Cal Poly Students Succeed at Statewide Research Competition

Cal Poly undergraduate students garnered two first-place awards and one second-place award at the 30th annual California State University (CSU) Student Research Competition April 29-30 at CSU Bakersfield.

Each spring more than 220 students representing campuses throughout the CSU gather at one of the campuses to present the results of their original research, scholarship and creative work to panels of judges.

Finalists submitted papers and made oral presentations to juries of experts. The submissions were judged on clarity of purpose, appropriateness of methodology, interpretation of results, clear articulation of the research, and their ability to field questions from the jury and audience.

Christine Liu, industrial technology student from San Jose, Calif., placed first for improvements to crash-cart packaging in hospital emergency rooms. Kristen Leemon, an undergraduate student, and Daniel Tachibana, a recent graduate, also contributed to this project. Javier de la Fuente, an industrial technology faculty member, supervised the project.

Mason DuBois, a biological sciences student from Lompoc, Calif., earned a first-place award for his project on the effect of oxygen availability on the ability of lizards to withstand thermal stress. The project was supervised by biological sciences faculty member Emily Taylor.

Lili Gevorkian, a biological sciences student from Glendale, Calif., worked with faculty in the College of Engineering to research recycling nutrients from biofuel wastewater for cultivation of algae and co-digestion of wastewater solid materials. The work garnered Gevorkian a second-place award. The project was supervised by Ruth Spierling and Braden Crowe, faculty in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department.

Other Cal Poly projects included a study of the effect of different fiber sizes on the digestibility of feed for leopard tortoises, a chemical analysis of production methods for conjugated polyelectrolytes, a protein-based examination of the effect of fasting on baby elephant seals during weaning, and a historical study of the development of Waikiki tourism.

“We are extremely proud of our students’ success at this competition,” stated Dean Wendt, Cal Poly’s dean of research. “It is a testament to the quality of research opportunities and mentorship available to our students, and we appreciate the efforts of faculty who enhance student learning through their research programs. Our continued success at this annual competition is a prime example of Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing approach and our academic excellence.”