Calderon awarded 2013 Exemplary Summer Research Citation

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February 3, 2014

A graduate student in MSU’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering has received the 2013 Exemplary Summer Research Citation from the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID) and Institute for Social Research.Research on containing oil spills has earned Claudio Calderon the 2013 Exemplary Summer Research Citation from the National Center For Institutional Diversity and Institute for Social Research.

Claudio Calderon was honored for his research in MSU’s Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP). His summer project, “Fractal nature of viscous fingers formed during oil-water separation,” included an investigation into how oil behaves as it is dispersed in water. One practical application of the research is containment of oil spills.

Calderon is currently pursuing a master’s degree at MSU in civil and environmental engineering. He earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of New Orleans and plans to enter a PhD program in environmental engineering.

Among SROP participants at Michigan State University last summer, only the most outstanding students were nominated for this prestigious accolade. Calderon was selected for the award based on his academic record, contributions to research and aspirations for graduate study.

Volodymyr Tarabara, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and Calderon’s mentor during the SROP program last summer, said Calderon left a strong impression on those he worked with in the College of Engineering. “I was very pleased with Claudio’s work on the project and was impressed by his work ethic and focus,” Tarabara explained.

“To quantify viscous fingering patterns that he generated in his Hele-Shaw tests, Claudio he had to learn the basic formalism of fractal geometry and applied methods of quantifying fractal dimension of complex patterns. He managed to do both quite well.”

Tarabara complimented the SROP program, noting that the program is well managed so SROP students are engaged and work cohesively during their summer experience at MSU. “This impression was reinforced when I attended the SROP farewell dinner. There were just a lot of positive emotions. It was clear that students really had fun in this program,” he added.

Calderon called the award a boost in his educational endeavors. “I apply what I learned in the program to my graduate school work every day,” he said. “It’s great to know people appreciate what you do.”

As the recipient of an Exemplary Summer Research Citation, Calderon is included in NCID’s National Diversity Scholars Network. His name, undergraduate institution, host campus, and the abstract of his SROP research project will appear on NCID’s website, along with a brief biography.

MSU-SROP is a gateway to graduate education at MSU. The program’s goal is to increase the number of domestic undergraduate students who pursue graduate study and careers in teaching and research at colleges and universities. It helps prepare undergraduate students for graduate study through intensive research experiences with faculty mentors and academic enrichment activities. It convenes from the middle of May until the end of July each year. For more on MSU-SROP, contact Steven Thomas ( at 517-353-3262.