This year, four TCNJ Biomedical Engineering students from Dr. Anthony Lau’s Biomechanics Laboratory had the opportunity to attend the NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop. Matthew Sanseverino, Jennifer Piserchia, Randolff Carpenter, and Benjamin Hezrony presented their research at the conference, which was held in Galveston, Texas. This annual meeting provides researchers and professionals an atmosphere for cross-disciplinary interaction. The theme of the workshop this year was “Human Exploration and Discovery: The Moon, Mars and Beyond!”
After receiving encouragement from Dr. Lau, our students submitted their abstracts for the conference. Upon acceptance of the abstracts, they had the opportunity to present their undergraduate research during the HRP Grad Student and Postdoc Poster Competition. Regarding this opportunity, Jennifer Piserchia stated, “it was an honor to be at this conference so early in our careers. It offered not only exposure through the poster sessions but also allowed us to learn about the cutting-edge research being done, which I really valued.” The conference also provided the additional opportunity for students to display their research for other principal investigators at different universities looking to recruit graduate students to their research labs.
Students standing in front of their posters during the HRP Grad Student and Post Doc Poster Competition
During the four-day conference, students were informed about research findings from the Human Research Program’s principal investigators and had the chance to listen to speakers such as the Director at the Johnson Space Center, Mark Geyer, the Director of the Human Research Program, William Paloski, NASA astronaut Don Pettit, and many more. Students took advantage of this incredible networking opportunity by being introduced to many current and former NASA professionals.
While in Texas, students also had the opportunity to tour Johnson Space Center, where they learned about opportunities for Biomedical Engineers at NASA and networked with current NASA employees. Randolff Carpenter, reflecting on the experience, expressed how rewarding the tour was. He said, “it was so interesting to be able to see astronauts training on site and in space through Mission Control Center. It was particularly fascinating to see the BME station in Mission Control as it showed one of the many opportunities a degree in Biomedical Engineering can get you.”
The NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop provides a great way for undergraduate students to explore possible future career opportunities while also presenting their own research work. Congratulations to these four students for taking advantage of this well deserved opportunity.
Left to Right: Benjamin Hezrony, Randolff Carpenter, Matthew Sanseverino, and Jennifer Piserchia at the Johnson Space Center
BME Senior Matthew Sanseverino in the pilot’s seat of the Space Shuttle mockup at Johnson Space Center
Mission Control Center Viewing Room