A team of San Jacinto College students had the opportunity to present their research at the 2019 Valve World Americas Expo & Conference held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in June. The event brings energy and valve industry professionals from around the world to see the newest innovations and what is coming up in the field.
Engineering student Isabelle Ramirez presented her group's research on programming an automatic blood flow system using a venipuncture arm that can mimic human blood flow. Using an Arduino control board, the group manipulated potential variables that real patients might experience with routine blood work or more serious procedures.
"Our research interested me a lot more than I had expected because I found myself thinking of alternative ways our system could be used," said Ramirez. "This helped me gain a lot of insight into how engineering plays a major role in the medical field."
Showcasing each member's work was a priority for Ramirez.
"I made sure I could represent each aspect well, including research, assembly, and material supply," she said. "Steven Presutti, our project lead, who has such a depth of knowledge in aspects of flow, electrical circuits, and experience programming, was a great help in with my presentation preparation. Alejandro Limon Verastegui, who assisted in the programming and assembly of our circuit board, and Eder Flores and Corey Williams, who contributed to research and assembly, also helped me prepare for questions that industry professionals may have had."
Ramirez also received one of the student scholarships the Valve World Americas Expo & Conference distributed. Her mentor, San Jacinto College engineering professor Dr. Connie Gomez, adds that these opportunities provide valuable experience and exposure to numerous industries and career opportunities for San Jacinto College students.
"Poster and oral presentations are the typical methods used when presenting research," Gomez said. "The venue at Valve World allowed our students to gain experiences in a different presentation format that is more common to industry, participate in a job fair, and gain an eye-opening vision of what the valve industry has to offer."
Engineering student Joshua Rodriguez also presented his team's research on acoustic flame suppression systems, which is crucial for preventing fires during space missions.
"Our love for space exploration runs deep," said Rodriguez, who is attending the University of Houston-Clear Lake this fall. "Our hope is to have our research contribute to technological advancements in space exploration that will bring humans even closer to becoming a multi-planetary species."
With plans to continue pursuing a career in aerospace engineering, Rodriguez says that all of his engineering projects have helped him become a better team member, allowing him to learn different things from each member. Becoming an asset to his future project teams is something he aspires to.
"Joshua and his team have presented multiple times and are working to publish results of their work, in addition to winning multiple awards," said Nate Wiggins, Rodriguez's mentor and San Jacinto College engineering professor. "He is an excellent team player and works to create successful partnerships. His teams find resources and methods to be successful and have become tutors in our top-notch tutoring centers on campus, providing knowledge to the next generation."