Brown Scholar Carson Benner and His Team Win Engineering Project Showcase and 2nd Place at SICK $10K Challenge

Brown Scholar and incoming EnMed student Carson Benner and his team won 1st place overall in the Engineering Project Showcase (300 engineering design capstone teams and 1,400 students).    ​

Their invention improves surgical lighting by applying SICK LiDAR sensing technology to an autonomous operating room light.     ​

The team also won 2nd place in the $10K Challenge sponsored by SICK.  ​

Carson will refine and improve the team’s design as an EnMed student. ​

Student Spotlight

Emmanuel Mendoza

Aerospace Engineering

Noah Taylor

Biomedical Engineering

Anish Easwaran

Biomedical Engineering

Sarah Voon

Biomedical Engineering

Dawson Benner

Interdisciplinary Engineering

Cathryn Gunawan

Biomedical Engineering

Michael Frost

Aerospace Engineering

Fouzul Kansul

Biomedical Engineering


Biomedical Engineering

Carlos Vasquez

Carlos Vasquez, an Engineering Honors Student at Texas A&M University, explores the fascinating intersection of ethics and technology, specifically within the realm of artificial intelligence.

His research centers on understanding the effects of LLM-enabled classrooms on education and the ethical development of AI systems.

Noah Taylor

Noah Taylor, a junior Biomedical Engineering major, took 20 credit hours for the 2023 Spring semester.

He is a member of the Corps of Cadets, a member of Rudder’s Rangers (an advanced training program) and a member of the Parsons Mounted Cavalry. He is the Platoon Sergeant of Company K-1 and the coordinator of Academics, Career Readiness and Recruiting.

While taking 20 credit hours, Noah also took the MCAT a year early.

Noah has a cumulative 4.0 GPA and scored 97% on the MCAT.

He was admitted to EnMed using the E2 EnMed EAP pathway.

Anish Easwaran

Anish Easwaran, a junior Biomedical Engineering major, is a member of Engineering, Inc., the NSF I-CorpsSite program, Engineering Honors Executive Committee, Vice-President and Co-Founder of Aggies to Medicine, and TAMECT and a member of the Aggie Entrepreneurial Committee (his entrepreneurial efforts include StimuCalm, Aegis Armor, PillSafe and an app for pre-med students).

He is a Brown Foundation Freshmen Leadership Officer and was one of the three group leaders of the inaugural MSC Brown Smith UK Honors Leadership trip.

Anish and his teammates placed in the top 3 for the Rice Health Policy Hackathon, 3rd and 4th at Aggies Invent and Top 6 at Aggie Pitch.

He was a Gathright Dean’s Excellence Award winner for the College of Engineering and has a cumulative 3.9 GPA.

Anish was admitted to EnMed using the E2EnMed EAP pathway.

Sarah Voon

Sarah Voon, a junior Biomedical Engineering major, received her Aggie ring and completed her undergraduate thesis as a sophomore.

She is a Brown Foundation Freshmen Leadership Organization officer and was one of the three group leaders of the inaugural MSC Brown-Smith UK Honors Leadership trip.

Sarah was inducted into Alpha Eta Mu Beta, the National Biomedical Engineering Honor Society. She is a member of TAMECT.

Sarah has a cumulative 4.0 GPA and she took the MCAT a year early and scored 98%.

She was admitted to EnMed using the E2EnMed EAP pathway.

Dawson Benner

Dawson Benner, a junior Interdisciplinary Engineering major, spent the summer at IIT Gandhinagar, India researching the use of red carbon dots (produced from mango leaves) to: reduce cancer cells counts by 50% without damaging benign cells; close wounds between cells and increase cell counts; and differentiate neurons and cause connections between them, an avenue for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Dawson was first co-author of “Red Emitting Carbon Dots: Surface Modifications and Bioapplications” published in Nanoscale Advances.

Dawson has a cumulative 4.0 GPA and began fast-track coursework for the Master’s in Quantitative Finance at Mays Business School as a sophomore.



My name is Cathryn Gunawan, and I am a proud member of the Aggie Class of 2026, a biomedical engineering major, and I was admitted to the E2EnMed program. This summer I am researching in Dr. Villapol’s lab in the Department of Neurosurgery. Our lab studies the treatment of traumatic brain injury and Alzheimer’s disease through regeneration and the interaction between the gut and the brain. My research involves improving the characterization of shape changes in microglia—immune cells in the brain that cause inflammation—via 3D analysis to supplement our understanding of the neuroinflammatory response. I specifically looked at these immune cells after traumatic brain injury and treatment with probiotics to determine if probiotics are a viable treatment for traumatic brain injury. In addition to learning technical lab skills, I have also developed communication and presentation skills along with adaptability and independent thinking. I am so grateful to Mrs. Sue Smith and Mr. Craig Brown for providing and sponsoring this opportunity as well as the entire Villapol Lab for their support and encouragement. This experience has deepened my appreciation for research and broadened my understanding of the efforts that go into advancing medicine.

Michael Frost

Michael Frost, a sophomore Aerospace Engineering major, opened a makerspace, Starforge Foundry, open to students interested in engineering projects.

L-R: Brown Scholar Meghan Shimer, Craig, Michael Frost, Sue, Interim Dean Johnny Hurtado.

Starforge Foundry tools include: lathe, laser cutter, 3D printers, bandsaw, hand tools, belt/disc sander, sheetmetal brake, flaring tools, spot welder, bench grinder, soldering irons, and a miniature CNC mill.

Michael has a cumulative 4.0 GPA.

Fouzul Kansul

Fouzul Kansul, a junior Biomedical Engineering major, was a podium presenter in the graduate student category at the 2023 Houston Methodist Summer Science Symposium. Her topic was “Sex Based Differences in Calcification Patterns of Chronic Lower Extremity Peripheral Arterial Disease”.

Her presentation received first place for Audience Choice in the graduate student category and second place overall for Audience Choice among graduate, postdoc and resident presentations.

Fouzul was admitted to EnMed using the E2EnMed pathway.

Abhinaya Muruganandham

Abhinaya Murugndandham, a Junior Biomedical Engineering major, was a coauthor on computational biology research published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications.

She was first author for an abstract with Houston Methodist research in cardiac imaging published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC). Abhinaya presented her abstract as a poster for the 72nd Annual Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology.

She serves as Treasurer for TAMECT (Texas A&M Emergency Care Team).

Abhinaya has a cumulative 4.0 GPA and scored 100% on the MCAT.

She was admitted to EnMed using the E2EnMed EAP pathway.