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Southern University has solid representation at research gathering

A Southern University alumnus won first place for a graduate student poster presentation at the recent Louisiana Alliance for Simulation-Guided Materials Applications (LASiGMA) research symposium in Baton Rouge.

A Southern mechanical engineering graduate student placed second in the same category.

The symposium featured presentations by LASiGMA investigators, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate and undergraduate students.  LASiGMA is a collaboration of seven Louisiana institutions, including Southern.

LASiGMA is funded by the National Science Foundation with additional funding from the Louisiana Board of Regents. It is a five-year and $20 million research project.

In addition to Southern, there were students and supervisors representing Grambling State University, Louisiana State University, Louisiana Tech University, Tulane University, University of New Orleans, and Xavier University 

Chinedu Ekuma, who earned his master’s degree in physics from Southern, offered a presentation on sophisticated electronic property calculations. Ekuma is completing his Ph.D in physics at LSU. His research supervisor at LSU is Dr. Mark Jarrell.

Michael Benissan, a mechanical engineering graduate student at Southern finished in second place behind Ekuma, for his presentation on thermal barrier coatings.  His research supervisor is Dr. Patrick Mensah in the mechanical engineering department at SU.

In other results from the symposium, Matthew Kornfield, an undergraduate physics major at Georgetown University, won first place for the statewide undergraduate student poster presentations. The research results he presented were on colossal magnetoresistance. His research supervisor is Dr. Laurence Henry in the department of physics at Southern.

Juan Arredondo, an undergraduate physics major at Coe College, presented his results on carbon nanotubes.  Cole Vanderlick, who will be an undergraduate petroleum engineering major at LSU in the fall, made a presentation on intricate three-dimensional representations of complex molecules.

Kornfield, Arredondo, and Vanderlick are participants in Summer 2012 LASiGMA Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at SUBR.

Dr. Diola Bagayoko, LASiGMA principal investigator at SUBR, congratulated each of the students for their accomplishments.  He said he will promote their research to future groups of LASiGMA students at SUBR.

For more details on SUBR LASiGMA and its research projects, please contact Dr. Diola Bagayoko, principal investigator of LASiGMA at SUBR, at (225)771-2730 or visit its website at

In the photo from left to right; Juan Arredondo, Matthew Kornfield, and Cole Vanderlick.