WT Scholar to Participate in Statewide Undergraduate Research Day

Chip Chandler Feb 18, 2021
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WT Scholar to Participate in Statewide Undergraduate Research Day

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124,


CANYON, Texas — A West Texas A&M University student researcher will show state legislators exciting advances in printing technology as a participant in the upcoming Undergraduate Research Day.

Nathanael Solomon, a senior mechanical engineering major from Canyon, was nominated by Dr. Emily Hunt, dean of WT’s College of Engineering, to represent the University in this year’s event, this year themed “Transforming Texas through Undergraduate Research.”

Student researchers from around the state will give virtual presentations Feb. 23 and 24 to show legislators and the public how research conducted by undergraduate students positively impacts the state. About 100 projects will be featured from public, private and independent universities and colleges in this event, coordinated by the Council of Public University Presidents and Chancellors and the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas Inc.

Solomon’s project explores how stainless-steel objects can be created through additive manufacturing, similar to 3D printing. WT’s machine is housed in the Palo Duro Research Facility on WT’s Canyon campus.

“We’re looking into the material properties of the stainless steel when it’s printed,” Solomon said. “In traditional methods of making parts, you’re limited by physical geometry. With these printers, we can create our own parameters and make items more porous or more solid, for example, or make them lighter. There are infinite possibilities with these machines.”

For example, the machine could be used to create stainless-steel replacement hips, making them lighter and making them porous enough to serve as a metal lattice where bone cells could implant and grow to become a part of the actual structure.

The project came out of a collaboration with CNS Pantex and with the support of The Texas A&M Experiment Station.

“Nathan is a remarkable young scholar, and this project has far-reaching implications for all Texans — and, indeed, people all over the world,” Hunt said. “Nathan embodies the work ethic, creativity and humanity-centered heart of the College of Engineering at WTAMU. We are excited to see the impact that he continues to have in the field of engineering in the future.”

“The type of work scholars that like Nathan are doing,” said Dr. Angela Spaulding, vice president for research and compliance and dean of the Graduate School, “is exactly the kind of work at the center of the University’s long-term plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World. This is how we will continue our goal of becoming a regional research institution.”

WT’s participation in Undergraduate Research Day is facilitated by WT Graduate School and Research. Virtual technology and support services are provided by The University of Texas at Austin’s Office of Undergraduate Research and School of Undergraduate Studies.


About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. With enrollment of more than 10,000, WT offers 60 undergraduate degree programs, 40 master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 15 men’s and women’s athletics programs.