Shawn Chester, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering at New Jersey Institute of technology (NJIT), has won three awards for academic excellence and research.
Chester, 21, of North Caldwell, received the NJIT Alumni Association Student Recognition Award, given annually to a student whose research at NJIT shows great promise.
“It feels excellent to get these awards,” says Chester. “It’s an honor to receive awards from three separate groups.”
Nadine Aubry, Ph.D., professor and Jacobus chair of the mechanical engineering department at NJIT, called Chester a “star student,” who has distinguished himself with a research project entitled, “Discrete Element Modeling of Granular Segregation Induced by Horizontal Vibrations.” Chester will present a poster of his research during the upcoming American Association of Mechanical Engineering (ASME) Regional Student Conference held at the City College of New York.
Chester’s research focuses on the science of separating materials. One day, Chester says, his research could lead to practical applications such as separating rocks from soil on farmland. The separating technique could also be used by industry for material handling and separating materials.
Chester, a 2000 graduate of West Essex Regional High, North Caldwell, was also awarded the Academic Achievement Award from the northern New Jersey section of ASME.
Chester’s third award is from Sigma Xi, a scientific research society based in Research Triangle Park, N.C. The group awarded Chester a $1,000 Grants-in-Aid of Research grant to support his research at NJIT.
Sigma Xi, founded in 1886, awards grants of $1,000 or less to students from all areas of the sciences and engineering. Students use the funding to pay for travel expenses to and from a research site, or to buy lab equipment needed to complete a research project. Sigma Xi tries to encourage support of original work in science and technology and promote an appreciation for the role research has played in human progress.
Chester said he will use the grant to buy equipment for his granular science laboratory, located in the Mechanical Engineering Center on the NJIT campus.
“The grant will help me continue my research this year,” Chester said, “and possibly continue the research project next year, when I’ll pursue a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at NJIT.”