Dr. Konstantin Zamuruyev is the recipient of the 2019 Zuhair A. Munir Award for the best doctoral dissertation in the College of Engineering.

May 15, 2019

By Rachel Furtado

Dr. Konstantin Zamuruyev is the recipient of the 2019 Zuhair A. Munir Award for the best doctoral dissertation in the College of Engineering. Zamuruyev received his Ph.D. in mechanical and aerospace engineering at UC Davis and is now a postdoctoral fellow and application engineer in the microdevices laboratory at NASA.

Zamuruyev was recognized for his research “Development of a Portable System for Analysis of Exhaled Breath Condensate,” where he designed a device that uses a safe, non-invasive method to analyze the composition of volatile and non-volatile compounds in exhaled breath, which can be reflective of a disease’s state.

The lack of standardized methods and the absence of optimized hardware are among the major problems in the developing field of breath diagnostics. To address these problems, Zamuruyev presented an improved design of a portable, easy-to-use human breath sampler. Key factors considered in the design of the device were temperature and stability, the saliva trap and the microdroplets passage. The device’s performance is evaluated with metabolomic analysis of the exhaled breath condensate samples.

Zamuruyev gathered volunteers to test the device and then analyzed their breath samples. He wanted to correlate the exhaled breath condensate sampler design parameters to the metabolomic content of collected samples, which would lead to the development of optimal devices for standardized studies in human breath metabolomics.

“Since my childhood, I have had a desire to do something valuable in life. The Munir Award is a great recognition from people that inspires me to keep striving for my highest life goals – to serve God and the people around me,” said Zamuruyev.

Mechanical and aerospace engineering Professor Christina Davis mentored Zamuruyev as he worked alongside medicine Professor Nick Kenyon and mechanical and aerospace engineering Professor JP Delplanque throughout his research.

“As a student, Konstantin excelled at interdisciplinary research, which is quite challenging. He worked seamlessly with our collaborators and he published some groundbreaking work that is still being internationally recognized several years later,” said Davis.

“I found Konstantin to be incredibly creative, smart, hard-working and passionate about his research. In addition to outstanding scientific and technical abilities, Konstantin is kind, sincere, humble and generous. It is a real pleasure to know him and to get to work with him,” added Delplanque.

Zuhair A. Munir led the College of Engineering as dean from 2000 to 2002 and served as associate dean for graduate studies for 20 years. Established in 1999, the annual Zuhair A. Munir award honors the student who has submitted the best doctoral dissertation based on outstanding research conducted in the college. This award also acknowledges the mentorship of the recipient’s major professor(s).

Zamuruyev will receive his award on May 22, 2019 as part of the UC Davis Graduate Studies Honors and Awards Ceremony.