Funded CARET Abstracts
Synthesis and Characterization of Manganese Oxide Cathode Materials for Aqueous Rechargeable Zinc-ion Batteries (2018-2019)
Altug Poyraz, Ph.D.
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
College of Science and Mathemetics
Ever-growing energy demands, environmental concerns related to the combustion of fossil fuels and safety risks of nuclear power plants have caused an urgent need for the utilization of sustainable and renewable energy sources such as wind and sun. However, renewable energy sources are inherently intermittent and therefore electricity production from the renewable sources varies significantly depending on the time, weather, season, and location. Hence, excess energy needs to be stored while available in large quantities during peak conditions for later use in grid scale batteries. Despite, current Li-ion battery technology is dominating the consumer electronics (cell phones, laptops, wearable electronics), electrical vehicle and house hold battery markets, Li-ion batteries are not suitable for grid scale energy storage. Li-ion batteries have short lifetime, high cost, and poor safety. Aqueous rechargeable Zn-ion batteries (ARZIBs) have been acknowledged as a promising aqueous battery type for grid-scale energy storage due to its long lifetime, low cost, and enhanced safety. This proposed work aims design, synthesis, and characterization of nanocrystalline manganese dioxide (MnO2) cathodes with tunable physicochemical properties for enhanced electrochemical performance in ARZIBs. Development of cathode materials with tunable physicochemical properties has critical importance for achieving highly efficient battery systems and bridging the gap between theory and experiment. MnO2s are low-cost, high voltage, environmentally benign. However, their practical usage is limited by slow-ion diffusion, structural instability, high polarization, and cathode dissolution. This proposed research aims to improve the performance and mitigate the shortcomings of MnO2s by synthetically modifying the materials properties. More specifically, we will investigate the effects of crystallite size, surface area, pore size, surface composition, and morphology of the MnO2s on the functional electrochemistry in ARZIBs.
Neuromuscular Determinants of Mobility and Fall Risk in Middle-Aged, Old, and Elderly Adults (2018-2019)
Garrett Hester, Ph.D.
Department of Exercise Science and Sport Management
WellStar College of Health and Human Services
The focus of the proposed research project is to enhance our understanding of the
neuromuscular determinants of poor mobility and fall risk in middle-aged, old and elderly adults.
The age-related loss of muscle mass and strength, termed sarcopenia, affects ~30% of
community-dwelling older adults and is a significant predictor of disability and mortality. The
vast majority of research on aging has compared young and older adults only, despite reports of
decreased muscle strength and power in middle-aged adults and dramatic declines in
neuromuscular function in advanced age. Thus, less is clear regarding the neuromuscular
decrements that occur in middle-aged and elderly adults, and the influence of select
neuromuscular changes on mobility. Additional insight on the neuromuscular changes that occur
early in the aging process (i.e., middle-age) may highlight factors that should be targeted by
interventions to delay impaired mobility later in life. Further, given life expectancy has steadily
risen from 1975 to 2015, it is important to gain more information on neuromuscular impairments
occurring late in life. In addition, we are interested in the association between c-terminal agrin, a
recently identified blood biomarker of neuromuscular junction degradation, levels and select
neuromuscular parameters. This biomarker has potential as a marker of sarcopenia, and thus may
prove useful in the search for a clinically accepted diagnosis of sarcopenia. We will assess
muscle strength, power, velocity capacity, and nervous system activation of the quadriceps and
calf musculature in order to make age-related comparisons. Further, the association between
these parameters and walking velocity, chair rise performance, and fall risk will be examined.
Students will gain experience conducting laboratory and clinical assessments in addition to
software and data processing skills.
Positioning Preservice Teachers as Researchers: The Case of Studying Culturally Relevant Mathematics Instruction (2018-2019)
Marrielle Myers, Ph.D.
Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education
Bagwell College of Education
The Effect of Fish Oil Supplementation on the Leucine Threshold in Older Adults (2018-2019)
Trisha VanDusseldorp, Ph.D.
Department of Exercise Science and Sport Management
WellStar College of Health and Human Services
Aging is an inevitable aspect of the lifecycle, which often brings about a multitude of challenges. One of these challenges includes the age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass, termed “sarcopenia”. The loss of skeletal muscle mass, even as low as a 5% loss, is associated with significant health repercussions, including increased fall-risk, fractures, decreased activities of daily living, increased hospitalizations, and increased rates of morbidity (i.e., heart disease) (Liu et al., 2014). Interventions for individuals diagnosed with sarcopenia continue to target nutrition and exercise. Therefore, our research seeks to examine the nutritional avenue, highlighting the use of fish oil supplementation (i.e., omega-3 fatty acids) in conjunction with varying dosages of the extremely potent muscle protein stimulating amino acid, leucine. Specifically, we seek to examine the effect of high dose fish oil supplementation (i.e., 6 grams) on the leucine threshold and the following muscle protein synthetic response to various leucine amino acid feedings (i.e., 1.8, 2.5 or 3.5 gram servings) in healthy older and sarcopenic men and women. Students will gain valuable experience in both the applied and basic aspects of data collection and analysis.
