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Two U of M Engineering Students Receive NSF Graduate Fellowships University News
For release: April 26, 2010

For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901/678-2843

University of Memphis students Navid Jafari and Egleide Elenes have been selected to receive the prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) Award. The grant is based on the students’ abilities and accomplishments as well as their potential to contribute to the vitality of science and engineering ventures in the U.S.

Only 2,000 GRF awards were made, about 10 percent of the total number of applicants received from across the nation. Engineering is one of the larger pools of applicants, representing about 28 percent of the total applicants and approximately 33 percent of the total awards.

Navid Jafari
Navid Jafari
Jafari studies slope stability of landfills affected by elevated temperatures. Slope failures may lead to contaminated liquids leaking out of the landfill, causing possible surface or groundwater contamination. Chemical reactions (like decomposition) can raise temperatures in the landfills and cause internal fires to break out, risking slope failure within the landfill.

He will investigate the shear interface strengths of the engineering components of landfills through on-site and laboratory testing. Eventually Jafari will build a slope stability model to illustrate what happens inside a landfill to help firefighters, landfill operators, regulatory agencies and others prevent catastrophic slope failure and environmental problems.

The son of Mohammad and Fara Jafari of Memphis, he will earn a B.S. degree in civil engineering in May 2010.  He will pursue graduate studies at the University of Illinois.

Elenes is working with Dr. Esra Roan, assistant professor of mechanical/biomedical engineering.  Through her research, she hopes to improve medical treatment for patients with pelvis fractures. Pelvic fractures are traumatic and can lead to high levels of residual disability, related injuries and death.  Elenes is investigating the mechanical behavior of a composite hemipelvis analogue using finite element analysis.

Egleide Elenes
Egleide Elenes
This modeling method could be applied to patients in a clinical setting to improve surgical pelvic fracture reduction and post-operative care. Finite element analysis may be a leading method for the analysis of these very complex fractures.

Elenes, who is from Bells, Tenn., received a B.S. degree in biomedical engineering from the U of M. Her parents are Maria Rita Negrete and Moises Negrete.

The award is for full tuition plus $30,000 per year for a maximum of three years.

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