Aggie Engineers present inventions addressing nuclear security

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - Texas A&M University School of Engineering students participated in Aggie Invent this weekend, a 48-hour intensive design experience.

Nine teams came together to not only address real-world issues in nuclear security but to come up with their own inventions to help fix these problems.

At the end of the weekend, the teams displayed and pitched their ideas to a panel of judges, including former Texas A&M students and employees at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The judges decided on a top three. The winner designed a sensor that can be easily hidden in devices placed in plain sight to detect nuclear or chemical material. The team that designed this sensor won the $1,000 grand prize.

The A&M Engineering department says they do this as a way to prepare its students for their careers.

"Students that come to the laboratory, there is often a big gap from what they learn in school and what we do on our missions,” said Executive Advisor at Los Alamos Laboratory Duncan Branch. “So, events like these both inform students about what we do but also give them a chance to practice in a short period of time to apply some of those skills to our mission problems."

Some of the problems the students were asked to solve ranged from engineering problems in heat dissipation for things like reentry vehicles from space, and material science problems for things like high explosive problems and how to stitch them together.