The Senior Excellence in Research Award (SERA) goes to four or five seniors who have been significantly active in undergraduate research during their time at UWM and who propose a research plan for their senior year.  Applications are due March 15, 2017 for the following academic year.  The SERA award recipients meet monthly to discuss their research progress and will share their outcomes with an oral presentation at a colloquium in the spring.  They also serve as ambassadors for undergraduate research in various ways including class visits and media interviews.

How to Apply for 2017-18

2016-17 Recipients

Anne Barlas is a senior in the Mechanical Engineering department. Her research focuses on chemically engineering porous material to combat phosphorus pollution in the Great Lakes. Anne works under Dr. Marcia Silva through the UWM Water Technology Accelerator, located in the Global Water Center. She has presented her research at the UWM College of Engineering poster competition where she won third place, the UWM Undergraduate Research Symposium, and the Naval Academy Science and Engineering Conference. To bring clean energy to Milwaukee, she completed a fellowship with a non-profit called RE-volv, fundraising for the Riverwest Co-op to go solar. Anne has interned with Rexnord and We Energies as a Mechanical Engineer, and is looking forward to pursuing a career within the energy and water sectors.

Marijam Frahmand is a senior Cell and Molecular Biology student working in Dr. Ira Driscoll’s Cognitive Neuroscience lab since 2013. The work has expanded her knowledge of the brain changes that may be early predictors of cognitive deficits and dementia as well as the roles of hormones and genetic background as modulators of age-related cognitive decline. As a Biology major, Dr. Driscoll’s lab provides an opportunity to experience research from biological as well as cognitive and psychological standpoints which have helped provide a well-rounded experience and interdisciplinary education. Marijam has also attended local and international conferences where she has presented this work.

Lianna Hawi is a senior Mechanical Engineering student working with Dr. Brooke Slavens on evaluating a new, multispeed wheelchair wheel.  They look at stroke cycle characteristics, muscle activity, energy expenditure, and upper extremity kinematics for a comprehensive evaluation. This study has the potential to help millions of wheelchair users.  The lab also studies rotator cuff issues, amputees, and other assistive device users.

Christopher Spiewak is a senior mechanical engineering student. He works in the Biorobotics Lab run by Dr. Mohammad Habibur Rahman. He is developing a robotic assistive device for hand rehabilitation using an EMG interface to help those who have lost the control of their hand (through paralysis or spasticity) to recover that control. While conducting this research project he has gotten to present at many conferences (some international), which gave him the opportunity to not only showcase his work, but to network with established professionals in the field. He hopes to pursue a PhD in Robotics, and to continue in research.