Joint Technology/Architecture symposium showcases undergraduate research achievements

The College of Technology and the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture will feature the first collaborative Undergraduate Research Symposium on Friday, December 2, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the grounds of the College of Technology and Architecture buildings. The event is free and open to the public. Computer Engineering Technology and Industrial Design undergraduate students at the University of Houston will showcase more than 80 project presentations, prototypes, demonstrations, exhibits, and simulations involving electrical and digital system design, microprocessor architecture, embedded systems, sensor applications, computer networks, and industrial design.

A community-wide effort designed to provide undergraduate students an opportunity to demonstrate their technical knowledge using real world applications and display their creativity and innovation in research. From prototypes of an interactive refrigerator to smart tracking intuitive canes, air quality controllers, and computer vision for the blind, students will present their achievements in a wide-ranging spectrum of technologies.

During the Undergraduate Symposium, the technical program will include Kemal Farid, President, CEO and Founder of Merrick Systems, Incorporated who will deliver the keynote speech, “Technology Entrepreneurs – Agents of Cultural Change.” A leading energy and technology entrepreneur in Houston and winner of the 2011 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Kemal co-founded Merrick Systems in 1989, along with his aunt, Samina Farid. His vast experience encompasses more than 20 years in the oil and gas and software development industries.

Directing the strategy, technology development and global expansion of the business, Kemal grew Merrick to become one of the largest software development companies headquartered in Houston. With a staff of 70 people, Merrick’s worldwide presence today includes the Americas, Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Northern Europe. Merrick has been recognized numerous times for technology and business leadership, including listings in the INC. 5000 and the Top 500 in the Nation software companies, Fast Tech 50 companies in Houston. He was nominated for the prestigious ONS Innovator Award from Offshore Northern Seas, the Innovation Award from the UK-based Energy Institute, and the World Oil Award.

Farid earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and pursued executive business education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A member and leader in many professional organizations, Farid volunteers as a mentor to students at the University of Houston and serves as an advisory board member for the Houston Technology Center.