Fourth Bio Expo Wraps With Award Ceremony

An innovative idea for creating nylon from shrimp shells was among the winners of Florida Polytechnic University’s fourth Bio Expo.

The Expo is one of the longest standing traditions at Florida Poly, and an introduction for new students to the university’s belief in tying all classes — including core requirements — back to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

“The way a computer works is no different than the way your brain works,” explains Dr. Melba Horton, a biology professor and organizer of the Bio Expo. “The cell is the most efficient machine we know and probably the most reliable. We can’t fully replicate it, but we certainly try.”

The final projects were presented last week and judged by a combination of outside community partners and internal clubs and organizations. The addition of student judges is a new development for the Bio Expo, Horton says.

“The students have a different perspective and that’s been a lot of fun this time around,” she says.

Among the winners were Calvin Genzlinger and Harold Rivera, both freshmen studying Mechanical Engineering. Their project, Chitosan as a Nylon Composite, took home three first place finishes and one second place prize.

The vision for the project is to create a stronger nylon from the chitin shells of shrimp, crab and other aquatic creatures. Adding that organic material would make it up to 80 percent biodegradable and safer for the environment. While still in the concept phase, Genzlinger and Rivera were able to prove the chemistry behind their idea.

Winning multiple prizes was a validation of their hard work, Genzlinger says.

“It inspires us to continue making the world a better place,” he says.

 

The Full List of Winners

Skim Shield’s Choice Awards

1st Place – Acoustic Resonance: Preventative Measure Against Zika-Carrier Mosquitos

Students: Morgan Hines and Christopher Krenek
Mentors: Dr. Muhammad Ullah and Dr. Melba Horton

2nd Place — Chitosan as a Nylon Composite

Students: Calvin Genzlinger and Harold Rivera
Mentors: Dr. Christopher Coughlin and Dr. Melba Horton

3rd Place — Biotechnological Approach in Treating Computer Viruses

Students: Nathaniel Rios and Mylik Williams
Mentors: Dr. Dean Bushey and Dr. Melba Horton

Astro’s Choice Award

Chitosan as a Nylon Composite

Students: Calvin Genzlinger and Harold Rivera
Mentors: Dr. Christopher Coughlin and Dr. Melba Horton

Rockwell Automation’s Choice Awards

Nanobots for Pain Treatment

Students: Devon St. Denis and John Towey
Mentors: Dr. Robert Green, Dr. Huseyin Ucar and Dr. Melba Horton

Sensory Skin

Students: James Holland and Brett Barber
Mentors: Dr. Arman Sargolzaei and Dr. Melba Horton

Micro Optics Choice Awards

Chitosan as a Nylon Composite

Students: Calvin Genzlinger and Harold Rivera
Mentors: Dr. Christopher Coughlin and Dr. Melba Horton

NASA-JPL Ambassador’s Choice Awards

Chitosan as a Nylon Composite

Students: Calvin Genzlinger and Harold Rivera
Mentors: Dr. Christopher Coughlin and Dr. Melba Horton

Sensory Skin

Students: James Holland, Brett Barber
Mentors: Dr. Arman Sargolzaei and Dr. Melba Horton

Acoustic Resonance: Preventative Measure against Zika-Carrier Mosquitos

Students: Morgan Hines and Christopher Krenek
Mentors: Dr. Muhammad Ullah and Dr. Melba Horton

Blue Marble Space Institute of Science Choice Award

The Solar Fair

Students: William Francois and Jackson Purvis
Mentors: Dr. Scott Johnson, Constantine Stefanakos, Dr. Muhammad Ullah and Dr. Melba Horton

Students’ Choice Award

Acoustic Resonance: Preventative Measure against Zika-Carrier Mosquitos

Students: Morgan Hines and Christopher Krenek
Mentors: Dr. Muhammad Ullah and Dr. Melba Horton

Ardent & Bold’s Choice Award

The Solar Fair

Students: William Francois and Jackson Purvis
Mentors: Dr. Scott Johnson, Constantine Stefanakos, Dr. Muhammad Ullah and Dr. Melba Horton

Rotaract Club of Florida Poly’s Choice Awards

Acoustic Resonance: Preventative Measure against Zika-Carrier Mosquitos

Students: Morgan Hines and Christopher Krenek
Mentors: Dr. Muhammad Ullah and Dr. Melba Horton

President’s Choice Awards

Acoustic Resonance: Preventative Measure against Zika-Carrier Mosquitos

Students: Morgan Hines and Christopher Krenek
Mentors: Dr. Muhammad Ullah and Dr. Melba Horton

Nanobots for Pain Treatment

Students: Devon St. Denis and John Towey
Mentors: Dr. Robert Green, Dr. Huseyin Ucar and Dr. Melba Horton

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