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Greetings!  This is the program for the Epic Innovation Sessions hosted at Nipmuc Regional High School on Saturday, Nov 9, 2019.  It is open to anyone who is interested to come to find out why Massachusetts is the most innovative state in the nation.  You MUST register to attend this event.  Teachers will be given 4 PDPs for completion of the day.  Registration closes at 11:59 pm Friday, Nov 1, 2019.  Register at https://tinyurl.com/EpicInnovations.

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Saturday, November 9
 

7:20am

Check-in
Check-in will be in the main lobby.  You will be issued your name tag then.

Saturday November 9, 2019 7:20am - 7:59am
Main Lobby

8:00am

Welcome & Opening
Saturday November 9, 2019 8:00am - 8:10am
TBA

8:10am

Keynote:
Let's discuss:

What challenges and opportunities face your career growth?

What is expected of you on the job?

What key points should you follow to create the best path for you?




Speakers
avatar for Richard Rodgers

Richard Rodgers

VP Engineering R&D, Primo Medical Group
Currently VP Engineering R&D at Primo Medical Group. Have worked in both commercial product development and medical device, as well as consulting, from startups to large companies over 40 years. My goal is to help students understand the path they will have to create as they grow... Read More →



Saturday November 9, 2019 8:10am - 8:45am
Auditorium

8:45am

About working for NASA and being an astronaut
Speakers
CC

Charles Camarda

Founder, Astronaut & Epic Education Foundation


Saturday November 9, 2019 8:45am - 9:15am
Auditorium

9:25am

Building up artificial muscle
Limited Capacity seats available

Development of artificial muscles using thermal fiber drawing technique.


Speakers
avatar for Mehmet Kanik

Mehmet Kanik

Postdoc, MIT


Saturday November 9, 2019 9:25am - 9:55am
214

9:25am

Humanoid Robots Impacting the Future of Space Exploration
Limited Capacity filling up

As we set ambitious goals to realize human missions to Moon and Mars, autonomous robots and artificial intelligence will play a critical role in the future of space exploration. In this talk, we will highlight our ongoing work on NASA’s humanoid robot Valkyrie (R5). Specifically, we will focus on our approach to task and motion planning and AI-enabled perception and autonomy.

Speakers
avatar for Taskin Padir

Taskin Padir

Associate Professor of Robotics, Northeastern University


Saturday November 9, 2019 9:25am - 9:55am
240

9:25am

The circular bioeconomy: converting biowaste into biofuels and biobased products
Limited Capacity seats available

This talk will focus on the circular bioeconomy by demonstrating that low-value biowaste can be converted into biofuels and biobased products via a novel hydrothermal process (HTP).

Each year, the US produces 79 million dry tons of liquid biowaste such as food waste and animal waste, while the global plastic waste generation has continued to rise over the past 50 years (more than 350 million tons of plastics produced in 2015). Although often considered as environmental pollutants, these organic wastes contain large amounts of unharnessed energy. Yet, these organic wastes have complex and variable compositions so options for making high-value products from such waste are limited. It is imperative to develop efficient and economical methods to convert these organic wastes into useful products, and to provide economic incentives for industry to implement new technologies at large scale.

Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) is well suited for the valorization of organic waste in an economical way because it 1) uses water as the reaction medium and 2) converts non-lipid components into biocrude oil. Unlike producing conventional biodiesel from food processing waste and algae, which is highly proportional to the lipid content of feedstocks, HTL enables efficient energy recovery from the downstream of the human food chain, avoiding competition of bioenergy production with the farmland and food supply. The biocrude converted from organic waste using HTL has comparable heating values to petroleum crude, but its composition is too complex for use as transportation fuels.

In this presentation, I would like to highlight my research programs about the robustness of HTL for treating various organic waste (food waste, animal waste, algae, and plastic waste). My research indicates that an estimated 0.3-1 billion tons of HTL biocrude oil can be produced by further utilizing the nutrients from the biowaste to grow more biomass, which will largely change the liquid fuel landscape. This approach realizes the potential of wet biowaste to alleviate petroleum importation in the U.S. and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Speakers
avatar for Wan-Ting (Grace) Chen

Wan-Ting (Grace) Chen

(Invited) Speaker, University of Massachussets Lowell
Prof. Grace Chen is the director of the Energy & Environment Research Laboratory (EERL) at UML. Her research group has extensive experience in the biowaste conversion and chemical recycling of plastic waste. Her lab is equipped with reactors for HTL of organic waste and characterizations... Read More →


Saturday November 9, 2019 9:25am - 9:55am
216

9:25am

Use Eggshell Particles to Grow Bone Tissue in the Lab
Limited Capacity seats available

Speakers
X

Xinchen

PhD, Umass Lowell



Saturday November 9, 2019 9:25am - 9:55am
215

10:00am

Designing human-safe robot arms for prosthetics, service robots, and underwater explosives handling
Limited Capacity seats available

This talk discusses the mechanical design, force-feedback control, and autonomous manipulation capabilities of a new generation of robot arms that offer high precision in force control.  Applications include medical/surgical robots, wheelchair-mounted service robots, and telemanipulator and semi-autonomous robot arms for undersea EOD tasks.

