Daniel Kim Takes Third Place in Environmental Engineering at Regeneron International Science Expo – Los Alamos Reporter

Daniel Kim/Courtesy Photo


Daniel Kim, a junior from Los Alamos High School, placed 3rd in environmental engineering at the 2023 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Dallas, Texas. His project, Engineered Underwater Vehicle for Ocean Litter Mapping, was one of 86 competing in this category.

“In my project, I designed an underwater vehicle to collect images of the ocean and a machine-learning computer program to analyze the collected images for ocean trash,” Daniel explained. “Using this tool, litter at all depths of the ocean can be tracked and mapped to aid cleanup efforts in the future. I tested my underwater vehicle in bodies and l local water sources and validated my machine learning program using several hours of open source footage – detecting over 170,000 pieces of trash off the coast of Japan.

The ISEF attracts high school scientists from around the world. This year’s winners shared nearly $9 million in prize money.

“ISEF was a one-of-a-kind experience,” said Daniel. “Being able to connect with the best minds around the world and make so many new friends makes me really excited about what the future holds for science.”

In addition to competing in science fairs, Daniel is a member of the 2023 LAHS Stat Champion track team. He placed 2nd in the 300 meter hurdles at the state meet. He also placed 2nd in the Supercomputing Challenge and won first place in the New Mexico Junior Academy of Science Paper Competition, held in April in Socorro.

Click here to learn more about the Regeneron ISEF

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