Lassonde Undergraduate Summer Student Research Conference narrows in on sustainability and inclusivity

The Lassonde School of Engineering at York University hosted its fourth annual Undergraduate Summer Student Research Conference on Aug. 15, with more than 70 students participating. Students showcased the diverse research projects they’ve been working on throughout the summer, with five oral presentations and 53 poster exhibits under various research awards, including the following:

  • Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council Undergraduate Student Research Awards (NSERC USRA);
  • Lassonde Undergraduate Research Award (LURA);
  • Research at York (RAY);
  • Mitacs Globalink Research Award (Mitacs); and
  • Dr. James Wu Research Internships for Engineering.

This year, the Lassonde research team committed to executing an event that was as inclusive and sustainable as possible. Using the Inclusion Lens, an event management tool designed to assist York University in engaging all people in events, the team garnered insight, tips and processes to adopt, resulting in executing the most accessible, inclusive and safest iteration of the conference to date.

Award winners from the Lassonde Undergraduate Summer Student Research Conference with faculty from York

Participants were actively encouraged to identify their preferred pronouns on their name tags. The Second Student Centre, where the conference took place, promotes inclusivity with gender-neutral washrooms on-site.

In addition to fostering a safe and open environment for attendees, the environmental impact was minimized by opting to serve the catered lunch with reusable dishes and cutlery, and offering vegan, vegetarian and halal options.

We would like to thank all 216 individuals who attended the conference for making it such a success and showing support to the students and faculty who have been working hard all summer long on their respective research.

The oral presentation winners, announced at the event, are:

  • First Place: Mohammadreza Karimi (Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, supervised by Hossein Kassiri) – “Seizure Detection Using Brain EEG Signal Processing”;
  • Second Place: Brittany Danishevsky (Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, supervised by John Tsotsos) – “Object Detection in Nursing Homes for Autonomous Wheelchair Guidance”; and
  • Student Choice: Daphne-Eleni Archonta (Mechanical Engineering, supervised by Pouya Rezai) – “On-demand Electric Field Induced Egg Laying of Caenorhabditis Elegans.” 

The poster presentation winners, announced at the event, are:

  • First Place: Dhruvikumari Desai and Antonia Pennella (Mechanical Engineering, supervised by Garett Melenka) – “Manufacture and Analysis Of Braided Composite Structures”;
  • Second Place: Julia Ferri (Civil Engineering, supervised by John Gales) – “Movement Profiles and Accessible Design”;
  • Third Place: Maeve Wildes, Syyeda Zainab and Yash Dhamija (Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, supervised by Franck van Breugel) – “PROMISE: The world’s largest benchmark suite for probabilistic model checking”;
  • Honorary Mention: Constantinos Kandias (Mechanical Engineering, Ronald Hanson) – “Design and Optimization of the Contraction and Corner Sections of a Closed Loop Wind Tunnel”;
  • Session 1 Student Choice: Ariella Kantorowitz (Earth & Space Science & Engineering, supervised by John Moores) – “Illumination Models of Martian Craters to Support Space Exploration”; and
  • Session 2 Student Choice: Ryan Karaba (Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, supervised by Ebrahim Ghafar-Zadeh) – “Non-invasive Micro-Electrode Array Electrophysiological Recordings.”