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K-State Today

March 11, 2016

Junior in mechanical engineering to receive Presidential Award for undergraduate research

Submitted by Mary Rankin

Sarah Stevenson, junior in mechanical engineering, Wichita, has been named the 2016 recipient of the Presidential Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Student in Research, which recognizes outstanding individual contributions in research for the purpose of the discovery and creation of new knowledge at Kansas State University.

Stevenson will accept the $1,000 award and a plaque at the All-University Awards Ceremony May 2 in the K-State Alumni Center's Ballroom.

Joining the Semiconductor Materials and Radiological Technologies, or S.M.A.R.T., Lab in the mechanical and nuclear engineering department in 2014, she worked on micro-pocket fission detectors alongside doctoral candidate Michael Reichenberger. The lab is under the supervision of Douglas McGregor, university distinguished professor and Boyd D. Brainard chair in mechanical engineering.

Stevenson had previously presented her work in this area at the Society of Women Engineers' annual conference poster competition in Nashville, Tennessee, placing second. She was one of 10 candidates chosen nationwide to present a poster at the conference. She also has participated in two K-State Engineering Undergraduate Research Poster Forums, including the fall 2014 forum where she also placed second.

Stevenson is a licensed reactor operator at the K-State nuclear reactor. This summer, she will continue radiation-detector research efforts during an internship at Idaho National Laboratory, in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

To be eligible for the undergraduate research award, applicants must be an undergraduate of sophomore status or above, must have been actively engaged in research within the past 12 months prior to the semester of award and show evidence of outstanding knowledge of one's chosen discipline.