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Undergraduate Student Wins Goldwater Honorable Mention

Leslie Lestinsky • DATE: April 29, 2018

Department of Electrical Engineering (EE) junior Braeden Benedict, from Rancho Palos Verdes, California, has received the Goldwater Scholars Honorable Mention for the second year in a row. The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation was established by Congress in 1986 to honor the life and work of Senator Barry Goldwater. It is deemed the most prestigious undergraduate scholarship in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering in America. The paper Benedict submitted this year was entitled, "Development of an EEG Device for Evaluation of MTBI."

Over the course of three years, Benedict researched mild traumatic brain injuries, also known as concussions, using a handheld EEG device. He was advised by Peter Starodub and consulted with the Sports Concussion Institute in Los Angeles, California. The research involved testing human subjects, high school football and lacrosse athletes, before and after concussion occurred to determine if using the device on-site could be a more effective solution to managing and detecting concussions. “The goal is to move concussion diagnosis away from a subjective clinical judgment to a more quantitative, objective analysis," said Benedict. As he continues his undergraduate EE research projects, he looks forward to graduate studies in biomedical engineering. This summer, Benedict, a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar, will be traveling to Boston Scientific to participate in neuromodulation and spinal cord stimulation research.