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6th Annual STEM Conference Brings Research to Southeast Texas


Lamar University hosted its sixth annual STEM Conference featuring fifty-four presentations, thirty-six posters and eighteen talks. The conference Featured research from students of Lamar University, University of Louisiana - Lafayette, University of New Orleans, University of Texas - Dallas, and local high school students from Harmony Science Academy. Lamar University alum Terry Welch, CEO & President of the Sinclair Group, presented as a guest lecturer. 

“We had a very successful event this year,” said Dr. Kumer Das, Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research at Lamar University. “The number of participants was higher, but most importantly the quality of the research has also increased significantly in the past years. Most of the faculty say they see high quality research with good data and a high chance for publication.

Das says the conference will help Lamar Unviersity stand as a strong STEM institution in this region along with new new facilities like the Science and Technology building helping to showcase the university's work.

The goal of the conference is to expose Lamar University STEM students to the possibilities offered by undergraduate research.

“It gives students the courage to present their ideas on their home turf so they will not feel overwhelmed,” said Das. “The conference gives them an experience that can act as a stepping stone to eventually going to a national or international conference. We are also here for students to have a space to grow their communication and presentation skills and see what research their fellow students are conducting.”

The Lamar University STEM Conference first began in the summer of 2013 and began with ten students presenting their research.

Winners are as follows:

Undergraduate Talk -1st
The Role of Plastic Waste in Causing Disease in the Coral Porites Astreoides:
Direct Pathogen Transmission or Indirect Facilitation?
Katelin Catching, Department of Biology, Lamar University
Co-authors: K. E. Smith, A. Borel, H. Henslee, M. McNab, and A. Tran
Mentor: Dr. Mathew Hoch

Undergraduate Talk- 2nd
Public and Environmental Risk Identification of Commonly Transported Chemicals at Ports in Gulf of
Dikshant Singh, Dan F. Smith Department of Chemical Engineering, Lamar University
Mentors: Dr. Berna Eren Tokgoz and Dr. Cagatay Tokgoz

Undergraduate Talk - 3rd
Fate of a Plastic Debris Microbiome during Simulated Transport from
Maya Mountain River to the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, Belize
Ashley Borel, Department of Biology, Lamar University
Co-authors: H. Henslee and M. McNab
Mentor: Dr. Matthew Hoch

Undergraduate Talk - 3rd
Studies on the efficiency of solar cells
Daniel Quispe, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Department of Physics, Lamar University
Co-Author: David Quispe
Mentor: Dr. Cristian Bahrim

Undergraduate Poster -1st
Hyperconjugation-Assisted Ring Openings of Substituted Acylcyclopropanones
Nathan Abshier, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Lamar University
Mentor: Dr. Christopher Martin

Undergraduate Poster- 2nd
Spectroscopic Studies of Ammonia Borane-Polyethylene Oxide Hydrogen Storage Composites
Caitlyn Clark, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Lamar University
Co-authors: Krishna Kharel, Emily Ingram, Riqiang Fu and Ozge Gunaydin-Sen
Mentor: Dr. Ozge Gunaydin-Sen

Undergraduate Poster -3rd
Electrospinning chamber for cardiovascular tissue replacements
Madison Neill, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Co-authors: Sarah Judice and Guillaume Maurin
Mentor: Dr. Charles E. Taylor

Graduate Talk- 1st
Dynamic Response of a Hingeless Helicopter Rotor Blade at Forward Flight
Pratik Sarker, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of New Orleans
Mentor: Dr. Uttam Chakravarty

Graduate Talk-  2nd
What Do Network Motifs Tell Us about Robustness and Reliability of Complex Networks?
Asim K. Dey
Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas
Co-author: Dr. H. Vincent Poor, Princeton University
Mentor: Dr. Yulia R. Gel

Graduate Talk- 3rd
Poisson Image Denoising Based on Fractional-Order Derivatives
Md Mujibur Rahman Chowdhury,
Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas
Co-authors: Jun Zhang, Nanchang Institute of Technology, China and Jing Qin, Montana State University
Mentor: Dr. Yifei Lou, University of Texas at Dallas

Graduate Poster- 1st
Environmental impact assessment for high conversion synthesis of <10 nm silver
nanoparticles using microwave assisted heating by life cycle techniques
Adarsh Bafana
Dan F. Smith Department of Chemical Engineering, Lamar University
Co-authors: Shishir Kumar,Prasad Pawar, Sila Temizel-Sekeryan,
Si Amar Dahoumane
Mentors: Drs. Liv Haselbach, and Clayton Jeffryes

Graduate Poster- 2nd
Who tweets about autism? An analysis of autism-related tweets in the USA
Jianyuan Ni, Department of Computer Science, Lamar University
Mentors: Dr. Jing Zhang and Dr. Vinaya Manchaiah

Graduate Poster - 3rd
Radiation Pattern of a Non-Conformal Antenna on an Electrically Large Conducting Convex Platform
Babajide Salau, Department of Electrical Engineering, Lamar University
Mentor: Dr. Cagatay Tokgoz