Antonia Dingeman

ECU undergraduate researcher Antonia Dingeman is using engineering techniques to help those suffering from congestive heart failure.

Major: Electrical Engineering

Mentor: Dr. Jason Yao

Department: College of Engineering and Technology

Project Title: “Effectiveness of the Air Puff System in Assessing Differences in Hydration Levels”

Antonia’s study focuses on determining if the Air Puff System (APS), developed by ECU’s Department of Engineering and the College of Nursing, for objective peripheral edema can distinguish and assess differences in hydration levels. Peripheral edema is often found in patients suffering from congestive heart failure, but can often be found is those with renal failure, liver cirrhosis, hypertension, and sickle cell anemia. This condition is noted by an excess of fluid buildup in tissues, causing swelling of the extremities.

How did you get involved in undergraduate research?

I got involved in research because one of my professors that I had during freshman year reached out to me to join his research team. My plan is to go to graduate school, so I thought it would be helpful to have undergraduate experience.

Why did you choose your research topic?

My current research topic was suggested to me by my mentor and I found it to be a very interesting topic, so I stuck with it.

What’s been your favorite part of conducting undergraduate research?

My favorite part of conducting undergraduate research is being exposed to a whole new world outside of my regular classes and it gave me the opportunity see how a program learning in class, Matlab, is applied to actual projects.

What’s your ultimate goal or accomplishment that you hope your research will help you achieve?

I hope that by conducting undergraduate research it gives me an opportunity to get funding to go to graduate school.

Do you have any advice for other students interested in conducting undergraduate research?

Pick a subject that you are interested in, something you want to spend all your time thinking about. Ask your professors about research opportunities that they have available and don’t be afraid to apply for funding for your research.