University of Pittsburgh
October 17, 2000


Contact:  412-624-4147

Pittsburgh, Oct. 16 -- Three University of Pittsburgh engineering students won the 2000 Undergraduate Student Design and Research Award from the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) for a research paper they co-wrote. The paper was presented at the BMES National Conference in Seattle, Washington, on Oct. 13.

Working in the McGowan Center for Artificial Organ Development under the direction of William Wagner, associate professor of bioengineering, Robert Svitek, Brian Fill, and Thomas Robey are members of the first undergraduate bioengineering student class. Currently, Svitek and Fill are first year graduate students in chemical engineering and bioengineering, and Robey is a senior undergraduate.

The paper is the result of a yearlong senior design project to engineer a strategy for modifying the surface of materials that contact the blood. Products resulting from this research will decrease adverse effects that occur after surgery or injury. The BMES Award, sponsored by the Whitaker Foundation, is selected on the basis of the abstract's scientific merit, originality, and quality of presentation.