The School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis aspires to discover the unknown, educate students and serve society. Our strategy focuses intellectual efforts through a new convergence paradigm and builds on strengths, particularly as applied to medicine and health, energy and environment, and security. Through innovative partnerships with academic and industry partners — across disciplines and across the world — we will contribute to solving the greatest global challenges of the 21st century.
Washington University in St. Louis is dedicated to challenging its faculty and students alike to seek new knowledge and greater understanding of an ever-changing, multicultural world.
People of Engineering & Applied Science: Alicia Sun, rising junior, Washington University in St. Louis
Participant in the Research Experience for Undergraduates program in Computer Science & Engineering in the lab of Kilian Weinberger, PhD
Q: What do you like best about working with Kilian Weinberger?
A: Kilian is really nice. I’ve never taken his class, but I feel like he might be one of my favorite professors. He’s easy to get along with. He has all of this fun stuff in the lab. We need to learn how to juggle, and I’ve learned a little bit. It’s pretty fun. Sometimes if I need to have a rest from working, I just go juggle.
People of Engineering & Applied Science: Matthew Dole, rising junior, Grinnell College
Student in the Research Experience for Undergraduates program in Computer Science & Engineering in the labs of Kunal Agrawal, PhD, and Chris Gill, PhD
Q: If there were one thing from the whole summer experience that you will take back with you to Grinnell, what would it be?
A. It’s the whole experience of living on my own in a new city in a new job knowing few people — this is something I’ve never tried before. This is my first summer living away from home. It’s been a really valuable experience for me in that it’s a taste of the future. It’s given me a chance to work in something that’s very similar to the kind of career I’ll have post graduation and the kind of living experience. I’ll probably be moving to a city I’ve never been to or lived in before, and working in a job I’ve never had before with people I’ve never met before, and being able to do this trial run will make that a lot easier.
Sara Chinnaswamy’s visit to some orphanages in southern India has led to an effort by four Washington University School of Engineering & Applied Science students to provide a solar power system at a girls’ orphanage.
“Having a community or home that makes you feel comfortable is so important, and I want these girls to grow up in a place that makes them feel this way,” Chinnaswamy says. “When I discovered they needed electricity for their building, I felt compelled to help out.”
Chinnaswamy, a rising senior majoring in chemical engineering with a minor in writing, is spearheading the effort with a goal to raise about $12,000 by the end of July to purchase and install the solar power system at the Thalir orphanage in Coimbatore, India. Joining her are fellow Engineering students Alexandra Rodriguez-Beuerman, a senior majoring in chemical engineering; Amy Brummer, a senior majoring in chemical engineering with minors in energy engineering and nanoscale science and engineering; and Jakob Leonard, a senior majoring in chemical engineering. Chinnaswamy’s brother, Jay, a student at Northeastern University, is also on the team.
The group estimated a need for 8-10 kW of instantaneous power from the solar array. They compared three types of solar panels and different types of batteries based on efficiency and cost. Their calculations led them to conclude the orphanage will need 34-50 solar panels, along with the installation hardware and the inverter that converts the direct current energy from the sun into electricity that appliances can use. Total costs, along with travel for the team, are estimated at about $12,000.
The team has created a fundraising page on indiegogo. Chinnaswamy has already raised some funds through some fundraisers during the spring semester. In addition, she is seeking a government subsidy through the company from which the panels will be purchased. The group also has a Facebook page.
In this episode of the “People Behind the Science” podcast, Kurt Thoroughman, PhD, associate professor and associate chair for undergraduate studies in the Department of Biomedical Engineering as well as director of undergraduate studies of the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis, talks about his research and what he does when he’s not in the lab or classroom, including improv theater.
The first half of MEMS 5611 (Principles and Methods of Micro and Nanofabrication) is learning about multiple lab techniques. In the second half of the semester, lectures stop and we begin our final project. We learn like researchers. We read scientific literature, planned research with our ideas, and experimented with guidance, not instructions, from the professor. Everything we did built on each other, and the course was incredibly cohesive in content and in work.
— Xiaodi “Daniel” Sun is a rising senior majoring in chemical engineering and mathematics at Washington University in St. Louis. His teammates on the project were Shane Carr, a rising senior majoring in chemical engineering and computer science with a minor in nanoscale science and engineering; and Yuyang Chris Peng, who graduated May 16 with bachelor’s degrees in biomedical engineering and chemical engineering.
Kendall Gretsch, Henry Lather and Kranti Peddada, three Washington University in St. Louis seniors majoring in biomedical engineering, designed and developed a 3-D-printed prosthetic arm that costs just a fraction of the price of similar prosthetics and is noticeably lighter in weight. After months of adjustments and developing, the team met Sydney Kendall, a 13-year-old who lost part of her right hand in a boating accident, and are now finalizing the arm for Sydney to use permanently. The project was for their senior design course.
Interested in consulting? Try out Engineering Test Kitchen
by Alani Douglas
Engineering Test Kitchen is a non-profit consulting firm founded and led by Washington University undergraduate engineering students. We present an outlet for a problem many students face: the dichotomy of needing an internship to gain experience and needing experience to be selected for an internship. We connect teams of high caliber engineering undergraduates to meaningful projects provided by local companies. Through ETK, students are able to develop relationships with potential future employers and gain personal mentoring from WUSTL engineering professors.
We are wrapping up the first iteration of projects, partnering with Prozess Technologie as well as the WUSTL Catholic Student Center. Both of the projects were focused in mechanical engineering principles, however, due to confidentiality agreements, we cannot disclose specifics of the projects.
Recently, we began talking with interested companies for the next round of projects. Students on our teams have significant input into which projects are chosen, as our aim is to provide them with skills and experience relevant to their projected careers of interest. While the projects in the first round were solely based in mechanical engineering, our vision is for Engineering Test Kitchen to span many engineering and technical disciplines.
If you are interested in joining one of our teams, please join our mailing list through the “Join Us” tab on our website, engineeringtestkitchen.org, and we will contact you when we have an availability.
— Alani Douglas is a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in drama.
Meet Engineering freshman Michael Lagieski. He’s a mechanical engineering student-athlete who set a meet and school record on his way to winning the national championship in the men’s 100 breaststroke at the 2014 NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships late last month. Michael talks about balancing varsity athletics with academics.
Allen Osgood (in glasses), a freshman majoring in computer science in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, is congratulated by his teammates following the Youthbridge Social Enterprise and Innovation Competition awards presentation April 10. Osgood, founder of STEMs For Youth, and his team won $25,000 for their program, which encourages under-privileged middle school students to pursue science and engineering through mentoring and use of LEGO robotic applications.