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.
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.
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.