Research in focus through Vizzies competition

Feb 3, 2017

The Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering challenged its graduate students to share images of their research with the department through a competition this winter.

Inspired by the National Science Foundation Vizzies competition, the MNE Vizzies generated strong participation by graduate students.

“We were thrilled with the response, with 33 entries submitted by 20 students.  The winning images are being displayed in the MNE Graduate Programs Office, just in time for our annual graduate recruitment event,” said Mary Frecker, associate head for graduate programs.

Competition for the top spots was so close the end result was a three-way tie for first place.

A panel of official judges graded each entry and the Graduate Programs Office tabulated the winners.  The People’s Choice winner was chosen through voting done on the department’s Facebook page. All entries were posted on Facebook and visitors were invited to “like” their favorite and the image with the most likes was the winner. Each winner received a gift card.

The winners are:

"Droplets" by Sanjay Adhikari; "Piezoelectric Flower" by Md Abdulla Al Masud"; and "Aligned" by Mahdi Nabil.

The winner of the People’s Choice Award is "Visualization of a Bernouili Lifter" by Mark Frederick

 To view all of entries, please visit the photo album on the MNE Facebook page.


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Chris Hennessey

Vizzie 1

"Piezoelectric Flower" by Md Abdulla Al Masud. Adviser: Zoubeida Ounaies. Description: Scanning electron microscopy of ZnO piezoelectric nanorods growing from zinc nitrate hexahydrate.

Vizzie 2

“Aligned” by Mahdi Nabil. Adviser: Alex Rattner. Description: High speed shadowgraphy of bubbly two-phase flow regime in aligned (square grid) micro-pin-fin heat exchanger geometry.

Vizzie 3

“Droplets” by Sanjay Adhikari. Adviser: Alex Rattner. Description: Computer simulation of droplets condensing, growing and merging on a hydrophobic surface.

Vizzie 4

“Visualization of a Bernouili Lifter”by Mark Frederick. Adviser: Jacqueline O’Connor. Description: PIV is being used to study the flow field inside of a Bernoulli Lifter.



The Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at Penn State is one of the nation’s largest and most successful engineering departments. We serve more than 1,000 undergraduate students and more than 330 graduate students

We offer B.S. degrees in mechanical engineering and nuclear engineering as well as resident (M.S., Ph.D.) and online (M.S., M.Eng.) graduate degrees in nuclear engineering and mechanical engineering. MNE's strength is in offering hands-on experience in highly relevant research areas, such as energy, homeland security, biomedical devices, and transportation systems.

Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering

137 Reber Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-2519