University School of Milwaukee student Neil Dogra ’21 received first place in the Wisconsin Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS), held in late January, and he also earned the Presidential Scholar. All regional JSHS finalists are invited to present their research at the national JSHS, held in April, in Norfolk, Virginia. The top two regional delegates have the opportunity to present their research in oral sessions to compete for military-sponsored undergraduate, tuition scholarships. All other regional delegates will present their research in the poster session to compete for cash awards.
In addition to his JSHS success, Dogra was able to co-author and publish his research in a peer-reviewed academic journal
For his project, Dogra studied the corrosion properties of ductile iron piping, which is commonly used by water utilities for potable water transmission, and identified which chemical composition allows for optimal corrosion resistance.
Dogra worked with Dr. Pradeep Rohatgi, a Wisconsin Distinguished Professor and the director of the UWM Composite Center at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, on his research. “I failed a lot when I first started out, but ultimately Dr. Rohatgi gave me the independence to grow as a researcher and to gain the confidence to run my own experiments,” said Dogra.
In 2019, Dogra earned the Grand Award Recognition, Best of Fair
at the Badger State Engineering and Science Fair, and he also earned the First Award in Engineering for his project. He plans to continue his research of corrosion resistance in ductile piping.
Dogra, along with other 2019 International Science and Engineering Fair participants from Wisconsin, founded the Wisconsin Student Research Society
to encourage scientific inquiry in high school students. They have held seminars, spoken at events, and helped students with their questions and concerns in starting research. "I hope my abundance of failures in the research process will show that success in science requires persistence over talent," he said.
About the Junior Science and Humanities Symposia
The Junior Science and Humanities Symposia (JSHS) Program is a tri-service—U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force—sponsored STEM competition which promotes original research and experimentation in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at the high school level and publicly recognizes students for outstanding achievement. By connecting talented students, their teachers, and research professionals at affiliated symposia and by rewarding research excellence, JSHS aims to widen the pool of trained talent prepared to conduct research and development vital to our nation.