Santa Clara University


Fall 2010 Student Roelandts Grants

The Center for Science, Technology, and Society is pleased to announce this year's student Roelandts Fellows. Competition was up from last year with 27 student proposals submitted. Ultimately, we were able to fund at least partially 15 student proposals totaling roughly $20,000.

Project titles ranged from "Fair Trade Mobile Application" in which Ryan Davidson, Rosalie Tolentino, and Eva Jensen will be working with GSBI Alumni World of Good Development Organization to develop a mobile application for monitoring labor rights issues, to "SCU Solar Water Purifier 2011" where Robert Kozak will work to on a way to use solar energy to produce clean drinking water from brackish water.  

This inaugural competition supports projects that are commensurate with the Center's mission, "to understand and enable the innovative application of science and technology for global human benefit." CSTS is pleased to make these research awards, and hopes that these internal grants can help faculty seek additional, extra-mural funds, as well as continue to mentor our student scholars. The Center also encourages the integration of this research with new STS course development and the Values in Science & Technology pathway (also sponsored by CSTS). 

The grant program is headed by Jack Gilbert, Professor and Chair of the Chemistry & Biochemistry department at Santa Clara University as well as Director of Sponsored Research at the Center, and Craig Stephens, Associate Professor of Biology and Director of Education at the Center.


Student Awards

Kevin Azpeitia; Ben Dowdell; Danny Garcia-Prats; Adam Schwarz

Department of Mechanical Engineering
"Compressed Air Powered Bicycle Faculty"
Faculty Mentor: Tim Hight
Bicycles are an ubiquitous mode of personal transportation throughout the world and serve as a means of short-distance commuting. The goal of this project is to design and fabricate a prototype for a bicycle that will be powered by compressed air, thereby extending the commuting range of the vehicle without contributing to emission of environmentally hazardous gases.

Abimael Bastida; Miguel Gomez; Saul Hernandez; Alejandro Lobato

Department of Mechanical Engineering
"Efficient Cook Stove"
Faculty Mentor: Hohyun Lee
Cook stoves in many developing countries may be inefficient in their use of fuel. This proposal has as its goal the development of a device that can readily be incorporated into the existing stove design employed in Nicaragua to increase their efficiency in terms of fuel consumption.

Ryan Davidson; Eva Jensen; Rosalie Tolentino

Department of Computer Engineering
"Fair Trade Mobile Application"
Faculty Mentor: Silvia Figueira
This proposal is to develop a mobile phone application that will facilitate communications between World of Hope, an NGO that helps piece-rate workers to determine whether they are being paid a fair wage. Communicating with this organization currently requires that the workers have access to a computer, which they may not. Because they do have cell phones, however, availability of a mobile ap would greatly benefit the process.

Nichoas de Cesare; Maura Cyrus; Alvaro Lacayo

Department of Civil Engineering
"EBNet Haiti Natural Masonry Program"
Faculty Mentor: Mark Aschheim & Sukhmander Singh
The goal of this proposal is to design low-cost, sustainably grounded housing options for reconstruction in Haiti. The desired result is production of a functional working house using principles of localized, smart, and low-carbon building.

Jake Echeverria; Chris Sampson

Department of Civil Engineering
"Bamboo Truss and Frame Connection Design/Construction Project"
Faculty Mentor: Mark Aschheim & Tonya Nilsson
This project has as its goal the design, construction, and testing of methods for connecting raw bamboo poles, a sustainable building material in many parts of the world. In collaboration with Environmental Builders Network, a Bay Area organization, the initial target will be design of an ecologically based house useful for reconstruction in Haiti.

Freeburg, Chris

Department of Biology
"STI Screening in Research-Limited Settings: One Island at a Time"
Faculty Mentor: Craig Stephens
Chlamydia infections are endemic in the Pacific Islands. This disease can be serious, among other conditions causing increased susceptibility to HIV and urethritis in men and pelvic inflammation and scarring of the fallopian tubes in women. The goal of this project is implementation of a low-cost and rapid method for screening this disease in collaboration with Diagnostics for the Real World.

Adelene Gallego Ramos

Department of Marketing
"Social Entrepreneurs, Ethics, and Making a Profit on the Bottom Billion"
Faculty Mentor: Mary Furlong
This proposal involves the development of a video documentary that examines the ethical issues surrounding profit making in the world of social entrepreneurism. Questions such as whether it is fair for a corporation to partner with a social enterprise and make a large profit while doing good and whether creative capitalism can help change the world will be addressed in this project.

