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Goulbourne earns NSF award to research heart stent sensors

Innovative work on a new type of heart stent sensor has earned SPIE Member Nakhiah Goulbourne, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech, a National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award of $400,000, the university has announced.

The focus of Goulbourne's research is development of specific models and experiments to describe what happens to a human artery equipped with a stent that has a unique type of in situ polymer strain-sensing device. Goulbourne's NSF project is titled "Multiphysics Modeling and Experiments for Pulsatile Membrane Sensors."

An NSF CAREER award also allows the recipient to focus on education and outreach. Goulbourne plans to use her CAREER award to work with middle-school children, including development of an annual summer Girls in Engineering, Mathematics and Science (GEMS) workshop for girls from four schools in grades 9 and 10 in Jamaica, where she grew up.

In the GEMS workshop, she will be working with colleagues Karen Thole and Michael Alley of The Pennsylvania State University and Timothy Long of Virginia Tech's chemistry department. Alley teaches a professional education workshop for SPIE, and Long has presented papers at SPIE meetings.

Read the full press release.