iCubed

2014 - 2015 Fellows

NSF

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No.0963146. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

UCF

Alex Selimov

Alex Selimov

Alex is currently an undergraduate student studying mechanical engineering. He is interested in alumina oxide coating research. His hobbies include playing the guitar and practicing capoiera. He is a member of SHPE.

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Ashley Ramirez

Ashley Ramirez

My name is Ashley Ramirez and I am currently involved in bacterial genetics research with Dr. Sean Moore. Our research focuses on the investigation of orphan genes: universally conserved genes of unknown function. This research involves the development of different genetic systems and the incorporation of the orphan genes to reveal their functions. I am a senior in the Biomedical Sciences major (pre-med) and a Hispanic originally from Miami, Florida.

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Caio Da Silva Lima

Caio Da Silva Lima

Caio is a junior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering. He currently works with Dr. Kauffman on the implementation of smart materials for actuation and morphing in unmanned aircraft systems. The EXCEL Program at UCF introduced him to opportunities in undergraduate research. This is his first year as an Icubed Stem Fellow. He is also involved in the Honors in the Major program. As a member of the AIAA UCF Student Chapter, he has participated in their Aviation Design competition since his first semester at the university. He will also be competing in 2014. The Biplane design that his group conceived and fabricated in 2013 came in first place in the competition that year. Caio was born in Brazil and moved to Orlando, Florida when he was six. He is also a first-generation Hispanic college student. He hopes to one day apply the knowledge and skills he acquired for technological advancement in aeronautical and astronautical engineering through applied research.

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Chris Barsoum

Chris Barsoum

My name is Chris Barsoum and I am a senior undergraduate engineering and physics student. My passion is all things space -- I love the final frontier and exploration of worlds unknown. My research mentor is Dr. Joshua Colwell. Under Dr. Colwell, I work on three different projects. One is a scientific education outreach project investigating the public understanding of science. Another is an engineering project entitled CEDEX, the centripetal dust experiment. The goal is to produce a centrifugal device for zero-G experiments. Lastly, I work on a device called R2D2, where I run experiments to investigate surface impacts and particle ejecta.

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Grant Hernandez

Grant Hernandez

Grant Hernandez is a senior Computer Engineering undergraduate working with professor Yier Jin in the Security in Silicon Laboratory (SSL @ UCF). His primary research focus centers around embedded security, especially involving hardware-software boundaries. Grant began his research with SSL in the Spring of 2014 by hacking the Google owned Nest thermostat. By leveraging a developer USB backdoor, he was able to upload arbitrary code, thus leading to the complete compromise of a Nest thermostat given a small window of physical access. He went on to present this research with his professor at the Black Hat USA security conference. Future research includes investigating processors utilizing secure boot in order to look for flaws in their implementation.

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Kristin Elias

Kristin Elias

I am a senior with a major in Industrial Engineering and a minor in Health Service Administration. I work as an undergraduate research fellow on Dr. Jennifer Pazourís research team. My research is focused on sea-based logistics, specifically the optimization of internal cargo flow. After graduating, I plan on applying my degree in the healthcare field as a process improvement specialist.

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Billy Hughes

Billy Hughes

My name is Billy Hughes and I am a 4th year undergraduate student studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Central Florida. I have been working as an undergraduate research assistant for 2 years now under my advisor Dr. Nina Orlovskaya. Currently, I am working with a graduate student on analyzing ceramics such as Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Zirconium Di-Boride (ZrB2) for use in nose tips of hypersonic vehicles. We analyze these ceramics under Raman Spectroscopy. By inspecting these ceramics in different weight percents, we aim to find a composition that can withstand the many thermal stresses of orbital re-entry. Research like this prevents disasters like the Columbia from happening again.

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Imad Hanhan

Imad Hanhan

Imad is an undergraduate senior in mechanical engineering, and conducts research in aerospace materials and structures under the direction of Dr. Seetha Raghavan. Imad is currently pursuing an Honors in the Major Thesis regarding a hybrid carbon fiber composite for advanced sensing. Imad has also conducted research at the Canadian Light Source X-Ray Synchrotron, and at Purdue Universityís School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Imad is from the Middle East, and moved to the United States 12 years ago. Imadís hobbies include playing the piano and cooking.

