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High-schoolers complete SMILab Summer Camp at UNM

July 13, 2017 - By Kim Delker

Six high-schoolers presented the results of their internship to mentors, faculty, and a field representative of U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham on July 12 at The University of New Mexico during the second annual SMILab Summer Camp.

The camp on smart management of infrastructure featured the interns’ presentations. The camp gives high-schoolers a chance to conduct research in the Smart Management of Infrastructure Laboratory (SMILab), directed by Fernando Moreu, assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, and mentored by undergraduate and graduate student members of SMILab.


High schools represented included Bosque High School (Juliet Sturge), Albuquerque Academy (Brian Bishop), Native American Community Academy (Doug Natseway and James Pettis), School of Dreams Academy from Los Lunas (Erik Moreno), and Chinle High School from Arizona (Mia Draper). The contents of their research projects varied from augmented reality, robots for infrastructure inspection, photogrammetry, Arduino, bridge displacement for management prioritization, 3D printing, solar panels for remote sensing, and others, always directed toward smart management of infrastructure.

For the internship, high school interns are paired up with undergraduate or graduate students, or visiting scholars. This research internship enables UNM students to mentor younger engineers, and also establishes a foundation on the high-schoolers’ interest in science and engineering.

The summer camp also enabled interactions with the UNM Social Media Workgroup and the Hydraulic Engineering Laboratory. VISTA fellows Madeline Bowling and Britney King assisted students with 3D printing and media development. Postdoc Ali Ozdagli and visiting scholar Bideng Liu provided with advanced expertise in sensing technologies.

UNM students Soni Rhytham, Piyush Garg, Xiaomeng Li, and Emmanuel Ayorinde provided mentorship in different aspects of the internship. Emeritus professor Tom Paez and associate professor Mark Stone applauded the students’ presentations, and also asked different questions of their research. Interns also were curious about the other interns’ projects. Stephanie Kean, and architect by training now working for Rep. Lujan Grisham enthusiastically congratulated each of the interns and encouraged them to pursue studies in engineering, science, and art. According to her, they can transform the world with technical innovations and new creative solutions they can learn in their internships and their college degrees.

At the end of the meeting, each intern was recognized with a certificate by Kean and the group took a picture involving mentors and students.