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May 8, 2023

Two SVSU events showcase academic endeavors of SVSU students

students describing project

At Saginaw Valley State University, undergraduate students have the opportunity to engage in research activities that other colleges and universities reserve for graduate students. On Friday, April 21, more than 150 SVSU students presented research findings and the results of other academic endeavors at two events. 

The SE&T Symposium featured the work of students and faculty in SVSU’s College of Science, Engineering & Technology. Following the structure of a professional society meeting, a poster session was held from 10 a.m. to noon on the first floor of Pioneer Hall, followed by oral presentations from 1-3 p.m. on the second floor.  

The annual Undergraduate Research Program (UGRP) Student Showcase was held from 1-3 p.m. in Curtiss Hall. It featured work by students throughout SVSU’s five colleges. 

More than 40 projects were featured at the SE&T Symposium, representing year-long senior design projects, special coursework, and research projects in biology, chemistry, computer science and information systems, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering.  

Tony Crachiola, associate dean of SVSU’s College of Science, Engineering & Technology, explained that senior students in SVSU’s engineering and computer science and information systems programs participate in a year-long capstone design project, from planning to implementation. Working in small groups, the students address the needs of local businesses and the community. 

“At SVSU, faculty in the College of Science, Engineering & Technology understand the importance of engaging undergraduate students in high-impact practices, such as research and design projects,” Crachiola said. “These activities can both reinforce concepts that students learn in class and help prepare students for the challenges they will face after graduation.  We offer students opportunities to conduct meaningful scientific research, both inside and outside of class, with the guidance and support of faculty mentors. The SE&T Symposium is our opportunity to celebrate this impressive body of work of our students and faculty.” 

Projects covered several topics, including research into genetic engineering, crop growth, internet security, antibiotic pollution, a robotic prosthetic arm, and more. Senior design students presented work done in collaboration with regional organizations such as Duro-Last, Glastender, Magliner and Spicer. 

Bradley Rowloff, an electrical engineering major from Kawkawlin, is one of four students who presented a poster about their senior design project, which involved developing an economical robotic prosthetic forearm for children. 

“Working on this project has provided us with a fantastic opportunity to explore the many facets of engineering,” Rowloff said. “Not only were we able to increase our knowledge in the electrical engineering field but we were able to dip our toes into the mechanical and biomechanical aspects of engineering. While providing a low-cost alternative for young patients in need of a prosthetic arm.’’ 

Rowloff’s teammates on the project were electrical engineering majors Jacob Murawski of Saginaw, Sara Neves, an international student from Portugal, and Austin Welter of Bay City.  

The Student Showcase recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of students throughout the university. Students from the five colleges shared their work with faculty, peers and guests.  

In addition to poster presentations, students also highlighted their work through oral presentations, demonstrations, paper presentations, panel presentations and performances.