The Oral Presentation Event (2020 SRS)

The 8-minute Oral Presentations will be held on Tuesday, April 14, at 2 PM MST. 

The presentations will be recorded and viewable on this page. During the live portion beginning at 2pm we will accept questions from the public to the presenters.  A moderator will coordinate this through Zoom and guide the question and answer period. This event will run from approximately 2 - 3 PM MST.

Missed the event? See the recording here:

Presenters Project Title & Abstract

Shahriare Hossain

Shahriare Hossain

NMT Chemistry

Fluorescent Lipid Coated Beads for the Sensitive Detection of Disease Biomarker Phospholipase A2 and Annexin-3

The phospholipase A2 (PLA2) is a large group of biologically active enzymes that can hydrolyze lipid membranes. PLA2 is overexpressed in some disease conditions including colon, breast, lung, pancreatic and prostate cancer. Moreover, some cancer biomarkers can inhibit the reactivity of PLA2. It is thus important to study the PLA2 interaction with lipid membranes to develop new sensitive diagnostic tools and drug delivery methods for diseases like cancer. Currently, lipid vesicles are utilized to study membrane-enzyme interaction. However, lipid vesicles lack long-term stability, dened shape and size, and robustness. One attractive alternative for the lipid vesicle assay is to use lipid membranes supported on spherical silica beads. We utilize a biosensing approach, where beads are coated with the uorescent lipid bilayer and the PLA2 interactions with the lipid membrane is detected by monitoring the loss of uorescence using ow cytometry. The key focus of this presentation will be the preparation of uorescent lipo-beads and their characterization, utilization of negatively charged lipids with the uorescent lipids to increase PLA2 sensitivity towards these lipo-beads. Finally, I will talk about the detection of prostate cancer biomarker Annexin-3 using our biosensing approach.

View Shahriare's presentation here:




Jade Baca

NMT Technical Communications

Social Media Marketing Techniques in Corporations and Small Businesses

As new online marketing techniques are discovered, many businesses have expanded their reach by utilizing social media as a form of marketing. Social Media Marketing Techniques (SMMT) give businesses the opportunity to reach more consumers as more individuals become well versed with online media.This research determines the effect of SMMT on large corporations and small businesses. In this study, a survey was conducted to determine if social media posts affected branding of a large international coffee chain and a small local coffee shop. Selected participants were also interviewed to gain further perspective on the effectiveness of social media marketing. My results show that branding in the large corporation affected participant’s opinion and made them less likely to change their opinion after viewing social media posts. Social media posts were proven to be signicantly effective for the small business, as participants showed a bias towards the locality of the business. This study shows that SMMT are very effective for small businesses and SMMT are less effective for large corporations. Therefore, it is dicult to persuade the population to change their opinions about a large corporation, but easier to change opinions on a local business based on SMMT alone. From a business standpoint, my research will allow marketing specialists to effectively and eciently utilize SMMT, and provide insight on future marketing plans.

View Jade's presentation here:




Kimberly McNair

NMT Biology

Tracking the Spread of Carbapenem-Resistant Pathogens in the Rio Grande

Antibiotic resistance is a growing health crisis with fatal consequences. Overuse of antibiotics in clinical and agricultural settings has accelerated the evolution of resistance, but environmental factors may also be responsible for dissemination of these pathogens. The Rio Grande, at nearly 2,000 miles long, could play a role in transporting antibiotic resistant organisms over long distances in New Mexico. The river can easily be contaminated by wastewater euent and agricultural runoff, both of which can carry carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). To determine the role of the Rio Grande in CRE infection rates, water samples were collected every two months for one year, and each sample’s bacterial community was analyzed for common carbapenem resistance genes. Three of the ve most commonly reported CRE-related genes, as well as two less prevalent ones, have been recovered from the Rio Grande. Two of these genes, IMP and OXA-48, entered the area during the course of this study. These resistance mechanisms have since been found at multiple sites along the river, spanning a distance of over 120 miles, suggesting that antibiotic resistance genes are spreading via surface water. While these genes are currently uncommon in New Mexico CRE cases, this environmental dissemination could increase infection rates and introduce new or uncommon resistance genes to nearby communities.

View Kimberly's presentation here:



Niyem Bawana

NMT Mechanical Engineering

Cooperative Swarming Fixed-Wing Drones with Attachment Capabilities: Bioinspiration and Mutualism

There are different methods to improve the energy eciency of drones, such as optimization in the design process or implementation of drag reduction mechanisms. However, swarming and formation ight can be considered as one of the effective approaches for drag reduction. Swarming ight is a novel eld of bio-inspired articial intelligence based on the behavioral models of swarm ight of birds and insects in nature. In this work, we have investigated the drag reduction of echelon-shaped swarming drones while transitioning to the attached drones in order to achieve a specic task. This transformation is known as cooperative drones and has many benets such as eciency enhancement or a higher probability of achieving a challenging task which an individual drone would have diculties to do. The effects of the aspect ratio of the micro-drones in drag ratio (drag in attached mode to the summation of the drag of solo Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs)) are investigated. It will be shown, for an aspect ratio smaller than 2, there is always a maximum drag ratio, but for higher values, the total drag decreases once the number of the attached drones increases. The results indicate that there is an optimum value for the wingtip spacing in the swarming mode. For example, for the wingtip spacing of -0.05b, the lowest total drag can be achieved for the swarming drones. It is visible, that switching between the attached and swarming modes, an optimum number of drones can be considered for flight.

View Niyem's presentation here:



Javad Shahmoradi

NMT Mineral Engineering

Utilizing Drone Technology to Improve Safety and Productivity in Underground Mining

The mining industry has shown increased interest in the use of drones for routine operations. These applications include 3D mapping of the mine environment, ore control, rock discontinuities mapping, post-blast rock fragmentation measurements, tailing stability monitoring, to name a few. Drones’ applications have been mostly limited to surface mining. This study aims to discuss the possibility of development of a remote monitoring system to inspect the inaccessible areas in underground mines using a fully autonomous encased drone. Application of drones in underground coal mines can be challenging. Harsh underground environments pose many obstacles for ying drones. The conned space, reduced visibility, air velocity, dust concentration, and lack of wireless communication system makes it extremely dicult for an operator to y a drone underground. Furthermore, access to unreachable and dangerous locations in underground mines is practically impossible for a drone operator. This study offers solutions to above-mentioned challenges by proposing design an autonomous spherical micro-drone for underground mine safety inspection.

View Javad's presentation here:


For general information, please email