning to detect viruses. The viruses Ricker works with are Influenza A and the John Cunningham Virus. She found that Raman imaging coupled with machine learning can identify the John Cunningham virus in culture.

“At one point, I ran into the problem of the models not working, but that failure taught me not to let my feelings get hurt when failure happens. I kept going and stayed resilient and achieved a 97% accuracy level in my completed project,” Ricker said. 

Dean John Lach provided opening remarks to kick off the Showcase, while Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Professor Lijie Grace Zhang closed it with a short speech. Both speakers echoed one another as they said the students’ projects demonstrate the potential of engineering to address many pressing challenges affecting our society today.

“I am always amazed when I hear from our students about all of the incredible things they are doing. They are all focused on having an impact on the world, which is what GW Engineering is all about.” Dean Lach said.