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Student Achievements

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Undergraduate Student Achievements

Researcher of the Month

About Plinio 

PlinioGuzmanPlinio Guzmán, a Mechanical Engineering major enrolled in the 5-year B.E./M.S. program, has just begun his senior year, joining his classmates in MEC 440 on a collaborative senior design project under the direction of Dr. Anurag Purwar. Since fall of 2012, Plinio has also been hard at work in the laboratory of Dr. Maen Alkhader of Mechanical Engineering while engaged in independent research on the fabrication and testing of materials, and experimental apparatus design (e.g. Split Hopkinson pressure bar for dynamic testing of materials). 

Plinio was one of ~35 undergraduates selected last spring from a competitive applicant pool for the 2013 URECA Summer award: the URECA funding helped to support his work on the “Dynamic Response of Auxetic Foams," in particular optimizing auxetic solid foam materials with enhanced impact energy absorption capacity. Plinio will be presenting this ongoing project at URECA’s annual campus wide poster symposium next April. Together with his mentor, Prof. Alkhader, Plinio also plans to submit an abstract and present his work in the 1st International Conference on Mechanics of Composites ( MECHCOMP2014), an international mechanical engineering conference which will be held in Stony Brook in summer 2014.

Born and raised in Mexico, and a graduate of Tecnológico de Monterrey high school, Plinio currently serves as treasurer of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), and an executive e-board member for the campus Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). Plinio has also been involved on campus as a member of Stony Brook Motorsports (Fall 2010) and as an Undergraduate College Fellow(Fall 2011-GLS); and has worked as a lab assistant in the Department of Physics (2012-2013) setting up experiments for instructional use and repairing lab equipment. His hobbies include cycling, skateboarding, reading and travel. Plinio's long-term goal is to pursue a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. Click here excerpts of his conversation with Karen Kernan, URECA Director.





MEC 101 Fall 2012 Project Demos 

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Graduate Student Achievements



 July 3, 2013

A paper authored by Prof. Lei Zuo and his graduate student Peng Li was selected as Student Best Paper with $500 cash award by the 2013 ASME DTEC/Advanced Vehicle Technologies Conference. "Equivalent Circuit Modeling of Vehicle Dynamics with Energy Harvesting Shock Absorbers."

  • Craig Capria, NSF Award for international research collaboration
  • Dake Feng, team ranked no. 2 in 2006 IEEEXtreme Programming Challenge

Achievements of Former Students

  • Anurag Purwar , Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student
  • Evren Azeloglu, Howard Hughes Foundation Scholarship Recepient
  • Vanessa Capanzano, Dayton T. Brown Scholarship Winner and 2004 recipient of the NSF Graduate Student Fellowship
  • Jesse Fite, 2003 recepient of the GT Equipment Technologies Scholarship


Achievements by Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Students

URECA RESEARCHER OF THE MONTH - MAY 2012 -RICHARD ANGER, Mechanical Engineering, Class of 13

Richard Anger will be staying at Stony Brook a 5th year to complete a Master’s degree. He came to SB as a transfer student in fall 2009, and will be graduating with a B.E. in Mechanical Engineering, and a minor in Nanotechnology studies. Since Spring 2009, Richard has worked in the Nanotribology and Wear Mechanics Laboratory with Prof. Chad Korach of the Mechanical Engineering Dept. A recent project in the Korach group, presented recently at the URECA poster event, “Materials characterization for displacement of heating oil usage in legacy fuel pumps” was also singled out in the Mechanical Engineering graduate student poster symposium for “best poster". Richard also won first place design award for a liquid metering device in December 2010. He has participated in summer research programs, including the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN) REU program at Cornell University (Summer 2010) where he studied, designed, and fabricated advanced carbon electrodes for use in vanadium redox microfluidic fuel cells; as well as the NJCEP REU program at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (Summer 2009) where he researched Nanocomposites containing functionalized carbon nanotubes de-agglomerated by RESS. Recently Richard received a grant supporting his use of the Center for Functional Nanomaterials facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory, for his master’s thesis project at Stony Brook in 2012-2013 in the Korach Laboratory. [To see a video of Richard's NNIN REU presentation at the University of Minnesota REU Convocation, click here >>>. ] 


SBMotorsportsThe innovative CEAS Senior Design projects always draw a crowd at URECA's campus-wide research Celebration. Past exhibits have included optical pacemaker devices, curb climbing wheelchairs, interactive computer games, robots, and even a solar boat. But a perennial favorite—always front and center on the platform—is the latest Baja SAE off-road vehicle on display from the Stony Brook Motorsports Team. Last year’s vehicle (#34), weighing in at ~420 pounds, not only got our attention, but earned kudos at the SAE Collegiate Design Series competition it entered in Illinois last June where it placed tenth overall, and fifth in design. (*Yes it did play in Peoria!)