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Justin Gray

Justin Gray

Justin Gray is a Biomedical Sciences student who conducts his research at the UCF Lake Nona Research center. Currently his focus is on the protein KLF8 which has been shown to be overexpressed in cancer. Through his work under Dr. Zhao he has gained valuable experience which will facilitate his goals of going through an M.D. Ph.D program. As an active member of the UCF community, Justin also holds positions as academic chair of Sigma Pi Fraternity, as well as recruitment chair of the UCF Water Polo team. In summer 2014 Justin was fortunate enough to become a Presidentís Scholar which sent him on a study abroad trip to St. Kitts, an underdeveloped West Indie Island. While there he shadowed Dr. Garfield Alexander whose wise words still resonate within him today ďDonít just treat symptoms, understand the person. Many times they donít need drugs to fix their problems; they need someone to talk to.Ē Due to the nature of iCubed, all the individuals have to work and understand a plethora of people, all amazing in their own aspects but all quite different. These interactions have resulted in Justin becoming a dynamic and relatable person who will be able to understand people and figure out what is causing their illness.

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Zachary Loparo

Zachary Loparo

My name is Zachary Loparo. I am a senior here at UCF studying mechanical engineering. I am doing research with Dr. Subith Vasu developing a mid-infrared LED based sensor to make simultaneous measurements of multiple gaseous species in different environments. This past summer, I worked at the National Transportation Research Center at Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee developing the sensor for use in measuring carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide in engine exhaust. Currently I am working on modifying and further developing this sensor to make measurements of the atmospheres of different planets.

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Zaid Mohammad

Zaid Mohammad

I am currently a senior in UCF with a major in chemistry. The basis of my research is to analyze burned tooth remains via powder X-ray diffraction for forensic applications with the help of my mentor Dr. Fernando-Uribe Romo. In addition to iCubed, I am an active member of the UCF predental club and I enjoy volunteering my time to educate students about STEM research and degrees. After I earn my bachelorís degree, I plan on pursuing a career in dentistry. During my free time, I enjoy paddle boarding and kayaking at Lake Claire, working out, and watching UCF football games.

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Catherine Ninah

Catherine Ninah

Catherine Ninah is a second year Industrial Engineering student at the University of Central Florida. She conducts interdisciplinary research through the College of Engineering and Computer Science. She uses operations research, mathematical models, computer algorithms, data mining, and logistics to provide alternatives and solutions to areas in the healthcare, medicine, Navy, and engineering industry. Her current research for spring of 2015 is with Dr. Pazour and the Office of Naval Research. Catherine first became involved in research during her freshman year when she was selected for the Office of Undergraduate Researchís STEM Academy. Catherine has represented UCF at the Southern Regional Honors Council, presenting on challenging the status quo through servant leadership. She is looking forward to presenting her research at the 5th Annual Florida Undergraduate Research Conference and the UCF Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence. Catherine has previously worked as a Supplemental Instructional Leader for Physics for Scientists and Engineers and as an Honors Orientation Peer Ambassador for the Burnett Honors College here at UCF. Ms. Ninah has received academic honors such as Boeing Scholarship Recognition and Provost Scholar. In addition, she enjoys being involved in clubs and organizations. She was heavily involved in the Student Government as she was one of the twenty chosen for the Student Body Presidentís Advisory Council and is currently serving as the Volunteer Student Director for one of the Student Government Agencies, MSC. She has also served as Historian of Honors Congress, leading a committee and documenting events and activities. She also was the Vice President of Orion Area Council where she planned events for the UCF Honors Students and Athletes, partnering with local businesses. She has served as the Public Relations Officer for Shimmy Knights and is a member in Society of Women Engineers and Institute of Industrial Engineers. Ms. Ninah enjoys volunteering in her free time and has even received an Orlando 2013 Humanitarian Award from Mayor Dyer. Catherine plans to attend graduate school and get her PhD. Her goal is to become a professor who conducts research with a focus on biology and engineering. Catherine is super excited to be part of the Icubed Fellowship and believes she will learn a lot from the fellowship and is grateful for the opportunity.

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