DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science SEAS Dean's Update

Acting Dean Sina Rabbany: Recognizing Student Research

Dr. Sina Rabbany

One of the advantages to students of enrolling in Hofstra University’s SEAS is the opportunity to experience serious scientific research while working on a bachelor’s degree.  Given that the engineering programs here are exclusively devoted to undergraduate education, and that graduate students only constitute about 15% of the enrollment in our computer science programs, faculty pursuing their research often recruit highly motivated sophomores, juniors and seniors to take on important roles in a wide array of projects expanding the borders of technical knowledge.

I want to take this opportunity to highlight a few such projects taking place right now in Adams and Weed Halls.  Nickolas Boroda and Pierre Llanos, junior bioengineering students, have worked for the last two years in the Cell and Tissue Engineering Laboratory, examining the biomechanical properties of the cells that line the walls of blood vessels, focusing particularly on how the shear stresses generated by flowing blood alter the endothelial cells’ shape and other properties.  Nick presented his results last month at the 59th annual meeting of the Biophysical Society in Baltimore.

In our Computer Science Department, Anthony Esposito and Stephanie Nagel are involved in research in training neural network models for estimating rain measurements from satellite data, while Tyler Befferman is building an automated grading system from user behavior data.

In our Aerospace and Transport Phenomena Laboratory, mechanical engineering seniors Dan Giannotta, Ian Kornfeld, and Brandon Murgatroyd spent last semester using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software to model the effect of asymmetric scuffing on a baseball, and this semester they are running experiments in our Low Turbulence Subsonic Wind Tunnel to determine the validity of their CFD results.

Finally, George DeMarco, a senior in the civil engineering area, has been working in our new materials of construction lab, a just-completed 1200 square foot facility extending from the east side of Adams Hall, to create and test concrete samples.  His project involves measuring the permeability of concrete specimens of different strengths, using microscopic evaluations of cross-sections exposed to water immersion to determine the most effective parameters in protecting the steel reinforcing bars from corrosion.

These and other student researchers show that there is more to an education than just completing coursework to meet degree requirements.  There can also be the thrill of extending knowledge beyond what is available in textbooks, and the satisfaction that you are achieving your potential through hard work and dedication.  So I extend my congratulations to all our student researchers, and encourage more students to follow in their footsteps.

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