Sarah Ghanbari; Nicholas Giustini

Bioengineering Program, School of Engineering
"Detection of Pathogens Using Electrochemical DNA Sensors in a Microfluidic Setting"
Faculty Mentor: Unyoung (Ashley) Kim
The target of this proposal is developing a "Lab on a Chip" that is portable, relatively inexpensive, and robust for use in rapidly testing for pathogens in water. Such a device would be of particular value in resource-limited settings of the developing world.

Charles Klein; Kelly Nightengale; Hanna Nilsson; Shawn Tokairin

Department of Mechanical Engineering
"Passive Water Management System for Fuel Cells"
Faculty Mentor: Daniel Strickland
In this proposal, the aim is to develop a passive water management system for a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell to increase its efficiency and reliability as a clean energy conversion device. By using renewable resources, the goal is to design a system to lessen harmful CO2 emissions from existing energy sources while supplying clean energy.

Robert Kozak

Department of Mechanical Engineering
"SCU Solar Water Purifier 2011"
Faculty Mentor: Drazen Frabis
The goal of this proposal is to use solar energy to produce clean drinking water from brackish water. The planned apparatus will allow small-scale water purification in remote areas of the world, where access to clean water is a critical need.

Alyssa Lampe; Meagen Nakamoto

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
"Characterization of the Nanoparticle Protein Corona in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae"
Faculty Mentor: Korin Wheeler 
The use of nanoparticles in consumer products is becoming increasingly common. This proposal is a study of the interaction of silver nanoparticles with proteins in eukaryotic cells to determine which cellular processes may be disrupted. The results could provide data regarding environmental and health risks of nanoparticles and lead to the development of less toxic such additives for use in a variety of products.

Daniel Lawrie; William Sommer

Department of Civil Engineering
"Sustainable Design in Ghana"
Faculty Mentor: Mark Aschheim
The aim of this proposal is construction of a model residence in northern Ghana. To implement this, local masons will be education on the processes associated with the construction, including brick-making and –laying and building design.

Jon Rodrigues

Food and Agribusiness Institute, Leavey School of Business
"Social Business and Grameen Danone Foods"
Faculty Mentor: Gregory Baker
This proposal is designed to produce a case study that analyzes a food-producing enterprise in Bangladesh designed to provide better nutrition to impoverished populations. The study will involve exploring strategic and tactical options for addressing issues that have impacted on the efficacy of the existing program.

Miriam Rodriguez; Lawson Tong

Department of Mechanical Engineering
"Mud Brick Press"
Faculty Mentor: Mark Aschheim
This project has as its goal creating a block press that will produce mud bricks that interlock, thereby allowing construction of more stable housing structures and resulting in modulability. Although the initial target is producing an insert for existing presses, the ultimate goal is redesign or modify such presses so that inserts will be unnecessary.

Will Cook; Dylan Rust

Department of Electrical Engineering
"LED Optical Wireless Communication"
Faculty Mentor: Sarah Kate Wilson
This proposal has as its focus the construction and testing of a system of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and photodetectors that will transmit and receive information in the visible and infrared frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum. This will allow wireless communications without the potentially negative consequences associated with currently used radio frequencies.

Emilee Sena; Devin Wesenberg

Departments of Physics and Chemistry & Biochemistry
"Organic Solar Cells: Clean and Inexpensive Solar Power"
Faculty Mentor: Richard Barber
Organic solar cells have the potential to be produced inexpensively and relatively inexpensively through sustainable manufacturing processes. Moreover, they are applicable to a variety of surfaces because of their flexibility. This goal of this proposal is to increase the lifetime of such cells, which currently degrade too rapidly and have lower efficiency for energy conversion than do inorganic solar cells.

Thain Simon

Department of Finance
"ScalableGood: Social Entrepreneurship and the Web"
Faculty Mentor: Dan Aguiar
The goals of this project are to develop a website as a resource for education and research on the impact of web technologies on social entrepreneurship, raise awareness about social entrepreneurship in the SCU community, and develop a business plan for a viable social enterprise that leverages web technologies.


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