Four University of Utah College of Engineering students have received National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, which supports graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The fellowship program will fund or partially fund their work toward research-based master’s and doctoral degrees.

This year’s recipients from the College of Engineering are:

Chantel Charlebois (biomedical engineering)

Charlebois, a doctoral student at the U under biomedical engineering associate professors Chris Butson and Chuck Dorval, is researching ways to use electrical deep brain stimulation to control epileptic seizures in patients. By better modulating the stimulation, this form of therapy could also be useful for other neurological disorders. She earned her bachelor’s in biomedical engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology.

Michael Clemens (School of Computing)

Clemens is studying how to use musical play to teach computer science to 5th through 8th graders who are vision or hearing impaired. He believes that music in certain forms can be implemented to teach basic concepts in computer science, such low frequencies or music used for yes-or-no feedback. Clemens, whose advisor is School of Computing assistant professor Rogelio Cardona-Rivera, graduated with a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Valparaiso University in Indiana. He is working toward a doctorate in human-centered computing at the U.

Timothy Quah (chemical engineering)

Quah is studying the multiscale modeling of polymers such as Nafion, which is used in hydrogen fuel cells. He is figuring out ways to model the degradation of membranes that are used in such battery systems. Quah will graduate with a bachelor’s in chemical engineering at the U and plans to study for a doctorate at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Casia Wardzala (biomedical engineering)

Wardzala is studying mucins, the proteins in mucus, to better understand their mechanical function. These mucins are involved in some diseases such as colon cancer and breast cancer. She is working on her doctorate in biomedical engineering, and her advisor is U assistant professor Jessica Kramer. Wardzala received her bachelor’s in bioengineering from Oregon State University.

“Since 1952, NSF has funded over 50,000 Graduate Research Fellowships out of more than 500,000 applicants,” according to the program. “Currently, 42 Fellows have gone on to become Nobel laureates, and more than 450 have become members of the National Academy of Sciences.”