Success at SAE competitions doesn’t just happen, but is the result of many, many hours of hard work, including creative design, manufacturing, testing and troubleshooting. And two of the hardest-working students who provide much of the drive behind the SB Motorsports operations are: Lorena Rozo, Team President, and James Meehan, Design Manager, our Researchers of the month. 

Motorsports2011Both are currently working on their senior design capstone project, focusing on the powertrain design with continuously variable transmission (CVT) and braking systems (James) and/or suspension components (Lorena). The Stony Brook Motorsports Team works closely with its advisors, including faculty advisor Dr. Noah Machtay; Bob Martin, and Henry Honigman of Mechanical Engineering; and CEAS Senior Design professor for Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Yu Zhou. In talking about the Motorsports "family", James and Lorena enthusiastically acknowledge all the members on the Team, as well as their top-notch advisors—and express their deepest thanks to the loyal Motorsports sponsors who keep the wheels turning. Everyone involved is excited to show the newest Motorsports car that will be completed and be on display at URECA on April 25, 2012 – and will go on to two national SAE competitions, in Oregon (May) and Wisconsin (June). Lorena Rozo comments, We’ve made a lot of improvements. This year, we really have a chance to win!”

LorenaRozoLorena Rozo was born in Bogotá, D.C., Colombia and attended the Gulf Coast High School in Naples, Florida. She first got involved with Motorsports in her freshman year (fall 2008) where she took the initiative to learn welding. Lorena is one of 27 women currently majoring in Mechanical Engineering at SB (out of 297 total), and is a great advocate of the major, the department, and CEAS, representing Motorsports and Mechanical Engineering as a CEAS student ambassador at many recruiting events, and on admissions blogs. She has had multiple leadership roles with Motorsports, including being Team Treasurer (2009-2010), Chassis Design and Fabrication Leader (2009-2011), Team Vice-President (2010-2011), Suspension Design Leader, and Team President (Summer 2011-present). Lorena plans to continue here at SB to earn her master’s degree [2013] before seeking full time employment as a design or manufacturing engineer. For the past year, she also has interned at a local Setauket company, Flagpoles, Inc., that specializes in mass production of aluminum tubular standards and defense products. Lorena’s hobbies include running and hiking, and driving the Baja cars.

MeehanJamesJames Meehan was born and raised in Long Island, and attended West Babylon High School. He is a first generation college student: after working for half a year as a machinist, he attended SUNY Farmingdale, and then transferred to SBU. James currently trains new Motorsports members in design and fabrication processes, because of his proven expertise in precision machining critical vehicle components using CNC milling machines, plasma cutter, and manual lathe. He credits much of what he knows to his father, also a machinist, and to “hands-on” experience as a child, in taking things apart and being around small motors. James enjoys mountain biking, and is an avid Baja driver. He has also interned as a manufacturing assistant first at an aerospace manufacturer (2006-2010) and now at a medical devices manufacturer. Still undecided as to future plans, James has earned a 3.97 GPA at Stony Brook and is a member of SB’s Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society and Golden Key International Honor Society.

Read more here:

1st place for our students at the 2010 ASME Student Mechanisms and Robots Design Competition

August 20, 2010

The student project titled "Design of a device for raising, lowering, and transporting a disabled individual with limited lower body strength" byalt Thomas Galeotafiore, Justin Miles, Jeffrey Renert, and supervised by Professor Anurag Purwar has won 1st Prize at the 2010 ASME Mechanism Design Competition for undergraduate students held in Montreal, Canada during 2010 ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences. The award and the travel grant for these three students has been sponsored by NSF.

