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My Grand Challenge Scholar research centers on the challenge of engineering the tools of scientific discovery. Although it is one of the less mentioned of the fourteen NAE grand challenges, I believe that it holds a crucial role in designing a better future.
As a member of the Grand Challenge Scholars Program, I am integrating all of my experience in technical research, interdisciplinary learning, service, entrepreneurship and global perspective to expand my knowledge and focus my capabilities to help solve the Grand Challenge of Engineering Better Medicines and Medical Technology. This is yet another building block through which I hope to use my double major in mechanical and biomedical engineering to make life better for someone.
As part of the NAE Grand Challenge Scholars Program, I am focusing on the challenge of providing clean drinking water access to all. My research project focuses specifically on the impact of using ceramic water filters (CWF) to treat contaminated drinking water in Uganda.
My research centers around the theme of "Engineering Better Medicines,” and combines my interests in engineering and global health to improve the health care of women in low-resource settings. Besides taking global health courses, traveling to Nicaragua to repair medical equipment in hospitals and attending global conferences, I am working with Dr. Nimmi Ramanujam in the newly formed Global Women's Health Technology (GWHT) Center on a project that has taken two forms.
When Danielle Lester was invited by a friend to attend a campus PRATTically Speaking Toastmasters meeting, she felt a little intimidated. The club, which meets in the Pratt School of Engineering and helps individuals develop public speaking and leadership skills, has its members give speeches and then the group critiques their form. Soon after, Lester became a member, giving her first speech over the summer about growing up in an immigrant home, where her family speaks Italian and Sundays are...
It’s not every day that a researcher has to worry about securing pieces of equipment to keep them from floating off during an experiment. But for a group of Duke undergraduate students this summer, it was a major concern. “During one of our trials I saw a washer from another team’s experiment float past me,” said Deepak Sathyanarayan, a rising senior in biomedical engineering at Duke University. “It was a surreal experience.”
Pratt’s Eco-Marathon team participated in the Shell Eco-Marathon in Texas this past April and performed better than they ever have. They placed second in the prototype-battery electric car competition, beating out nearly 30 competitors with their ultra energy-efficient vehicle and achieving a personal best in efficiency of 498.9 km/kwhr. 
After the economic downturn of the late 2000s hit America, it became difficult for college students to find jobs—not only new graduates, but summer internship seekers as well. Many students, however, found a silver lining. Instead of moping about poolside for three months, they flocked to different countries—and undergraduates at Pratt were no exception.
Senior biomedical engineer Ashley Bolick is studying the mechanisms of wound healing by developing programs that track the development of fruit fly embryos over time. Bolick, who is from Cary, N.C., is studying the role of the protein actin—which forms cellular cytoskeletons—in fruit fly embryo development and wound healing. She is working as a volunteer with Research Scientist Janice Crawford and Biology Professor Dan Kiehart.
A student-led, crowdsourced project called Time Capsule to Mars held a press conference June 23, 2014 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to kick off its $25 million campaign. Led by Emily Briere, a rising senior in mechanical engineering and materials science at Duke University, the mission encourages supporters to pay 99 cents for the opportunity to upload photos, audio or video clips, or written prose to a quartz-crystal memory module carried to the surface of the red planet by...

In the Media

Apr 15, 2015
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Apr 13, 2015
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Apr 10, 2015
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