Far Field Wireless Power Transfer (2017-2018)
Hoseon Lee, Ph.D.
Department of Electrical Engineering
Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology
The proposed research is on the topic of charging power sources such as batteries wirelessly using far-field wireless power transfer. Currently, there is a form of wireless charging which is inductive charging, that requires wireless devices such as a smartphone to be laid on top of the wireless charger. These wireless chargers contain inductive coils, which emit magnetic fields that couple with the inductive coils in the smartphone or other wireless device. As the magnetic fields couple from the charger to the phone, the fields induce current and voltage in the phone, which charges the battery. However, this is near-field wireless power transfer, also known as NFC (near field communication), which requires very close proximity from the charger to phone. Far field wireless power transfer is a very hot topic in both research and industry, because of its potential impact on charging wireless devices from any direction and location. The aim of this research proposal is to investigate the feasibility of far-field wireless power transfer based on a new system comprising of a transmitter and receiver circuit design. The project includes designing and developing a novel receiver circuit and a transmitter circuit and to investigate the feasibility and efficiency of far field wireless power transfer. In this project, students will learn to use circuit simulation software, circuit board layout software, as well as hardware equipment for testing and measurements. The measurement equipment used to test the prototypes includes vector network analyzers, spectrum analyzers, and antenna measurement training systems. This research project will be beneficial for students because it will help the students gain software, hardware, and post-measurement analysis skills which can help further their careers in industry as well as help prepare them for graduate school.
Exploring Misogyny in American Culture (2017-2018)
Letizia Guglielmo, Ph.D.
Department of English
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
This undergraduate research project grows out of my work as author-editor of Misogyny in American Culture: Causes, Trends, Solutions, a two-volume set currently under contract with ABC-CLIO publishers and set for publication in 2018. One of my primary goals for the project includes expanding and complicating definitions of misogyny in order to provide readers with a robust introduction to and understanding of the larger topic. Given our current political and cultural climate and the more frequent and widespread use of the term misogyny by various media outlets and among voters during the 2016 presidential election, this project has the potential both to contribute to ongoing conversations on the topic and, among its intended audience of advanced high-school/beginning college students and the general public, to inform a more recent shift in public conversation on misogyny. Notably, the two-volume set is interdisciplinary and engages in Boyer’s definition of the Scholarship of Integration, with connections between fields of knowledge and disciplines that contribute to a richer exploration of the pervasive role of misogyny in American culture. The undergraduate research portion of this project supported by CARET funding will include work on two specific chapter essays of 9000-12,500 words each: 1. Gender and Sexuality and 2. Radio and Journalism. Because this two-volume set will include reference essays, rather than critical essays, the project naturally lends itself to upper-division English and GWST students who are near-peers to the target audience and who have coursework in gender and sexuality studies, media studies, and critical and rhetorical theory, and with experience in advanced writing and research. Working collaboratively, these researchers will identify sources, engage key issues via discussion and collective analysis, draft texts to make content accessible to the target audience, give and receive critical feedback on drafts, and negotiate a collaborative process of revision with the group and with me as their mentor/editor. In addition to providing experience in collaborative research and writing for work outside of the classroom, participation in this project will also support the work of those students interested in applying to graduate programs. With the project already under contract with ABC-CLIO Publishers, students are effectively guaranteed dissemination of their work with the publication of the two-volume set in 2018.
The Forgotten Bronzes of Buffalo (2017-2018)
School of Art and Design
College of the Arts
The Buffalo Museum of Science owns a collection of about 100 ancient bronze artifacts, from the ancient Greek, Near Eastern, Egyptian and Roman world. Mostly acquired in the 1930s and 1940s, the bronzes range from statuettes of divinities, people, and animals, to jewelry, weapons, tools and other ornaments. This project involves students in study of this unpublished and neglected material. Student researchers will travel to Buffalo to examine and document these objects. They will then identify them and research their place and meaning in in the cultures that produced them. This student documentation and research will eventually form the basis of a published catalogue of the collection.