The post below is shared by junior aerospace engineering major Brady Allen ’21 from Dallas, TX, describing the conference he attended with some support through the Honors Travel Fund.
In December 2018, I was invited to participate in the CASMART 3rd student design challenge on a small team of Aggie engineers. Two seniors in the aerospace engineering department and I were tasked with designing a novel tourniquet incorporating “smart materials;” specifically shape memory alloys (SMAs). Over the course of a semester, we worked through several different concepts, eventually deciding on a simple tourniquet composed of spandex and a row of SMA springs. Our design could rest on a person’s arm when not in use and be activated with the press of a button. The simplicity of the design dramatically reduces the chance for human error in emergency application which is the current cause for almost all injuries caused by tourniquets.
At the end of the 2019 spring semester, I was invited to travel with my teammates and my faculty advisor, Dr. Darren Hartl to Konstanz, Germany. In Germany, I attended the 2019 Shape Memory and Superelasticity Conference. In addition to four days of hearing from the eminent leaders in research and industry in the field of shape memory alloys, I presented my work from the semester in both a short quad chart and an open poster presentation format. This international experience was very eye-opening and I am thankful for the support of my teammates and mentors.
With the assistance of the Texas A&M LAUNCH travel fund, I was able to take one of the most formative trips of my college career. This research conference exposed me to a world of research that I did not know about within my field. It has motivated me to come back as a junior and delve deeper into my research and my academics. I am extremely thankful for this extracurricular experience afforded me by LAUNCH and I am also excited for the multitude of on-campus opportunities that I will continue to be able to attend through their support.