ECC STEM team take first place at Illinois Skyway Competition

  • Tags: Achievements
Published 05/05/2022
ECC math, science, and engineering students Malyika Hussain, Reese Scarnato, Brillina Wang, and Mack Vongsa

ECC math, science, and engineering students Malyika Hussain, Reese Scarnato, Brillina Wang, and Mack Vongsa


Elgin Community College math, science, and engineering students won first prize at the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference 2022 STEM Poster Competition for their project titled “Green Synthesis of Noble Metal Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications.” The competition, held on April 22 at Morton College in Cicero, was split into environmental science projects and projects in the STEM field. ECC won first in the STEM grouping out of eight other participating schools.

The four students to participate were Mack Vongsa (Elgin), Malyika Hussain (St. Charles), Reese Scarnato (Elgin), and Brillina Wang (Sleepy Hollow). “This was my first time being involved in a research project, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to learn and be a part of the Illinois Skyway Competition,” said Scarnato. “It was a great day to finally present our project after months of working on it and seeing the research done by students from the other competing colleges. I am proud of my team for all their hard work and for being able to take home the top prize.”

Led by Assistant Professor of Engineering Soma Chattopadhyay, PhD, and funded through a mini-grant award from the ECC Foundation, students started their Biomedical Engineering research project in September 2021. The group made gold and silver nanoparticles for the project using green synthesis methods for anti-bacterial and therapeutics purposes.

“I am extremely happy since this is the first time the physics and engineering department students at ECC participated in the poster competition and won not only a prize but first prize,” said Chattopadhyay. “Also impressive is the diversity of our team that includes three women, which was great because I love to see more women actively participating in STEM projects and research.”

Chattopadhyay and her students hope to receive more grant money to continue the project and publish and patent their work. For more information on ECC’s Math, Science, & Engineering division, visit the website page or contact Wendy Miller, EdD, dean of health professions, math, science, and engineering, at 847-214-7308.