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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Student Research Week closes with awards ceremony

Photo by Photo by: Madeline Sambrano

Dozens of awards — and thousands in cash prizes — were given to student researchers from all corners of campus Monday, as Student Research Week, SRW, wrapped up its annual weeklong event with a closing ceremony.

Dozens of awards — and thousands in cash prizes — were given to student researchers from all corners of campus Monday, as Student Research Week, SRW, wrapped up its annual week-long event with a closing ceremony.
SRW is a three-day event that gives student researchers the chance to present their work to a panel of judges. Over 700 graduate and undergraduate student competitors were whittled down to a few dozen award-winners who were recognized at Monday’s event. Keynote speaker Chris Houser, associate dean of the College of Geosciences, stressed the importance of communication, engagement and outreach to touch on SRW’s 2016 theme, “Rev’d Up for Research.”
“Student Research Week is about something far greater — that is engagement and knowledge systems, and is the true heart for the university,” Houser said. “It was hoped that through your presentations, you would inspire others, or as the tagline said, ‘Rev’d Up for Research,’ you would have engaged that research and inspired others to be apart of that knowledge process as well.”
Prerna Jain, a chemical engineering graduate student at Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center, won an award for her work in the field of Process Safety and Risk Management. Jain said she developed a resilience analysis framework for oil and gas industry that would aid in prevention and reduction of catastrophic incidents.
“Before coming to graduate school I worked in the process industry for five years and have seen all these things very clearly,” Jain said. “This industry is very important for society at large because it provides products containing polymers. So my passion comes from there.”
Raniero Lara-Garduno, a computer science graduate student, won an award for his work in math, statistics and computer science. Lara-Garduno said his research involves the analysis of neurophysiological tests for clinical psychologists and was inspired to pursue this research when advising for a senior design class that truly peaked his interest.
“It has an impact that was immediately recognizable not only in the field of computer science, but also for a general purpose,” Lara-Garduno said. “Nurses can administer tests for patients to diagnose and look at the effects of concussions and emergencies much faster.”
Houser works in the departments of geography, geology and geophysics and studies the movement of sand in oceans and along beaches. He said his research made long-lasting impacts on science’s understanding of how riptides act and how to accurately convey this information to the public.
“My research impact would not have been the same without commitment and engagement making sure it is known to the public,” Houser said. “You will realize that commitment to outreach and engagement is just as important, if not more important than the initial discovery.”
Houser said A&M’s role as an institution is to facilitate the impact of student research.
“A&M has a unique responsibility to not only educate students to be good scholars and good citizens all over the world, but also has a responsibility to make sure [students’] research has a significant impact on science and society,” Houser said. “That is only possible if you are able to effectively communicate.”

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