Science & Technology

Biological Engineering Students Showcase Research at Industry Meeting

About 40 USU students participated in the Institute of Biological Engineering's annual meeting in Salt Lake City.

Biological engineering students from Utah State University helped welcome the world to Utah earlier this month at the Institute of Biological Engineering’s (IBE) annual meeting held in Salt Lake City.

IBE is a professional organization that supports the development of the biological engineering (BE) field and encourages students to pursue education and career paths in BE.

The annual meeting was held March 30 to April 1 at the Salt Palace Convention Center. Undergraduate and graduate students from USU met with fellow BE students and faculty from 36 different universities and networked with industry professionals. Students presented research posters and spoke on biomedical engineering, nanotechnology, environmental engineering, biosensors and more. BE Professor Ron Sims, the program co-chair, said about 40 USU students participated in the event, the highest turnout in the last five years.

“We had an excellent mix of industry and academic attendees from the United States, South Korea and Canada working together to network, inspire university students, and grow the biotechnology field in the West, the United States and beyond,” said Sims

David Britt, associate professor and interim head of the BE dept., said he fully supports the IBE event.

“Biological engineering is a highly interdisciplinary field and this conference provides a great opportunity to survey a wide range of cutting-edge research,” he said. “We’re pleased to help support this conference through student participation and by providing a tour of our Synthetic Biomanufacturing Facility at USU.”

Students also competed in team-based and individual events. The winners included:

Undergraduate Student Poster Award

First Place: Characterization of Purple Non-Sulfur Bacteria for Application in Wastewater Treatment, Andrew Walters, Anna Doloman, Dr. Ron Sims and Dr. Charles Miller, Utah State University

Second Place: Synthesizing Microcarriers as a Platform for the Pharmaceutical Delivery of Quercetin for Antiviral Applications, Taylor Eggertsen, Arther Hart, William Johnson, Dr. David Britt, Dr. Elizabeth Vargis, Utah State University

Graduate Student Poster Award

Second Place: Novel use for Cement Production Byproduct as Chemical Coagulant and Flocculant, Alan Hodges, Jordan Wanlass, Dr. Ronald Sims, Utah State University

Senior Capstone Design Competition

First Place: Microalgae-based Design Alternatives for Petrochemical Waste: Treatment and Value Products, Alan Hodges, Zachary Fica, Jessica VanDarlin, Jordan Wanlass, Dr. Ronald Sims, Utah State University

Second Place: Amending PHB with Algal Biomass to Enhance Biodegradability, Celeste Hancock, Shawni Bastian, Amanda Stoudt, Dr. Charles Miller, Andrew Parker, Utah State University

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Contact: Ron Sims, Professor, Utah State University | 435-797-3156 |

Student Nathan Hebert speaks with judges at a research poster session.


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