Spotlights

Diego Perez

OU Major: 
Spanish
Research Mentor: 
Julie Ward
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project: 
This Spanish poster presentation will detail the research conducted on sexual political history in Argentina. The research features a synopsis of historical background in Argentina, a comparision to geographic neighbor Brazil, an analysis of current trends and possible future outlooks. One of the key facets is the identification of pride parades as a form of activism and performance-based art. The art is powerful because it is a glimpse into complex lives represented in a performance.
Awards and/or presentations: 
Perez, Diego. "Sexual Politics in Argentina." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK

Brandon Maples

OU Major: 
Geology/Geology & Geophysics
Research Mentor: 
Hernan Moreno
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project: 
Given that classical in-situ direct surveying for geomorphological subsurface information in rivers is time-consuming, labor-intensive, costly, and often involves high-risk activities, it is obvious that non-intrusive technologies, like UAS-based, LIDAR-based remote sensing, have a promising potential and benefits in terms of efficient and accurate measurement of channel topography over large areas within a short time; therefore, a tremendous amount of attention has been paid to the development of these techniques. Over the past two decades, efforts have been undertaken to develop a specialized technique that can penetrate the water body and detect the channel bed to derive river and coastal bathymetry. In this research, we develop a low-cost effective technique for water body bathymetry. With the use of a sUAS and a light-weight sonar, the bathymetry and volume of a small reservoir have been surveyed. The sUAS surveying approach is conducted under low altitudes (2 meters from the...
Awards and/or presentations: 
Maples, Brandon. "Combining Cluster Analysis and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) for Accurate and Low-cost Bathymetric Surveying." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK

Devin Laurence

OU Major: 
Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
Research Mentor: 
Dr. Chung-Hao Lee
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project: 
The tricuspid valve (TV) helps facilitate the unidirectional blood flow through the heart during regular function. About 50,000 Americans undergo surgical repair annually to correct leaflet regurgitation; however, there is a disappointing recurrence rate (15-20%) of tricuspid regurgitation approaching 10 years after the initial repair1-3. The objective of our research is to better understand the distinct leaflet contributions to TV mechanical behavior through a multi-scale computational model. The computational model is built and refined through an experimental-computational approach with three key ingredients: (i) biaxial experiments to quantify the TV leaflets' mechanical behavior, (ii) development of a post-mortem beating heart apparatus for imaging functioning valves, and (iii) application of the acquired experimental information to validate the computational model. This approach will provide the groundwork for future extensions into patient-specific heart valve modelling...
Awards and/or presentations: 
Laurence, Devin. "Development of a Multiscale Computational Modeling Framework for the Tricuspid Valve." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK

Robert Kunkel

OU Major: 
Mechanical Engineering/AME
Research Mentor: 
Dr. Chung-Hao Lee
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project: 
The objective of this study is to investigate the use of a novel aliphatic urethane based shape memory polymer (SMP) in the endovascular embolization of intracranial aneurysms. We hypothesized that a decrease in the catalyst ratio in the SMP would increase the ductility and lower the glass transition temperature (Tg) of the material. To test this hypothesis, we synthesized polymers using eleven monomer ratios and analyzed their respective mechanical properties and shape memory behavior. Using temperature-controlled tensile failure, cyclic testing, and other characterization techniques, we have determined their failure stress & strain, glass transition temperature, shape fixability, and the shape recovery rate. Our results showed that SMPs with a smaller concentration of catalyst showed a glass transition temperature approaching body temperature and a larger failure strain. Such ductility and low Tg allow for embolic device design that can handle large, complex deformation while...
Awards and/or presentations: 
Kunkel, Robert. "Synthesis and Characterization of Aliphatic Urethane Shape Memory Polymers for Treatment of Intracranial Aneurysms." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK

