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Drexel Engineering Students Receive the Koerner Family Awards

November 24, 2015

Koerner Awards 2015The Koerner Family Awards for Graduate Students in the College of Engineering supports the research of Drexel Engineering graduate students. Founded by Robert M. Koerner, Ph.D. (’56, ’63) and his wife Paula Koerner, the awards fund allows graduate students to continue to pursue their research in electrical, chemical, mechanical, environmental, and biomedical engineering. Eight CoE students and two students working with faculty in the A.J. Drexel Institute for Energy and the Environment (IExE) received Koerner awards this year.

In order to qualify for an award, students must have completed the departmental candidacy examination toward a Ph.D., provided proof of US Citizenship, and submitted a resume and written summary of research done throughout the prior school year.

Drexel and the College of Engineering would like to congratulate the following students on their achievements and continued success:

Sergey Smolin is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate in chemical and biological engineering advised by Jason Baxter, Ph.D. His research focuses on ultrafast spectroscopy and understanding carrier dynamics, recombination mechanisms, and charge transport in materials with photovoltaic and photocatalytic applications, focusing on perovskite oxide thin films.

Yuriy Smolin is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate in chemical and biological engineering co-advised by Kenneth Lau, Ph.D. and Masoud Soroush, Ph.D. His research aims to study and understand the role of polymer electrolytes in dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), and in the process, tackle fundamentally important aspects of DSSCs that limit current device performance.

Evan Phillips is a third year Ph.D. candidate in materials science and engineering advised by Michele Marcolongo, Ph.D. His research challenges the existing paradigm of lubrication mechanisms in arthritic articular joints and puts forth that osmotic pressure in the cartilage tissue itself is necessary to provide mechanical stability to the joint and, along with increased hydration of the synovial fluid in the joint space, better lubrication will result.

Eric Wait is a third year Ph.D. candidate in electrical and computer engineering advised by Andrew Cohen, Ph.D. Wait is working on quantifying and validating cell dynamics through 5-D image analysis to better understand aging in the brain and cancer proliferation.

Nick Coleman is a second year Ph.D. candidate in electrical and computer engineering advised by Karen Miu, Ph.D. His research focuses on optimization applications and quasi-static analysis for electric power distribution systems.

Adam Craig is a second year Ph.D. student in biomedical engineering advised by Uri Hershberg, Ph.D. His research focuses on comparisons of biological data and studying somatic mutation in and interpersonal diversity of mitochondrial genomes.

Lauren Smalls-Mantey is a third year Ph.D. candidate in civil, architectural and environmental engineering advised by Franco Montalto, Ph.D. and working with faculty in IEXE. Her research involves using remote sensing data collected from New York City to quantify whether various forms of "green infrastructure" can reduce urban heat island, as well as reduce runoff.

Katie VanAken is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate in materials science and engineering advised by Yury Gogotsi, Ph.D. She has been studying the pore-ion size relationship for various carbon nanomaterials and ionic liquids, with an eye toward improving and developing new electrochemical energy storage systems.

Kaitlyn Sniffen is a third year Ph.D. candidate in civil, architectural and environmental engineering advised by Mira Olson, Ph.D. and working with faculty in IEXE. Her project consists of exploring the potential for combined landfill leachate treatment and biofuel production using algae.

Matthew Guziewski is a second year Ph.D. candidate in mechanical engineering and mechanics advised by Christopher Weinberg, Ph.D. He has dedicated himself to studying the interfaces between iron and iron carbides using atomistic simulations.