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New Mexico Research Symposium

The New Mexico Research Symposium (NMRS), collaboratively hosted with the New Mexico Academy of Science (NMAS), is an annual conference with oral presentations, a poster competition, and a keynote address. The conference is geared to undergraduate and graduate students from New Mexico’s colleges and universities. Presentation and poster abstracts are published in the New Mexico Journal of Science. View the Journal of Science on the NMAS Website.


NMRS 2020 is an all-virtual event occurring November 9-13, 2020.

NMRS sessions include a keynote address by Dr. Bette Korber, virtual poster competition, NM SMART Grid Center student seminar, and awards ceremony. See Schedule of Events below for details and information about how to access the sessions. Registration for the Symposium is closed, but you can still access individual sessions through the Schedule of Events.



2018 Symposium

2017 Symposium

Event Information


11/9 to 11/13/2020


See the schedule of events


Zoom Webinars


Abstract submission due October 15, 2020
Notice of acceptance October 16, 2020
Poster submission October 30, 2020
General registration closes November 4, 2020


Submission Guidelines  
How to Write an Abstract  


Sara Pichette,
Selena Connealy,

Schedule of Events

Mike Morrison


October 21, 2020

 Noon - 1:00 PM

  Watch the recorded webinar

 Abstract and bio


Speaker: Mike Morrison, Creator of the #betterposter movement

Making Effective Academic Posters: the #BetterPoster Approach

Mike’s webinar will quickly teach you the core design principles that make things engaging (posters, websites, reports, whatever). Then, he’ll show you how he’s applied these principles to scientific posters, both online and virtual, and give you some simple layouts and patterns to try in your own designs. In the end, you’ll hopefully learn immediately-applicable tips that will help you design things that impact more people, and get your science out further.

Speaker Bio:
Mike Morrison is a former User Experience (UX) designer who quit his tech career to become a PhD student in Work Psychology. He says he’s trying to do two things in his career: 1) Bring User Experience design principles to science, to help disseminate knowledge faster and more efficiently 2) Understand the psychological differences between so-called ‘realists’ and ‘dreamers’. He recently released a video introducing a new way to design scientific research posters — which every field in science uses and which are notorious for their bad design. His video went viral, and now scientists across every field in science are trying out his new design — and having more fun sharing their research with other scientists. For virtual conferences, he also released another video on creating animated ‘mini-slideshows’ for sharing research online and on social media


Brittney Van Der Werff, Public Relations Specialist, NM EPSCoR

Dr. Bette Korber, LANL


  November 9, 2020

  7:00 - 8:30 PM

  Watch the recorded keynote

  Abstract and bio


Speaker: Dr. Bette Korber
Los Alamos National Laboratory

Our Immune System, Vaccines, and Vaccine Strategies for AIDS and COVID-19

Constantly vigilant, our immune system recognizes and controls infections to protect us from disease. Furthermore, we have a capacity for immunological memory, which enables our immune system to “remember” a pathogen we have encountered in the past, and to make a more rapid and vigorous defensive response should we encounter that same disease again. Vaccines tap into this natural capacity for immunological memory. I’ll briefly review our ongoing work at Los Alamos National Laboratory to contribute to global vaccine efforts for HIV-1 and COVID-19. The rapid evolution and extraordinary diversity of HIV provides particular challenges for developing an AIDS vaccine, and our work focuses on strategies to contend with that diversity. By contrast, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has evolved very slowly during the pandemic, although even this limited diversity can be important. We are tracking emerging viral diversity to help design appropriate reagents to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics currently under development will remain relevant over the coming year. Using our tracking tools, last April we identified a SARS-CoV-2 variant that appeared to be more transmissible than the original form. This viral variant was subsequently shown to be more infectious experimentally, and has now become the globally dominant form of the virus.