The student team working with Prof. Purwar designed a device to assist people with limited lower body strength in going from a seated to a standing position and vice-versa and subsequently function as a stabilizing device for walking. This device can be used by a wide range of people, including those with lower-body debilitating ailments and multiple sclerosis, and children and seniors with weakness in legs. Many of these people are able to walk with the assistance of a standard medical walker once in a standing position, but the process of getting into the standing position can be an arduous task requiring assistance from others. Existing products for lifting a person into a standing position are generally non-portable, heavy, cannot fit through standard doorways, require assistance from other people, and/or cannot be used as a standard walker. To address these problems, they designed and prototyped an assistive device combining the lift and walking functions. Designed in a compact way, it mainly consists of two parallel-motion six-bar linkages driven by two synchronized linear actuators and supported by a wheeled frame, which lifts the user from the seated to the standing position, and then allows the user to use it as a walker. Tests with prospective clients up to 250 lbs showed that the prototype provided stable and comfortable lift-up support. This project was supported by an  NSF grant (# CBET0853672) awarded to Prof. Yu Zhou (the senior design instructor) and Prof. Jeffrey Ge.

URECA RESEARCHER OF THE MONTH - Polly Lo , Mechanical Engineering, Class of 09

May 2009 featured student is Polly Lo, a mechanical engineering major, class of 09, who has worked for over two years under the mentorship of Prof. Chad Korach of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Last summer, Polly Lo had the opportunity to travel to Kanpur, India to work for 10 weeks at the Indian Institute of Technology as part of an International Research and Education in Engineering (IREE) award from the NSF to Prof. Korach. Following graduation, Polly Lo will be taking up a management trainee position at Con Edison and remain in the NYC area. Polly Lo has presented two research posters for the last two years at the URECA Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creativity. This year's posters included: "The effects of environmental degradation on the mechanical strength of carbon fiber reinforced composites", as well as a team senior design project mentored by Prof. Yu Zhou, titled "Steerable Pedalo." Last year, Polly Lo also gave a talk at the Nanotechnology Studies symposium held concurrently with the URECA Celebration of undergraduate research, on "Mechanical and Erosive Damage in Dental Enamel Microstructure." Polly Lo is a member of Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering Honor Society, and serves as treasurer for her Chinese Christian fellowship.

Polly Lo had positive comments to make about the Department of Mechanical Engineering:

"I love the department. It’s not a very big department. In the senior year, all the faculty members recognize you by your name and by your face. I feel very good about this department. Walking down the hallway, you see professors, say hi . . we have conversations, small talk. So I love this department!"

For the full interview/feature, please go to:

Mechanical Engineering students win first and second place in College of Engineering Senior Design Competition at URECA 2009:

Design of energy harvester for vehicle suspension. Brian Scully, Jurgen Shestani, Faculty advisors: Yu Zhou, Lei Zuo, Department of Mechanical Engineering - 1st place

JES riser, removable stand-up walker. Eddie YiZhan Zheng, Sriya Adhya, and Jincheng Wu. Faculty advisors: Yu Zhou, Anurag Purwar, and Jeffrey Ge. Department of Mechanical Engineering - 2nd place

Five mechanical engineering undergraduate students received the 2008 Arkwin scholarship ($5000/each) from Arkwin Industries, Inc., a Long Island based manufacturer of precision hydraulic and fuel system components for civil and military aircrafts and special applications. They are Philip Haasnoot, John Meyer, Michael Petroglia, Christopher Serano, and Chaomin Tang.

Polly Lo, a junior in our Mechanical Engineering major will be traveling to Kanpur India in summer 2008 to perform research on composite materials at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur as part of an International Research and Education in Engineering (IREE) award from the National Science Foundation that her undergraduate research advisor, Professor Chad Korach in our Department of Mechanical Engineering received. The NSF-IREE program is designed to provide early career researchers exposure to research methods and practices in engineering at locations outside of the United States as part of training a global engineering workforce for the 21st century. Only 5% of all U.S. engineering students take part in overseas study during their academic career. Over 100 IREE awards were made for the 2007-2008 fiscal year and application to the program is limited to current NSF award PI’s.

Karol Stephaniuk, Hugo Gallegos and Dan Totong won the 2007 SSMP Innovations Award for their senior design project “Automatic Retractable Wheelchair Canopy”. They developed a switch activated rain protector for wheelchair bound handicap people under the guidance of Prof. Fu-pen Chiang, the faculty advisor, and Prof. Yu Zhou, the instructor. This award was created by an intellectual property law firm – Scully, Scott, Murphy & Presser PC to prepare, file and prosecute patent applications for our best senior design projects on assistive devices. Moreover, this project has been selected as one of the four finalists in the ASME Student Mechanism Design Competition which is part of the 2007 ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conference, the largest Design Engineering conference in the world. The project has been supported by a donation from Rockwell International Trust.


