Spotlights

Sergio Gomez

OU Major: 
Petroleum Engineering
Research Mentor: 
Mashhad Fahes
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project:

Understanding the rheological properties of an emulsion is necessary to determine the long term effect on oil production. Most hydrocarbon reservoirs contain water, which is produced along with oil as free water, or in an emulsion. An emulsion is a mixture of two or more liquids that are immiscible. The most common oilfield emulsion is water droplets dispersed in oil. One of the main factors to consider about emulsions is its stability, which is determined by the duration of time it takes for the immiscible liquids to separate; this can last anywhere from minutes to days to even months. The stability of the emulsion is affected by properties such as the amount of water in the emulsion, presence of resins and other emulsion stabilizing compounds, fine solid particles in the oil, temperature, droplet size and distribution among others. Emulsions can cause high pressure drops in flow lines because of its high viscosity, resulting in plugged pipes, and a multitude of other problems. These issues may result in a decrease in production or even temporary shut-down of wells. Emulsions can occur in nearly every phase of oil production from within the hydrocarbon reservoir to the petroleum refining process.

Awards and/or presentations:

Gomez, S. (2016, April). Quantifying the Effect of Temperature on Emulsion Stability and Flow. Poster session presented at the University of Oklahoma's Undergraduate Research Day, Norman, OK.

Published Work:

n/a

Richard Ho

OU Major: 
Biomedical Engineering
Research Mentor: 
Dr. Nollert
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project:

The human amniotic membrane (hAM) is the innermost layer of the fetal membrane. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties and adequate mechanical strength, the hAM has been clinically used to treat injuries like skin burns. However, this beneficial scaffold can be improved even further. hAM is 95% collagen fibers. One possibility is to create more chemical bonds between the collagen fibers of the hAM. This is accomplished through cross-linking, which initiates this process with a chemical or catalyst.

Awards and/or presentations:

Ho, R. (2016, April). Cross-linking of a collagen-based biometarial to strengthen its mechanical properties. Poster session presented at the University of Oklahoma's Undergraduate Research Day, Norman, OK.

Published Work:

n/a

Emerson Hoagland

OU Major: 
Political Science
Research Mentor: 
Scott Robinson
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project:

This project consists of a dataset collected using coding of congressional testimonies for the specific subjects 'Climate Change', 'Global Warming', and 'Greenhouse Gas'. The testimonies pertaining to these subjects were coded on a variety of qualifiers, such as whether the witness was a scientist and whether they considered global climate change to be a threat and how. In addition to this original dataset network analysis has been employed to determine which institutions are involved in which congressional committees talking about which subjects. This final step constitutes a development on previous research which has merely tried to demonstrate aggregate opinions concerning climate change testimonies.

Awards and/or presentations:

Hoagland, E. (2016, April). Climate Policy & Congressional Networks. Poster session presented at the University of Oklahoma's Undergraduate Research Day, Norman, OK.

Published Work:

n/a

Erik Holbrook

OU Major: 
Computer Science
Research Mentor: 
Kun Lu
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project:

Current methods of search and information retrieval in academic databases seek to identify links between scholars and assign weights to those links in order to provide accurate and relevant search results. These weights and links are calculated with a variety of methods, which are centered on the idea that the more times a work is cited, the weightier it should be. However, citations in academic literature can serve several different distinct functions. They can serve their respective papers in a variety of ways; for instance, some serve as supportive material to the target study while others are inserted to showcase some previous mistake or lack of information. This study seeks to set forth a singular and rigorous classification scheme, and then identify features with witch to automatically classify them using well-established machine learning techniques. These techniques will allow more accurate weighting and searching based on the classification of the individual citation. Several results are set forth herein: firstly, a justification and explanation of the different classes of citations; these are constructed in such a manner as to be unambiguous and straightforward. Second, statistical results and feature extraction details are given in order to support the features used for classification and their validity. Finally, the statistical classifying process will be presented and evaluated using clear and common methods to verify accuracy.

