Okezue Bell '23 Shines in Elite STEM Competitions

June 10, 2022

Okezue Bell '23 has been busy, winning top awards and recognition in competitive national and international STEM contests. 

Spirit of Ramanujan Mathematics Award

Okezue was 1 of 25 students internationally awarded the prestigious Spirit of Ramanujan Mathematics Award by Ken Ono, one of the world's most famous mathematicians in the field of number theory. The award comes with a research stipend for Okezue's mathematical and computational research in developing new methods to decode electromyographical (EMG) signals for applications in robotics and healthcare. Okezue discovered a new method of deciphering biosignals through an algorithm that can break down 3D images of the signals and decompose them, allowing him to extract high-quality information from the EMG and convert them into different inputs, such as gestures. Okezue is very excited to use the grant and Spirit of Ramanujan Fellowship to continue his research and gives his thanks to Mr. Galitsky for his support and recommendation!


International Science and Engineering Fair

Following his Gold Medal win out of over 700 projects at the Delaware Valley Science Fair, as well as two special awards, the Yale Science and Engineering Award and the Air Products 1st Place innovation award, Okezue Bell '23 attended the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in the biomedical engineering category. Okezue enjoyed the fair and made new friends along the way, and was excited to present his research--a novel low-cost and robust prosthetic arm--to the judges. After an intense three days of project setup, judging, and media day, Okezue took 2nd place overall in the biomedical engineering category sponsored by Johnson & Johnson and a first-place special award from the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) called the Bill Ewald Socio-Technical Systems Engineering Award, winning membership to the prestigious INCOSE. Okezue beat out nearly 7,000,000 projects globally to attend the ISEF fair and received one of their coveted Grand and Special Awards!

See his project here. Read Okezue's abstract here.



This past month, Okezue competed in the Pennsylvania BioGENEius challenge, which is the world's largest pre-collegiate biology and biotechnology research competition in the world. Only one winner is selected from each state to compete at the competition, and Okezue took first at the Pennsylvania BioGENEius for his work in developing a low-cost and robust prosthetic for amputees with below the elbow (transradial) amputations. Okezue received a fully-funded trip to compete for top awards totaling $20,000 at the International BioGENEius conference, where he was recently named the Grand Prize Winner!


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