device pic device pic

Accessible Medication Dispensing Device

 The mechanical engineering senior design project “Accessible Medication Dispensing Device” was selected as one of only five US teams to compete as finalists in the Second International Student Capstone Design Fair in November 2006. This project is a timed automatic medication dispenser designed for residential use to help a patient manage multiple prescription medicines, developed by a team of three mechanical engineering undergraduate students, Ayman Sawas, Warren Halbig and Mohammad Yusuf, under the guidance of Prof. Raman Singh, the faculty advisor, and Prof. Jeff Ge, the instructor of the capstone senior design course. Prof. Jeff Ge and Ayman Sawas represented Stony Brook University at the Design Fair with all expenses paid by the government of South Korea. Held at the EXCO Convention Center in Taegue, South Korea, this event was jointly hosted by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Energy of Korea, Korea Technology and Engineering Foundation and Capstone Design Education Center of Seoul National University of Technology. The design project was part of the senior design program for developing assistive devices to aid people with disabilities. The program was established by Professors Jeff Ge and Fu-pen Chiang, and has been supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation as well as generous donations from Rockwell International Trust.


2007 Scholarship Winners

Three mechanical engineering undergraduate students received 2007 scholarships from the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York. The Hazen and Sawyer, P.C. Scholarship ($2,500) was awarded to Jonathan Bielik. Jonathan excels both academically and in extracurricular activities. A member of the football team in his freshman year and the club lacrosse team, he also participates in competitive rock climbing, and is a Triathlete in half iron man and Olympic distance races. He is the student representative for FIRST Robotics. The DMJM Harris Scholarship ($2,500) was awarded to Milan Karunaratne. Milan is treasurer of the Residence Hall Legislature and a member of the university’s cricket team. Milan is also a guitarist, drummer and vocalist, who composes and performs his music with his band. During summer, Milan served as a field and equipment engineer for Con Edison and also a research assistant at Stony Brook. The Earth Tech, Inc. Scholarship ($2,500) was awarded to Jessica Newman. Jessica is a mechanical engineering major with a strong interest in other scientific fields including meteorology and natural phenomena. She has gained valuable experience in internships, the most current at EDO Corporation, an aeronautical defense systems company where she worked on calculations and stress analysis for Air Force and Navy projects. She has also interned at Brookhaven National Laboratory. She is a student ambassador for the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. She is also a member of Women in Science and Engineering, the Society of Automotive Engineers, and the Golden Key International Honor Society. All the three students are members of the Stony Brook Motorsports Baja SAE team, participating in the development of the racing vehicle for Baja SAE competitions. Jonathan also serves as Treasurer of the team, Milan Director of Human Resources, and Jessica Director of Marketing.

Five mechanical engineering undergraduate students received the 2007 Arkwin scholarship ($5000/each) from Arkwin Industries, Inc., a Long Island based manufacturer of precision hydraulic and fuel system components for civil and military aircrafts and special applications. They are Michael Espinoza, Mohammad Imran, Chui Yan Ivy Hau, Yizhan Zheng and Guangqiang Ao.


Highlights of Achievements by Mechanical Engineering Graduate Students

Craig Capria, a mechanical engineering PhD student supervised by Prof. Imin Kao, received an NSF award for international research collaboration. He spent three summer months at ITRI (Industrial Technology Research Institute) in Taiwan to work on collaborative research in robotics and intelligent diagnosis. He was also invited to present in the 2007 NSF(US)-JST(Japan) workshop in Tokyo.

Dake Feng, a mechanical engineering graduate student, joined an inter-departmental team of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and competed in the 2006 IEEEXtreme Programming Challenge organized by IEEE. The team ranked No.2 among 47 international college student teams.


Achievements of Former Students

anurag pic Anurag Purwar - Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student

Mr. Anurag Purwar, Ph.D. student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, has been named a recipient of this year's Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student.

Mr. Purwar has taught MEC 112 (C/C++ Programming for Scientists and Engineers), MEC 572 (Geometric Modeling for CAD/CAM), and MEC 510 (Object Oriented Programming for Scientists and Engineers) for last three years. His thoughtful approach to the subject matter, gifted ability to transmit what he knows and availability to help outside the classroom earned him excellent evaluations from Mechanical Engineering undergraduate and graduate students as well as from Mechanical Engineering faculty. In his nomination letter, Prof. Wang, (Graduate Program Director) wrote, "Anurag believes in life (in an examined life), in philosophy, in the frontiers of science, in the excitement and the limitless horizon of engineering, and in teaching the coming generation to share this excitement".

