The AME Student Research Spotlight this month is Devin Laurence, a member of the Biomechanics and Biomaterials Design Lab (BBDL). Laurence is a graduate student in the BBDL at the University of Oklahoma studying mechanical engineering. His specific research project involves computational modeling of the tricuspid heart valve to move towards patient-specific therapeutics. He plans to pursue his Ph.D. with an emphasis on cardiovascular biomechanics and to continue into academia afterwards. In his free time, Devin enjoys playing chess, disc golf, and hiking/camping.
The AME Student Research Spotlight this month is Sam Jett, a member of the Biomechanics and Biomaterials Design Lab (BBDL). Jett is a graduate student at the University of Oklahoma, working on his master’s degrees in mechanical engineering. Sam started out in the BBDL working on the biaxial testing project for heart valve leaflet tissue and is currently working to design a collagen imaging system that will integrate with the biaxial tester to study how dynamic loading affects collagen fiber orientation and alignment in biological tissues. In the lab, he enjoys exploring the biological imaging field, writing code to gain valuable insights from data, collaborating with other lab members, and exercising the freedom to work with teams to develop innovative solutions to research goals. Outside of school, Sam spends time walking his dog, reading, exercising, hanging out with his friends, and enjoying the occasional night out on the town. He hopes to work on biomedical device and software design and after completing his M.S. studies at OU.
The AME Student Research Spotlight this month is Colton Ross, a member of the Biomechanics and Biomaterials Design Lab (BBDL). Ross is a senior student studying mechanical engineering in the Accelerated BS/MS program. In the BBDL, Colton’s research involves mechanical characterizations of heart valve structures. Specifically, his research project involves analysis of the chordae tendineae of the atrioventricular heart valves. Upon completing his thesis and receiving his MS, Colton plans to pursue a Ph.D. to continue performing research in the field of biomedical engineering. In his future Ph.D. research and career (in either academia or industry), Colton wants to focus on the development and improvement of medical devices or limb prosthesis. Outside of his coursework and the BBDL, Colton enjoys playing guitar, going to concerts, and playing video games with his friends.
Dr. Lee and his students are working on research projects in the BBDL to further their knowledge about the biomechanics and biomedical industry. We will be featuring a video each month about BBDL members and their specific projects in the lab.
Professor Thomas Hays and AME Communications Coordinator Rebeka Morales represented AME at the AERO Oklahoma Aviation & Aerospace Awareness Day on Tuesday, March 19, 2019. The event was held at the Oklahoma City Capitol and open to the public.
“AERO Oklahoma” Day places aviation and aerospace organizations front and center. As Oklahoma’s second largest industry, the purpose of this awareness day was to recognize this vital economic engine and to provide a greater understanding of the impact aviation has on the lives of Oklahoma’s citizens. It is a unique opportunity for Oklahoma aerospace companies, private and commercial pilots, airport managers, municipal officials, drone pilots, educators, flying clubs, and many other users of the Oklahoma Airport System to meet one-on-one with state legislators and other elected officials regarding aviation. During this aviation and aerospace awareness day, free exhibit booths from over 80 companies were represented.
Dr. Jian Zuo gave a seminar over drug discovery for hearing loss on Thursday, March 14th at OU. Dr. Zuo is a chairman and professor from the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Creighton University School of Medicine.
Abstract: Hearing loss caused by aging, noise, cisplatin toxicity, or other insults affects 360 million people worldwide, but there are no Food and Drug Administration–approved drugs to prevent or treat it. We first performed high-throughput screens for small molecules that prevent cisplatin-induced hearing loss in a cochlear derived cell line. The hit compounds were further validated in cochlear explants, zebrafish lateral-line neuromasts in vivo, and eventually in mouse and rat’s cochleae in vivo. We have so far identified and characterized several potent compounds that exhibit protection against not only cisplatin but also antibiotics and noise-induced hearing loss. We further investigated several targets of top compounds in knockout mouse models. To treat hearing loss, we first developed genetic mouse models in which hair cell regeneration occurred at adult ages. Based on the genetic manipulations, we performed high-throughput screens of small molecules that mimic the genetics models. We further tested these top compounds in adult mice for hair cell regeneration. Combinatory applications of these top compounds could provide therapeutic intervention of hearing loss in clinics.
