Lucas Allegrette ’21 traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah to present his research at the International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE), prior to COVID-19 travel restrictions, which was partially funded by an OUR Travel Grant. The mechanical engineering student researcher and his research mentor, Dr. Thomas Siegmund, are working to determine the speed of “stick bombs” that detonate to form a wave front. As Lucas explains, “kind of like a house of cards, when one of the sticks is removed, a chain reaction takes place where the stick bomb explosively disassembles itself. I have been working on a model of the cobra weave stick bomb, which propagates as a wave, using finite elements.”
While attending IMECE, Lucas won two awards for his poster: Most Attractive Poster and Most Informative Poster. Lucas said that “this experience was invaluable, since I was able to talk to other engineering graduates and undergrads and learn about their professional experiences. It was also great exposure to the world of research, and the feedback I received from other participants and judges helped me improve the project.” Lucas would highly recommend any undergraduate researchers to present at a conference.
The Office of Undergraduate Research provides OUR Travel Grants to student researchers who need financial assistance to attend a conference, whether to support transportation or conference registration fees. Lucas appreciates past OUR donors who helped his own conference travel. “When you donate to OUR, not only are you supporting Purdue and helping Purdue students excel in their career, you are also helping to make the world a better place by supporting projects that make a difference,” said Lucas.
Reflecting on his research and presentation experiences regarding his future success, Lucas said this project taught him how to “adapt and innovate.” He on this unconventional project using software that he was just beginning to learn, and now has applied experiences that can set him apart from others within the same field.