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The University of Alabama

UA Engineering Students to Spend Summer Researching in Germany

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Two University of Alabama engineering students will soon take their research to an international level through an academic exchange program in Germany.

Taylor Hall, a sophomore majoring in electrical and computer engineering, and Anika Kuczynski, a junior majoring in civil, construction and environmental engineering, were named recipients of a grant provided by the German Academic Exchange Service. It enables them to travel to two different German universities and conduct research with a German doctoral student in their respective fields.

The grant will take Hall to the University of Duisburg-Essen, where he will study the improvement of 3-D track generation tools used for the design of complex trajectories in space, such as roller coaster tracks.

Current tools used to design these intricate trajectories are limited to paper, pencil and a computer screen, however Hall will be involved in the research of more sophisticated tools, such as a head-mounted display and a 3-D pen.

Hall will arrive in Munich before his internship to participate in a two-week German introductory language course.

“I absolutely love learning languages and interacting with different cultures,” said Hall.  “This will be my second time going to Germany, and the last time I was there, I absolutely fell in love with the culture and people.  One of my goals is to try and learn the language as well as possible.”

Hall, a Montgomery native, serves as the webmaster of the SGA, the lab manager of the computer-based honors program and the vice president of the French Club.  In addition, he is a member of UA’s International Relations Club, Future Alumni for Tradition and Excellence and the IEEE.

While Hall is conducting his research in Duisburg and Essen, Kuczynski, a native of Germany, will return to her home country and spend the summer on the southwestern shore of the Baltic Sea studying the effects of global warming on coastal communities and marine life at the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of Kiel.

Prolonged summer heat waves associated with global warming have caused increased stress on coastal communities of temperate European waters, which has resulted in the decline of seagrass and algae populations.  Kuczynski will be studying whether these organisms possess a sufficient genetic variability that will enable them to survive in the face of global warming through microevolution.

While this grant will allow Kuczynski the opportunity to visit family and friends since her move to Huntsville four years ago, she said she is equally excited about studying in her home country.

“This internship will be a valuable experience in that it will give me insight into how research is done at a leading research facility in Germany,” said Kuczynski.

Kuczynski serves as the chief justice of the College of Engineering Academic Honor Council and is a member of the Society of Women Engineers, French Club and the International Relations Club. She also plays clarinet for the Tuscaloosa Winds.

Both Hall and Kuczynski are considering attending graduate school in Germany after graduating from the Capstone.

In 1837, The University of Alabama became one of the first five universities in the nation to offer engineering classes. Today, UA’s fully accredited College of Engineering has more than 2,300 students and more than 100 faculty. In the last seven years, students in the College have been named USA TodayAll-USA College Academic Team members, Goldwater scholars, Hollings scholars and Portz scholars.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.

  • CONTACT: Whitney Taylor, engineering student writer, 205/348-3051; Mary Wymer, engineering media relations, 205/348-6444, mwymer@eng.ua.edu