Tag Archives: Engineering

Rising Stars – SioTeX™ Team

Texas State team advances to ACS GCI Business Plan Competition

SioTeX has a 1-in-5 chance of taking top honors! Show this green company your support.

by Brittnie Curtis and Mary-Love Bigony

Four Texas State graduate students and one recent Ph.D graduate left Houston in April with a $125,000 prize from the Texas HALO Fund. When they arrived back in San Marcos, they were ready to build their business.

The prize came from the SioTeX™ team’s participation in the Rice Business Plan Competition, the first time a Texas State University team had competed in the prestigious event, which attracts graduate students from around the world.

The competition allowed its participants a unique lesson in the importance of teamwork. “I was interested in starting a company based on my Ph.D. work and participating in the Rice Business Plan Competition,” says Dr. Haoran Chen, the first graduate of Texas States Materials Science, Engineering and Commercialization (MSEC) doctorial program. “But I realized that an individual effort was far from sufficient. All kinds of things needed to be done quickly and in high quality.”

Chen talked to Dr. Gary Beall, associate director of the MSEC program, who quickly assembled a team:

  • Dr. Haoran Chen
  • Marcus Goss, MSEC doctoral student
  • Ash Kotwal, MSEC doctoral student
  • Cesar Rivera, master’s student in Texas State’s communication design program
  • Lisa Taylor, M.B.A. student in the McCoy College of Business Administration

For Lisa Taylor, the support of Texas State faculty members was a key component to the group’s success. “The Texas State Faculty has been so dedicated and helpful to our team during this process. Each of our department’s professors, deans and directors committed so much of their time, knowledge and expertise,” she says. “Dr. Beall recognized the benefits of constructing a team of students with varying expertise, and acted as our lead advisor. None of this would be possible without him.”

SioTeX™ will produce and distribute Eco-Sil™, an environmentally friendly alternative to fumed silica. It’s manufactured from rice hulls and is a renewable source. Target markets include paint, fiberglass-reinforced plastic and tires. These markets currently account for $1.5 billion in sales annually.

SioTeX™ will soon compete as a finalist in the 2014 ACS GCI Green Chemistry and Engineering Business Plan Competition. The competition will take place at the American Chemical Society GCI meeting in Bethesda, Maryland, on June 18. This business plan competition is dedicated to green chemistry and engineering and focuses on sustainability-oriented entrepreneurship. The competition allows the general public to vote for best technology. Donations and voting will be accepted through June 13. The votes will count towards the individual overall score for each competitor and the funds raised will be awarded to the grand prize winner of the competition.

Support your fellow Bobcats! Make a contribution of $5 or more and use your votes to support SioTeX. Go, Cats, go!

 

Women in Science and Engineering Conference

“Sustainability: Preparing for the Long Haul” is the theme of Texas State’s fourth annual Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Conference November 21 and 22.

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This event provides opportunities for students studying for careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields to gain insights into successful career practices from experienced female professionals and educators. Faculty and students interested in STEM education will benefit from workshops and posters highlighting both best practices in encouraging students to excel in the STEM disciplines and STEM research ongoing at Texas State.

The conference will feature a career panel of industry professionals and a workshop for current and future educators. Undergraduate and graduate students can participate in the research poster competition, meet and network, and apply for scholarships awarded by event sponsors.

A special program will give high school students the opportunity to meet Texas State women in STEM and to explore opportunities to further their education.

“We will have students from four high schools participating in the conference: San Marcos High, Canyon Lake High, John Paul II Catholic High School and Palacios High School,” says Dr. Dana M. Garcia, a professor in Texas State’s Department of Biology and chair of the conference planning committee.

For alumnae, the conference provides opportunities to return to campus and learn how scientists and engineers at their alma mater are advancing science and engineering practice.

For faculty and research scientists, the WISE Conference is an outstanding opportunity to learn what STEM faculty around campus are doing, identify potential collaborators, and learn about the rich scientific resources right here at Texas State.  This year’s conference will feature faculty research presentations from Texas State’s own College of Science and Engineering faculty and presentations from female engineers from Halliburton, ExxonMobil and IBM.

WISE is now accepting conference registrations, abstract submissions for the poster session and applications for tuition scholarships valued at $1,000 each. There is a pre-conference event with dinner and workshops designed to provide networking opportunities and prepare students for Friday’s conference. The pre-conference is space-limited, so register early to reserve your spot.

To register and see the conference schedule, go to wise.cose.txstate.edu

Spotlight: WISE Conference

WISE Conference showcases opportunities, awards research

By Billi London-Gray

The influence and achievements of women are on the rise in the scientific community and in the world of engineering.

The proof: The second annual Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Conference at Texas State University-San Marcos.

The conference — conceived by biology professor Dr. Dana Garcia and the Women’s Giving Circle, a philanthropic organization formed to benefit the College of Science — brought together leading researchers and industry experts to discuss and promote the work of women scientists and engineers. Continue reading