On September 21, nearly 125 Villanova University students, representing 78 different projects, participated in 2016’s Undergraduate Research Poster Day. Thirty engineering majors were among those presenting their summer research, with each discipline reflected among the students’ 16 posters. The annual event is hosted by the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Office of Research and Graduate Programs, the Department of Chemistry and the College of Engineering.
Undergraduate research opportunities are among the many distinguishing features of a Villanova Engineering education. Within the College of Engineering, students participate in undergraduate thesis projects, summer research internships or fellowships, faculty research and externally-sponsored projects completed in collaboration with industry and government agencies. Other opportunities, like the Villanova Undergraduate Research Fellows (VURF) program, are available to students across the University.
During the poster session, students were on hand to explain both the technical aspects of their work, as well as the practical application and human value of their projects. Zachary Ellenhorn ’18 ChE presented one of several Chemical Engineering posters on display. Working with researchers at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, he studied the use of endoscopic surgery in the treatment of esophageal cancer, and how to reduce complications using photo-crosslinking treatment. Zachary looks forward to contributing to a published paper on the topic. When asked about his future plans, he mentions a desire to work at Brookhaven National Laboratory next summer, and after graduation, possibly continuing his education with a Master’s degree from Villanova.