Awards and/or presentations:

Holbrook, E. (2016, April). Classification of Academic Citations. Poster session presented at the University of Oklahoma's Undergraduate Research Day, Norman, OK.

Published Work:

n/a

Morgan Ederer

OU Major: 
Environmental Sustainability
Research Mentor: 
Dr. Jadwiga Ziolkowska
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project:

Recent droughts have significantly affected many regions in Oklahoma, especially the agricultural sector in the Oklahoma Panhandle. The contributions of the agricultural sector to the total Gross Domestic Product in the state have been declining over years, which might be interpreted as an indicator of changing production patterns. This research presents a closer perspective on trends occurring in the agricultural sector and changing production trends as a result of drought. For the analysis, we evaluated time series data on precipitation and agricultural outputs in 2006-2015 for five main crops grown in Oklahoma: wheat, com, barely, pecans, and hay. The analysis is based on data bases from NOAA National Center for Environmental Information, National Agricultural Statistics Service, and crop enterprise budgets from the Oklahoma State Extension Service. In Oklahoma, the results show regional impacts of extreme drought in main areas of agricultural production from 2011 to 2012 with annual precipitation lows of 16 inches in the Southwest and West Central, and 11 inches in Oklahoma Panhandle. Drought had considerable impacts both on agricultural output and agricultural prices that skyrocketed in 2011-2013 for all the analyzed crops, with 44% increase in wheat prices between 2006 (relatively wet year) and 2011 (dry year).

Awards and/or presentations:

Ederer, M. (2016, April). Impact of Drought on Agricultural Production in Oklahoma. Poster session presented at the University of Oklahoma's Undergraduate Research Day, Norman, OK.

Published Work:

n/a

Elyse Ellsworth

OU Major: 
Biology
Research Mentor: 
Dr. Cameron Siler
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project:

In collaboration with Dr. Cameron Siler in the Department of Biology and the Sam N able Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, I describe a new species of skink found on the Palawan Island in the Philippines. This species is nestled in the species complex Lygosoma bowringii. Little is known about the skinks within the genus Lygosoma, due to previously poor sampling efforts. The L. bowringii species complex can be found in Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. It is unlikely that a single species would inhabit this vast of a range across oceanic barriers. Lygosoma bowingii is documented to be a ground-dwelling generalist, living under rocks, logs, and leaf-litter; large-scale dispersal across oceans is therefore unlikely. This project began by collecting morphometric data using a caliper to measure many different characters of Lygosoma museum specimens such as: snout-vent length, tail length, and intranasal distance. Scale counts on different regions of the individuals compliment the morphometric data. These physical characteristics can be compared across many closely related species. Most of these museum specimens were also accompanied by tissue samples that can be used to analyze the species' genetic relationships within the Lygosoma genus.

Awards and/or presentations:

Ellsworth, E. (2016, April). A New Species of Writhing Skink within the genus Lygosoma from the Philippines. Poster session presented at the University of Oklahoma's Undergraduate Research Day, Norman, OK.

Published Work:

n/a

Lisa Fiedler

OU Major: 
Environmental Sustainability
Research Mentor: 
Dr. Jadwiga Ziolkowska
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project:

Food waste is largely considered one of the greatest paradoxes of today: while millions of people in the world starve, we waste an astonishing amount of the food we produce. One factor that produces a substantial amount of food waste is the consumer misinterpretation of food date labels, which are inconsistent, confusing, and misunderstood. This study is a comprehensive overview of the history of food dates in the United States, the failures of the current system, an analysis of current consumer perceptions of food dates, and concrete recommendations for needed actions to solve this food date labeling crisis.

Awards and/or presentations:

Fiedler, L. (2016, April). Dinner and a Date: the Misguiding Nature of Expiration Dates and Their Influence on Consumer Food Waste Behavior. Poster session presented at the University of Oklahoma's Undergraduate Research Day, Norman, OK.

