Two undergrad researchers awarded at campus symposium


Julia Park

Arielle Pfeil
Arielle Pfeil
Each year the campus’ Office of Undergraduate Research hosts Undergraduate Research Week, which includes the Undergraduate Research Symposium with more than 800 students participating. Students present their work in oral and poster presentations (including creative performances), showcasing the breadth of top-notch undergraduate research at Illinois. For 2020, the symposium was virtual and took place at the end of the spring semester.

This year, two undergraduates from MechSE won awards for their Outstanding Poster Presentations:

Arielle Pfeil, an incoming senior in mechanical engineering, in the Technology & Sustainability category, for “Characterization of Ink for 3D Printing of Bone Scaffolds.”

Haley Tholen, an incoming senior in engineering mechanics, in the Food, Plants, and Animals category, for “Hybrid Algal-Carbonate Substrates for Enhanced Coral Larvae Recruitment.”             

Haley Tholen
Haley Tholen
Both students are undergraduate research assistants in Professor Amy Wagoner Johnson’s lab and have participated in The Grainger College of Engineering’s Illinois Scholars Undergraduate Research Program (ISUR).  ISUR is a structured two-semester research experience and students in the program work closely with graduate student/postdoc mentors and faculty sponsors on research projects throughout the fall and spring semesters. Tholen was mentored by postdoctoral researcher Mark Levenstein, and Pfeil was mentored by doctoral candidate Ashley Armstrong, both of whom are from Wagoner Johnson’s research group.

“I am thrilled that both Arielle and Haley have received recognition for their hard work, and I am excited that they are continuing their work in my lab this summer, through REU supplements. And both of them will participate again in the ISUR program for their senior years,” said Wagoner Johnson.

Undergraduate Research Week showcases the best of undergraduate research and creative inquiry at Illinois. Students take part in workshops, special exhibits, and colloquia sponsored by individual departments and programs.