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K-State Today

March 12, 2015

Biological systems engineering students sweep poster competition

Submitted by Mary Rankin

A group of undergraduate and graduate students in the biological systems engineering program at K-State brought home the top prizes in their respective poster competitions at the 2015 Institute of Biological Engineering annual meeting March 5-8 in St. Louis, Missouri.

They were accompanied by Lisa Wilken, assistant professor in the department of biological and agricultural engineering, who also received the institute's 2015 Presidential Citation for Service for her work as chair and organizer of the bioethics competition.

In the undergraduate portion of the competition, grand prize was awarded to Kseniya Sheshukova, sophomore in biological systems engineering; Erin Ogle, 2013 K-State graduate in biological systems engineering; and Wilken, for the poster "Extraction of a Recombinant Human Blood Protein from Rice Flour."

First place for undergraduates went to Karla Morrisey, sophomore in chemical engineering from the University of Arkansas and summer 2014 K-State NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates student studying under Wilken, for their poster "Process Development for Corn Protein Recovery after Germ Wet Milling for Value-Added Co-Products."

In the graduate poster competition, first place went to Lara Soto Sierra, master's student, and Chelsea Dixon, doctoral student, both under Wilken in the bioprocessing and bioseparations lab in the College of Engineering, for the poster "Aqueous Enzymatic Extraction of Oil and Protein from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii."

Second place for graduate posters was awarded to Nana Baah Appiah-Nkansah and Kaelin Saul, both doctoral students working with Donghai Wang, professor in the department of biological and agricultural engineering; and collaborator William Rooney, professor in the department of soil and crop sciences at Texas A&M University, for the poster "Incorporation of Sweet Sorghum Juice into Current Dry-Grind Ethanol Process for Improved Ethanol Yields."

"This was an outstanding representation of our department, college and university to come away with these top awards," said Joe Harner, professor and head of the department of biological and agricultural engineering. "Lisa Wilken and Donghai Wang are to be commended for their support of students in these important areas of research."

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