Knowledge on Display

By Matt Hawkins
April 22, 2014

From tree-climbing robots to classical music, more than 130 of the best student research and creative projects were on display at the 2014 Student Scholarship Expo in Renaissance Coliseum. Sponsored by the Center for Teaching Excellence and Learning (CTEL), the event showcased work from the University’s five colleges and The Graduate School.

“Students are gaining very important skill sets — the ability to present and articulate to any audience,” said Sandra Shumaker, executive director of research and sponsored programs. “These are skill sets they can use in any field, any career and any personal situation they find themselves in.”

Many of the projects addressed real-world concerns of students’ academic and career interests. Graduate physical therapy students Tyler Lampe ’15 and Lauren Schlink ’12 DPT ’15 studied the effect of texting on people’s balance when walking across obstacles like curbs or potholes. This research, which utilized the University’s Proprio 5000, earned the Expo’s President’s Award.

Study results focused on cognitive skills required for balance, which are often overlooked in post-injury rehabilitation.

“We’re working with a ton of people who have balance disorders,” Schlink said. “Falls are so prevalent in the health care setting and they’re costing us billions of dollars. From our standpoint, it’s important to include cognitive tests when we’re balance-training.”

Another project, by senior electrical engineering majors Elie Baliss, Tyer Hoge and Sergio Sanchez, developed systems to wirelessly recharge small batteries in electronics such as insulin pumps and fitness bands. Unlike wireless recharging pads presently on the market, these systems could charge device batteries without users taking off devices.

The research had practical implications for Hoge, whose 5-year-old cousin wears an insulin pump.

“An insulin pump for him is a daunting task,” Hoge said. “One less thing he has to do makes it less confusing for him. Then, you can get something like this to a lower age group sooner instead of doing the normal injection.”

The group’s research will provide a starting point for future Bradley students to continue innovation. Additionally, by including a marketing component, it resembled projects the students will see as professionals. 

“Companies want you to have real-world experience,” Sanchez said. “This helps you go through the design process, simulations and equipment companies use. It’s something they take into account.”