NC State
Graduate Student Association

GSA Award for Conferences Awardees – Spring 2016

Thomas Gemmer
Conference: The 66th International Astronautical Congress, Jerusalem, Israel

Thomas is a doctoral student in the department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering working in the Engineering Mechanics and Space Systems Laboratory under Dr. Andre Mazzoleni. His doctoral research is broadly targeted to work on advanced, plasma based spacecraft propulsion systems: particularly systems that make use of the low-density plasma of the solar wind. Thomas’s long-term goal is to be a part of making the advancements necessary to allow humanity to explore and investigate the universe, or at least our small corner of it.

grad studentCasey Grieshaber
Conference: American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, Kansas City, MO

Casey Grieshaber is pursuing her Master’s degree in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. Her research examines the relationship between contaminants and the health of riverine sport fishes. Specifically, she examines endocrine system disruptions and their subsequent impacts on fish reproduction. By understanding how contaminants alter the health of wild fishes, we can more effectively manage sustainable populations. We will also assess water and sediment quality to determine what improvements can create healthier river ecosystems. Upon completion of her Master’s degree, Casey plans to pursue a career as a fisheries biologist. 

grad studentMichelle Luo
Conference: 251st American Chemical Society National Meeting, San Diego, CA

Michelle Luo is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. After completing her B.S.E. at Princeton University, she began her doctoral studies at NCSU under the supervision of Dr. Chase Beisel. Her patent-pending work focuses on developing genetic tools based on CRISPR-Cas systems with applications in fundamental biological research as well as industrial strain development. Michelle intends to pursue a career in industry research and development where science and technology interface with healthcare solutions.

grad studentEmily Meineke
Conference: Ecological Society of America, Fort Lauderdale, Fl

Emily recently earned her Ph.D. in Entomology studying how heat created by urban development “the urban heat island effect” increases insect pest abundance on street trees. She will soon begin postdoctoral appointments at Harvard University and the University of Copenhagen studying how climate change has affected insect pest damage to plants worldwide.

grad student


Dishit P. Parekh
Conference: Printing Future Days (PFD) Conference, 3 – 11th October 2015, Technische Universität Chemnitz, Germany

Dishit P. Parekh is a 3rd year Ph.D. student in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering department working under the supervision of Dr. Michael D. Dickey at NC State University. His research focuses on using liquid metals for 3D printing at room temperature for the development of flexible and stretchable electronics ( This work has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) along with 3D Systems (based in South Carolina). The future project goals involve rapid prototyping of such 3D printed electronic devices that can be used in low-cost, consumer-friendly wearable sensors and antennas that can help the progress of Internet-of-Things (IoT) in healthcare and soft electronics.

grad studentEli Typhina
Conference: (1) 9th International Conference on Interactive Mobile and Communication Technologies and Learning, Thessaloniki, Greece; (2) Consuming the Environment, Gavle, Sweden

Eli Typhina is a doctoral candidate in the Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media Program. She researches ways to prompt environmentally friendly behavior through the design of physical and digital environments, such as the layout of urban parks and use of mobile applications for environmental public participation. Upon graduation, Typhina plans to launch her consulting agency, where she will work with environmental organizations and government agencies to research and construct sustainability initiatives addressing issues such as climate change and water pollution.

grad studentJiadeng Zhu
Conference: Materials Research Society, Phoenix, Arizona

Jiadeng Zhu is a third-year doctoral student in Fiber and Polymer Science under the direction of Dr. Xiangwu Zhang at North Carolina State University. His research interest spans from materials synthesis, electrochemistry, and cell design to advanced characterizations with the goal of understanding the synthesis-structure-performance relationship in energy-related materials and their underlying reaction mechanisms. His current research focuses on lithium-sulfur batteries, lithium/sodium-ion batteries, thin film, polymer synthesis, and carbon-based materials’ applications.