Speakers
avatar for Peter Whitney

Peter Whitney

Assistant Professor, Northeastern University


Saturday November 9, 2019 10:00am - 10:30am
219

10:00am

Keeping Things Cool in Space
Limited Capacity seats available

This session will demonstrate why and how engineers at WPI conduct research to manage the thermal aspects of space technologies.

Speakers
NO

Nate O'Connor

PhD Student, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
AC

Alexander Castaneda

PhD Student, Worcester Polytechnic Institute


Saturday November 9, 2019 10:00am - 10:30am
213

10:00am

Programming shape using kirigami tessellations
Limited Capacity seats available

The basic building block of any kirigami pattern is a periodic planar motif with cuts that allow the unit cell to open or close via planar rotations. The tessellations of the plane can take many forms - quads, kagome lattices, and even Islamic tilings. Recent work has explored these geometries in the context of mechanical metamaterials, and focused primarily on the forward problem - given a topology and geometry of the kirigami pattern, how does it deploy and what are the mechanical properties of the structure. In this work, we pose and solve the inverse problem of designing the number, size, and orientation of cuts that allows us to convert a closed, compact regular kirigami tessellation of the plane into a deployment that conforms approximately to any prescribed target shape in two or three dimensions.

Speakers
avatar for Gary Choi

Gary Choi

PhD Candidate, Harvard University
I am a PhD Candidate in applied mathematics at Harvard University. My research interests include applied and computational geometry, metamaterial design, and interdisciplinary mathematical modeling.



Saturday November 9, 2019 10:00am - 10:30am
218

10:00am

Space isn't Empty
Limited Capacity seats available

Space is full of stuff. When your spacecraft rockets off of Earth the atmosphere goes out further than most people realize, and eventually it hits plasma that is constantly getting spewed out of the sun. There is also a lot of junk from old satellites floating about there too that you may have to dodge. My job is to try to help understand it all, keeping new satellites up and working.

Speakers
JB

J. Brent Parham

Technical Staff (Researcher), MIT Lincoln Laboratory


Saturday November 9, 2019 10:00am - 10:30am
210

10:00am

Tracking Anonymized Bluetooth Devices
Limited Capacity seats available

Bluetooth devices are everywhere around us. Many modern devices broadcast a lot of information via Bluetooth all the time. In order to prevent tracking, devices can hide their device identities by using randomized addresses, which is supposed to prevent the risk of being trackable. We found a way to track different devices that supposedly prevent tracking, and published our findings at a large conference on privacy earlier this year. I will give you an overview of this work and tell you how to reduce your risk of being trackable via Bluetooth.

Speakers
avatar for Johannes Becker

Johannes Becker

PhD Candidate, Boston University
I am a PhD Candidate in Computer Engineering at Boston University. I work cybersecurity, specifically focusing on communication security of wireless connected devices.



Saturday November 9, 2019 10:00am - 10:30am
221

10:00am

Overview of Nipmuc ICED Epic Challenge Program
Limited Capacity seats available

In this session, I will go over how we have implemented engineering here at Nipmuc Regional High School as a full-year class.  We will go over the key elements that have contributed to its success and brainstorm as to how you could implement ICED Epic Challenge at your school.

Speakers
avatar for Jim Gorman

Jim Gorman

Teacher, Nipmuc Regional High School



Saturday November 9, 2019 10:00am - 10:30am
235

10:35am

Space Communications: Wireless Connectivity That Is Out of This World
Limited Capacity seats available

Wireless connectivity is at the core of all space missions, whether close to the Earth, on the Moon, or deep in space.  Although the physics of wireless connectivity is the same "out there" as it is here on the surface of the Earth, the surrounding environment affecting the wireless transfer of data is very different in space when compared to terrestrial communications such as cell phones and WiFi.  In this session, a brief overview of space communications will be presented, as well as the operational environment experienced by these communications.  Following this overview, some recent results on performing wireless communications in space using artificial intelligence will be discussed, including first-ever in-orbit wireless connectivity experiments using the International Space Station.

Speakers
avatar for Alexander Wyglinski

Alexander Wyglinski

Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Dr. Alexander M. Wyglinski is internationally recognized as an expert in the field of wireless communications, cognitive radio, connected vehicles, software-defined radio, dynamic spectrum access, electromagnetic security, vehicular technology, wireless system optimization and adaptation... Read More →


Saturday November 9, 2019 10:35am - 11:05am
236

10:35am

The Future of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) - an epic challenge
Limited Capacity filling up

This session will present Urban Air Mobility (UAM) as an epic challenge for the future. We will consider different cities around the world such as San Francisco, Beijing, Paris and Sao Paolo and simulate future air traffic in them to derive new insights and requirements.

