Ellen Bridget O’Connell

Ellen Bridget O’Connell
MIT MechE | Lincoln Labs Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Advisor: Douglas Hart
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Areas of Research: Chemistry
Years: 2018-2019
Research Project Title:

Soil Analysis

abstract:Soil nutrient analysis provides information that is used to prescribe fertilizer but the standard method for soil analysis is labor-intensive, time-consuming, and cost-ineffective because samples must be sent to labs for analysis. This research will be focused on validating a new approach to soil nutrient analysis that reduces the amount of soil needed for samples and allows for rapid in field analysis. Factors such as grain size and the method of sample preparation will be studied further in addition to constructing calibration curves and running experiments on the effects of moisture content of the soil samples.

I am participating in SuperUROP to experience a longer-term, interdisciplinary research project. Through this research I hope to further my understanding of how to design a mechanical system for a specific context and how to structure a research project. In 2.014 (Engineering Systems Development) I worked on the predecessor to this research and I am excited to continue research that combines my interests in mechanical design and chemistry.