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Enhancing the Profile of Chemical Engineers as Relevant to Society amongst Middle School and High School Students

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The objective of this research study is to assess the effectiveness of a poster-based messaging campaign and engineering-based activities for middle school and high school students to encourage students to explore and to pursue chemical engineering. Additionally, presentations are incorporated

The objective of this research study is to assess the effectiveness of a poster-based messaging campaign and engineering-based activities for middle school and high school students to encourage students to explore and to pursue chemical engineering. Additionally, presentations are incorporated into both methods to provide context and improve understanding of the presented poster material or activity. Pre-assessments and post-assessments are the quantitative method of measuring effectiveness. For the poster campaign, ASU juniors and seniors participated in the poster campaign by producing socially relevant messages about their research or aspirations to address relevant chemical engineering problems. For the engineering-based activity, high school students participated in an Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering program "Young Engineers Shape the World" in which the students participated in six-hour event learning about four engineering disciplines, and the chemical engineering presentation and activity was conducted in one of the sessions. Pre-assessments were given at the beginning of the event, and the post-assessments were provided towards the end of the event. This honors thesis project will analyze the collected data.

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2017-05

Fabrication of Alignment and Chemical Gradient Scaffold for Tendon-Bone Repair using Electrospinning

Description

Heterogeneous musculoskeletal tissues, such as the tendon-bone junction, is crucial for transferring mechanical loading during human physical activity. This region, also known as the enthesis, is composed of a complex extracellular matrix with gradient fiber orientations and chemistries. These different

Heterogeneous musculoskeletal tissues, such as the tendon-bone junction, is crucial for transferring mechanical loading during human physical activity. This region, also known as the enthesis, is composed of a complex extracellular matrix with gradient fiber orientations and chemistries. These different physical and chemical properties are crucial in providing the support that these junctions need in handling mechanical loading of everyday activities. Currently, surgical restorative procedures for a torn enthesis entail a very invasive technique of suturing the torn tendon onto the bone. This results in improper reinjury. To circumvent this issue, one common strategy within tissue engineering is to introduce a biomaterial scaffold which acts as a template for the local damaged tissue. Electrospinning can be utilized to fabricate a fibrous material to recapitulate the structure of the extracellular matrix. Currently electrospinning techniques only allow the creation of scaffold that consists of only one orientation and material. In this work, we investigated a multicomponent, magnetically assisted, electrospinning technique to fabricate a fiber alignment and chemical gradient scaffold for tendon-bone repair

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2018-05

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In-vitro validation of a novel miniaturized hydrogel wafer check valve for the treatment of hydrocephalus

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Hydrocephalus is a chronic medical condition characterized by the excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. It is estimated that 1-2 of every 1000 babies in the United States is born with congenital hydrocephalus, with many individuals acquiring hydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus is a chronic medical condition characterized by the excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. It is estimated that 1-2 of every 1000 babies in the United States is born with congenital hydrocephalus, with many individuals acquiring hydrocephalus later in life through brain injury. Despite these alarming statistics, current shunts for the treatment of hydrocephalus display operational failure rates as high as 40-50% within two years following implantation. Failure of current shunts is attributed to complexity of design, external implantation, and the requirement of multiple catheters. The presented hydrogel wafer check valve avoids all the debilitating features of current shunts, relying only on the swelling of hydrogel for operation, and is designed to directly replace failed arachnoid granulations- the brain’s natural cerebrospinal fluid drainage valves. The valve was validated via bench-top (1) hydrodynamic pressure-flow response characterizations, (2) transient response analysis, and (3) overtime performance response in brain-analogous conditions. In-vitro measurements display operation in range of natural CSF draining (cracking pressure, PT ~ 1–110 mmH2O and outflow hydraulic resistance, Rh ~ 24 – 152 mmH2O/mL/min), negligible reverse flow leakages (flow, QO > -10 µL/min), and demonstrate the valve’s operational reproducibility of this new valve as an implantable treatment.

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2016-05

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Augmenting Protocols for In-situ Separation of Biocompounds.

Description

In our modern world the source of for many chemicals is to acquire and refine oil. This process is becoming an expensive to the environment and to human health. Alternative processes for acquiring the final product have been developed but

In our modern world the source of for many chemicals is to acquire and refine oil. This process is becoming an expensive to the environment and to human health. Alternative processes for acquiring the final product have been developed but still need work. One product that is valuable is butanol. The normal process for butanol production is very intensive but there is a method to produce butanol from bacteria. This process is better because it is more environmentally safe than using oil. One problem however is that when the bacteria produce too much butanol it reaches the toxicity limit and stops the production of butanol. In order to keep butanol from reaching the toxicity limit an adsorbent is used to remove the butanol without harming the bacteria. The adsorbent is a mesoporous carbon powder that allows the butanol to be adsorbed on it. This thesis explores different designs for a magnetic separation process to extract the carbon powder from the culture.

