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Article Featuring ChemE Car team in UTC Echo

posted May 11, 2012, 9:11 PM by Eric Snider

Students, faculty and alumni set up displays and gave presentations Wednesday in the UC Gallery and the Chattanooga rooms as part of Research Day 2012.

“There are robots here, original music competitions and there is a chemically-run car,” Baley Whary, organizer of the event, said. “Then we have people who are just showing all the work they are doing from all over campus.”

Ben Kegley, a Tullahoma, Tenn., sophomore, presented “Scrappy” and “The Gas Master,” two chemically-ran cars that placed third in a regional competition.

“How well you can control the car is what the competition is about,” Kegley said. “We go a certain distance, and you have to stop the closest to it.”

He said the team will compete nationally in October.

It was Kegley’s first year participating in Research Day.

Whary said she especially enjoys the research that deals with social issues.

“I hate to be biased, but my favorite thing is seeing people’s research that is socially aware,” she said.  “One of them is about music lyrics that objectify men and women. One person did a research project about youth and their attitudes toward intimate partner abuse.”

She said research like these are relevant  to the community.

Criminal Justice Graduate Student Katherine Ray presented her research on peer social support for physical dating violence in adolescent females.

Ray said peer support serves as protective factor against becoming a victim of dating violence.

“It’s actually a subpart of a bigger project,” Ray said. “It’s been since the beginning of the semester that I’ve been working on it.”

Ray said she did not have as many people come by her display as she hoped, but there was still a good number of people, and everybody seemed interested in her findings.

Graduate Student Rachel Burdette presented her research on football players’ foot sizes and shape in relation to how often they got injured throughout the season.

“We’ve got big guys who have gotten hamstring injuries, who play a lot, with flat feet,” Burdette said. “Those are our fourfactors.”

She said players with those factors are the ones with the most injuries.

“If you have three of those four factors, you are six times more likely to get injured,” she said.

Burdette, who is pursuing her masters in sports training, said this information can be used to prevent injuries.

“Once we know all of this stuff, for next season let’s look at those same factors and see if we can’t prevent some of these injuries from happening,” she said. “That’s kind of the key to a lot of the research that we’ve put out this year is that we do a lot of predictive modeling and then see what we can do about that to decrease the number of injuries.”

Burdette said she works with athletes at UTC and area high schools.

“I thought this was really interesting because one of the differences about athletic training as a profession is that we work on preventing injuries,” she said. “The more we can predict before hand, the more we can hopefully prevent in thefuture.”

Burdette said faculty, athletes, and the Provost came to her display to learn about her research.

Alexa McClellan of the Office of Partnerships and Sponsored Programs, said this was the largest Research Day UTChas had.

“We have the most poster presentations, and the most platform presentations that we’ve had in all four years, so that’s exciting,” she said. “A lot more foot traffic is coming through this year, which has been great.”

She said the increased participation is because of how many departments are getting involved.

 “We have a large, diverse group of faculty presenting and departments representing,” she said.

Anna Steere, who also helped run the event, said prospective students touring campus Wednesday got to witness all the research going on at UTC.

Research Day 2012 was cosponsored by the graduate school, the Graduate Student Association, the Office for Partnerships and Sponsored Programs, the Office of the Provost and the University Honors Program.