Engineering Student Recognized at Sigma Xi International Research Conference


MACON – Mercer University School of Engineering student Bich Nguyen was recognized for delivering one of the top presentations at Sigma Xi's 2014 International Research Conference, Nov. 7-9, in Glendale, Arizona.

More than 100 high school, undergraduate and graduate students presented their research for Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, and only the top 24 were rated as superior.

Nguyen's presentation was titled “Biomechanical Effects Of Angled Screw Placement On The Fixation Stability Of Long Bone Shaft Fractures.” Her research was performed under the advisement of Dr. Ha Van Vo, associate professor of biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering, Dr. Edward O'Brien, professor and chair of biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering, and Dr. Lawrence Webb, traumatologist and orthopedic surgeon at the Medical Center, Navicent Health.

As a superior presenter, Nguyen received a medal and a nomination to join Sigma Xi with her initiation fee and first year's dues paid.

“We are very excited by Bich's award at the Sigma Xi Conference as it recognizes not only this public presentation of her work on bone fixation but also her commitment to research in the area of biomedical engineering,” said Dr. Philip T. McCreanor, professor of environmental engineering and president of the University's chapter of Sigma Xi. “She is a great example of how a student can use their academic talents to expand our base of knowledge and serve others.”

Nguyen, who is an international student from Vietnam, is completing her Master of Science in biomedical engineering this semester. She plans to remain at Mercer after graduation as a research assistant to Dr. Vo and ultimately pursue a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering with a specialization in injury biomechanics. Her research interests include injury mechanics, rehabilitation engineering and biomaterials for orthopedic surgeries/orthopedic biomechanics.

She was inducted into Mercer's chapter of Sigma Xi in fall 2012 based on her work on “Heat Transfer of Bone Cemented Femur Anthroplasty” under the guidance of Dr. Sinjae Hyun, associate professor of biomedical engineering. During the 2012-2013 academic year, her senior design team developed a mechanical upper extremity prosthetic for use in Vietnam and presented its work at Mercer's spring 2013 Engineering Expo. In addition to her research activities, she is an active member of the Mercer Prosthetics Club and has participated in multiple Mercer On Mission trips to Vietnam to fit leg prosthetics.

“I am beyond excited and honored to receive this recognition,” said Nguyen. “It was a great experience to share my research with the top scientists and inspiring colleagues in the field.”

About Sigma Xi

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, is the international honor society of science and engineering. One of the oldest and largest scientific organizations in the world, Sigma Xi has maintained a distinguished history of service to science and society for more than a century. Scientists and engineers, whose research spans the disciplines of science and technology, comprise the membership of the Society. Sigma Xi chapters can be found at colleges and universities, government laboratories, and industry research centers around the world. More than 200 Nobel Prize winners have been members. The Society is based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

Kyle is the director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he coordinates hometown and university news releases and serves as editor of the News@Mercer e-newsletter and Reach magazine.​