Scholar of the Week

Alex Avendano      
Iowa State University

Alex Avendano graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from Iowa State University, in May 2014. He was a recipient of the 2013-14 HENAAC/Argonne National Laboratory Scholarship.

Indeed, Alex is a scholar in the true sense. Not only was he president of the SHPE/MAES student chapter in his last two years in college and member of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, Alex achieved an extensive research and teacher assistant portfolio as an undergraduate. He worked on a research project on characterizing immobilization density of thiolated DNA on gold surfaces, as a grader for freshmen course on problem solving with computers and McNair scholar mentee with research project on characterizing polymeric gels. In fact, he presented his work at the Technical Papers and Posters Competition at the 2011 HENAAC Conference at Orlando, Florida, and was awarded second place.

His initiative, creativity, intelligence, maturity and excellent aptitude for research make him an outstanding student and an excellent candidate a future career. His attention to detail, promptness, resourcefulness and indefatigable spirit is described by his faculty as rare qualities that will help his to succeed and excel in his studies and to make meaningful contributions beyond school.

Alex intends to go to graduate school and obtain a doctorate degree. He aspires to become a professor and develop a research agenda where he can provide research opportunities to underrepresented groups in STEM. His research interests include optimizing alternate sources of energy and the development of new healthcare technologies. He aspires to teach classes in thermodynamics, engineering mechanics, and alternative energy sources. All said, Alex looks forward to all the challenges that lie ahead and is confident that his STEM degree will help him succeed.

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