University of Utah engineering students Bryce Cheek and Kian Arian Ben-Jacob were recognized during Black History Month in the latest newsletter of the U’s Office of Undergraduate Research, highlighting two examples of exemplary research being conducted by College of Engineering undergraduate students.

Cheek, who hails from North Carolina, is studying Deep Brain Stimulation, a medical procedure that involves applying electromagnetic energy toward a portion of a patient’s brain to treat certain neurological disorders. He is researching a non-invasive form of DBS to treat depression that could result in much fewer side effects such as headaches, post-surgery infections and seizures.

After he plans on graduating in electrical and computer engineering at the end of this year, Cheek said he wants to find an occupation “that impacts lives in a positive manner. Whether that is for a biomedical company or a company that deals with cybersecurity, I need to make sure that my work is holistically honest and good.”

“I’ve been at the U for only four years, but learning so much from my many experiences at this university, I feel like I’ve gotten more years under my belt than I can count,” he said about his experience so far at the U. “I’ve really enjoyed my time at the University of Utah, and I owe a lot of my expanded and commemorative memories to this institution.”

Meanwhile, mechanical engineering student Kian Arian Ben-Jacob is developing “Digital Twin” software for High-Power Rockets, a hobby involving the building and flying the most powerful model rockets legally allowed. As a member of the local Utah Rocketry Club, he is launching and collecting data from sensors on his flight computers to create a graphical user interface. This data will allow him to replay past flights, record and visualize flights in real time, and simulate future flights.

Ben-Jacob plans to graduate at the end of next year and would like to pursue a degree in aerospace and work in the aerospace industry.

“My experience at the U has been great,” said Ben-Jacob, who is from Logan, Utah. “I really feel like it has helped me find myself as a student and as a person.”

Both students are Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program Scholars and are given the guidance of a faculty member to research and develop their own projects in their engineering fields.