Florida Poly students achieve prestigious statewide award

2019 HAYS Travel awards
Eleven students from Florida Polytechnic University have received the Hays Travel Award. Pictured, from left to right, are Miguel Amaral, Adam Novak, Christopher Scaduto, Geoffrey Doback, Maxwell Medved, Sarah Boyd, Jared Nurse, Chelsea Toolsie, Mc Ben Joe Charles, and Michael Nelson.

LAKELAND, Fla.–Several Florida Polytechnic University graduate and undergraduate students were recognized this year with the Hays Travel Award, given by the Florida Academy of Sciences (FAS) Council. The award enables students to present their research projects at the upcoming FAS annual conference on March 9 at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida.

“This award is significant because students have to make it through a very competitive selection process,” said Dr. Melba Horton, assistant professor of biology and mentor. “This encourages them to work hard to get the opportunity to be in a forum with experienced researchers and other fellow students in the scientific community.”

Most of the 11 projects from Florida Poly students focus on finding scientific and technological solutions to environmental, agricultural, and cybersecurity problems in Polk County, as well as in the state and beyond.

“I am so excited about this opportunity to show everyone the work I’m doing here at Florida Poly,” said Michael Nelson, a graduate student from Ghana. “It’s also been an inspiration to work closely with our professors as mentors. It has helped me give my best.”

This is the fourth year that Florida Poly research projects have been recognized with the Hays Travel Award. The accolade provides students with an enriching academic experience that also helps them in their professional development, according to Dr. Sesha Srinivasan, assistant professor of physics and mentor.

“This award gives them the opportunity to obtain internships in industry and opens doors to permanent jobs after graduation,” said Srinivasan. “Another important aspect is that it helps the students seek and apply for higher education programs.”

The winning research projects include:

  • Comparison of the efficiency of photocatalytic remediation of landfill leachate and wastewater with a solar simulator and UV-visible light batch reactor. By data analytics graduate student Michael Nelson of Ghana. (Mentors: Dr. Sesha Srinivasan and Dr. Scott Wallen).
  • Design and fabrication of custom-built variable photocatalytic continuous reactor for water detoxification. By mechanical engineering senior Wyatt Liptak from Seminole, Florida.(Mentors: Dr. Sesha Srinivasan and Dr. Scott Wallen).
  • Exploratory analysis of citrus farming amidst the “greening” problem in Polk County, Florida. By business analytics freshman Miguel Amaral from Brazil. (Mentors: Dr. Melba D. Horton, Dr. Reinaldo Sanchez-Arias).
  • Recyclable functionalized diatoms as carbon dioxide scrubber. By mechanical engineering senior Geoffrey Doback from Tampa, Florida, and mechanical engineering senior Christopher Scaduto from Jupiter, Florida. (Mentors: Dr. Melba D. Horton, Dr. Christopher Coughlin)
  • A hand-based device towards a keyboard-free computer interaction. By computer science freshman Adam Novak from Kissimmee, Florida. (Mentors: Dr. Melba D. Horton, Dr. Abdelwahab Hamam).
  • Dermatological biomarker on preventing security breaches of electronic health records in advanced dermatology and cosmetic surgery: A Conceptual Framework. By computer science sophomore Sarah Boyd from Jacksonville, Florida. (Mentors: Dr. Melba D. Horton, Dr. Mustafa I. Akbas,).
  • Theoretical adaptive immune-inspired intrusion prevention system. By computer science freshman Chelsea Toolsie from Plantation, Florida. (Mentors: Dr. Melba D. Horton, Dr. Navid Naiafabadi).
  • Feasibility study of dolomite for carbon capture. By mechanical engineering senior Mc Ben Joe Charles from Haiti. (Mentors, Dr. Sesha Srinivasan, Dr. Scott L. Wallen, Mr. Gary Albarelli)
  • Neural network based prediction and simulation of local red tide occurrence in Florida. By computer science freshman Maxwell Medved from Celebration, Florida. (Mentors: Dr. Melba D. Horton, Dr. Mustafa I. Akbas).
  • Dilution series and standardization analysis for the wastewater treatment processes. By mechanical engineering sophomore Jared Nurse from Bahamas. (Mentors: Dr. Sesha Srinivasan and Dr. Scott Wallen).

Contact:
Lydia Guzman
Assistant Director of Communications
863-874-8450

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