Three Lehigh Valley undergraduates chosen for Multi-Campus Research Experience

Eight-week student research projects to include utilizing AI and smart technology to enhance processes
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Penn State Lehigh Valley (PSU-LV) engineering students, Murat Tascan, Christian Myung, and Graham Schellenberg will participate in the Multi-Campus Research Experience for Undergraduates (MCREU) Program this summer.

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CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — For the past seven years, Penn State Lehigh Valley (PSU-LV) has participated in the Multi-Campus Research Experience for Undergraduates (MCREU) Program through the Penn State College of Engineering. This year, Tracey Carbonetto, assistant teaching professor of engineering at PSU-LV, is sending her 23rd, 24th and 25th students through the program.

Murat Tascan, Christian Myung and Graham Schellenberg were selected for the highly competitive 8-week research project. The students will conduct their research independently on the PSU-LV campus under the engineering faculty’s guidance, then spend one week in residence at University Park for further research with their secondary mentors. Students receive a $5,500 stipend for their work.

Tascan, a junior majoring in biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering, wanted to apply to a program like MCREU to boost his experience for graduate school. He and Schellenberg will be working together on investigating artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled machine learning to improve the resolution of X-ray, CAT scan and ultrasound imaging, trying to improve them to the level of an MRI, especially for those patients who do not have access to advanced imaging.

“Graham and I both thought it out," said Tascan. "We’re going to use AI and multiple pictures at once and put them into a program so doctors and patients can have a better view of what’s going on. Without doing the heavy work, AI can do this in a short amount of time.”

Schellenberg, a mechanical engineering major, said he had planned to work on a project by himself, but decided to partner with Tascan.

“We want to make X-rays more of a diagnostic tool than they are,” he said. Schellenberg said he is looking forward to the program, particularly the week at University Park.

“My goal is to make a lot of good connections, so if we do hit a wall, or actually come up with something that’s helpful, we have resources we can go to for questions," he said.

Myung, a sophomore, will be investigating ways to reduce headlight glare to create safer nighttime driving conditions using smart technology.

“I was inspired to do this because Professor Carbonetto said it was something students have worked on before,” Myung said. “It stuck in my mind, and I was reminded of it every time I drove at night and was blinded by someone’s headlights.”

Networking and professional development opportunities enhance the program’s research components. Myung said he was inspired to apply to gain professional experience.

“I thought it was a really good opportunity to get some actual research work done, and interesting to try something that’s new to me,” he said. “It’s harder to get an engineering internship as a freshman, so this will help fill that gap for the summer.”

Programs like MCREU are critical to Commonwealth Campuses like PSU-LV, who do not yet have a full engineering major, said Carbonetto. Currently, PSU-LV engineering students participate in a 2+2 schedule — two years at PSU-LV, two years at University Park.

“This program is important because it connects students to the College of Engineering a little bit earlier than when they set foot on University Park’s campus as third-year students,” Carbonetto said. “As we work towards bringing our engineering program to fruition, it should be encouraging to future engineering students that faculty are willing to mentor and work with them on important research.”

The project starts in the last week of May and runs through July. Tascan said he is looking forward to the challenge of his work.

“I think that’s what really draws me to it," he said. "It’s a very interesting concept, and at the same time, using high-level equations and AI sounds like quite the challenge, but it’s going to be fun.”