Katherine Kramer

OU Major: 
Biomedical Engineering
Research Mentor: 
Chung-Hao Lee
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project: 
The mitral valve (MV) and the tricuspid valve (TV) are comprised of four morphologically distinct tissue layers as determined by the microstructural components, such as collagen and elastin. The objective of this study is to delineate the relationship between the mechanics and morphology of each individual layer of the anterior leaflets (AL). Microdissection of the MVAL yielded three layers: Atrialis/Spongiosa, Fibrosa, and Ventricularis; the TVAL yielded two layers: Atrialis/Spongiosa and Fibrosa/Ventricularis. The mechanical properties of each layer were elucidated using biaxial mechanical testing with multiple loading protocols that mimic various physiological loads. Dissected specimens were fixed in formaldehyde for histology analysis to identify collagen distribution in MVAL and TVAL tissue layers. Our biaxial mechanical testing results have indicated that the individual layers exhibit nonlinear anisotropic mechanical responses. Histological analysis has shown the fibrosa layer...
Awards and/or presentations: 
Kramer, Katherine. "Layer-specific mechanical responses and morphological structure of atrioventricular valve leaflets." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK

Tylor Killingsworth

OU Major: 
Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
Research Mentor: 
Wilson Merchan-Merchan
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project: 
This study focuses on understanding the morphology on the surface of leaves and their effects on the wettability properties (Hydrophobicity and Hydrophilicity) of selected leaves. The type of leaves for this study were selected using a visual and touch inspection of their surfaces (i.e. rough vs smooth). The experiments were conducted to help understand which surface characteristics contribute to the wettability properties (hydrophobic or hydrophilic) of leaves. The goal of this study is to mimic naturally formed structures on the surface of the leaves to obtain information to develop surfaces with improved wettability properties for industrial applications. Water contact angles (CA) were measured from droplets placed on the adaxial (top) and abaxial (bottom) surface of the leaves, these contact angles were then compared and correlated with structure/morphology in order to determine which type of structures enhances wettability properties.
Awards and/or presentations: 
Killingsworth, Tylor. "Wettability Effects on Heat Exchangers." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK.

Amanda Kelley

OU Major: 
Biology
Research Mentor: 
Elizabeth Bergey
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project: 
For a snail, smell is the prominent sense, but using visual cues may be important when differentiating the surroundings of an environment. The purpose of this experiment was to test the ability of land snail Cornu aspersum to follow trail scents and visual cues to find its preferred food, cucumber. Ninety snails were fed cucumbers and carrots for two days prior to testing. Each snail was exposed to three trails of the same scent that lead to three different food vials; one of cucumber, one of carrot, and one that was empty. Thirty snails were exposed per each “flavor” of trail (cucumber; carrot; water). Snails that successfully followed trails to a food vial chose cucumber the most, although many snails did not follow a trail. Results show that snails may not rely as heavily on sight than smell when searching for food in an environment of conflicting smells and visuals.
Awards and/or presentations: 
Kelley, Amanda. "Seeing is believing? How snails find food." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK.

Samuel Jett

OU Major: 
Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
Research Mentor: 
Chung-Hao Lee
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project: 
Recently, three-dimensional computational models have been used to understand the mechanics of heart valve diseases. To improve the fidelity of these models, precise characterization of the regionally-dependent material properties of the valve leaflets is essential. To characterize this regional variation, we dissected the porcine heart valve tissues and sectioned the anterior leaflets from the mitral and tricuspid valves into six discretized regions (n=10, each). We then characterized their responses to simulated physiological loads through biaxial testing methods. Results show a regionally-dependent mechanical response both in the degree of anisotropy and in tissue rigidity, with regions nearer the valve annulus exhibiting a more isotropic and stiff response than the central regions. These findings allow the development of spatially-varied constitutive models to adequately represent the leaflet mechanics, which will eventually improve the fidelity of heart valve models and their...
Awards and/or presentations: 
Jett, Samuel. "A Study on the Spatial Variance in Heart Valve Mechanics." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK.

Sydney Houston

OU Major: 
Spanish
Research Mentor: 
Julie Ward
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project: 
I will be sharing my experiences as a student with a Spanish major while also presenting what really goes on in the language/Spanish department as a student.
Awards and/or presentations: 
Houston, Sydney. "Misconceptions about Spanish Students." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK.

Jacquelyn Hooper

OU Major: 
Spanish and Political Science
Research Mentor: 
Julie Ward
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project: 
I will be presenting my Spanish Capstone project, which centers on the femicide (the genocide of young, poor, migrant women) in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Specifically, I will be examining the apathy of the politicians of Chihuahua toward the horror of feminicidio due to their relations to drug cartels, their economic reliance on their maquiladora factories, and the cultural gender violence of the northern border region of Mexico.
Awards and/or presentations: 
Hooper, Jacquelyn. "Feminicidio y Apatía." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK.

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