Virtual presentation series lets Norwich University undergraduates share research findings

How can engineers harness Arctic winds to better deliver power? How can architects make buildings flood resistant? How has the dairy industry changed in the last 20 years? Inquiring minds want to know.

Because searching for answers knows no season, Norwich’s summer researchers — Apprentice Grant recipients, undergraduate research fellows and undergraduate researchers — are finding answers to broaden their knowledge and prepare for postcollege pursuits.

The students will present their findings in virtual Undergraduate Research Brown Bag Series sessions broadcast on GoToMeeting. The eight-session, cross-disciplinary presentations, which include students from the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Professional Schools and the College of Science and Mathematics, opened Wednesday and continues through July 27.

“Undergraduate research is a high-impact experiential learning practice at the heart of Norwich’s mission to invite students to think as well as to act.”Dr. Amy Woodbury Tease, undergraduate research director and associate professor of English

Topics include architecture (flood-resistant structures), engineering (sprinkler head design), epidemiology (the mathematics of closed-settings disease spread, inactivating the novel coronavirus with electromagnetic waves); biology (parasitic host protection) and technology (Internet of Things privacy concerns). Grants and fellowships funded some of the projects.

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Norwich University rising senior and architecture major Vincent Antonecchia included this picture in his Undergraduate Research Brown Bag Series presentation on Bronx Zoo architecture. (Screenshot from video/NBC.)

Dr. Amy Woodbury Tease, Norwich's undergraduate research director, said the Brown Bag Series lets students celebrate breakthroughs and address challenges and work toward becoming the citizen-soldiers or citizen-scholars, as university founder Alden Partridge imagined.

“Undergraduate research is a high-impact experiential learning practice at the heart of Norwich’s mission to invite students to think as well as to act so they graduate with skills that will allow them to make a difference in whatever field or profession they choose to pursue,” Woodbury Tease, who co-directs the Norwich Humanities Initiative and co-directed the recent Celebration of Excellence in Research and Creative Activity, wrote in an email.

On the Undergraduate Research Microsoft Teams page, students described their projects and ambitions.

“I am trying to design a 3D model for a sprinkler that can fill a weird gap in the market,” Dong Son Doan Tran, a mechanical engineering major and rising junior who’s researching sprinkler head design, wrote. “I hope that one day it will become a low-cost but high-quality sprinkler option for everybody.”

Weather, or not

Michaila Furchak, a rising senior and architectural studies major, is in New Orleans on a six-week mission to better understand foundations and improve buildings to better weather floods, which have worsened with global warming.

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Dr. Amy Woodbury Tease, top left, Norwich University’s undergraduate research director, joins students online during Wednesday’s virtual Brown Bag Series presentation. (Screenshot from GoToMeeting video/Norwich University.)

“By the end of my six-week research exploration, I hope to … understand better what makes architecture resilient and eventually develop my own design response for flood-prone areas,” Furchak wrote.

Floods have become a concern for building owners commercial and residential. The New York Times on Tuesday reported that real estate websites realtor.com and redfin.com now include flood risk information to their millions of homes-for-sale listings.

Woodbury Tease said chats started in the Brown Bags continue year-round as students and faculty collaborate, capitalizing on varied skills and perspectives to solve problems.

“The interdisciplinary nature of this group of students and mentors — as well as visitors from the community — allows for a diversity of thought and exchange of ideas that is unique and rewarding,” Woodbury Tease added. “I learn so much from being a part of this community every summer.”

* * *

Here’s the full Brown Bag Series schedule; sessions run 4 to 5 p.m. Click here to join them. 

June 2 

Vincent Antonecchia, “Architecture and ornamental history at the Bronx Zoo.”    

June 8  

Isabela Ferraro, “Examining the economic, systemic, and cultural benefits of immigration between the U.S. and Mexico in the 21st century.”

Dong Son Doan Tran, “Development and testing of new sprinkler head design.”   

June 15 

Michaila Furchak, “Flood resilient architecture.” 

Garrett Reihs, “The integration of building information modeling and 3D printing in the U.S.’ future residential buildings.”

June 22  

Julia Koron and Sam Hubbard, “A mathematical model of disease spread in closed settings.”

June 29

Clara Friend, “Identifying the best practices of wastewater management in green residential buildings.” 

Camryn Anderson, Carolina DiCampo, Onduwunde Ekoja, Conrad Franke, Will Helterbran, Olivia Kelliher, “Modular microgrids for Arctic regions.”

July 6 

Analejandra Araujo Tupayachi, “Study of the possibility of inactivating the SARS-CoV-2 virus using electromagnetic waves.”

Lydia Reed, “Do parasites protect their hosts? Testing for antimicrobial activities in trematode redia.” 

July 13  

Robyn Dudley, “Government types and efficiency of aid implementation.”

Joshua Tjandra, “Milking the dairy industry: A study on what has morphed the industry in the last 20 years.”

July 27  

Renata De Paiva, “Should we trust smart devices? A survey on the privacy concerns caused by the Internet of Things.”

Faith Odegbami, “A study on poetry and its impact.”


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