Speaker Bio:
Dr. Bette Korber is a Laboratory Fellow at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the Theoretical Biology and Biophysics Group. Her work focuses on viral evolution, the human immune response to infection, and vaccine design. She leads an interdisciplinary team that provides bioinformatics, theoretical, and statistical support in collaborative efforts with experimental researchers, working primarily on HIV, but also on ebola, hepatitis C, and influenza. Like so many, she has recently begun to work on coronaviruses in response to the global pandemic. Some highlights from of her work include vaccine designs to cope with viral diversity, characterizing the evolution of HIV under immune pressure during infection, and developing sequence-based signature analyses methods that include phylogenetic corrections to compensate for founder effects. Her mosaic HIV vaccine design is currently being evaluated in a Phase 2b human clinical trial called Imbokodo. Some of her awards and honors include: the E.O. Lawrence Award, the Dept. of Energy’s highest scientific honor (2004); the Secretary of the Dept. of Energy Award for her work on the Ebola Task Force (2017); the Richard P. Feynman Innovation Prize (2018); R&D 100 Scientist of the Year (2018); and Battelle’s Inventor of the Year (2019).

Virtual poster session featuring the research of undergraduate and graduate students from across New Mexico. Posters will be available starting at 9 am on Tuesday, November 10.

Registered participants will be able to cast their vote for this year’s “People’s Choice” poster award beginning at 9:00 am Tuesday November 10th and ending at noon on Thursday November 12th. Details on how to vote will be emailed to you on Tuesday morning.

The Virtual Poster Session is now Closed!

Browse the NMRS 2020 Virtual Posters

Get Social! #NMRS2020


Contact Sara Pichette at

SMART Grid Center Logo


  November 12, 2020

  1:00 - 2:30 PM

  Watch the recorded seminar


SMART Grid Center Seminar

The NM SMART Grid Center supports interdisciplinary research on next-generation electric power production and delivery through creation of a Sustainable, Modular, Adaptive, Resilient, and Transactive (SMART) electric grid. During this seminar, four graduate students will present their research on a range of topics.




Shubhasmita Pati, NMSU




Speaker: Shubhasmita Pati, NMSU

Resiliency enhancement of the Smart Grid considering time-varying priority of dynamic loads

Resiliency of the power system in the event of natural disasters or cyber-physical threats is greatly challenging. In the aftermath of disasters, damage to the electrical grid can dawdle the recovery effort and perpetuate human suffering. We present a stochastic optimization approach for resilience-oriented-design (ROD) and resilience-oriented-operation (ROO), considering the temporal variation in priority of critical loads. We focus on the management of transmission and distribution systems with objective of transferring maximum power from conventional and distributed energy resources (DERs) to the critical loads. The ROO recommends scheduling of the generators and management plan for loads, to maintain and restore power after a catastrophic event due to natural disaster or a cyberattack.





Jesse Kaczmarski, UNM




Speaker: Jesse Kaczmarski, UNM

Microgrid Installations and Consumer Acceptance: Preliminary Contingent Valuation Evidence from Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah

Measuring the costs and benefits of distributed feeder microgrids (DFMs) is incomplete without insight into consumer desire and acceptance. Given than grid modernization and infrastructure upgrade costs are often passed along to consumers, we present the first evidence of consumer acceptance and willingness to pay for DFM installations in the 4-corners (AZ, CO, NM, and UT). Using survey data collected from September to October of 2020 (n=5500 approx.), we present preliminary results for the median amount that consumers are willing to pay for installations dependent on the level of direct benefits the consumer would receive. In addition, we present the environmental and institutional values most closely associated with consumer acceptance of DFMs.



