Tag Archives: undergraduate research

Cool Images, Big Potential: Startup Uses Lasers to Create 3D Imagery

A laser that creates a three-dimensional picture of a bee’s head may sound like an experiment being conducted in Dr. Evil’s super-secret volcano base, but this technology is blossoming right here at Penn State — and it has real-world applications for research in agriculture and horticulture.

The head of a yellow jacket
The head of a yellow jacket

At a recent talk at the Millennium Science Complex, Benjamin Hall, an undergraduate student in energy engineering working part-time in the laser lab of the Applied Research Laboratory at Penn State, discussed the technique — and showed images and videos that rival most Hollywood special effects. By placing an object, such as a plant root, on a moveable platform that passes under a laser, researchers can vaporize the sample section by section. The technique creates a series of surface images, which Hall then processes with a software program to create three-dimensional interior and exterior — and unbelievably cool — images of the sample.  Continue reading Cool Images, Big Potential: Startup Uses Lasers to Create 3D Imagery

A Student Take on Undergraduate Exhibition

By Carlee Delp, Research Communications Intern

To say I was impressed by the Undergraduate Exhibition Poster session would be an understatement. As a student enrolled in the College of Communications, I did not realize how completely removed I happened to be from the science community.

Students from all Penn State Campuses presented their research on Wednesday, April 9th in various disciplines including arts and humanities, engineering, health and life sciences, physical sciences, and social and behavioral sciences.

Students shared their research on large posters to passers-by in hopes of being awarded the Gerald A. Hauser Award, the award given to the best overall project.

While much of the scientific findings seemed to be in a foreign language to me, I found the students at the exhibition to be inspiring. The passion they held for their research, as well as the time and energy spent executing it, radiated from within them.

“These are my peers that are going places,” I thought to myself after leaving.

One student that I spoke with, Kelly Carey, told me that she and her team had created a methanol detector for Kenyans to use to test if a common alcohol, Chang’aa, was toxic or not. This device is being used in Kenya today to save those who could have otherwise been plagued with blindness and/or death from drinking the Chang’aa.

The fact that my fellow Penn Staters are completing groundbreaking research – and making a DIFFERENCE – is extremely admirable!

It is my hope that Penn State students, such as Kelly, will receive more recognition within our community from administrators and especially from fellow students.