Science Festival

First, choose your class period

Then take a look at our presentations below

However, you'll need to return on Jan 21, 2020 to proceed with the registration process.

A Food Scientist's View. Product Development in Food & Beverages

Attend if you ever wondered: "Who designs the products and produces the food and beverages you can buy in stores ?".


SpeakerJonathan Licker, PhD

  • Earned a PhD from Cornell University in Food Science & Flavor Chemistry.

  • Serves on Cornell University advisory council since 2003. Provides guidance for the food science department’s students, faculty, programs, and curriculum .

  • Worked for PepsiCo in Research & Development in Plano, Texas for 18 years developing snacks for Frito-Lay and other global brands such as Lays, Doritos, Cheetos and Sunchips..

  • Works for Walmart at the global Home Office in Bentonville, Arkansas developing frozen food for Walmart Private Brand across categories including Fruit, Smoothies, Juices, Single & Multi-serve meals, Ice Cream and Novelties.

Senior Manager, Product Development. Private Brands Walmart

A Scientist at PepsiCo Research and Development

An overview of the various roles a scientist can play at PepsiCo Research and Development, with emphasis on snack food research.


SpeakerRyan Barnes

  • 20 years of R&D with PepsiCo (Frito-Lay)
  • BSc: Agronomic Engineering (major: Crop Production), University of Dschang, Cameroon
  • MSc: Grain Science and Industry (major: Baking Science), Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
  • PhD: Grain Science and Industry (major: Cereal Chemistry), Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
  • Bilingual: English and French

Senior Scientist PepsiCo

At the Leading Edge of Discovery: Finding New Ways to Treat Cancer

This presentation will cover the molecular and cellular basis for current cancer treatments as well as ongoing research that is fueling future therapies.


SpeakerAngelique Whitehurst, PhD

  • Education *Bachelors Degree (BA and BS) in Chemistry and Biochemistry from Virginia Tech. *PhD from UT-Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas (UTSW). *Professional Experience *Post-doctoral Fellowship at UTSW
    • Assistant Professor at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill *Associate Professor at UTSW in the Harold Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center *Research Specialty - Cancer Biology.
      • Understanding the molecular mechanisms that permit uncontrolled growth of tumor cells
      • Identifying new targets for future therapies *Other Significant Professional Activities
      • Director, of the Molecular and Cellular Training Graduate (PhD) training Program at UTSW.
      • Editorial Board of Molecular and Cellular Biology (research journal).

Associate Professor, Simmons Cancer Center UT Southwestern Medical Center

Becoming a Professor in Molecular Biology

I will describe career paths one can take with a major in molecular biology, and what it is like to be a research professor in a medical school.


SpeakerRueyling Lin

• BS degree in Botany, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan • Master (MS) degree in Botany, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D.) degree in Biochemistry, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX • Postdoctoral training at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA • Professor in Department of Molecular Biology and Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine (CRSM) at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW), Dallas, TX

Professor, Molecular Biology Department UT Southwesterhn Medical Center

Biomedical Sciences - The science discoveries that drive the future of medicine.

A philosophical look at the modern approach to scientific thought and research discovery in biomedical sciences and career options in the life sciences.


SpeakerStuart Ravnik, Ph. D.

  • BS in Biology, and PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Washington in Seattle
  • Post-doctoral Fellowship in Genetics from Columbia University in New York
  • Faculty member in Cell Biology and Biochemistry at Texas Tech University in Lubbock
  • Moved to Dallas in 2002 to become Assistant Dean in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at UT Southwestern. Became Associate Dean in 2014.
  • Was Associate Director of the STARS (Science Teacher Access to Resources at Southwestern) Program from 2006 to 2016.
  • Expert in genetics, reproductive biochemistry, research ethics and bioethics, and college and graduate admissions

Associate Dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences UT Southwestern Medical Center

Digital Fabrication at the atomic scale

Digital information technology changed your world; digital fabrication at the atomic scale will change it again. I will explain how and why you should consider being an engineer.


SpeakerJohn Randall, Ph. D.

  • I am a card carrying Nano-Nerd with a PhD from the University of Houston, 33 years of Industrial experience making really small things, and 29 US patents
  • I have worked for MIT's Lincoln Laboratory (4 years), Texas Instruments (15 years with 2 years in Belgium), and Zyvex as CTO, VP, and Pres (15 years)
  • Zyvex Labs has a plot to rule the world with Atom by Atom Manufacturing and is working to heal the blind (Human Trials in 2017)
  • I am addicted to computer programming, robotics, and playing Alto Sax
  • I love my wife and kids

President Zyvex Labs

Engineering Overview

General Discussion and Facts on Engineering; A Few Tips on Choosing a College; and What is Engineering School Like?


SpeakerLloyd Denman, P.E.

  • Highland Park High School, Class of 1983; National Merit Commendee, Varsity Football
  • Vanderbilt University, Class of 1987; Civil Engineering Degree, 2-year full academic scholarship; Fraternity member
  • Southern Methodist University, Class of 1991; Master of Business Administration
  • Licensed Professional Engineer in Texas and California

Assistant Director of Engineering City of Dallas

Exploring Chemistry Via Simulations and High-Performance Computing

Exploring chemical environments and interactions using simulations and high-performance computing has allowed unprecedented insight that aides in the development of new chemical theory, the design of new materials, and discovery of life-saving pharmaceuticals.


SpeakerRobert Kalescky, Ph.D.