Published Work:

n/a

Jon Otto

OU Major: 
History/Social Studies Education Certification
Research Mentor: 
Dr. Jennifer Davis
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project:

For this research project, I invested research into British intellectual history, especially surrounding the period of the American and French Revolutions. The project was focused on the feelings and attitudes of the British public, government, and various intellectuals towards these revolutions that impacted Britain in such intimate ways. I drew upon various contemporary sources from leading figures of British thought, as well as the work of modern-day scholars, to determine the changes and constants of Britain during this period of intense change in the world surrounding it.

Explain what you learned or give advice to fellow students:

Looking back, I can say that this research project was one of my proudest moments, just because of the sheer volume of work and dedication I put in to learning all I could about Britain during the late eighteenth century. It was such a fun project to undertake, and if I could, I would do it over and over again.If I had to offer a word of advice to fellow researchers, it would be this: Do not be afraid to stray from your initial point of emphasis. Too often, it can be tempting to build a little box for what you think your research should end up looking like, instead of letting the information you learn guide your end result. Also, be proud of each of the papers and projects you complete, because you will not always have these opportunities.

Published Work:

Otto, Jon. OU Historical Journal 5 (Spring 2016). http://history.ou.edu/journal-2016

Emily Campbell

OU Major: 
Environmental Sustainability
Research Mentor: 
Kirsten De Beurs
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project:

As a developing country, India has been facing rapid socio-economic growth which, among others, manifests through large-scale urban development and urban population growth in major cities. Bengaluru, formerly known as Bangalore, is one of the fastest growing cities in India. The city has grown in area over ten times since 1949, and it is leading the expansion of information technology and service-based industries in India. Already the most populous city in the state of Karnataka, of which it is the capital, Bengaluru's population is also rapidly rising. The process of urbanization has a significant impact on land cover and land use change. The growing number of people causes an increasing demand of living space and natural resources. Monitoring land cover change using remote sensing images has great potential to detect this rapid shift and the effects it has on the environment. Calculating and visualizing land cover can help urban planners and policy makers in their efforts to plan a more sustainable city and to mitigate the negative effects of rapid urban sprawl. Using remote sensing data from Landsat 5 TM satellite images I performed a supervised classification of the land cover types over a 10 year period (1999-2009) using remote sensing software (ENVI). The results of the classification are land cover and land use maps for Bengaluru and calculated statistics for the land cover change over time.

Awards and/or presentations:

Campbell, E. (2016, April). Monitoring Land Cover Changes in Bengaluru, India Using Landsat Satellite Data. Poster session presented at the University of Oklahoma's Undergraduate Research Day, Norman, OK.

Published Work:

n/a

Hiep Chuong

OU Major: 
Mechanical Engineering
Research Mentor: 
Kuang-Hua Chang
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project:

I am conducting research about impact energy mitigation. Most energy absorption materials such as a helmet, uses energy dissipation techniques to spread the impact waves away from the brain. However, several recent studies using nanofluidic energy capture systems reported that the mechanical energy of an impact stress wave could be temporarily captured and stored in tiny nanopores within the material. This energy capture methods works better than the conventional approach because it requires a small force to activate the system, whereas regular energy absorption method requires a high impact force before any energy is dissipated. The nanofluidic system works by initially being too small for water molecules to enter under atmospheric pressure. But once under impact force, the water molecule pressure exceeds the nanopores threshold pressure and rushes into the pores. Once entered, it is considered captured. The water molecules that are captured in the pores carry some of the force from the initial impact and is isolated from the rest of the system. By using a molecular dynamic simulations program, called LAMMPS, I was able to make 3D models at the atomic level and prove whether or not the concept ofnanopores material worked.

Awards and/or presentations:

Chuong, H. (2016, April). Impact Mitigation Research. Poster session presented at the University of Oklahoma's Undergraduate Research Day, Norman, OK.

Published Work:

n/a

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