Indian Springs school student recognized internationally for research on artificial skin


Catherine Kung, a senior at the Indian Springs School, has received several awards for her ongoing research into the development of bio-inspired artificial skin.

Kung rose among a competitive group of university students to win first place in the SPIE Best Student Paper Award 2022. SPIE is the international optics and photonics company founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies . The award recognizes research with “a demonstrated link to smart structures and materials”.

Kung worked with Indian Springs School Physics Professor Hazal Mohammed on the paper titled “Development of Bio-inspired Flexible Artificial Skin and Sensory Information Processing Using an Artificial Kohonen Network “. As one of six finalists, she traveled to California this spring to present her research to a panel of esteemed judges. She received a cash prize of $500.

Kung also won first place in the 2022 Alabama Science Scholar Search and was awarded a $4,000 Gorgas Scholarship.

At the 2022 Central Alabama Regional Science and Engineering Fair, Kung won first place in the Senior Engineering Division for his project, “American Sign Language (ASL) Trigger Word Recognition ) using RF sensors in combination with deep neural networks”. This was a new project separate from his research on artificial skin.

Kung is one of three students from the Indian Springs School who participated in the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair last May. She and her classmate Mayu Nakano set a school record for switching to Regeneron for two consecutive years.

Kung earned a perfect score of 36 on the ACT and was named a Presidential Scholar Nominee and a National Merit Finalist.

Submitted by Rachel Wallace

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