Clarkson University Magazine: Distinguishing Marks

Three Named Goldwater Scholars

In 2011, three engineering majors were named Goldwater Scholars from the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

goldwater_grp1Sophomore Devon J. Jedamski (l), an aeronautical engineering and mechanical engineering double major; junior Jeevaka I. Somaratna (r), a civil engineering and mechanical engineering double major; and sophomore Guangtao (Taotao) Zhang (c), who is pursuing a dual degree in mechanical engineering and applied mathematics and statistics, have all been awarded scholarships.

Devon Jedamski plans to pursue his doctorate specializing in the development of innovative wind energy technologies. During the summer of 2010, he worked on the testing of a diffuser augmented wind turbine at Clarkson University’s wind turbine test site. He is also conducting research on rotor optimization for shrouded wind turbines in order to augment power production.

Jeevaka Somaratna intends to pursue his doctoral studies in materials engineering with an emphasis on the development of better materials for structural engineering applications. Based on research conducted over the past two summers in the area of cement free binder concrete, he has co-authored a journal article on microwave curing of alkali activated fly ash mortars.

Guantao Zhang intends to pursue a doctorate in mechanical engineering, concentrating on the experimental study of secondary organic aerosol formation and control. Her research focused on the study of particle formation in indoor environments. Last year, she joined a research program at Harvard University where she investigated the hygroscopicity and volatility of chamber-generated secondary organic material particles.


One in Eight Clarkson is one of only eight institutions in 2011 with three Goldwater Scholar winners and one honorable mention. 2011 Goldwater Scholars [l-r] Devon J. Jedamski, Guangtao Zhang and Jeevaka I. Samaratna.



NSF Fellowship Recipient


Maria C. Lang ‘11, a mechanical engineering major from El Paso, Texas, received the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in 2011.

This is the fourth consecutive year a Clarkson undergraduate has received an NSF Fellowship for a total of six fellowships over the same period.

Lang’s Honors thesis focused on the computational fluid dynamics of nano-aerosols, supervised by Prof. Suresh Dhaniyala.  She also participated in the NASA Academy in 2010, working in the propulsion branch at Goddard Space Flight Center.

Lang is now pursuing her Ph.D. in aerospace engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she will investigate electric propulsion/plasma dynamics. She is also a recipient of the Rackham Merit Fellowship at the Rackham Graduate School.

Designing a Better Adaptive Device

rehab_device1An integrated design team from the Department of Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering won second place in the Undergraduate Design Project Competition in Rehabilitation and Assistive Devices sponsored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

The device proposed in their project, “A Partial Weight-bearing Reminder Device for Gait Rehabilitation After Lower Extremity Surgery,” enhances recovery through a combination of aural, visual, and tactile alerts that reminds the patient to avoid putting weight on the recovering limb. The device includes an insole that can be inserted into any shoe and can be manufactured at a low cost. 

Working under the direction of assistant professors Kevin Fite and Laurel Kuxhaus, the student team researched the product need and market potential, and created an economic plan in addition to their device design.

The competition was held at the ASME Summer Bioengineering Conference where the students gave an oral presentation and demonstration of the prototype.
Clarkson came in second place and the team received a monetary award from the ASME Bioengineering Division and the NSF to be used for prototype development.

Measuring Air Particles


kyungGraduate student Kyung Sul received a top award at the 12th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate.

Sul, an environmental engineering Ph.D. student from Seoul, Korea, received second place for her poster presentation “Numerical and experimental investigation of particle resuspension due to human walking.”

In the experiment, a mechanical foot was used to simulate walking over particles. The foot resuspended the particles into the air and then measurements were made of the concentrations of particles in the air flow field. A substantial portion of the particles we breathe come from resuspended particles.

Co-authors of the paper presentation were Clarkson graduate students Yilin Tian and Iman Goldasteh, visiting scholar Behrang Sajadi, and Clarkson professors Goodarz Ahmadi and Andrea Ferro.

AAAR Graduate Best Paper Awards


Ph.D. candidate Lisa Bramwell received a first place award in the American Association of Aerosol Research’s Graduate Poster Awards at the organization’s national meeting.

Her poster was titled “Using CONTAM with a New Resuspension Module to Estimate Exposures from Human Walking.”

Mechanical engineering Ph.D. student Lucas Craig also received a first place award for Best Poster for “Initial Characterization of Splash Artifacts from Two Airborne Aerosol Inlets During Vocals Campaign.” His research involves characterizing airborne instruments that are used to sample aerosol-cloud systems, in-particular aerosol inlets.