Speakers
OD

Olivier de Weck

Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems, MIT


Saturday November 9, 2019 10:35am - 11:05am
240

10:35am

U.S. Army Microbiome Research for the Warfighter
Limited Capacity seats available

The gut microbiome is an active agent in controlling human health, metabolism, and immune function, and even communicates with its host via the gut-brain axis. Our research focuses on the relationship between the human gut microbiome and Soldier health and performance. By studying these relationships, we may someday be able improve, for example, Soldiers' endurance, reaction times, and responses to stress by supporting their gut microbes.  We employ bioreactors for anaerobic fermentation and have developed new models to study the gut microbiome outside of the human body.  In addition to sharing some of the results from our research, this session will provide background on the gut microbiome, some of the challenges in studying it, and the technology our lab uses to overcome those challenges.

Speakers
LD

Laurel Doherty

Chemical Engineer / Research Scientist, U.S. Army CCDC - Soldier Center
JS

Jason Soares

Bioprocessing/Bioengineering Lead, US Army CCDC-SC



Saturday November 9, 2019 10:35am - 11:05am
237

10:35am

UMass Lowell's Astronomical Observatory
Limited Capacity seats available

UMass Lowell is building a campus observatory that will be open to students, community groups and the public. Visual observing and astrophotography are eye-opening ways to get into astronomy. However, automation technology, compact instrumentation, and the ability to coordinate with other observatories are making small telescopes more powerful than ever. The session will explore some of the research that we hope to pursue, focussing on ways that you could get involved.  

Speakers
RG

Robert Giles

Professor/Chair of Physics, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Participating in the field of terahertz technology since 1982 with researchers at the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML), Giles has been investigating the applications of solid-state and laser-based terahertz sources for polarimetric imaging techniques. With the goal to develop... Read More →
SL

Silas Laycock

Associate Professor, UMass Lowell


Saturday November 9, 2019 10:35am - 11:05am
242

11:10am

Brain/body interfaces for computers and robots
Limited Capacity seats available

We will overview how electrophysiological signals that emerge from brain and muscles can be used to estimate and convey the intent of a human to a computer.

Speakers
DE

Deniz Erdogmus

Professor, Northeastern University


Saturday November 9, 2019 11:10am - 11:40am
241

11:10am

Electric Propulsion: Fundamentals & State of the Art
Limited Capacity seats available

An outline of the basic physics behind electric propulsion, the different types of electric thrusters, and the propulsion systems Busek is currently working on.

Speakers
avatar for Zackary Wood

Zackary Wood

Research Engineer, Busek Co. Inc.



Saturday November 9, 2019 11:10am - 11:40am
239

11:10am

Finding Power By Mixing Polymers and Bacteria
Limited Capacity seats available

This session will describe the current challenges facing flexible electronics and how these problems motivated multiple technical disciplines to converge on solving an existing technological gap.

Speakers
SN

Stephen Nonnenmann

Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts-Amherst


Saturday November 9, 2019 11:10am - 11:40am
235

11:10am

Immunoengineering: Manipulation of the Immune System for Effective Treatments
Limited Capacity filling up

Changing the way the immune system operates in illnesses, such as cancer, has the possibility of revolutionizing the way therapies are given. Immunoengineering, the field of manipulating the immune response through engineering principles, is capable of doing this through designing delivery systems and techniques that can overcome physiological and immunological barriers. I will give an overview of this field, showing its potential impact as well as show you my published work in Biomaterials as a template of how to use engineering principles to solve biological problems.

Speakers
avatar for Anthony Brouillard

Anthony Brouillard

Ph.D. Student, UMass Amherst
I am currently a 3rd-year Ph.D. student in the Chemical Engineering department at UMass Amherst. I have previous research experience in development of nanoparticle systems for overcoming limitations in pulmonary hypertension and cystic fibrosis, and have used that to my advantage... Read More →


Saturday November 9, 2019 11:10am - 11:40am
240

11:10am

Nano Thermo Electrics: Energy and Electricity meet at the Nanoscale
Limited Capacity seats available

Nano Thermo Electrics: Energy and Electricity meet at the Nanoscale

In this session, I will introduce thermo-electric energy converters and explain the physical principles underlying their operation. Then, I will talk about the impact nanotechnology is making on thermo-electric converters and my own research on discovering new, more efficient, materials for this energy application. I will also perform a small practical demonstration of heat-to-electricity conversion.

Speakers
ZA

Zlatan Aksamija

Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Nanotechnology and electronics



Saturday November 9, 2019 11:10am - 11:40am
238

11:10am

About the ICED Epic Challenge Program & Epic Education Foundation
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

Speakers
avatar for Jim Gorman

Jim Gorman

Teacher, Nipmuc Regional High School
OD

Olivier de Weck

Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems, MIT
CC

Charles Camarda

Founder, Astronaut & Epic Education Foundation


Saturday November 9, 2019 11:10am - 1:30pm
Gathering Room

11:50am

Closing Remarks
Saturday November 9, 2019 11:50am - 12:00pm
Auditorium

12:00pm

Lunch
Saturday November 9, 2019 12:00pm - 12:30pm
Cafeteria