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2015-05

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Incorporating Exosomes into an Electrospun Scaffold

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This thesis aims to incorporate exosomes into an electrospun scaffold for tissue engineering applications. The motivation for this work is to develop an implant to regenerate tissue for patients with laryngeal defects. It was determined that it is feasible to

This thesis aims to incorporate exosomes into an electrospun scaffold for tissue engineering applications. The motivation for this work is to develop an implant to regenerate tissue for patients with laryngeal defects. It was determined that it is feasible to incorporate exosomes into an electrospun scaffold. This addition of exosomes does alter the scaffold properties, by decreasing the average fiber diameter by roughly a factor of three and increasing the average modulus by roughly a factor of two. Cells were cultured on a scaffold with exosomes incorporated and were found to proliferate more than on a scaffold alone. This research lays the groundwork for further developing and optimizing an electrospun scaffold with exosomes incorporated to elicit a tissue regenerative response.

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2020-05

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Narcotics Consumption Trends at a Southwestern U.S. University Campus in 2017-2018 Tracked By Wastewater-Based Epidemiology

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Current methods measuring the consumption of prescription and illicit drugs are often hampered by innate limitations, the data is slow and often restricted, which can impact the relevance and robustness of the associated data. Here, wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) was applied

Current methods measuring the consumption of prescription and illicit drugs are often hampered by innate limitations, the data is slow and often restricted, which can impact the relevance and robustness of the associated data. Here, wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) was applied as an alternative metric to measure trends in the consumption of twelve narcotics within a collegiate setting from January 2018 to May 2018 at a Southwestern U.S. university. The present follow-up study was designed to identify potential changes in the consumption patterns of prescription and illicit drugs as the academic year progressed. Samples were collected from two sites that capture nearly 100% of campus-generated wastewater. Seven consecutive 24-hour composite raw wastewater samples were collected each month (n = 68) from both locations. The study identified the average consumption of select narcotics, in units of mg/day/1000 persons in the following order: cocaine (528 ± 266), heroin (404 ± 315), methylphenidate (343 ± 396), amphetamine (308 ±105), ecstasy (MDMA; 114 ± 198), oxycodone (57 ± 28), methadone (58 ± 73), and codeine (84 ± 40). The consumption of oxycodone, methadone, heroin, and cocaine were identified as statistically lower in the Spring 2018 semester compared to the Fall 2017. Universities may need to increase drug education for the fall semester to lower the consumption of drugs in that semester. Data from this research encompasses both human health and the built environment by evaluating public health through collection of municipal wastewater, allowing public health officials rapid and robust narcotic consumption data while maintaining the anonymity of the students, faculty, and staff.

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2020-05

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Improving the Engineering Retention Rate: A tool to match students to their ideal field of study

Description

Engineering is a multidisciplinary field with a variety of applications. However, since there are so many disciplines of engineering, it is often challenging to find the discipline that best suits an individual interested in engineering. Not knowing which area of

Engineering is a multidisciplinary field with a variety of applications. However, since there are so many disciplines of engineering, it is often challenging to find the discipline that best suits an individual interested in engineering. Not knowing which area of engineering most aligns to one’s interests is challenging when deciding on a major and a career. With the development of the Engineering Interest Quiz (EIQ), the goal was to help individuals find the field of engineering that is most similar to their interests. Initially, an Engineering Faculty Survey (EFS) was created to gather information from engineering faculty at Arizona State University (ASU) and to determine keywords that describe each field of engineering. With this list of keywords, the EIQ was developed. Data from the EIQ compared the engineering students’ top three results for the best engineering discipline for them with their current engineering major of study. The data analysis showed that 70% of the respondents had their major listed as one of the top three results they were given and 30% of the respondents did not have their major listed. Of that 70%, 64% had their current major listed as the highest or tied for the highest percentage and 36% had their major listed as the second or third highest percentage. Furthermore, the EIQ data was compared between genders. Only 33% of the male students had their current major listed as their highest percentage, but 55% had their major as one of their top three results. Women had higher percentages with 63% listing their current major as their highest percentage and 81% listing it in the top three of their final results.

