2021 SHPE National Convention

  • Orange County Convention Center
  • Orlando, Florida

Engineering Science Symposium

Held each year during the SHPE National Convention, the Engineering Science Symposium (ESS) is a showcase of the excellent research conducted by SHPE students and faculty members across all engineering fields. This year, a hybrid ESS will take place to accommodate researchers who are both able and unable to travel to the in-person gathering in Orlando, Florida.

How It Works

The hybrid ESS will solicit long-form abstract submissions in advance of the convention that will be evaluated by a panel of engineering faculty and industry judges. Participants will be invited to develop and refine 10-minute-long video presentations in consultation with engineering faculty and industry coaches. Then finalists will be invited to present their video presentations to a virtual audience followed by a virtual Q&A.

An in-person reception will precede the in-person announcement of award winners. Awards will be judged across multiple categories with cash prize awards for best category presentations, best-overall presentation, and honorable-mentions.

Advice for Preparing Long-Form Abstracts, FAQ, and Abstract Submission Instructions >


The categories are anchored across thematic grand challenge areas where engineering researchers have a role to play in solving society’s greatest challenges. The thematic categories are meant to be inclusive of broad areas, so please orient your presentation toward any category that is closest to your research efforts. The thematic areas are:

  1. Avances – advances in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Big Data and Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity, Electronics, High-Performance Microelectronics, Personalized Learning, Signal Processing, (Sociolinguistic-Based) Facial and Voice Recognition Algorithms, the Internet of Things (IoT), etc.
  2. Descubrimientos – discoveries in Biological Systems (e.g., Medicines, etc.), Chemical Systems (e.g., Water and Wastewater Treatments, etc.), and Ecological Systems (e.g., Natural Environment, Carbon Sequestration, Nitrogen Cycle, etc.)
  3. Innovaciones – innovations in Alternative Energy Sources, Communication Systems, Electrical and Power Systems, Manufacturing, Materials and Materials Processing, Mechatronics, etc.
  4. Mejorando – bettering society in Engineering Design, Engineering Education, Field Research in Developing Countries, Health Informatics, Human Health and Safety, Research-Informed Policy Making and Change, etc.
  5. Revoluciones – revolutions in Building Codes and Specifications, Engineering Mechanics, Smart Cities Technology Development, Sustainable Design of Infrastructure (e.g., Construction Methodologies, Lifecycle Analysis, etc.), Resiliency against Climate Change, etc.

If your research does not closely match any thematic area, please consult the ESS Committee Chair, Dr. Daniel Castaneda (castandi@jmu.edu), who will remedy the situation.


Cash prizes up to $350 for honorable mentions, $1500 for category winners, and $3000 for best overall presentation will be awarded as evaluated by engineering faculty and industry judges. Only conference attendees registered by November 4 are eligible for prizes.


Best Overall Presentation
Jaqueline Rojas

Avances Category Winner
Federico Cifuentes-Urtubey

Innovaciones Category Winner
Mariana Vasquez

Descubrimientos Category Winners
Florencia Corbo-Ferreira
Matteo Gonzalez Sanchez-Dahl
Mikayla Moody

Honorable Mentions
Domllermut Alamo
Arturo Alonso-Sandoval
Angela Asfura
Abigail Avila
Emily Garcia
Sarai Morato
Stephanie Raygoza
Francisco Rodriguez
Brith Milenia Rojas Mendoza
Luis Roman Quinones
Anakaren Romero
Jehan Shalabi
Joana Sipe
Carlos Urrea-De La Puerta
Yakira MirabitoCONGRAT

Important Dates

Sept 30: Deadline for long-form (2-page max) abstract submission

Oct 7: Notification of abstract acceptance and assignment to a coach

Oct 14: Submission of final video presentations

Oct 28: Notification of finalists who will present “live” at virtual ESS

Nov 4: Finalists present “live” at virtual ESS with live Q&A via Zoom

Nov 10: ESS in-person reception at Orlando

Nov 10: Winners of ESS announced at High Achievers Event

Sign Up Now

For more information about the virtual symposium, advice for preparing abstracts, FAQs, and to submit your abstract now, visit the Virtual ESS application page.

If you have additional questions after visiting the application page, please email Dr. Daniel Castaneda (castandi@jmu.edu), the committee chair of ESS.

3-Minute Thesis Competition

Please check out the 3-Minute Thesis Competition in the Graduate Track section of the Academic Conference webpage for an additional opportunity to present your research and compete for prizes.