Research Symposium Features 90 Projects

SOCORRO, N.M. March 13, 2015 – The fourth annual Student Research Symposium at New Mexico Tech features a wide range of innovative projects, including 48 posters, 20 oral presentations and 22 three-minute talks. 149 students will be presenting projects, including 50 who are presenting more than once.

The event is all day Thursday, April 16, in the Macey Center. Dr. Frank Etscorn, inventor of the nicotine patch and former Tech professor, is the keynote speaker. His talk is open to everyone at 9 a.m. All students are encouraged to attend and learn about the interesting research students are conducting all over campus. 

Organizer Dr. Mary Dezember, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, said, “This is our largest event ever.  Almost 8 percent of our degree-seeking students will be presenting. We even have student presenters on a wait-list.  It is fantastic that so many of our students are using this great opportunity to present their research and design projects."

The event schedule: 

    • 9 a.m. – Welcome by NMT President Dr. Dan Lopez (Macey Theater)
    • 9:10 a.m. - Introduction of Keynote speaker by Dr. Van Romero, V.P. for Research and Economic Development
    • 9:15 a.m. - Keynote address by Dr. Frank Etscorn (Macey Theater)
    • 10 a.m. to noon – 3 Minute Presentations (Macey Theater)
    • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. – Poster Presentations (Upper Lobby)
    • Noon to 6 p.m. – Oral Presentations (Galena Room)

The Symposium originally was proposed as a part of Tech’s re-accreditation process and has already achieved much more than the earliest visions and expectations. Students present their research and design projects for a multi-disciplinary audience. The presentations are supposed to be accessible and understandable to the wider Tech audience, not just experts in the respective fields, Dezember said.

“This event is such a great fit for New Mexico Tech,” Dezember said. “Tech students are doing amazing work -- actual research and design that can be applied to benefit our world. The SRS is a spotlight for the ambitious and innovative work that is happening in our labs and classrooms.”

As expected, many of the presenters are graduate students and upper level undergrads; however, fully 20 percent of the presenters this year are freshmen who are presenting their projects from the eight Living Learning Community research cohorts.

“I am thrilled to see so many first-year students participating in the SRS,” said event co-director Lisa Majkowski. “This truly illustrates that students have the opportunity to engage in scientific research and engineering design projects right from the start at New Mexico Tech.”

Faculty, staff, alumni and graduate students will review each project, providing feedback on presentation skills and quality of work. Anyone interested in volunteering as a reviewer should email srs@nmt.edu.

All who attend the event will be asked to provide anonymous feedback via iClickers for oral presentations and online surveys for poster presentations, regarding whether each presentation – both oral and poster – is understandable and increased the audience’s knowledge. Again, that feedback will only be available to the presenters.

“A goal of this event is to help students improve their communication skills, which is a crucial skill for success in the work place,” Dezember said. “Our twofold goal is to improve communication and foster community.”

Everyone on campus – and community members – is invited to attend.

Three-Minute Talks

  • Cooking 101: Homemade Explosives
  • Design and Testing of a Liquid Fueled Rocket Engine
  • Explosive Welding from a Fluid Thermal Perspective
  • Explosively Driven Flyer Plate Velocity
  • High Strain Rate Testing of Magnesium
  • Radio Wavelength Observations of Carbon Emission in Galaxies a Billion Years After the Big Bang
  • Thermal Effects of the Space Environment on Structural Health Monitoring

(Some of the poster presenters are also giving three-minute talks.)

