Engineering students represent NMSU at technical conference

Writer: Lorena Sánchez

German Reyes, Ivan Rodriguez, Jorge Soltero, Alain Simental, and Steven Hespeler represented New Mexico State University’s College of Engineering at the 83rd Annual National Technical Association Conference at Howard University in Washington, D.C. this September.

NTA conference representatives

(Back from left) Haytham Alodana, Steven Hespeler, Jorge Soltero, Ivan Rodriguez, German Reyes, and Alai Simental. (Front from left): Front Delia J. Valles-Rosales and Hansuk Sohn

The NTA is an organization that promotes the advancement and representation of minorities in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics, education, and architecture. The students presented their research that reflected this year’s theme, “Change the Equation-Link In Minority Technical Organization,” to their peers and professionals in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Over the course of the three-day conference, September 14 to 16, the students attended “technically oriented sessions, informative displays and Career Opportunity Fair, panel discussions workshops, and seminars.” They also had the opportunity to play tourist in the evenings and before their departure.

This is the first year NMSU’s engineering students have participated in the NTA conference. With help from their mentors Delia J. Valles-Rosales and Hansuk Sohn, both industrial engineering professors, the students compiled and submitted their research. The papers were reviewed, and only certain students were invited to attend. Airfare, lodging, and meals were provided by the conference.

For the past year Reyes, an industrial engineering Ph.D. student, alongside his mentor Sohn, conducted his research and submitted a paper titled Sustainable Fleet management Plan on NMSU Campus.

“It’s analyzing how to reduce cost of operating the transit system without compromising the quality of service. Basically, making a system that is more sustainable and efficient.” Reyes explained.

Along with their mentor Valles, Hespeler, who is pursuing his master’s degree in industrial engineering, Jorge Soltero, an undergraduate student in industrial engineering, Alain Simental, an undergraduate in mechanical engineering, and Haytham Alodana (who was unable to attend), an industrial engineering Ph. D. student , submitted a paper titled New Eco-Friendly Wood Plastic Composite Material Based Chile Fibers and Plastic.

“It’s pretty much making eco-friendly material from waste, wood, and plastic,” Simental explained.
Ivan Rodriguez, a Ph.D. student, worked with Valles for a paper titled Bayesian Reliability Model Using Accelerated Life Testing.

“This paper presents a multi-stress reliability model using Bayesian Inference for prediction of the life of products,” Valles explained.
Sohn and Valles agree that by going to the NTA conference, the students have gained some valuable insight into the career field they are pursuing.

“Students present their research and gain some valuable feedback.  At these conferences, students can develop and improve their presentation skills and work with professionals,” Sohn said.

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