ECE dominates Screech 2016

November 10, 2016
Patrick Kurp, Engineering Communications
Originally posted by Rice Engineering Communications

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) almost swept the field at the fifth-annual Screech Competition, sponsored by the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership (RCEL).

Seven of the 13 participants who pitched their research in 90-second bursts were graduate students from ECE, and four of the five prizes were claimed by that department. An audience of 130 attended the Nov. 9 event in Duncan Hall.

“We had a smaller field of participants this year, but they packed a heavy punch. The quality was extremely high, and the support from the audience and community was incredible,” said Emily Reiser Evans, a fourth-year graduate student in bioengineering (BioE), and a member of the RCEL graduate committee that planned Screech.

SCREECH winners pose with RCEL Communication Faculty Dr. Jan Hewitt(L) and Dr. Tina Peterson(R), who coached the majority of SCREECHers this year.

Taking first place and the $500 prize was Jasper Tan, a first-year graduate student in electrical and computer engineering (ECE). His pitch was titled “Gesture Recognition with Lensless Cameras.” Tan’s adviser is Rich Baranuik, the Victor E. Cameron Professor of ECE and one of the developers of FlatCam, the lens-less imaging system.

The other winners and their prizes were:

Second place: Madeline Gomel, BioE, “Improving the Lifespan of Bioprosthetic Heart Valves with Immune-Shielding Coating,” $300.

Third place: Pratiksha Dongare, ECE, “Solar Driven Nanophotonics-enabled Membrane Distillation,” $150.

Audience Choice: Hamed Rahmani, ECE, “A Wireless Neural Recording System: Gateway to Human Brain Mapping,” $150.

Best Department: ECE, with seven of the 13 participants from that department. They were awarded a $200 tab at Valhalla, the Rice graduate student pub.

Graduate students from civil and environmental engineering, chemical and biomolecular engineering (ChBE), computer science and statistics also participated. The emcees were Ian Kinstlinger (BioE) and Santiago Legaspi (ChBE), and the sponsors of Screech 2016 were BHP Billiton, ExxonMobil, RCEL, Chuck Newell and Hanadi Rifai, and Rick and Cheryl Mifflin.

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RCEL Graduate Committee 2016

Thank you to the RCEL Graduate Committee for putting on a great event and another successful SCREECH!  From left to right: Emily Reiser Evans, BIOE; Sarah Kim, CS; Krishna Badhiwala, BIOE; Manuela Sushnitha BIOE; Sharan Naribole, ECE; Souptik Barua, ECE.