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15th Annual Northeast Ohio Undergraduate Research Symposium

The 2018 summer of research at CSU’s REU: Synthesis, Assembly and Characterization of Soft Matter Systems ended with the 15th Annual Northeast Ohio Undergraduate Research Symposium (NOURS) on August 2, 2018. The annual symposium brings together students and faculty from five active NSF supported undergraduate research programs from Northeast Ohio: Kent State’s REU in Chemistry, University of Akron's REU in Polymer Science and Engineering, CWRU’s REU in Bioinspired Materials, NASA Glenn's research program, and CSU’s REU in Soft Matter Systems. NOURS main purpose is to showcase summer research achievements of undergraduate students in the fields of chemistry, physics, material science and engineering of the bioinspired materials, polymers, and other soft matter systems, achievements, that are funded by NSF’s REU programs and other summer research programs in the area. Each year the participating students not only present their summer research in a formal setting but also network with students and faculty from across the state and the country.



ABOVE: REU Students from CSU at the 15th Annual Northeast Ohio Research Symposium at Kent State University. Back row, left to right: Dr. Kiril A. Streletzky (REU PI), Michael Thompson, Jacob Adamczyk, Niksa Praljak, Joshua Clark, Troy Nemeth, Kenneth Gregg, Ty Naquin. Front row, left to right: Samantha Tietjen (CSU Undergraduate), Dr. Jessica Bickel (REU Co-PI), Abigail Hickin, Sofia Panomitros.


This year the NOURS was hosted at Kent State University by the Kent State Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and the Kent State Liquid Crystal Institute. Events were kicked off by opening remarks and a Keynote Speaker: Dr. Randall Kamien from the Departments of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania, who spoke about the mathematics of paper and the scientific applications of kirigami paper folding. The remainder of the all-day event was filled with student oral presentations and a poster session, which gave the students the opportunity to learn about their peers’ research and time interact with faculty mentors.

The nine CSU REU students prepared and presented posters summarizing the results of their summer projects. Two REU students from CSU’s REU, Joshua Clark and Troy Nemeth, were chosen to give 20-minute oral presentations in addition to their poster presentations.


The following projects were presented by students from CSU’s Soft Matter REU at the Symposium.

Oral Presentation and Poster Presentation:

  1. Optimization of Serpentine Micromixers with Non-Rectangular Cross-Sections, Joshua Clark (CSU), Dr. Petru S. Fodor, Dr. Chandra Kothapalli
  2. Self-Assembly of Pentacene on Highly Ordered Pyrolytic Graphite, Troy Nemeth (John Carroll University), Dr. Jessica Bickel

Poster Presentation:

  1. Towards Understanding Microgel Volume Phase Transitions, Jacob Adamczyk (CSU), Dr. Kiril A. Streletzky
  2. Evanescent Wave Scattering Morphology of Polymer Ellipsoids, Kenneth Gregg (University of Akron), Dr. Chris Wirth
  3. Self-Assembly of Organic Molecules on Gold Surfaces, Abigail Hickin (Benedictine College), Dr. Jessica Bickel
  4. Drug Delivery Nanoparticles, Ty Naquin (Troy University), Dr. Kiril A. Streletzky, Dr. Nolan B. Holland
  5. Rheological Characterization of Aqueous Dispersions of DNA-Stabilized Boron Nitride Nanotubes, Sofia Panomitros (University of North Carolina at Asheville), Dr. Geyou Ao
  6. Analysis of Pulsatile Flow through an Elastic Tube using Computational Methods, Niksa Paljak (CSU), Dr. Andrew Resnick
  7. Tracking the dispersion morphology of DNA-wrapped boron-nitride nanotubes by microscopy, Michael Thompson (Grove City College), Dr. Geyou Ao