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Utah State University mechanical engineering students Nancy Alba and Richard Ramires have received cash, state-of-the-art tools and national recognition from the Society of Hispanic Engineers for research papers they entered in a national competition sponsored by the group.

Alba and Ramires, who comprise two-thirds of USU's chapter of the society, took third and fourth place, respectively, in their first national competition. Alba received a check for $1,000 for her research paper, "Design and Cost of a Space Station Truss," at the national organization's recent annual conference in Phoenix.Ramires received a Hewlett-Packard calculator for his paper, "Cosmic Chow," which discusses processes and techniques for designing food systems to be used in space exploration.