Electrical and Computer Engineering Students Named 2012 Falvey Scholars

Emily Battinelli EE ’12 and Dr. Rosalind Wynne, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, in the Laboratory for Lightwave Devices.
Emily Battinelli EE ’12 and Dr. Rosalind Wynne, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, in the Laboratory for Lightwave Devices. Photo Credit: Crane Photography

In recognition of their group project “Microstructured Optical Fibers for Environmental Sensing,” Mark Reimlinger EE ‘12, Emily Battinelli EE ‘12, and Frank Anuszewski ChE ‘12 have been named Falvey Scholars for 2012. They presented a summary of their research findings at an awards ceremony on Friday, April 27, which included a special congratulatory message from the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, PhD, PSA,’75 A&S.

“I was very impressed with the level of professionalism, creativity, and work ethic all students brought to the research environment,” says Dr. Rosalind Wynne, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and advisor to the team.

Team members have been earning recognition for their high-level research for a number of years. Reimlinger received a 2010 Villanova University Center for Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship for research entitled “Microstructured Optical Fibers for Urban Sensing.” As a result of his experimental work, the team has constructed a novel sensing device and collected data that will assist in the development of an optical fiber-based anemometer and spectroscopic chemical sensor for environmental air quality monitoring.

In 2011, Battinelli was awarded a Villanova University Center for Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship for research entitled “Microstructured Optical Fiber for Cellular Temperature Sensing” and collaborated with Reimlinger on the development of the microstructured optical fiber-based sensors. Her spectroscopy-based research projects presented a unique opportunity to develop novel optical fiber tools for addressing two unique research areas: 1) cryogenic preservation for tissue engineering and 2) monoclonal antibody detection for environmental monitoring. The project employed optical-based sensors for the evaluation of the absorption characteristics of water for a range of low temperature conditions. The proposed device has the potential to provide insight into tissue engineering while scaling down required sample volumes and increasing thermal detection accuracy.

Battinelli also collaborated with Anuszewski on remarkable work that presents a label-free method to detect monoclonal antibodies in conventional media, using only a fraction of a micro-liter volume of a sample. This work promotes the rapid detection of antibodies and has the potential to significantly influence the pharmaceutical, food production, and medical diagnostic industries.

Reimlinger and Battinelli also both received Villanova University Center for Undergraduate Travel Grants (2011) to attend national and international conferences to present their findings.

According to the Falvey Memorial Library, the “Falvey Scholar award is an annual program established by Falvey Memorial Library to recognize outstanding undergraduate research. It is a collaborative initiative of the Library, the Honors Program, and the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships.” Winners are named in five disciplines: Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Nursing, and Business. View the winning papers here.