University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations

April 15, 2008
Contact: Stephanie A. Hudson, Office of Public Relations, (251) 460-6211

USA Student Wins Alabama Academy of Science Award for Engineering Project

USA sophomore mechanical engineering student Carmen Zirlott received an award from the Alabama Academy of Science for her project titled “Skin Temperature Increase During MMW Radiation: Effects of Blood Flow.” The award was for the poster presentation she created to complement the project.

The project focuses on the study of the effects of microwaves on the temperature of the skin and the relationship blood flow has with temperature increase.

 “We are working on a rather inventive method to measure skin blood flow, an important physiological variable,” Zirlott said. “This research will make a significant impact on the medical and engineering worlds.”

Zirlott, a Grand Bay native, began the research for her project while participating in the summer 2007 undergraduate research program sponsored by USA’s Committee for Undergraduate Research. She is continuing her research under the supervision of Dr. David Nelson, chair of the mechanical engineering department, in conjunction with USA’s College of Medicine.

“As an undergraduate student, winning this award is a very prestigious recognition for Carmen.” Nelson said, “Most of the projects competing for the award were submitted by graduate students.”

The Alabama Academy of Science held its 85th annual meeting this year at Samford University in Birmingham. Each year, contestants from Alabama colleges and universities present projects for review by the academy.

The Alabama Academy of Science was organized in Mobile in 1924 with 40 charter members representing academic and governmental interests in science. In 2005 the membership consisted of more than 600 persons from all parts of the state. As science and technology have developed over the years, the academy has broadened its activities and its influence, especially in research and education.

USA’s College of Engineering enrolls 1,093 students and has awarded 3,639 degrees.

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