Energy & Sustainability - Texas Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate

Advancing Interdisciplinary STEM Graduate

Education in Energy and Sustainability Disciplines


Date 6/30/2015

STEM research performed by TAMU-College Station AGEP graduate students.

This page includes AGEP student profiles and research updates.

Jenny M. Torres

Jenny M. Torres comes from San Benito Texas in the Lower Rio Grande Valley region. She graduated from Texas A&M in 2013 with a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science and a minor in Geography. Currently she is a Master’s student in the Water Management and Hydrological Science program at A&M part of both the school of Geosciences and Biological & Agricultural Engineering. She was a recipient of the Texas A&M System Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation in 2013, and was a recipient of Texas Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate participation bonus in 2014. In her spare time she enjoys watching Youtube, knitting, and caring for her two Guinea Pigs: Rogue and Jubilee.
Her current research is in looking at E. coli levels in non-traditional segments of the hydraulic system of Carter’s Creek. She will be looking at impacts of land use, land change, spatial and temporal variation, and potential health risks associated with the non-traditional streams. Her background is in water quality she’s hoping to use this research to understand geographical parameters that effect water quality in rural and urban areas.  

Adolfo Escobedo

Adolfo R. Escobedo is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Texas A&M University. His career goals are to become a leading faculty member at a research-intensive institution and to mentor and train the next generation of engineers and scholars. Adolfo's research interests are in the areas of operations research, algorithm design, numerical optimization, and power systems. He is locally involved in Texas A&M's AGEP program, Texas A&M's Engineering Graduate Advisory Council, Engineers without Borders, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. 
Current Project: Optimization without Roundoff Errors

Adam Orendain

Adam Orendain recently completed his first year of graduate studies in the department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University at College Station. Adam hails from Tucson, Arizona, where he attended the University of Arizona and received his Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Engineering. While at Arizona he was actively involved in research, volunteering, and professional societies. This summer Adam is working as a summer camp counselor for the ENGAGE and WE IDEAS summer camps for high school students interested in engineering. Adam intends to complete his Ph.D. program by 2018 and pursue a career in R&D or entrepreneurship for biomedical devices.

Research Summary: Adam researches the application of polyurethane shape memory polymer foams as aneurysm filling devices. These biocompatible and tunable devices are a class of stimuli-responsive materials that are able to change shape in response to stimuli such as heat. This means the devices can be delivered to an aneurysm through a catheter, then subsequently expand to fill the aneurysm to prevent them from rupturing. To evaluate the feasibility of these devices, Adam characterizes the thermomechanical properties of the aneurysm filling devices then deploys them in benchtop models of abdominal aortic aneurysms. Eventually, Adam hopes to translate this technology from benchtop to bedside by performing animal studies, which are a prerequisite for clinical trials.

Cristina Arenaz

I graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso with a B.S. in Microbiology. My undergraduate research focused on West Nile virus and Dengue fever virus. I worked in the BSL-3 laboratory at UTEP to test mosquitoes in the El Paso, Texas area for West Nile virus. After graduation, I began my Master's research in Wildlife Science at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. My Master's research focuses on an avian parasitology. My academic goal is to complete a DVM degree and continue on into a PhD program. My long-term goal is to work as a veterinary researcher in combating animal diseases.
My current research project focuses on a little-known avian cyclocoelid parasite that has caused deaths of captive birds. Our goal is to examine and characterize the parasite life cycle in a two-part study. First, we focused on determining the life stages present in the snail intermediate host. We then experimentally infected chickens with the parasite taken from infected snails. Blood samples, fecal samples, and physical observations of the chickens were used to determine if infections were present. We performed necropsies to check for evidence of adult flukes in the lungs, liver, or body cavity of the chickens. Although the chickens were not successfully inoculated with the parasite, we were able to determine each of the life stages of the parasite that are present in the snail intermediate host. Future studies will involve inoculation of a different avian host and focus on creating detection and control measures for bird-holding facilities to implement in their aviaries.