Kirsten Stoner, a fourth-year biomedical engineering doctoral student and research assistant at the UI Center for Computer-Aided Design, won the UI Graduate College’s Three Minute Thesis competition November 4.

Her presentation was on "A Pain in the Neck: Modeling Cervical Myelopathy."  She is studying under the mentorship of Nicole Grosland, professor and departmental executive officer of biomedical engineering. She completed her bachelor’s degree in mechanical and Aerospace engineering and master’s degree in biomedical engineering at Cornell University. Her research focuses on utilizing finite element modeling of the neck and spinal cord to better understand spinal cord mechanics in diseased and operated states.

Other College of Engineering students who were finalists are:

Vijay Permeswaran, a fifth year PhD student originally from LeMars, IA completing a degree in biomedical engineering. He earned his bachelor and master’s degrees in biomedical engineering from the University of Iowa in 2012 and 2014 respectively. He works in the Orthopedic Biomechanics Laboratory where his research focuses on improving patient outcomes following reverse shoulder arthroplasty

Timothy Chung was born and raised in Iowa City where he received a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering), an MS degree in Cardiovascular Biomechanics and is currently a PhD candidate under Suresh Raghavan, professor of biomedical engineering. His research leverages engineering tools to understand abdominal aortic aneurysm rupture, which is a leading cause of cardiovascular death in the world. He has been published at various conferences, has been awarded a patent, and has started a small company (Biomechanical Robotics Group, Inc.).

Erica Ricker, originally from Boulder, CO, obtained BS degrees in both chemical engineering and bioengineering from Montana State University in 2012. She is pursuing a PhD at the University of Iowa in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, where she works in the Nuxoll research group studying biofilm mitigation techniques to ultimately improve the quality of life for patients with infected implants. After completing her PhD in May 2017, Ricker intends to continue work in medically related research.

Anh-Vu Do is a fourth year PhD student in chemical and biochemical engineering. He has dual bachelor degrees in Science (majoring in psychology and biology) and biochemical engineering from the University of Georgia. Under the guidance of Professor Aliasger Salem, his research focuses on designing novel methods of controlled drug delivery to enhance cancer treatments and tissue regeneration. Outside the laboratory, Anh-Vu spends his time volunteering in the Pediatrics Unit at UIHC and playing volleyball.