Oak Ridge National Laboratory



Media Contact: Agatha Bardoel (bardoelaa@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


ORNL summer interns take top prize at Siemens Competition

Ziyuan Liu (left) and Cassee Cain won the grand prize in the team category of the 2011 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology for work begun during a internship at ORNL.
OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Dec. 7, 2011 — Oak Ridge High School students Cassee Cain and Ziyuan Liu are the team winners of the 2011 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology, announced Monday, Dec. 5, in Washington, D.C.

They will share a $100,000 college scholarship for their bioengineering project, which uses Kinect for Xbox 360 and Computer Vision to analyze human walking patterns. The results may aid in the development of an accurate, affordable device to detect abnormal walking patterns and contribute toward improved prosthesis design.

Despite the especially stiff competition this year - an all-time record of 2,436 students registered and 1,541 submitted projects - Cain and Liu came out on top. Under the guidance of ORNL biomedical engineers Boyd Evans and John Mueller, Cain and Liu's work began during a 2011 summer internship at the lab.

"It has been a wonderful experience working with Cassee and Ziyuan," Evans said. "They immediately grasped the importance of the project as well as the technical requirements. Cassee and Ziyuan have made the Oak Ridge community very proud, and we expect to see great accomplishments from them as they pursue their college careers."

Mueller found Cain and Liu to be "very self-sufficient."

"They came in and did an awesome job with the project," Mueller said. "They worked really hard, and it was easy to work with them."

Liu is the founder of a committee to educate his school and community about solar energy.  He's also a member of the International Relations Club and French National Honor Society, and he enjoys playing the alto saxophone and swimming. Liu wants to become the head of a software company or a banking firm.

Cain is the drum major of her high school marching band, costume designer for the drama club and a National Honor Society National Achiever. Cain plans to major in chemical engineering and become an oncologist.

Cain and Liu's work is part of a larger project that involves collaboration between ORNL, Otto Bock Healthcare and Brooke Army Medical Center. Liu's father, Bo, works in ORNL's Computer Science & Mathematics Division.

Liu is also the son of Shuang Chen. Cain is the daughter of Vincent Cain and Mary Cooper.