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Thermal management research earns top award at Spring forum

Photo of Joon Woo Kim in his lab.

Joon Woo Kim poses in front of an apparatus he built to conduct research in Associate Professor Chanwoo Park’s lab. His research on thermal battery management earned the top prize in the engineering category at the 2016 Spring Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievements Forum. Photo by Jennifer Hollis

Ten students across four departments within the College of Engineering were honored for their undergraduate research at the 2016 Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievements Forum in late April.

Mechanical engineering senior Joon Woo Kim received the award for excellence in the Engineering category for his poster, “Battery thermal management using thermoelectric heat pump.” His research with Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department Associate Professor Chanwoo Park examines using thermoelectric devices to control battery temperatures as they recharge or discharge. His handheld thermoelectric module has two plates and demonstrates how reversing the electric polarity can quickly adjust the temperature of the two plates. The research aims to develop the efficiency of this method while keeping the scale small.

“Fluid cooling systems in computers are spacious — they take up a lot of space — you’ll have to lose something,” Joon said.

Also honored in the Engineering category were:

  • Samantha Huddleston, bioengineering, for “Development and characterization of gellan gum and homogenized tissue hydrogels for potential treatment of post-traumatic osteoarthritis”
  • Lichao Mai, mechanical engineering, for “Lithium-ion battery thermal management using sold-state thermoelectric heat pump”
  • Zachary Pfitzner, bioengineering, for “Quantitative gait analysis in a canine model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy”

Joon said he didn’t expect to receive the Award for Excellence and was celebrating his labmate, Lichao Mai’s success for receiving an honorable mention when his name was called.

“My colleague got an award, so I was applauding and holding his backpack and eating celery and ranch,” he laughed. “I was dipping my celery in the ranch then they called a title that was really familiar. I couldn’t say thank you because my mouth was full of vegetables!

“It was surprising [to receive the award],” he added. “I’m grateful. It’s always good to have your work acknowledged; it was very long, hard work.”

Also honored were the winners of Mizzou Advantage Awards. They include:

One Health/One Medicine category

  • Brett Blake, bioengineering, for “Characterization of a new method for laryngeal adductor reflex testing” (winner)

Interdisciplinary category

  • Olivia Apperson, computer science, and John Gillis and Patrick Smith, computer engineering, for “Panacea’s Cloud: Mobile cloud framework for communication in mass casualty disaster triage” (winner)

Media for the Future category

  • Mitchell Battles, computer science, for “Online integrated database for plant phenotype quantification” (honorable mention)
  • Yuhang Ming, electrical engineering, for “Interactive plant phenotype analysis on smartphones” (honorable mention)