Graduate students dominate the competitions

November 18, 2021

Two of the graduate students in the CCEE department have a notable history of winning student competitions. Both Ishtiaque Anwar and Mahya Hatanbeigi are PhD students studying in the geotechnical area of civil engineering under Dr. John Stormont. Ishti expects to graduate in Spring 2022 whereas Mahya will graduate in Fall 2022.

photo: Mahya Hatanbeigi and Ishtiaque Anwar working in the lab together
Mahya Hatanbeigi (left) and Ishtiaque Anwar in the lab

They have consecutively won the Rainforest pitch competition as a group two times in a row. 

In Spring 2021 a top prize of $1,000 was awarded to Ishtiaque Anwar and Mahya Hatambeigi for their product LM1 – a patented liquid metal that can be used for many repair purposes. 

As the first finalist team at the Fall 2021 competition, they received $ 750 for the Judges’ Choice Runner-Up Award for eSolv, a novel, strong, self-healing and inexpensive material that can repair cracks instantly.

Three of their projects were accepted for National Science Foundation (NSF) iCorps grants during the last three years. In Spring 2021 their project, called “A novel liquid metal of high density and low viscosity at room temperature,” received funding to go toward the further development of a new kind of metal alloy. 

So far, they have four inventions:

A new approach for sealing crude oil leakage through wellbore cement fracture - a technique that effectively and inexpensively seals cement fractures using ion migration technique in the leaky wellbore. (Patent published; Licensed by a US company).

Profiler: An autonomous instrument for scanning and determining the material surface roughness (Patent published).

A liquid metal of high density and low viscosity at room temperature - Metal alloys that are liquid at or near room temperature with novel rheological characteristics (Patent pending).

ESolv – a low-cost, non-toxic material for inexpensively sealing micro-cracks with a novel colloidal mix using ion migration technique. (Patent pending).

Ishtiaque was also an Oral Presentation Winner at the 5th Annual UNM STEM Symposium in 2020 (news link:

We hope to have them add to this list of impressive accomplishments in the future!