Biography: Jian Zuo obtained his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China in 1985. He then immigrated to the US for his Ph.D. in Physiology from UCSF in 1993. After postdoc training in Rockefeller University, he became a faculty at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis since 1998. After 20 years, he recently moved to Creighton University School of Medicine as the Chairman and Professor in the Dept. of Biomedical Sciences in April 2018. He has published >100 research articles and >20 reviews with high impacts. He currently has 2 R01 grants, 2 DoD grants, and one MRC grant. He has trained many successful students and postdocs and has interests in the commercialization of his discoveries.
Srinivas Swaroop Kolla, Ph.D., a research associate at the University of Tulsa, presented a seminar Friday, March 8th at OU. He spoke about the design and performance of gas-liquid cylindrical cyclone compact separators.
Biography: Dr. Srinivas Swaroop Kolla received his B.S degree (2002) from Nagarjuna University in India and M.S. (2007) and Ph.D. (2018) degrees from The University of Tulsa, Oklahoma, all in Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Kolla has 9 years of experience pursuing a professional career working in cross-functional teams across Europe and India on industry projects including Oil & Gas, Medical and Automotive sectors. Between 2007 and 2015, he worked in various roles starting as a Research Engineer to Project Manager leading teams developing components and systems. During his career with FMC Technologies in France, he worked on the project “PRELUDE” an FLNG/FPSO unit being developed currently by Samsung Industries. Dr. Kolla has a multi-disciplinary background in mechanical and petroleum engineering and his research focus on Multiphase Flow, Separation Technologies, Pressure vessels, Flow Assurance, Pumps and Design of components & Systems using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) as well as Fluid-Structure Interaction (FSI). He has published several refereed journal and conference papers, while some are under review. He has also applied for 2 US patents and few more are being prepared for submission this year. He serves on executive committee of ASME Mid-Continent Section and Co-organizer of Multiphase Flow Technical Track in ASME Fluid Engineering Division Summer Conference and a member of FMTC, CFDTC, MFTC technical committees. He also serves as a reviewer for several conferences and journals. Dr. Kolla has received several awards, scholarships, and fellowships during his career. His awards over the past 3 years include ASME Petroleum Division Scholarship, ASME Fluid Engineering Division-Graduate Scholarship, The University of Tulsa Distinguished Chapman Scholarship, Graduate Student Fellowship and Bellwether Fellowship.
Edward Guo, Ph.D., a Chair and Stanley Dicker Professor for the department of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University, gave a seminar on Wednesday, March 6th at OU. His seminar was over bone bioengineering: microstructure, mechanics, mechanobiology and beyond.
Abstract: Bone Bioengineering Laboratory is developing innovative technology in microstructural assessments, biomechanical modeling, multiscale and mechanobiological approaches in skeletal research. Bone Bioengineering has both basic science and clinical significances in many medical fields, such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, or intervertebral disc degenerations. I will highlight our development of a three-dimensional imaging analysis and modeling technique for trabecular bone microstructure, its applications in basic science research of bone mechanics, and clinical applications in osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. We will discuss bone microstructural phenotypes in difference races and their implications in genetic and precision medicine, anthropology, evolution and mechanobiology of the skeletons. In parallel to these developments, we will also discuss our multiscale mechanobiological approaches in understanding the mechanisms of how bone senses and responds to mechanical loading and showcase how mechanobiology links to bone microstructure and mechanics.
