2015 Outstanding Graduate Student Scholars
Lourdes Polanco-Boulware (CEE)
Lourdes Polanco-Boulware is a PhD candidate in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Her research focuses on novel methods for levee under-seepage reliability analyses incorporating geomorphic features while using Monte-Carlo simulations. She took an active role on preparing a successful NSF proposal and she mentored a MS student who was also working on the project. To date, Lourdes has authored 10 conference papers and two journal articles in addition to several poster presentations at national conferences. She is the winner of student paper competition in the Association of State Dam Safety conference for two years and won the 1st place in the 13th Intermountain Graduate Research Symposium, USU.
She is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Association of State Dam Safety Officials, and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and International Academic Gold Key Society.
Troy Munro (MAE)
Troy Munro is from West Valley City, Utah and a graduate of Cyprus High School. He received his bachelor’s and master’s concurrently from Utah State in spring 2012. His master’s research studied how boiling heat transfer occurs in zero gravity. Troy flew on NASA’s “Vomit Comet” to perform this experiment with the Get Away Special team, and he continues to mentor that team of undergraduates. As part of a dual-PhD degree agreement, Troy and his family spent one year at KU Leuven in Belgium in Dr. Christ Glorieux's lab, developing a non-contact thermal property measurement method. His current research focus in Dr. Heng Ban's lab is measuring the thermal properties of high performance fibers (such as spider silks, synthetic polymers, and ceramic fibers) for use in high-tech environments by developing electrical and optical methods to accomplish this goal.
Troy has published 10 journal publications and numerous scholarly presentations. He has participated in many outreach activities, including Cache County Science Fair Judge, supported the Star House Discovery Center, mentored the Mountain Crest High School MESA Windmill team, to name a few.
Siyuan Wang (BE)
Siyuan Wang is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Biological Engineering. He earned his undergraduate degree at Nanjing University. He has been studying metabolic engineering and synthetic biology, with a focus on combinatorial biosynthesis of pharmaceutically important compounds for drug discovery. In the past three years he has worked on several research projects supported by ThermoFisher Scientific, Department of Defense, and the National Institutes of Health (AI065357), respectively. He has published nine published papers in prestigious journals and he has two manuscripts that are currently under review. He won the second prize of podium presentation at the 2012 Institute of Biological Engineering western regional conference.
Siyuan is currently the Safety officer of the Metabolic Engineering Laboratory and was the Advisor for the USU Summer Biotechnology Academy high school students in 2012 and 2013 and Advisor for the E-State Metabolic Engineering challenge session in 2012.