2012 UTSA Beldon Scholar wants to contribute to fight against cancer

John Jordan

John P. Jordan Jr.

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(June 26, 2012) -- John P. Jordan Jr. from Corpus Christi, Texas, has been named the 2012 recipient of the Louise and Michael Beldon Doctoral Scholarship.

Jordan's interest in engineering began in the fourth grade. "I received a K'NEX building set for Christmas," he said. "With a completion height of over five feet, the Big Ball Factory stood taller than me. I was fascinated by the design and construction."

Today, Jordan's interests have evolved beyond construction sets to biomechanics. He hopes to use his skills to help cancer patients.

Jordan has already made substantial contributions to the fight against cancer through research and practical application. He was invited to present his thesis research, "Simulation-Based Design and Optimization of Surgical Device for Lymphatic Tissue Removal in Humans," at the Cancer Therapy and Research Center at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Additionally, he worked with an oncological urologist, Robert Svateck, to design an efficient surgical device.

"Surgeons have certain needs in the operation room that they cannot pursue because of the lack of resources and free time," said Jordan. "Dr. Svateck believes it [the device] will allow him to ultimately save more lives."

Jordan earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree from Texas A&M University at Kingsville in 2008 and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree from UTSA in 2012. He currently works in the UTSA SiViRT Computation Center under the direction of Yusheng Feng, associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering.

Jordan will begin his doctoral program in fall 2012. According to Jordan, the choice to pursue a doctorate in mechanical engineering at UTSA was simple because of the great research opportunities, renowned faculty, high-tech laboratories and the collaborations with the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

"Based on what professionals have described, having a Ph.D. allows you to work on the cutting edge of research. That is what I strive for," said Jordan. "I understand the Beldon scholarship is a highly prestigious award, and I am honored to be selected. It is outstanding that dedication and rigorous work at UTSA is recognized and rewarded, and I am extremely thankful for this opportunity."

Michael Beldon and his wife Louise Beldon are longtime San Antonio residents, serving on various boards and volunteering for community causes. They created the merit-based scholarship in 2007, which provides $5,000 to a Texas resident entering a UTSA doctoral program. Michael is chairman and CEO of Beldon Enterprises, a third-generation, family-owned commercial roofing business.