  • My research career began with my master's work studying ligand stabilized nanoparticles in solvents using coarse-grained classical molecular dynamics. During this work, coarse-grained force fields to describe the systems, a new free energy method, and a general method for calculating the relationship between ligand surface coverage of nanoparticles and the nanoparticle's radius were developed.
  • Following, my doctoral research changed from describing large systems using classical mechanics to describing small systems with quantum mechanical methods and localized vibrational modes. During this work, the strengths of chemical bonds were explored ranging from the extremely strong nitrogen-nitrogen bond of [HNNH]2+ to the intricate hydrogen bonding interactions of the formic acid dimer. These works used several DFT functionals, various levels of MP and CC methods, and developed a general method for comparing the strength chemical bonds via the relative bond strength order.
  • During my post-doctoral research, the role of individual protein residues in protein allostery was explored. This work led to the development of the rigid residue scan method using rigid body molecular dynamics for probing the significance of a single residue on intra-protein dynamics and allosteric mechanisms.
  • While as the HPC Applications Scientist at Southern Methodist University I have worked on ML model development for ab initio molecular dynamics. In this work, the electron density of molecular systems is approximated via an ML model that has been trained to mimic DFT methods. An initial goal of this work is to produce a model that can act as a computationally fast replacement for DFT functionals. Additionally, I have evaluated DFT dispersion corrections on hydrogen isotopologue separation in metal-organic frameworks.

HPC Applications Scientist Southern Methodist University

Fiber Optic Communications

State-of-the-art optical communications and its key building blocks will be described.


SpeakerSalam Elahmadi, Ph.D.

• Hands-on entrepreneur and executive with strong project management and a cross-disciplinary background that includes signal processing, fiber optic communication, RF design, and mixed-signal IC design. • Successfully launched industry-first telecom products enabling multi-million-dollar yearly revenues • Over 16 years of experience in System Design, Test, and Deployment of wireless, wireline, and optical communications systems • Author of numerous granted patents and peer-reviewed publications. • Invited speaker to technical events & conferences • Ph.D. EE

Founder & CTO Menara Networks

Geology - A Fun Way to Make a Living

Come hear from a geologist about how you can make a fun and rewarding living, take interesting trips, and use science every day.


SpeakerKennen Schmitz, M.S., MBA

  • BS and MS degrees in Geology from SMU and NIU
  • Worked as a Petroleum Geologist in Southern Louisiana
  • MBA from SMU
  • Worked for a large Wall Street firm managing oil and gas investments
  • Returned to Texas after experiencing first World Trade Center terrorist attack in 1993
  • Active member of PCBC

Geologist & President Winfield Operating Company

Having It All: Using STEAM in Architecture

I always had a hard time choosing just one thing to do, which is why I decided architecture was a perfect fit for me! We'll discuss how I use all aspects of STEAM everyday in the practice of architecture.

HPHS Alumna


SpeakerAmanda Kalescky

  • 2002 graduate of HPHS
  • Bachelor of Science degrees from Texas Tech University in both Civil Engineering and Architecture
  • Master of Architecture degree from The University of Texas at Arlington
  • Over ten years experience in architecture with GFF Architects
  • Mom of two: Eleanor (4 years) and Andrew (8 months)

Senior Project Coordinator GFF Architects

Innovation Around You (From Problems Around You)

As a patent attorney and inventor, I'll present some problems related to some inventions and how a technical background helped address them.


SpeakerJohn Lindsay

  • Patent Attorney - preparation and prosecution of patent applications in software & electronics technologies
  • Intelligent Transportation System Developer - developer & patent holder of application that monitors and maps drivers harsh braking frequency
  • Connected Vehicle Developer - developer & patent holder of a directional vehicle to vehicle communication system
  • Chair of IEEE Dallas Sensor & IoT Chapter

Patent Attorney & Inventor

Making Patients Beautiful: Jaw Surgery w Dr Wolford

See shocking before and after photos of surgical patients.


SpeakerLarry Wolford, DMD

Adams-Summerhill high school, PA Univ of Pittsburgh Temple Dental School Private practice Baylor Hospital

Oral & Maxillofacial surgeon Baylor University Medical Center

New Advances in Surgery using the da Vinci Robotic System

New advances in robotic technology have allowed surgeons to perform, and patients to undergo difficult procedures in a minimally invasive way. Students will have an opportunity for a hands on experience with the da Vinci Surgical Robot.


SpeakerRichard Salter, MD

  • Attended Abilene Christian University, graduated 1983
  • Attended Texas Tech University Medical School, graduated 1988
  • Internship and Residency at University of Kentucky, completed 1992
  • Specialized practice in Ob-Gyn in Dallas for 18 years, started Advanced Ob-Gyn Associaites in 2008
  • Main interest is in minimally invasive and advanced gynecologic surgery, utilizing the da Vinci surgical robotic system.

MD, Ob-Gyn Advanced Ob-Gyn Associates

Opportunities in petroleum engineering & unconventional oil and gas exploration

Opportunities in petroleum engineering & an overview of how unconventional oil and gas exploration works in the U.S.


SpeakerTom Elsener

Matador Resources from 2013 to Current - Incorporate all oil and gas disciplines (geology, reservoir, completions, land, legal, regulatory, accounting, midstream, exploration, A&D, etc) into comprehensive oil and gas development plans in a public company traded on the NYSE.

EnCana Oil & Gas from 2007 to 2013 - Various onshore unconventional oil and gas engineering including Reservoir, Completions, Drilling, Exploration and Business Development

Rowan - Offshore roustabout summer of 2005

Texas A&M - BS Petroleum Engineering in 2007

Highland Park High School in 2003

VP - Engineering & Asset Manager Matador Resources