Boehle and Cogell Awarded at CSU Demo Days

Posted: May 11th, 2017

On April 27, Colorado State University held CSU Demo Day. This event aims to inspire and enrich our communities by showcasing the best of CSU and Northern Colorado’s entrepreneurial community. This year there were over $18,000 in cash prizes given out to graduate students, postdocs, and start up companies. Each student or group presented their cutting edge work in a stimulating environment which fosters entrepreneurial thinking. Over 40 posters from individuals and groups were selected from across campus in four categories (engineering, creative works, life science, physical science) to present their work. The top poster from each category competed and presented their work for cash prizes. Two chemistry graduate students, Kat Boehle and Joshua Cogell, were chosen as winners at CSU Demo Day.

Steve Foster (CSU Ventures), Katherine Boehle (Chemistry) and Steve Albers (CSU Ventures)

Graduate student Katherine Boehle was awarded the Best in Show Award for Student Presentation by attendees. Kat’s talk was entitled “Inexpensive Paper-Based Antimicrobial Resistant Bacteria Detection,” and addressed slowing the emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which is predicted to be the #1 cause of death worldwide by 2050. Boehle’s work addresses this problem with a rapid diagnostic device to help slow the spread of AMR by diagnosing resistant infections quicker and cheaper at the point of care. Kat stated that “Winning the award is quite exciting! It helps validate that the research you’re doing in grad school is important and addressing real world problems.” To receive Best in Show, it is quite a process for all of the participants.  Boehle first had to submit abstracts and Ventures accepted them, and then were asked to submit posters. Out of all of the 40 plus posters submitted, only eight were chosen to come and present an oral presentation. Out of those eight individuals, four students were then asked to present in Best in Show on Demo Day. Kat was awarded $1,500 for her hard work and dedication to inspire and enrich our communities. For her summer, Kat plans on training for the Moab Trail Marathon happening this November, and continuing her research on inexpensive and fast bacteria detection. Congratulations Kat on all of your accomplishments!

Joshua Cogell, Prieto Lab

The Energy Institute Award that was voted by judges with the best innovation in energy was given to graduate student Joshua Cogell. At Demo Day, Joshua presented a poster that showed the applicability of his fundamental chemistry research to the wider realm of energy storage. As a graduate student in Amy Prieto’s group, Cogell works on trying to understand the fundamentals of different chemical reactions to provide information that will enable rational design of better materials. His research is attempting to use magnesium metal as a hydrogen storage material. Its major flaw is the high temperatures, 300ºC, is needed for the reaction to take place. The group’s attempt is to compile their research from two national labs, Argonne National Lab and Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, and nine other experimental techniques to determine, among other things, why high temperatures are needed for this reaction. Joshua was awarded $750 for his innovated work in an entrepreneurial environment. This summer, Joshua will focus on more research in this realm along with writing a manuscript with the group’s conclusions. Joshua is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Chemistry, and is in his third year of study, going into his fourth. While he is not in the lab, most of his free time is spent going to concerts and backpacking. Cogell said that “I really find that music and nature enables me to be more creative in lab, and is an essential part of research.” Congratulations Joshua on all of your success!

To read more about CSU Demo Day, and all of the award recipients, please visit SOURCE.