Stu­dents and fac­ulty across many dis­ci­plines pre­sented their schol­arly research, inno­v­a­tive thinking, and entre­pre­neurial ven­tures on Thursday at RISE:2014, Northeastern’s Research, Inno­va­tion and Schol­ar­ship Expo.

Projects spanned many dis­ci­plines and topics, including cyber­se­cu­rity; air­port screening tech­nology; nan­otech­nology; emo­tion sci­ence; game design; sus­tain­able urban archi­tec­ture; and novel phys­ical therapy reha­bil­i­ta­tion devices. Sev­eral stu­dents were hon­ored at an awards recep­tion fol­lowing the expo and the full list of win­ners can be found here.

North­eastern Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun said he was impressed with the range of use-​​inspired research projects on dis­play at RISE:2014, many of which addressed global chal­lenges in health, secu­rity, and sustainability—the university’s core research themes. “Our research phi­los­ophy here is that we want to impact society,” Aoun said. He added that this research focus aligns with the university’s emphasis on being con­nected to and engaged with the world, par­tic­u­larly through Northeastern’s sig­na­ture co-​​op program.

North­eastern has hosted the research and schol­ar­ship expo for the past 10 years; last year, under the lead­er­ship of the Center for Research Inno­va­tion, the event was renamed RISE to encom­pass the inno­v­a­tive thinking and entre­pre­neur­ship alive at North­eastern in addi­tion to schol­arly research. This year’s event also marked CRI’s launch of Tech2Venture, a pilot funding pro­gram cre­ated to iden­tify and engage sea­soned entre­pre­neurs in the com­mer­cial­iza­tion of Northeastern’s most promising technologies.

  • Lin Zhu, PhD'15, awaits the start of RISE: 2014 in front of her poster titled, "The Role of Ionic Currents in Distinguishing the Pyloric and Gastric Dynamic."

  • Rows of abstracts were on display at RISE: 2014.

  • A quadcopter drone utilized in "Urban Facade Thermography," a project by a group of mechanical engineering students, was on display.

  • Sara Al-Otaibi, AMD'14, describes her project, "Resilient Structures," to Henry Nasella, UC'77, H'08, chairman of the board of trustees, and President Joseph E. Aoun.

  • The Alligaitr, "A Robotic Device to Improve Chronic Ankle Instability through Controlled Perturbation," was demonstrated.

  • From left, Antonio Rufo and Nikolas Helen, both E'14, spoke with attendees about their project, "Autonomous Search Mechanism for Aerial Reconnaissance and Tracking" (A-SMART).

  • Nicole Nussbaum, AMD'14, and her abstract, "Small Steps" (not pictured).

  • Students, faculty, and staff filled the Raytheon Amphitheater for REACH:2014, the awards reception for RISE:2014.

  • Undergraduate and graduate student awards were on display at the start of the awards reception.

  • President Joseph E. Aoun, right, and Stephen W. Director, provost and vice president for academic affairs, presented Excellence in Innovation award to Ryan Matthew, AMD'13, M.A.'14, Chris Marciano, AMD'13, MA'14, and Mark Munroe, AMD'13, for their project, "The Millennial Village."

Many projects on dis­play at RISE:2014 uti­lized state-​​of-​​the-​​art tech­nology, including the 3-​​D printing facil­i­ties on campus. In one senior cap­stone project, a team of mechan­ical engi­neering stu­dents devel­oped a drone pro­to­type equipped with a video camera that could assist archi­tec­tural engi­neers in finding thermal leaks and cracks in building façades. Another group of engi­neering stu­dents designed a “smart bike” that uti­lizes a series of prox­imity sen­sors, lasers, and Blue­tooth tech­nology to alert bicy­clists to poten­tial haz­ards and avoids acci­dents. The project won the “People’s Choice” RISE Award and an Out­standing Stu­dent Research Award at the grad­uate level.

Stu­dents’ entre­pre­neurial spirit was also on dis­play. Robinson Greig, for example, E’14, is part of a group of under­grad­u­ates who devel­oped Gather, a mobile appli­ca­tion that helps make plan­ning social gath­er­ings easier. Another stu­dent, Ian Carlson, AMD’17, pre­sented his pro­to­type for Dash, an elec­tric dri­ve­train kit that attaches to most long­boards, a longer ver­sion of a skate­board. Carlson said the project, which won the Husky Startup Chal­lenge in Fall 2013, began simply as an idea to cross campus more easily but turned into one that fills the “the first mile and last mile” public trans­porta­tion gap. “There’s a market for this,” Carlson said, “and I’m hoping to bring other stu­dents on board to help me out.”

At least one RISE research project hit close to home: A native of Vietnam, chem­istry major Huynh Vo, S’14, observed how many people in the country lack access to clean drinking water. In response, she began researching the devel­op­ment of a low-​​tech solar water-​​purification device that uti­lizes two of the cheapest mate­rials on earth: tita­nium dioxide and carbon.

Vo was far from the only stu­dent whose project aimed to improve the health and well being of par­tic­ular pop­u­la­tions. For example, phys­ical therapy majors Emily Nasson, Marin Little, and Lucy Bur­rage won the under­grad­uate Out­standing Stu­dent Research Award in the health sci­ences cat­e­gory for their project “Moving On,” a pilot study designed to eval­uate the accept­ability and fea­si­bility of an early phys­ical therapy edu­ca­tion inter­ven­tion for pre-​​surgical breast cancer survivors.

Else­where, senior Eliz­a­beth Dame, AMD’14, high­lighted her research exploring the present and poten­tial role of wood in the building industry. She noted that steel and con­crete cur­rently dom­i­nate large-​​scale urban building, but that the industry pro­duces one-​​third of the world’s green­house gas emis­sions. Through the imple­men­ta­tion of sus­tain­able forestry, she said, wood can be a renew­able solution—one that some Euro­pean cities have already introduced—to incor­po­rate into building design.

She pointed to experts’ esti­mates that 70 per­cent of the world’s pop­u­la­tion could be living in urban envi­ron­ments by 2050 as a reason why urban designers and builders—particularly in the U.S.—need to start thinking more about cleaner, alter­na­tive approaches to meet this demand. “If we change the way we build, we can have a sig­nif­i­cant impact on our carbon foot­print,” she said.

Throughout the year, news@Northeastern will con­tinue to high­light the many research projects and entre­pre­neurial ven­tures pre­sented at RISE:2014.