Sarah Bordenstein | Biology

Discover the Microbes Within! The Wolbachia Project was established over 17 years ago to engage high school and postsecondary students with nature and real-world research while expanding our global knowledge of the endosymbiont, Wolbachia. It now serves as a model for the next generation of BioSTEM classrooms. This talk will highlight student-driven research and present our vision for a collaborative future at Penn State.

Xing Wang | Nuclear Engineering

Atom probe tomography (APT) provides 3D compositional mapping with atomic resolution for most elements, from light hydrogen to heavy uranium isotopes.  In this talk, I will introduce the working principle of APT and how it has been applied to answer long-standing questions in structural materials.  By combing with advances in other microscopy techniques, such as the cryogenic focused-ion beam, APT brings new opportunities for addressing challenges in hydrogen storage, lithium battery, and even bio-organic materials.

Robert Zupko | Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics

Despite the progress of the past twenty years, Plasmodium falciparum malaria continues to be a major public health concern with about 241 million cases and 627,000 deaths in 2020.  One means of combating malaria has been through the use of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), which have been instrumental in preventing deaths and reducing transmission. However, the recent appearance of artemisinin resistant P. falciparum in Africa suggests that innovative approaches are needed to prolong the efficacy of ACTs while next generation therapies are developed. 

Practical applications of the next-generation stretchable electronics hinge on the integration of low-cost, scalable sustained power supplies with highly sensitive on-skin sensors and wireless transmission modules. This talk presents the challenges, design strategies, and novel fabrication processes behind a potential standalone stretchable device platform that (a) integrates with 3D curvilinear dynamically changing surfaces, and (b) dissolves completely after its effective operation. The resulting device platform creates application opportunities in fundamental biomedical research, disease diagnostic confirmation, healthy aging, human-machine collaboration, and smart Internet of things.

Hoping that title does not tempt fate. I will discuss nascent strategic initiatives that we are currently nurturing and what we are learning in the process. We are actively seeking ideas for the next big thing(s).

Scarlett R. Miller | Engineering Design and Industrial Engineering

We live in an age of design. Most disciplines practice some form of it, but in order to create truly effective solutions, we need people skilled in its practice who can master the breadth and depth of technical knowledge and skills in the context of diverse and subtle human and societal issues. The Center for Research in Design an Innovation (CRDI) was developed to bring together diverse faculty across the university and leverage, integrate, and expand interdisciplinary Design research at Penn State and develop international leadership in design as a science and design as a tool for innovation. This talk will highlight faculty research in these areas and the role of interdisciplinarity in design science and innovation research.