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Elizabeth Fortunato

“Along with a challenging course load, the Grand Challenge Scholars Program allowed me to go beyond the typical course load of an engineer. I truly appreciated participating in service, travel, and entrepreneurial pursuits.”

Major: Biosystems Engineering

Theme: Engineering Better Medicine

Research Experience

Fortunato participated in a research study with St. Rita’s Medical Center in Lima, Ohio, to optimize a phototherapy treatment for trauma rehabilitation patients. She also participated in cell-inspired sensor research and water quality mapping research through the departments of Biosystems Engineering and Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering.

Interdisciplinary Studies

  • Collaboration with marine biologist from the University of St. Andrews on the practice of ecosystem management.
  • Perspectives on Globalization (HSP 268)
  • Energy in the Modern World (HSP 288)


  • As part of her senior design project titled Phototherapy Delivery-System Design for Inpatient Rehabilitation, Elizabeth was able to prove that by implementing her design into hospital rooms, $1,500 pure phototherapy device could be saved per year, based on the average nurse’s salary. She presented an economic analysis on the final design to the biosystems engineering department for review.
  • Introduction to Economics and Engineering Economics


  • Fortunato studied glacial decay in the Austrian Alps
  • Studied thermodynamics and circuits in London, England
  • Participated in a collaborative project in Scotland with the Universities of St. Andrews and Edinburgh.

Service Learning

  • Fortunato founded an after-school program at Pond Gap Elementary to teach students about robotics using Lego Robotics Kits.

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