Mr. Purwar came to Stony Brook from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur, India to do a PhD. His graduate work under the direction of Dr. Jeff Ge is in the field of Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing. Despite demanding research commitments, Mr. Purwar finds time to help the Mechanical Engineering Department in its foremost mission--the unparalleled education of the next generation.

evren pic Evren Azeloglu - Howard Hughes Foundation Scholarship Recipient

Everen Azeloglu is the 2003 recipient of the Howard Hughes Fellowship in Biological Sciences. Mr. Azeloglu, a native of Turkey.

He spent nearly two years assisting with research on an NSF sponsored research project entitled "Whole Field Deformation Measurement of the Heart with CASI". Dr. Irvin Krukenkamp of the Department of Surgery who is a co-PI with Dr. Fu-pen Chiang. This grant and several important papers have resulted from this collaboration.

Mr. Azeloglu’s talents have gained the attention of other benefactors outside the Stony Brook campus. For example, he received second place in the Student Paper Competition of the 2002 ASME Pressure Vessels And Piping Division Conference in Vancouver, Canada. He also received a Weining Foundation Fellowship (2001-2002), GT Equipment Technologies Scholarship (2002-2003), Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Research Award (2002-2003) and the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Program Fellowship (Summer 2002).

Mr. Azeloglu is studying in the Department of Mechanical Engineering’s Biomedical program. He continues his study of the biomechanics of the heart and will be pursuing a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering.

vanessa pic Vanessa Capanzano - Dayton T. Brown Scholarship Winner and 2004 recipient of the NSF Graduate Student Fellowship

Ms. Capanzano, graduated in 2004 as a Mechanical Engineering Major at the State University of New York at Stony Brook is a young woman of exceptional promise and skill. Throughout her course of study at Stony Brook, Ms. Capanzano maintained a place on the Dean’s list. She graduated with a grade point average of 3.97. Considering how rigorous a Mechanical Engineering Major is, this is quite an accomplishment

Since June of 2003, Ms. Capazano worked with Professor Lili Zheng on studying the dynamic behavior of cerebrospinal fluid. With Dr. Zheng, she designed and built experimental apparatus for the characterization of shunts and catheter tubing. To work on this, Ms. Capazano was the recipient of a very prestigious URECA (Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity) fellowship. Very few students are bestowed this honor and opportunity.

Outside campus, Ms. Capanzano worked for PALL RAI Corporation as an Engineering Intern. As such, she assisted in Engineering Analysis for Quality Control. I encourage our Mechanical Engineering Students to put what they learn in the classroom to practical use by participating in high technology internships through the SPIR (Strategic Partnership for Industrial Resurgence) program. This experience makes our students better prepared for the engineering profession.

In spite of her busy schedule, Ms. Capanzano volunteered her time with the WISE program (Women in Science and Engineering), in the physics help room and as not only a member but treasurer of the honor society, Tau Beta Pi.

Ms. Capanzano is, this Fall, at Johns Hopkins University as a graduate student in the Biomedical Engineering Department. The $30,000 NSF Fellowship with additional money for overseas travel and laboratory equipment, will supplement the generous fellowship Johns Hopkins has already awarded Ms. Capanzano.

alt Jesse Fite was the 2003 recipient of the GT Equipment Technologies Scholarship. Jesse was an officer of the student Chapter of the National Society of Professional Engineers whose faculty advisor, Research Associate Professor, John Metzger, described Jesse in a recommendation letter for the GTE award: "Jesse is a mature, serious and hard working, and I have a high regard for him both as an engineering student and an individual".

Jesse was a student assistant under John Metzger’s supervision this past summer. Dr. Metzger placed Jesse, through the New York State-supported SPIR Program, at eele Laboratory. In this position Jesse worked with the laboratory’s scientists and engineers to develop a high-intensity light source and set up a manufacturing process for the light source. Jesse aided the laboratory’s efforts and they were pleased with his contribution to their organization.

Jesse’s academic record, according to Dr. Metzger who taught him for two semesters, is outstanding: "In all his classes, he has demonstrated maturity, responsibility, a good understanding of the engineering principles presented and the ability to apply these engineering principles. Jesse is an independent, self motivated thinker.

Jesse has also assumed the role of the student chapter President of the NSPE at Stony Brook. He has demonstrated leadership, energy, and excellent organizational skills.