Oral Presentations

  • Alternative Solar Energy Sources in New Mexico
  • Android App To-do List
  • Atmospheric Processing of Iron-Containing Minerals
  • Better Corrosion Resistance by Roll-Bonding Aluminum
  • Cadaver Hand Control System
  • Can Process Documentation Help a Company Grow Without Losing its Culture?
  • Cerebral Palsy Patient Targeted Bone Density Sensitivity Analysis
  • Creating Versatile New Particles Using Microcapsule Chemistry
  • Designing a Custom Flight Controller for Sounding Rockets
  • Designing Biodegradable Magnesium Implants
  • Determination of Bridge DIsplacement using Close-Range Photography
  • Discussion Board Android App
  • Earthquake Preparedness of Important N.M. Buildings
  • Effects of Water Drainage on Headcuts in a Watershed
  • Hard-Won Rewards: Getting Kids to do Their Chores
  • How do Microcontinents Form?
  • How the Present Shapes the Past: American Representation of the Russian Revolutionary Terrorists Before and After 9/11
  • Modified Carbon Material for Uranium Specific Filters
  • Which is Sweeter: A Spider or Light? Biases of Answering Silly Questions


  • Bone Drilling Surgical Skill Assessment
  • 3D Printing Meets Rocket Science
  • A New Record of the Early Permian Proto-Mammal from Jemez Pueblo
  • Analysis of Bone Drilling Data for Surgical Assessment
  • Another Chat App for Android
  • Backcountry Horse Cart
  • Blasts in a City: Modeling Shock Waves in Urban Environments
  • Cerebral Palsy Study: Positioning Mechanism
  • Comparison of Two Map Making Methods Applying in a Small Watershed
  • Converting Carbon Dioxide Into Methanol as a Useful Fuel Using Ambient Solar Energy
  • CR10 - A Novel Anticancer Scaffold
  • Determining How Fast Asteroids Spin
  • Determining the Accuracy of 3 Different Types of Rain Gauges
  • Determining the Minimum Diameter Required to Detonate Nano-Sized Aluminum and Ice Propellants
  • Digitalization of Medical Records
  • Disposable Lenses for Cell Phone Microscopy
  • DroidRP: A Reputation System for Android Apps and App Developers
  • Effects of Vegetation on Water Infiltration in Desert Soil
  • Evolution of a Fungal Pathogen
  • Explosive Vapor Detector
  • From Afghanistan to Space: Designing a Point-of-Care Device to Efficiently Diagnose Malnutrition
  • Gioblastoma Differentiation via Compound AKS7: A Promising Chemotherapy Approach
  • Hand Study Device Project: Mechanical System
  • Hill Slope Aspects Effect on Soil Temperature
  • How Flow Energy Contributes to Sediment Distribution in a Small Watershed
  • IM9: An Illuminating Approach to Killing Cancer
  • Killing Efficacy of Drug Delivery Vehicles Containing Modified Anti-Cancer Drugs
  • Live or Dead: Detecting the Survival of Parasites after Drug Treatment
  • Mine Waste - Geochemistry
  • Modeling the Bending of Light with Flat Lenses
  • Modification of Anti-Cancer Drugs to Improve Delivery and Therapeutic Outcome
  • Next Generation Radiant Barrier Insulation
  • NMT Schedules
  • Novel Anticancer Drugs
  • Orthopedic Surgical Skill Assessment
  • Platinum Free Catalyst for Fuel Cell Modeling
  • Quantifying the Effect of Forest Thinning on Water Fluxes with Satellite Imagery
  • Shape and Mixing
  • Solar Cell Power & Efficiency
  • Solar Cell Power and Efficiency
  • Solar Cells: Power, Efficiency, and Temperature Effects
  • Squeaks and Growls: Male Auditory Neurons Processing Female Mouse Growls
  • Synthesizing Gold Nanoparticles with a Ubiquitous Biomolecule
  • Synthetic Tendons
  • Temperature Monitoring for Early Detection of Rapidly Transmittable Equine Illnesses
  • Topsoil Retention due to Vegetation
  • Transfection of Yeast for Bio-Sensing Applications
  • Tuning into Jupiter and the Sun
  • Using Soils to Date Geomorphic Surfaces
  • Visualizing STEM Data: A Look at Students Uses of Ideal and Non-Ideal Data Visuals

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech