PUC awards $20,600 in research grants to 62 students

Purdue University Calumet has awarded $20,640 in research grant support to 62 undergraduate students.

Purdue Calumet’s Undergraduate Research Grant Program provides funding for student researchers across university academic units to conduct research with faculty mentors. The program is designed to help students gain insights about their anticipated career, as well as how to develop a project proposal and presentation.

“This semester, we received applications from a record number of students and have striven to support the highest number of students since Fall 2008, while staying within our budget,” Purdue Calumet Professor and Director of Student Research Jin Lu said.

Following is a comprehensive list of this fall’s grant recipients, including their city of residence, grant title, monetary grant amount received and faculty mentor. The recipients are listed alphabetically by their academic department.

Biological Sciences

  • Ryan Mihalic (Hammond); “Isolation of lytic bacteriophages as bio-control agents against Escherichia coli 0157:H7 in Food;” $500; Prof. W. Evert Ting;
  • Ryan Mihalic (Hammond); “Determining the Antimicrobial Properties of the Oral and Anal Secretions of Nicrophorus orbicollis in Suppressing the Decomposition of Animal Carcasses;” $478; Prof. Curtis Creighton;
  • Ryan Mihalic (Hammond) and Amy Poortinga (Dyer); “A DNA Based Phylogenetic Analysis of Anthurium;” $911; Prof. Charles Tseng;
  • Yu-pin Chiao (Taipei, Taiwan); “Control Salmonella contamination using a mixture of lytic bacteriophages;” $500; Prof. W Evert Ting;
  • Carolyn Brunt (Highland); “Generation of Specific DNA Markers for Microbial Source Tracking;”  $422; Prof. Charles Tseng.

Chemistry and Physics

  • Andrew Jackura (Highland) and Gerald Keller (Crown Point); “Remote Operated Lens Cover for the NIRo Guider Telescope;” $588; Prof. Adam Rengstorf;
  • Gorana Cuk (Whiting) and Alyssa Tremaine (Munster); “Flurous-Phase Oxime Palladacycle Catalysts;” $1,000; Prof. Michael W. Pelter;
  • Christopher Groff (Lansing, IL), David Markovich (Valparaiso) and Aaron Seifert (Crown Point); “Oxidation of Alcohols to Esters via Silyl Ethers;” $956; Prof. Harold W. Pinnick;
  • Robert Boehm (Highland) and Trisha Castor (Hobart); “Fluorous N-Heterocyclic Carbene Palladium Catalyst;” $871; Prof. Libbie Pelter
  • Kari Johnson (Schererville) and Anthony Miniuk (Hammond); “The Synthesis and Evaluation of Palladium-on-Magnetite for Carbon-Carbon Bond Forming Reactions;” $888; Prof. Libbie Pelter.

Civil Engineering Technology

  • Andrew Oppenhuis (Munster); “Testing the Effect of Elevated Temperature on Bond between Steel Reinforcement and Fiber Reinforced Concrete;” $478; Prof Jose Pena.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

  • Hui Bai (Tianjin, China), Tian Li (Shandong, China) and Donald Weaver (Crown Point); “Development of iPad Based Program for Learning Genetics;” $998; Profs Charles Tseng and Xiaoli Yang;
  • Brian Ashford (Merrillville) and Gerald Keller (Crown Point); “High-Brightness LED General Purpose Lighting;” $877; mentored by David Kozel;
  • Zheng Gong (Harbin, China); “Human Brain Neuronal Fiber Connectivity Visualization;” $462; Prof Bin Chen;
  • Xi Qiang (Beijing, China), Xi Wang (Hammond) and Yan Xia (Highland); “Control System for an Electric Vehicle;” $924; Prof. David Kozel;
  • Dongjian Cai (Jiangsu, China), Junxuan Hou (Jiangsu, China) and Yu Wang (Shandong, China); “Digital Image Processing for Quality Assurance;” $911; Profs Bin Chen and Kaliappan Gopalan

Finance and Economics

  • Mark Arciaga (Baguio City, Philippines), Julio Gutierrez (Hammond) and Brandon Ward (Dyer); “A  Regional Economic Model for Developing and Growing Small Businesses in Northwest Indiana;” $1,000; Prof. Amlan Mitra;
  • Jose Juan Munoz Mendoza (Portage); “Developing a Model to Improve the Graduation Rates of Hispanic Students at Purdue University Calumet;” $422; Profs. Paul McGrath and Amlan Mitra.

History and Political Science

  • Daniel Monzin (Crown Point); “Going Up in Smoke: A Legal Marijuana Industry in the U.S. is Unlikely;” $82; Prof. April Clark.

Math, Computer Sciences and Statistics

  • Traci Pflaum (Cedar Lake) and Marie Rodriguez (Valparaiso); “Mathematical Modeling of the Spread of a Genetically Engineered Population in the Presence of a Common Predator;” $170; Prof. Nicoleta Tarfulea.

Mechanical Engineering

  • Shiye Hu (Beijing, China), Tenghao Wang (Jiangsu, China) and Xinwei Zhuang (Beijing, China); “Development of Virtual Pollutants Control System in a Power Plant Using Numerical Simulation and Virtual Reality Visualization;” $875; Prof. Chenn Q. Zhou;
  • Philip Mann (Burr Ridge, IL) and Benjamin Moul (Hart, MI); “The Human Powered Vehicle Challenge Design Team;” $1,000; Prof. Harvey Abramowitz;
  • Shaho Cubrinoski (Crown Point) and Justin Stengel (Lowell); “2012 NASA Moonbuggy;” $1,000; Prof. Harvey Abramowitz
  • Haosen Guo (Heibi, China) and Junye Jian (Guangdong, China); “Virtual Power Plant Framework – Steam through Transformer;” $905; Prof. Chenn Q. Zhou;
  • Xingjian Chen (Beijing, China), Jiabao Liu (Hunan, China) and Qingyuan Liu (Beijing, China); “Virtual Model for the Demonstration of Flow Characteristics of the Condensate and Feed Water System in a Power Plant;” $960; Prof. Chenn Q. Zhou;
  • Adeyemi Adeleke (Calumet City, IL), Jacob Ballah (Griffith), Mathew Dillman (Highland), Eric Groat (Crown Point), Nicholas Koukis (Crown Point), Anastasios Kratimenos (Crown Point), Mark Lindsley (Hammond), Michael Schmitz (Portage) and Steven Vanes (Hammond); “Building a Concrete Canoe for ASCE Student Conference 2012;” $888; Profs. Robert A Rescot, Amir Soltani and Chandramouli Viswanathan;
  • Dennis Cox (Chicago, IL); “Design and Construction of Vapor Compression Refrigeration Unit (VCRU);” $444; Prof. George Nnanna;
  • Tianwei Wang (Beijing, China); “Experimental Study and Numerical Simulation of Liquid Level in the Blast Furnace Hearth;” $444; Prof. Chenn Q. Zhou.


  • Angelina Bolanos (East Chicago), Jennifer Corona (Hammond), Katie Gianopolus (Griffith) and Kristin Wilczynski (Highland); “Diaper Dermatitis Etiology: Practice Versus Product;” $686; Prof.  Cheryl Anema

More information about Purdue Calumet’s Undergraduate Research Grant Program can be obtained by contacting Prof. Lu at lu@purduecal.edu or by phoning 219/989-2292.