Student research supports LIGO, flight, bone development

Student research supports LIGO, flight, bone development

By Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities

Cain,-left,-Loeffler-and-KlingeleRICHLAND, Wash. – Three undergraduate students were awarded $3,000 research grants from Washington River Protection Solutions as part of the Chancellor’s Summer Scholars Program at Washington State University Tri-Cities.

Students will do research collaboratively with faculty mentors, developing skills to prepare them for careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) or a related field.

Daniel Cain

Daniel Cain, mentored by physics instructor Cigdem Capan, will enhance capabilities for LIGO Hanford’s physical environmental monitoring subsystem. Some of his tasks will include mounting a half-wavelength antenna interface, mixing the antenna signal with a radiofrequency local oscillator and delivering the processed signal to the data acquisition system. He will also help upgrade LIGO’s cosmic ray detection system by designing, shipping, stuffing and testing circuit boards.

Eric Loeffler

Eric Loeffler, mentored by Changki Mo, associate professor of mechanical engineering, is constructing a flight motion simulator, which combines two areas of his interest: aviation and mechatronics. He will research different methods of controlling a platform to simulate the sensation of movement and explore audio and visual stimulation through headphones and virtual reality headsets before combining his knowledge into constructing the full simulator.

Zoe Klingele

Zoe Klingele, mentored by biological sciences assistant professor Jim Cooper, is researching jaw development in zebra fish. The fish is a model species used extensively for medical and developmental research. She will breed zebrafish and use high-speed video to record their feeding biomechanics before and after metamorphosis, which is the process of transformation from an immature form to an adult. Metamorphosis causes a complex change in zebrafish cranial biomechanics, and Klingele will study the role of thyroid hormones in regulating this transformation.


Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities public relations specialist, 509-372-7333,