Grand Challenges Summit Poster Contest Winners

Category Winners

Energy and the Environment

1st Place
Fast Optimization of Plasma Profile Dynamics during the Ramp-up Phase of the Discharge in a Tokamak Nuclear Fusion Reactor
Chao Xu, Yongsheng Ou, and Eugenio Schuster, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics, Lehigh University

2nd Place
Heat Exchange Enhancement in 2D Magnetohydrodynamic Channel Flows by Extremum Seeking Boundaring Feedback Control

Lixiang Luo and Eugenio Schuster, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics, Lehigh University

3rd Place
Experimental Investigation of Non-Wetting Phase Entrapment in Counter-Current Subsurface Flows

Meredith Hankins, Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, University of Southern California


1st Place
Engineering molecular interactions for targeted therapeutics and technologies
Faisal Reza and Jingdong Tian, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University

2nd Place
Visible light-initiated photocatalytic transformation of fluoroquinolone antibacterial agents
Tias Paula (e) Penney L. Miller (b,e) Michael C. Dodd (c) Urs von Gunten (c) Michael L. Machesky (d) and  Timothy J. Strathmann (a,e)
a Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 

b Department of Chemistry, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, IN

c Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag), Duebendorf, Switzerland

d Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, IL

e Center of Advanced Materials for the Purification of Water with Systems (Water CAMPWS), Urbana, IL

3rd Place
Case Study:  Proposing a Hearing Health Solution in Ica, Peru
Hearing Hearing Threshold Testing Using MatLab Interface

Vanessa J. Garcia, University of Miami and Engineers Without Borders


1st Place
Securing Cyberspace: Using Stochastic Models to Quantify Security and Assess Risk

Elizabeth Van Ruitenbeek and William H. Sanders, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2nd Place
HOMES: Highway Operation Monitoring and Evaluation System
Jing Dai and Arnold Boedihardjo, Department of Computer Science, Virginia Tech

3rd Place
Fully-Distributed Fiber-Optic Sensing Based on Traveling Long-Period Gratings
Dorothy Wang, Ming Han, Kathy Wang, Anbo Wang Center for Photonics Technology, Virginia Tech


1st Place
Virtual Reality in Aircraft Maintenance Technology
Thashika D. Rupasinghe and Deepak Vembar, School of Computing, Clemson University, Clemson

2nd Place
In Vitro and Computational Flow Studies of Fluid Diodes Placed In the Pulmonary Position

Tiffany A. Camp (1) Timothy A. Conover (1) Richard S. Figliola (1) Donald Beasley (1) Tim McQuinn (2) and T-Y Hsia (3)
1 Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering, Clemson University
2 Department of Pediatric Cardiology, Medical University of South Carolina

3 Department of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina
3rd Place
A Knowledge Map-Centric Feedback-Based Approach to Personalized Learning
Ricky Castles, Computer Engineering, Virginia Tech

Purpose of the Summit Poster Contest

To foster discussion and the dissemination of ideas related to the National Academy of Engineer’s Grand Challenges, we invite you to submit posters on research and educational topics related to or which address one of the 14 Grand Challenges.

For more detailed information about each individual challenge, visit:


Category   Grand Challenges


  Make Solar Energy More Economical
Manage the Nitrogen Cycle
Provide Energy from Fusion
Provide Access to Clean Water
Develop Carbon Sequestration Methods
Restore and Improve Urban Infrastructure


  Advance Health Informatics
Engineer Better Medicines
Reverse-Engineer the Brain


  Prevent Nuclear Terror
Secure Cyberspace 



Advanced Personalized Learning
Engineer the Tools of Scientific Discovery
Enhance Virtual Reality


Prizes will be awarded to the best posters in each of the four general categories: Energy/Environment, Medicine, Security and Learning/Computation.

First Prize    $500
Second Prize    $300
Third Prize    $150

Poster Criteria

Prizes will be awarded for novel research or educational approaches either implemented or envisioned toward addressing the Grand Challenges.

If you plan to present a poster, then please submit an abstract by February 16, 2009.  Submit abstract online at:

The entire abstract must fit on a single page with the following format:

12 pt Times New Roman font
1” margins around all sides.
Title in boldface
Author(s) name(s)
Affiliation(s) with at least one email address for contact purposes

Body of abstract text should clearly state which Grand Challenge is addressed and why, as well as the core educational or research findings or what the expected impact would be for a proposed effort.   Please do not include figures or graphs in the abstract.

Poster Presentation
Posters will be displayed in the lobby of the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) throughout the course of the Grand Challenges Summit on March 2-3, 2009. We ask that poster presenters be available to discuss their posters during the Poster Session on March 2 from 12:15 to 1:30 pm.

For presentation at the Summit, poster presenters are to bring their unmounted posters to DPAC during registration to mount for presentation.  Posters must not be larger than 36” wide x 48” tall.  Poster screens and tacks will be provided for mounting posters.

Prize winners will be announced at the Grand Challenges Summit.