Biography: Dr. Guo received his M.S. in 1990 and Ph.D. in 1994 in Medical Engineering and Medical Physics from Harvard University-MIT. In 1994-1996, Professor Guo did his postdoctoral fellowship in the Orthopaedic Research Laboratories at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor with Professor Steven A. Goldstein in orthopaedic bioengineering. In 1996 he joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering and then Department of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2001, Associate Professor with tenure in 2003, Professor in 2007, and named as Stanley Dicker Professor in 2018. He directs the Bone Bioengineering Laboratory in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia focusing his research interests in micromechanics of bone tissue, computational biomechanics, and mechanobiology of bone. His past honors include Young Investigator Recognition Award from the Orthopaedic Research Society, National Research Service Award from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), a CAREER award from the US National Foundation of Science (NSF), Funds for Talented Professionals (Joint Research Fund for Overseas Chinese Young Scholars) from the National Natural Science Foundation of China. He is elected fellow of American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineerin. He was one of the founders and served as co-Editor-in-Chief of Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering (CMBE), an international journal of US Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES). He has served many review panels for NIH, NSF, and NASA. His research has been supported by the Whitaker Foundation, the NSF, and the NIH. He served as President of International Chinese Musculoskeletal Research Society, the Society for Physical Regulation in Biology and Medicine, Member of Board of Directors of Orthopaedic Research Society, and Member of Board of Directors of AIMBE. He also founded the Special Interest Group (SIG) in CMBE in the BMES and served as its founding Chair.
Pejman Kazempoor, Ph.D., gave a seminar on Thursday, February 21, about driving sustainable performance in the oil and gas industry. Dr. Kazempoor is a senior engineer and project manager at Baker-Hughes, a GE company.
Abstract: The world energy consumption is projected to grow by 28% between 2015 and 2040, with fossil fuels accounting for more than three-quarters of the world energy mix during this period. As oil & gas (O&G) will remain essential to global economic development for decades to come, global concerns about climate change and pollution are leading to a focus on the amount of energy it takes to produce hydrocarbon fuels. Energy efficiency and emissions reduction, which are intrinsically connected, have been identified as important challenges to the O&G industry and positive drivers that can improve productivity, lower operating costs, and reduce environmental impacts. This presentation is designed to provide a deeper understanding of sustainable energy in the O&G sector and to offer a comprehensive explanation of the opportunities available to achieve it. The main emphasis will be on natural gas and its associated production, processing, and transportation technologies. Specifically, emissions reduction and mitigation technologies, waste energy, and fuel utilization techniques, and natural gas process optimization will be discussed in more detail. The author’s previous and current fundamental research projects and industrial work experience in the same field will be presented. The seminar will conclude by highlighting future research directions and potential projects.
Biography: Pejman Kazempoor is a senior engineer and project manager at Baker-Hughes, a GE company (formerly known as GE Global Research -Oil and Gas Technology Center). He is responsible for driving innovative research and development activities and taking new technologies from the conceptual stage to full commercialization. His current and previous projects at BHGE focus on four specific areas: emission reduction techniques and technologies, sustainability, and energy efficiency, natural gas monetization, and renewable energy application in the Oil & Gas Industry. Pejman graduated with his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering in Dec. 2009 from Tarbiat Modares University (TMU), Tehran in partnership with EMPA, Switzerland (ETH-Zurich Domain), where he investigated building integrated co- and poly-generation systems in the framework of the multi-national Polysmart project. He received the Presidential Award, two best conference paper awards, and the TMU outstanding Ph.D. student award for his Ph.D. work and accomplishments. Pejman is the recipient of BHGE’s 2018 Technology Excellence Award, a referee for 15 high-prestige journals in the field of thermal and fluid sciences, and Associate Editor for Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering-Elsevier. He also published more than 50 papers in various national and international peer-reviewed journals and conferences, including a book chapter. Pejman innovative experience is also highlighted by three issued patents, as well as four pending patents.
Wednesday, February 20, Dr. L’Afflitto was featured on an episode of OU’s “Just Sow” podcast where he spoke about drone technology.
In the podcast, Dr. L’Afflitto spoke about the future of drones at home and in the office. According to Dr. L’Afflitto, drones could be especially beneficial to those who have mobility impairments. The drones he is designing right now will help people with disorders to more easily manipulate and operate the world around them. He is currently trying to overcome the many technological challenges that go along with this project.
Dr. L’Afflitto said he believes that drones will be one of the many tools available for us in the future. He sees us using drones for picking up groceries, lifting heavy objects in warehouses, and supporting our ground troops. Teaching the drones to do these activities are just some of the things he’s working on in the lab. He also spoke about how he incorporates biology into his drone technology. However, he said that mathematical problems are at the heart of this research. Dr. L’Afflitto said it’s hard for him to imagine someone who would not be fascinated by drone technology.