A&T Mechanical Engineering Student Wins First Test-Bed Competition for Innovation and Translation at NSF ERC Annual Conference

Leon White, a North Carolina A&T doctoral student in the College of Engineering and Hector Carmona of California State University (the ERC’s outreach partner) recently won the first Test-Bed for Innovation and Translation Competition at the National Science Foundation’s Annual ERC Meeting in November 2012 in Bethesda, MD. The contest required that projects should involve the development of a system-level test bed aimed at solving an identified problem, in which the student(s) were engaged in the conception, design, or implementation.

The winning test-bed concept ‘Biodegradability – Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials’ arose under the guidance of these students’ scientific advisor Dr. Yeoheung Yun, Associate Professor of Bioengineering, and their mentor Dr. Jag Sankar, Director of the Engineering Research Center for Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials at N.C. A&T. “In developing this concept, we had to look closely at the Center’s vision to ensure the test-bed tied to the Center’s goals at many levels,” said Dr. Sankar.

The concept challenged students at the undergraduate and graduate levels to work together in synergy to advance the research. Students designed a plan with Carmona working on microfluidics and examining the micro environment. Leon looked at corrosion on the macro scale, ultimately combining the projects into one test-bed. Specifically, this unique test bed promoted innovation, translational research, economic development opportunities, education, next generation workforce and outreach. White is a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering with a research concentration in biodegradable magnesium alloys.