Dissertations and Theses


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 8427
  • Publication
    (2024-05-17) Daryl Hurwitz; Vitale, Flavia; Michelle, Johnson
    In the evolving field of neuroelectronics implants, several significant challenges persist. The rigidity of traditional devices often lead to substantial tissue damage and immune reactions, highlighting the urgent need for flexible, biomimetic designs that integrate more harmoniously with neural tissues, thereby enhancing biocompatibility and long-term stability. Most commercial neural implants are not customizable and feature a limited number of electrodes, which constrains the scope of neural data that can be captured. This limitation calls for the development of scalable technologies that can achieve higher spatial resolutions. Efficient wireless power and data transfer technologies are also essential to support fully implantable, untethered neural interfaces. Current implants generally lack the ability to incorporate multiple recording and stimulation modalities, restricting their application in diverse scientific studies. The development of multimodal interfaces could address this limitation, enabling more detailed studies of neural structure and function. This thesis explores the innovative use of MXene, specifically the two-dimensional nanomaterial TI3C2Tx, in conjunction with polydopamine (PDA) to develop customizable microelectrode arrays (MEAs) that can be rapidly fabricated for use in surgical settings. MXenes are selected for their exceptional conductivity, flexibility, and biocompatibility-qualities essential for effective neural interfaces. The addition of PDA enhances these interfaces’ mechanical and environmental stability while maintaining their excellent electrical properties. This research presents a novel method for the quick production of MEAs that can be adapted to individual surgical requirements potentially a day prior to or on the day of surgery, ultimately facilitating precise electrode placement for optimized neural recording and stimulation. By addressing the significant challenges of existing bioelectronic interfaces—such as the need for stable, safe, and functional integration with soft biological tissues—this thesis demonstrates a scalable approach to fabricate devices that combine the unique optical, electronic, and biocompatible properties of carbon-based nanomaterials. The outcomes of this work are expected to contribute significantly to the fields of neurology and bioelectronics by providing a robust platform for the advanced study of brain function across various spatial and temporal scales. This could lead to improved understanding and management of neurological conditions, thereby aligning with the broader goals of advancing neuroscientific research and clinical neurology.
  • Publication
    Positive Organizational Dynamics: A Reflective Journey Through Organizational Design, Culture and The Individual Experience
    (2022) Caroline M. Flood; Hart, Stephen G.
    This capstone is a portfolio review of the author’s study of organizational dynamics at the University of Pennsylvania. It is a practical guide for business professionals to reflect on how to achieve positive organizational dynamics, as well as a conversational journey examining the relationship between dynamics and organizational design, culture, and the individual experience. The work provides insight into leading theories, models, and research on organizational dynamics, which are brought to life through the author’s personal application and reflection. The capstone articulates the complexity involved in defining organizational dynamics and reinforces the importance of examining dynamics at the individual level. The author concludes that achieving positive organizational dynamics is possible through a continuous personal reflective process.
  • Publication
    Community-Building as Neighborhood Preservation: A Case Study of Cedar Park in Postwar West Philadelphia
    (2024-05-18) Arden Jordan; Ammon, Francesca
    This thesis explores community-led efforts in Cedar Park, a West Philadelphia neighborhood, to ‘stabilize’ the community in the wake of white flight, between 1960 and 1990. As Cedar Park shifted from a primarily white neighborhood to a racially diverse community, two groups—Cedar Park Neighbors, a neighborhood civic association, and the Movement for a New Society, a radical pacifist group—applied varied volunteer efforts to stabilize and revitalize Cedar Park. These included: housing rehabilitation and related education, establishment of a community land trust, a block association to improve community safety, and a food co-op to address food insecurity. While contemporaneous urban renewal efforts in Philadelphia pursued preservation through regulation, Cedar Park Neighbors and Movement for a New Society realized preservation through these alternative means. By focusing on community-building and tending to the social, economic, and physical challenges of the neighborhood, these groups helped maintain both the social and physical fabric of the neighborhood. As the preservation field expands the connection between preservation and neighborhood planning in the twenty-first century, looking back at twentieth-century community-building efforts through the lens of preservation can help clarify what is preservation. By analyzing past practices, new preservation practices are suggested including: apply existing zoning overlays; utilize funds for rehabilitation and implement education programs; advocate for zoning variations beyond traditional family structures; create permanently affordable housing; and maintain abandoned houses and vacant lots. As Cedar Park faces new challenges in the twenty-first century, these tools can help build community and manage change for the future.
  • Publication
    Poseidon’s Peripeteia: A Post-War Transatlantic Ocean Liner and The Retention of Her Legacy, The SS United States
    (2024-05-18) Carrick Reider; Milroy, Elizabeth
    The SS United States is one of the three last physically remaining trans-Atlantic ocean liners. Through her achievement as the fastest passenger ship in the world, she was a projection of power for the United States in Post-War society, exemplifying the interplay of nationalism, design, and technology during an immensely significant era. Preserving the physical ship is essential for safeguarding this heritage and maintaining a connection to the past. This thesis looks at the history of the ship from the design stage up until today, the 1998-9 National Register of Historic Places nomination’s evaluation of the ship, maritime historians’ academic literature about her, and reviews current literature on guidelines for the preservation and interpretation of historic ships and other vessels. Furthermore, it discusses the SS United States Conservancy, the owners of the ship, and its interpretation of the ship, including the 2023 renovation plan of the ship prepared for the Conservancy, and its website. This thesis raises questions about the practical use of digitization for heritage materials, and if it undermines preservation plans of the vessel. There is also discussion of the 2023 lawsuit brought against the Conservancy that could result in the scrapping of the ship, raising further questions that if the ship is scrapped, what happens to the Conservancy and its continuation of the ship’s legacy. All this information thus argues for greater recognition of the historic value of ocean liners and the need for consistent guidelines and protocols that might assist advocates in safeguarding them.
  • Publication
    Architectural concrete vulnerability and climate change: I.M. Pei's National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the Everson Museum of Art
    (2024-05-18) Jingyi Luo; Henry, Michael
    Reinforced bush-hammered concrete is an important material in 20th-century architecture. As it ages, its vulnerabilities have become more urgent with climate change. Despite its historical importance, research on the climate change impacts on reinforced bush-hammered concrete remains scarce. This thesis examines two contemporaneous concrete buildings designed by I.M. Pei in different climate zones to assess the impact of climate change. The study aims to (1) evaluate surface recession rates since construction, (2) predict carbonation rates considering changing climatic variables using available carbonation models and climate projections from 1967-2099, and (3) analyze the combined effects of these factors in the anthropogenic era. This research offers quantitative evidence of climate change's impact on reinforced bush-hammered concrete, underscoring the importance of monitoring surface recession and carbonation depth in conserving such historic buildings and developing predictive models.