Talon’ted Undergraduate Researcher - Marceline Lewis

KENNESAW, Ga. (May 10, 2022)  —  Marceline Lewis, a junior studying computer engineering at Kennesaw State University, was recognized as a finalist for the January 2022 National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Collegiate Award for her research project, “Renewable Ocean Wave Energy Harvesting Device for Sustainable Boats and Ships.” Lewis, a Sophomore Scholar, currently works as an electronics manager and designs props for a pirate-themed escape room.

What made you passionate about studying computer engineering?

I participated heavily in robotics in high school. I enjoyed the bridge between hardware and software, the physical aspect behind it and how you can manipulate things in life; it's truly fascinating.

How did you begin working with your research team?

I started my research about a year and a half ago working as an individual. I realized the project was growing quickly and realized I would need more help. I began to look for other researchers to help and built a team overtime. I also began working with my research mentor is Dr. Das. He gives amazing feedback and has guided me through this project.

You mentioned the project grew fairly quickly. Can you tell me about the progression of your research?

This project pertains to harvesting renewable energy through waves. However, there is nothing on the market that allows you to harvest renewable energy from waves on a boat. Our goal is to change that. We made a system that would in theory be able to accomplish that. To achieve this, we used some physics principles where you have a copper coil and you put a magnet through it, and it creates energy. We had a magnetic ball and it placed it on a dot circuit through these coils as the boat rocked and it created energy! Right now, I am in charge of working on data collection side and asking questions such like, “Once we gather the necessary information, how do we know where the boat is?” or “How do we store this information?”

What lessons have you learned as an undergraduate researcher at KSU?

The biggest lesson I have learned is time management. Finding a balance between life and school can be difficult for anybody, and to add research on top was a learning experience allowed me to learn how to effectively prioritize my responsibilities. Also, I learned how to work remotely with people you don't really interact with which is a valuable skill to have today.

What was the biggest challenge you faced while conducting research and how did you overcome it?

Pandemic-related woes and time management were challenges I faced in this research, but managing people was one of my biggest obstacles. When I became project lead, I overcame this by learning how to make sure everyone felt included and kept everyone on the same page so that we were all working toward the same goal.

What are your research goals and personal goals for the future?

For the university, I hope this project continues in some capacity past this and the work I've done can go somewhere further and leave its mark on KSU. 

For the future, I want to continue expanding my knowledge. This project was great for me, personally, because I gained the opportunity to do a lot of computer-aided design (CAD). I strive to participate in anything that expands my skillset. CAD is not something you get to delve into as much as a computer engineering student, but this research project allowed me to explore this opportunity.

What advice do you have for anyone who would like to pursue the path you are in?

Check out the First Year’s Scholars program! It is a great bouncing pad for researchers allowing you to work with professors and also participate in avenues of undergraduate research.

-- Dreanna Simmons