University of Calgary

Hoping to muscle way to London

UToday HomeSeptember 10, 2012

By Lizzie MacNeill

Mike DuVallMike DuVallMike DuVall, a PhD candidate at the Schulich School of Engineering, will be competing in North America’s Present Around The World (PATW) competition in Calgary next week. He’ll be a part of an elite group of competitors – a maximum of 10 are accepted – striving to attain first place, which would advance him to the world finals.

Taking place Sept. 14-16 at the Fairmont Palliser downtown, the PATW is a global conference for students, recent graduates, apprentices and young professionals aged 18-26. The competition celebrates international student research and Calgary’s event will showcase advancements in the fields of aerospace engineering, biomedical engineering, and energy and environmental engineering. The winner will head to London, England for the worlds.

Studying biomedical engineering at Schulich, DuVall will present his most recent research on skeletal muscle contraction, aimed at de-bunking some myths of classical muscular theory using his explanation of the molecular spring within muscle, called ‘titin.’ Titin was discovered more than 25 years after the classical muscle theories the medical profession uses today, and could represent a paradigm shift in muscle physiology research.

“The calibre of presenters at this level is very high, so I look forward to seeing what other students in North America are focusing on,” says DuVall. “I understand that this will be a great opportunity to network with other engineers around the world as well, making it a worthwhile experience from many respects.”

In the 2011 PATW competition, Emily Hicks of the biomedical sciences department advanced to the worlds in London as the Americas Regional Finalist with her entry, Biobricks – a revolution based on standards.