Bass Connections: Energy and the Environment

hours: 80
instructor: Drs. Emily Klein, Josiah Knight
Fall 2020 to Spring 2021

In a project team, I researched and prototyped low frequency energy harvesters—portable devices with the ability to generate and store energy from small daily movements. We wanted to create something that would allow a user to power a small device sustainably, without much interference into their daily routine. Our team produced two different prototypes—a magnet-spring generator and a pendulum generator. Each was small enough to fit into a backpack, and successfully produced energy from walking motion. Energy infrastructure is experiencing increasingly larger loads as access to energy increases, and clean sustainable energy is an important part of a greener urban landscape. As such, there is a direct relevance to my Grand Challenge focus.

REU Construction Ergonomics

hours: 180
supervisor: Dr. Burcin Becerik-Gerber, Patrick Borges Rodriguez
Summer 2021

As part of an REU sponsored summer project, I studied construction ergonomics and work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs), a major health issue faced by construction workers. I created virtual reality simulations and models to study health risks of common worker positions, and learned about VR training methods and human-controlled robots implemented to reduce risks in the construction industry. I had the opportunity to use analytical and model-building tools like Delmia and Catia, as well as Unity, which is used in many virtual reality training applications. In much of my coursework, there is a focus on the technical design of a project. This experience introduced a more human side of engineering, with a focus on the people who make an engineer’s vision come to life.

Aboveground Storage Tank Identification

hours: 150
supervisor: Celine Robinson
Spring 2021 to present

For some time, I’ve been working on creating and growing a database for a machine learning identification project with the Borsuk Lab. The goal of the project is to create a model that identifies above-ground storage tanks, allowing groups to assess communities for resiliency in the face of natural hazards and failures. Assessing the water vulnerability of communities through their storage (a necessary part of water infrastructure) will become increasingly crucial as communities grow to meet the demands of more and more people.