Graduate Poster Session Celebrates Excellence in Research

Dartmouth News

May 11, 2018

By Rebekah Henson

The top five presenters are honored for clear and engaging displays of their research.

Every spring, the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies hosts events for Graduate Student Appreciation Week, recognizing the contributions all graduate students make to the Dartmouth community. The annual highlight is the Graduate Poster Session, which celebrates graduate student research.

This year, about 200 members of the Dartmouth community gathered in Alumni Hall at the Hopkins Center for the Arts, where 54 graduate students shared their research in subjects ranging from cancer treatments to Greenland ice sheets to political influences on U.S. circuit courts. 

A panel of 11 judges selected this year’s top five presenters, awarding them prizes for clear and engaging presentations of their research.

The winning [engineering] graduate students:

Michael Kokko
Michael Kokko with his winning poster presentation summarizing his research on detecting infections in joint replacements. (Photo by Faith Rotich)

Michael Kokko, PhD Candidate, Engineering Sciences

Residence: Lyme, NH

Poster Title: Explants, Electrons, and Light: The Search for Prosthetic Joint Infection

Research: Kokko’s interest lies in the process of making the best estimates, predictions, and decisions based on indirect, low-fidelity, or incomplete data. His poster summarizes his ongoing work to detect infection in prosthetic hips and knees using data from joint replacements that have been retrieved from patients.

Why Dartmouth? “I moved to the Upper Valley in 2011 and worked for several years as a systems engineer and project manager at Simbex, a Lebanon-based product development firm with strong Dartmouth ties. Teaching has always been a passion of mine, so I enrolled in Thayer’s doctoral program as a step toward refocusing my career on engineering education and research. I feel fortunate to be simultaneously pursuing a PhD and raising a family in a nurturing community amid such beautiful surroundings.”

Audrey Martin
Audrey Martin stands in front of her winning poster presentation on understanding why joint replacements corrode and fail. (Photo by Faith Rotich)

Audrey Martin, PhD Candidate, Engineering Sciences

Hometown: Torrance, Calif.

Poster Title:  Disassociation of Acetabular Liners: Retrieval Analysis with Mechanical Simulation

Research: Martin analyzes the degradation process of materials in failed joint replacement implants. A better understanding of the corrosive processes will lead to improved design and device testing in the future.

Why Dartmouth? “I was drawn to Dartmouth by the Dartmouth Biomedical Engineering Center for Orthopedics (DBEC), the laboratory in which I currently work. I became interested in medical devices and orthopedics as an undergraduate. I knew about DBEC and respected their work, so I sought out the laboratory in my graduate school search as an opportunity to pivot from my undergraduate work. Dartmouth and DBEC have not only provided this opportunity but have also surrounded me with an amazing group of colleagues and friends and provided unlimited access to the outdoors. I have been astounded by the collaborative nature within the laboratory as well as the greater Dartmouth community, making the Upper Valley not only fertile ground for academic growth, but also a place to truly thrive.”

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