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Ramirez and Maddox Earn First and Third Place at Denman

Neil Ramirez (left) and Jacob Maddox (right) won top honors at the Denman Research Forum for outstanding student researchTwo mechanical engineering students won first and third place in the engineering competition category at the March 30, 2016 Denman Undergraduate Research Forum.

Neil Ramirez’s presentation evaluated for the first time the effect of cation valence on transport of ions in gated nanofluidic channels using time dependent excitation.  The problem of using nanoscale transport systems with flow control is essential to many applications, including new types of drug delivery and water desalination.  Ramirez, who has been working in the Microsystems and Nanosystems Laboratory pursuing his honors thesis, is advised by Shaurya Prakash, who describes Ramirez as smart and hardworking.  “Neil represents what engineers should strive to achieve,” he said.

Winning third place in the engineering discipline was Jacob Maddox, advised by Vishnu Sundaresan.  His presentation, “Scanning Electrochemical Microscope Electrode Fabrication,” uses electrochemical microscopy and sheer force imaging (SECM+SF Imaging) as an experimental technique examining the electrochemical behavior at a liquid-solid of liquid-liquid interface.  The purpose of his thesis was to develop a SECM nanoelectrode fabrication process with higher yield and improved SF dynamics.  Maddox’s approach to develop the nanoelectrode fabrication reduced the processing time and cost from 10 hours to under 45 minutes and demonstrated three times the sensitivity of contemporary approaches. 

“Jacob’s ability to visualize obstacles to advanced problems in experimental research was an essential ingredient for this research -- and his eventual success,” said Sundaresan.  The procedure developed from Maddox’s research is used by other researchers in Sundaresan’s group to image mechanoelectrochemistry of redox active materials.

Honorable mentions were awarded in the engineering competition category to Amjad Akif, advised by Carlos Castro; Polina Brodsky, advised by Marcello Canova; Clare Cui, also advised by Shaurya Prakash; and Jordan Knerr, advised by John Bolte. 

More than 670 Ohio State students in all disciplines presented their work in 11 categories and multiple subcategories at this year’s 21st Annual Richard J. and Martha D. Denman Undergraduate Research Forum held in the Recreation & Physical Activities Center (RPAC). 

To view the list of winning participants, their research projects and advisors click here. The forum is one of the largest events of its kind in the country and has been an academic tradition at Ohio State for 20 years.

About the Denman Forum

The Denman Undergraduate Research Forum, now in its 21st year, is coordinated by the Undergraduate Research Office and supported by the Office of Research, the Office of Undergraduate Education, Mr. and Mrs. Denman, and other corporate and private donors. The Forum is an opportunity to showcase outstanding student research, scholarship, and creative activities to a broad audience. 

About the Denmans

Mr. and Mrs. Denman are long-time members of the Ohio State University community and supporters of the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum since its inception.  They have also established a Professorship for Clinical Research in Epilepsy. In addition, both are Inaugural Members of The Oval Society, established in 2010. Mr. Denman served as an Ohio State University Foundation Board Director (1985-2003) and is now an emeritus member of the Board, as well as a lifetime member of the President’s Club, The Ohio State Alumni Association, and the College of Medicine’s Order of Hippocrates. In 1996, the University presented him with a Distinguished Service Award.