by Deborah Silliman Wolfe/COE
Armando Gomez-Farias, a civil and environmental engineering graduate student, won second place in the Graduate Technical Paper Division at the AIAA Region IV Student Paper Conference 2014 held in Albuquerque, New Mexico on April 24-26, 2014. Gomez-Farias’ paper was titled, “A Novel Finite Element Sensitivity Method for Plasticity.
“Winning was one of those things that you imagine yourself doing, but it feels completely different when it actually happens,” said Gomez-Farias. “I felt very proud to represent UTSA and continue the legacy of UTSA students winning at AIAA competitions.”
The AIAA Student Conference is a technical paper competition for AIAA student members at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students from regional schools are invited to submit papers and give formal presentations that are judged for technical content and communication skills. A cash prize is awarded to the top three winners.
Gomez-Farias attended the National Conference of Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in March with UTSA’s Honors College, where he realized the importance and value of research conferences for professional development.
“In these research conferences, we as students can with interact with colleagues from industry and academia, which provides a great networking opportunity,” he said. “We can see what students from other universities are working on, and it is an excellent opportunity to practice your presentation skills and to show other people the type of research being conducted at UTSA.”
Gomez-Farias credits Dr. Millwater, professor and chair of Mechanical Engineering, and Dr. Montoya, assistant professor in Civil and Environment Engineering, for giving him the encouragement and support to submit the paper to the AIAA graduate level competition.
“What I liked the most about attending AIAA was I was able to interact with other engineering students and professionals,” he said. “I was able to make great connections and it allowed me to broaden my vision on research and professional opportunities. Also, by looking at research from different universities, I was able to have a greater appreciation for the great research projects being conducted at UTSA, and I was able to see how well UTSA prepares its students.”