UTSA Student Research Expo Sept. 19 to showcase student research, innovation

students at expo

Cole Meyers, Aaron Stout and Alyssa Schaefbauer are student members of the UTSA football kicking similator project.

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(Sept. 18, 2013) -- The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) will host an expo to showcase its graduate and undergraduate student research and innovation. The 2013 Student Research Expo will be 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday, Sept.19 in the H-E-B University Center Ballroom (1.104) at the UTSA Main Campus.

Last summer, the UTSA Office of Undergraduate Research and the Honors College partnered with the UTSA Center for Simulation, Visualization and Real-Time Prediction (SiViRT) to host UTSA's inaugural Undergraduate Research Summer Initiative.

This competitive eight-week initiative provided funding to 15 undergraduate students to engage in cross-disciplinary collaboration and research. The initiative was sponsored by the SiViRT Center with funding from the National Science Foundation.

The expo will showcase the work of the students who participated in this summer research program as well as other student research projects supported year-round by the SiViRT Center.

Among several projects, UTSA students will showcase a Football Kicking Simulation and Human Performance Assessment at Thursday's expo. Five students under the mentorship of SiViRT Center director and mechanical and bioengineering professor Yusheng Feng have developed a prototype football kicking simulator designed to be a real-time training tool. It gives a kicker the ability to practice off the field and receive the same kind of attention to detail he would experience at a training camp.

"The SiViRT Center plays a critical role in shaping UTSA's research environment by creating and supporting first-hand collaborative research and design experiences for undergraduate and graduate students year-round," said Feng. "To enrich student's research experience, we have fun projects such as the football kicking simulator that involves wireless sensing, mechanical design and advanced simulation and visualization based on football dynamics. It is exciting to work with students of different backgrounds and see them learn through team work."

The goal of this and other undergraduate research initiatives at UTSA is to help undergraduate students engage in scholarly research to prepare them for graduate school.

"The impact of student experience outside of the classroom environment is unparalleled," said Donovan Fogt, associate professor of health and kinesiology and director of the UTSA Office of Undergraduate Research. "We are working to increase student access to and awareness of the exciting research capacities that exist at UTSA."

In addition to student research project presentations, the event also will feature an open house at the UTSA Advanced Visualization Lab (VizLab), which is a core UTSA facility equipped with a large-scale Visualization Wall, 3-D printer and other state-of-the-art visualization devices.

Established in April 2013, the UTSA Office of Undergraduate Research promotes the visibility and breadth of research opportunities for undergraduate students in all academic disciplines.

Established in August 2009 as a result of a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the UTSA Center for Simulation, Visualization and Real-Time Prediction (SiViRT) is a computation and visualization center that integrates high-performance computing into its activities which include imaging, visualization, modeling and simulation to help faculty and student researchers understand things like structural reliability, particle flow, nanotechnology, biomechanics, computational neuroscience and cancer treatment simulation.

The UTSA Honors College provides a unique educational experience for academically talented students with a commitment to excellence. Honors classes include special sections of regular courses with smaller enrollments and interdisciplinary seminars that bring together advanced students from diverse disciplines.