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April 29, 2011 - University of Oklahoma Students Take Top Prizes in EPSCoR Bioenergy Competition RSS feed

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Three University of Oklahoma students took the top prizes in a hybrid poster competition held recently during the Oklahoma Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (OK EPSCoR) Annual State Conference in Norman.

Undergraduate and graduate students who have performed research under the current EPSCoR Bioenergy RII Award were qualified to participate in the contest, which consisted of three-minute oral presentations and a formal scientific poster session. Each portion of the hybrid competition was competitively judged by an independent panel of judges made up of EPSCoR external advisory board members.

Michael Ukpong, from OU’s Department of Botany and Microbiology, received first place in the competition. EPSCoR researcher Bradley Stevenson served as Ukpong’s mentor on the bioenergy project, which was titled “Physiological response of Clostridium carboxidivorans during conversion of synthesis gas to solvents in a gas-fed bioreactor.”

Juan Torres, also from OU’s Department of Botany and Microbiology, received second place in the competition. Torres’ faculty mentor, EPSCoR researcher Ralph Tanner, collaborated with him on the “Syngas to butanol” project.

Miguel A. Gonzalez B., from OU’s School of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering, received third place in the competition. Gonzalez’s faculty mentor, EPSCoR researcher Daniel Resasco, collaborated on the project titled “Anisole and guaiacol deoxygenation over Pt-Sn monoliths.”

All three winners received plaques for their winning posters and presentations. The first- and second-place winners have been invited to present their research at the National NSF EPSCoR Conference in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in October.

OK EPSCoR is funded by the National Science Foundation and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. The program’s mission is to strengthen Oklahoma’s exploration and growth in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.