UTSA engineering students honored at Undergraduate Awards

Gaige Davila

Undergraduate Awards (UA) has recognized UTSA graduates, Felipe Flores and Andre Cleaver, for their research papers.  

UTSA graduate Felipe Flores was a highly commended entrant for his paper at the Undergraduate Awards.
UTSA graduate Felipe Flores was a highly commended entrant for his paper at the Undergraduate Awards.

UA is the world’s largest international academic awards program, recognizing research across multiple disciplines and fields. During this submission cycle, they received 5,514 undergraduate student papers from 244 institutions worldwide. Cleaver and Flores were the first  UTSA Engineering students to submit papers to UA.

Andre Cleaver, who graduated from UTSA in 2016, was the regional winner for his paper, “Inverse Finite Element Analysis of Compressed Mouse Lenses for Mechanical Insights into Presbyopia”; it was the highest performing Engineering paper in the U.S. and Canada.

Felipe Flores, who also graduated last spring, was a Highly Commended Entrant for his paper, “Design and Advantages of a Bioretention Area as a Best Management Practice for Low Impact Development”.

My thesis is focused on the design of a bioretention basin to mitigate pollution in soils and water coming from the built environment,” Flores said. “The basin was designed taking into account future precipitation change in 100 years due to climate change.”

Crushed glass was used in place of sand as a sustainable element to make the basin work properly. The basin is expected to have a greater pollutant removal and a cheaper maintenance cost. “Flora native to San Antonio was used in the design, and water quality studies of recycled AC condensate water were performed,” Flores explained. “Results stated that water was suitable for sustainable irrigation.”

“It is quite an honor for one of our students to receive such an award,” said Heather Shipley, department chair of civil and environmental engineering and Flores’ advisor. “It shows our commitment to undergraduate students in being a part of the active research program of the department and continues to evaluate our research profile.”

“It is a great achievement, since you can experience how hard work and dedication are the most important factors needed to achieve what you want,” Flores said. “Now, I believe that success is attainable for myself and for everyone who takes advantage of the opportunities presented [to them].”

“Research provides students a way to take what they are learning in the classroom and apply it,” Shipley said. “We expect that students will continue to apply for these type of rewards and have had several students receive other research awards.”

Cleaver and Flores will be attending the UG Awards Ceremony in Dublin, Ireland in November to receive their awards.