Four College of Engineering Students Place at 2016 Undergraduate Research Conference

The LSU College of Engineering had four students earn the top prizes at this year’s annual Undergraduate Research Conference (URC). The daylong competition, held Friday, Oct. 14, invited undergraduates to present their research and compete for a cash prize.

In the Poster Presentation, Level One, which is for undergraduates with two semesters of research or less, chemical engineering sophomore Manon Bart took home the top prize for her research on interacting particle clusters in viscous fluids. Hawber Abdulqader, a biological engineering junior, came in second with his research, “Multiple-Gene Release Using Multiplexed Magnetic Heating of Single Crystal Nanoparticles.”

Petroleum engineering junior Connor Tiersch won first place in the Poster Presentation, Level Two for his research, “3-D Printing of Practical Vitrification Devices for Germplasm Repository Development in Aquatic Species.” Civil engineering sophomore Joseph Gombeda took second place with his research on biomedical applications of thiol-acrylate polymerization. Students with three or more semesters of research competed in this competition.

In keeping with the Conference theme, “Excite/Explore/Experiment,” Chris Impey, university distinguished professor of astronomy at the University of Arizona, addressed students as the keynote speaker. His talk, “Water Worlds—The Search for Habitable Exoplanets,” discussed the probability of life outside of Earth.

“We think of the solar system as being the Earth and that’s it,” Impey said. “In the true inventory of possible habitability in locations, it’s actually a much larger thing than that.”

Students further engaged in discussion on the topic of space through a facilitated discussion on “Space: The Next Frontier.”

The Office of Strategic Initiatives (OSI) created the URC to give undergraduates conducting research in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), humanities, or social sciences a forum to present their research and network with peers. The conference provides a unique platform for participants to hone their presentation skills.


For more information, contact Caroline Byrne at or 225-578-4630.