Seyyed Ali Ghorashi Khalil Abadi, UNM


  Abstract and bio


Speaker: Seyyed Ali Ghorashi Khalil Abadi, UNM

Cooperative Dynamic Power Balancing and Smoothing in a Photovoltaic/Hybrid Energy Storage System Using Multiple Reactive Agents

Photovoltaic (PV) systems are one of the fastest-growing types of renewable energies that significantly contribute to the transformation of the global energy sector. Balancing the PV’s generated power and load is essential to ensure the stability and enhance the reliability of the system. However, it is challenging due to the limitation on the availability of power and intermittency of generation. This challenge can be tackled by using hybrid energy storage systems (HESS). HESSs play an important role in dynamic power balancing; moreover, they are essential for the effective integration of PV Systems. The appropriate operation of HESS requires advanced control and management techniques. This research proposes a distributed hybrid control strategy for dynamic power balancing and smoothing in a photovoltaic (PV)/hybrid energy storage system. The system contains a PV system, a HESS including a battery energy storage and a supercapacitor, and a group of interconnected loads. Each system’s module is considered as a reactive agent that may change its state or operational mode upon satisfying a predefined condition. In the proposed approach there is no central controller or coordinator agent, and the decisions are made by the agents that directly communicate with each other. The interaction of the agents emerges a global pattern that provides a reliable and efficient power balancing and smoothing performance for the case study system. The simulation results show that the proposed control strategy can improve the system efficiency and performance by maintaining the balance between generation and load as well as reducing the required size of the supercapacitor.



Anju K. James, NMSU




Speaker: Anju K. James, NMSU

Quality of Service aware NDN based network architecture

A reliable communication architecture is one of the main concerns of Smartgrid, which requires bi-directional data flow between its devices. The currently used IP architecture fall short in supporting major smart grid communication requirements such as scalability, protocol interoperability, security and Quality of Service (QoS), etc. In order to address these requirements effectively, an information centric network architecture called Named Data Networking (NDN) can be used. In our research, a QoS-aware NDN framework is used to provide Quality of service in smart grid communication. The network traffic is classified based on its priority, using three different transmission queues and traffic is controlled using token buckets. This framework helps to address the low latency, high bandwidth, and high reliability requirements of smart grid communications.

NMAS Awards Ceremony


  November 13, 2020

  3:00 - 4:30 PM

  Watch the recorded seminar


Awards Ceremony

This session will recognize excellence in science research and education in New Mexico. Symposium poster winners will be announced.


NMAS Outstanding Contributions to Science in NM

Keynote and Award Recipient:
Angela Wandinger-Ness, PhD
GTPases to Cures: My Path to Discovery and Innovation

  Award Recipient Bio


NMAS Outstanding NM Science Teachers

Sponsored by American Chemical Society, Central NM Section

Award Recipient:
Eva Abeyta, Los Alamos Online Learning Academy, Los Alamos

  Award Recipient Bio

Award Recipient:
Lena Eddings, La Cueva H.S., Albuquerque

  Award Recipient Bio


NM EPSCoR Poster Awards

Graduate Winners:

1st place
Laramie Mahon, ENMU
Assessment of freshwater turtle populations on the Pecos River in New Mexico and Texas

2nd Place
Sundar Sapkota, ENMU
“Prospects of Jujube (Ziziphus jujuba) as a Future Crop in New Mexico”

3rd Place
Owana Marzia Moushi, NMT
“Optimal Power Flow for a Power System with Grid-scale Energy Storage Systems, Varying Wind Generation and a Fluctuating Load”

Undergraduate Winners:

1st Place
Joshua May, CNM and Althea Denlinger, UNM Los Alamos
“Hierarchical Structure of Microgrid Control Systems”

2nd Place
Clayne Williams, ENMU
“The Trouble with Traffic”

3rd Place
Jacobo Giron, NMSU
“A Machine Learning Model to Predict Groundwater Levels in the Mesilla Transboundary Aquifer.”

Better Poster Winner

Hirbod Norouzianpour, UNM Graduate Student
“How the Built Environment Can Help Employees to Experience Lower Occupational Stress”

People’s Choice

Seyyed Ali Ghorashi Khalil Abadi, UNM Graduate Student
“Cooperative Dynamic Power Balancing and Smoothing in a Photovoltaic/Hybrid Energy Storage System Using Multiple Reactive Agents”


2019 NMAS Sponsors