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2020-05

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Expanding Science Experiments to Incorporate Engineering Curriculum for College Ready Students from Nontraditional Backgrounds

Description

Engineering has historically been dominated by White men. However, in modern history, engineering is becoming more diverse as the opportunity to pursue engineering has become accessible to people of all races and genders. Yet, college ready high school students from

Engineering has historically been dominated by White men. However, in modern history, engineering is becoming more diverse as the opportunity to pursue engineering has become accessible to people of all races and genders. Yet, college ready high school students from nontraditional backgrounds—women, ethnic minorities, first-generation-to-college students, and those with financial need—often lack exposure to engineering, thus reducing their likelihood to pursue a career in this field. To create engineering learning experiences that can be expanded to a traditional high school science classroom, the Young Engineers Shape the World program at Arizona State University was consulted. The Young Engineers Shape the World program encourages women, notably the most underrepresented group in the engineering field, as well as other students of diverse backgrounds, to pursue engineering. The goal of this effort was to create a 3-contact hour chemical engineering based learning experience to help students in grades 10-11 learn about an application of chemical engineering. Using knowledge of chemical engineering, a soil pH testing activity was created, simulating a typical high school chemistry science experiment. In addition to measuring pH, students were asked to build a modern garden that contained a physical barrier that could protect the garden from acid rain while still allowing sunlight to reach the plant. Student feedback was collected in the form of an experience evaluation survey after each experience. Students found that the soil-moisture quality testing and design of a protective barrier was engaging. However, an iterative curriculum redesign-implement-evaluate effort is needed to arrive at a robust chemical engineering based design learning experience.

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2019-05

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Chemical Engineering of Pasta

Description

Pasta is a staple food for many people and understanding how the process of making it at a homemade level and industrial level should be examined. Pasta is a large and growing market due to growing populations and new products,

Pasta is a staple food for many people and understanding how the process of making it at a homemade level and industrial level should be examined. Pasta is a large and growing market due to growing populations and new products, therefore, researching the pasta has many benefits. The goal of the research is to determine a consistent way to make homemade pasta and compare it to the industrial method. The comparisons that will be examined are the costs and the process to make the pasta. From there it can be determined where homemade pasta can fit in the market. Through experimentation, an optimal ratio of 1.65 grams of flour to 1 gram of egg was found to create pasta dough that would consistently make pasta easy to work with. Different methods of storage were tested to find a viable method to store fresh pasta. It was found that storing the pasta in an enclosed bag with a condensed shape in the freezer was the best method because it created the most durable pasta out of all the trials and it could be cooked. The industrial method for making pasta differed in some aspects to the homemade pasta method. The biggest changes were the use of an extruder and a drying machine which makes it easier to mass produce uniform pasta. The cost per kilogram based off ingredient prices to make homemade pasta was 0.92 dollars while the industrial pasta cost 0.89 dollars per kilogram. The biggest changes in cost comes from the method of storage of homemade pasta. It was determined that following the drying process of the industrial method would be best because then the price difference is dependent on the price of ingredients. This led to multiple possibilities where homemade pasta could enter the market, for example, as a part of premade meals. Overall, it is possible to create a better quality pasta that can be supplied to a wide arrange of demographics.

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2019-12

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Engineering a Renewable Future: Improving Solar Technologies and the Engineer’s Role in a Green New Deal

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The goal of this research was to identify why the federal government should invest in solar research and development, and which areas of solar improvement should be focused on. Motivation for this can be found in the pressing need to

The goal of this research was to identify why the federal government should invest in solar research and development, and which areas of solar improvement should be focused on. Motivation for this can be found in the pressing need to prevent and reverse the effects of climate change, the inevitability of fossil fuel resources eventually running out, and the economic and job creation potential which solar energy holds. Additionally, it is important to note that the best course of action will involve a split of funding between current solar rollout and energy grid updating, and the R&D listed in this research. Upon examination, it can be seen that an energy revolution, led by a federal solar jobs program and a Green New Deal, would be both an ethically and economically beneficial solution. A transition from existing fossil fuel infrastructure to renewable, solar-powered infrastructure would not only be possible but highly beneficial in many aspects, including massive job creation, a more affordable, renewable energy solution to replace coal-fired plants, and no fuel spending or negotiation required.<br/>When examining which areas of solar improvement to focus on for R&D funding, four primary areas were identified, with solutions presented for each. These areas for improvement are EM capture, EM conversion efficiency, energy storage capacity, and the prevention of overheating. For each of these areas of improvement, affordable solutions that would greatly improve the efficiency and viability of solar as a primary energy source were identified. The most notable area that should be examined is solar storage, which would allow solar PV panels to overcome their greatest real and perceived obstacle, which is the inconsistent power generation. Solar storage is easily attainable, and with enough storage capacity, excess solar energy which would otherwise be wasted during the day can be stored and used during the night or cloudy weather as necessary. Furthermore, the implementation of highly innovative solutions, such as agrivoltaics, would allow for a solar revolution to occur.

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2021-05