CREST Students Keep on the Tradition of Being Among The Best in TMS Meetings PDF Print E-mail

It has become a tradition for  University of Puerto Rico - Mayagüez and CREST students to participate in the The Minerals Metals & Materials Society (TMS) Annual Meetings and to register in their Student Poster Competitions. Also it has become a tradition for this successful students to bring back to Puerto Rico, First Prizes from that competition as it happend in TMS 2013 held in San Antonio, TX on March 2-7. Marcos Corchado, Mechanical Engineering undergraduate won the First Prize in the Light Metals Division for his work titled "Effects of Zinc and AlB2 Particles on Absorbed Impact Energy of an Aluminum Matrix Composite," co-authored by Fernando Reyes, Industrial Engineering undergraduate. In addition, Gerardo Nazario, Civil Engineering undegraduate, received the First Place in the Extraction and Processing Division for his poster titled "Porosity and Percolation in Sintered Recycled Glass for Polluted Soil Filtering." This work was coauthored by Wesley Cuadrado, Anel Arroyo, Jasmine Figueroa, Liliana Hernández, and Andrea López, all UPRM students affiliated to the Center for Education & Training in Agriculture & Related Sciences (CETARS), CREST sister center,

Marcos Corchado and his winning poster Gerardo Nazario and his poster in TMS 2013

Eight more members of CREST, CETARS and Material Advantage participated in the conference in addition to Marcos Corchado and Gerardo Nazario: Sujeily Soto, Sugeily Flores, Luis Zapata, Ulises Barajas, David Florián, Elvin Estremera, and Neshma López. In addition to the poster contest, Neshma López, Marcos Corchado, Sujeily Soto and Elvin Estremera represented UPRM in the Material Bowl competition while Sujeily Soto and David Florián presented their work in different symposia.

The team while preparing for the conference (left) and during TMS 2013 (right)

Brilliant CREST Student Obtains First Prize in the Emerging Researchers National Conference PDF Print E-mail

Nicole Blanco Vicéns, undergraduate Industrial Engineering CREST student won first place in the Nanoscience category in the poster competition of the 2013 Emerging Researchers National (ERN) in STEM Conference . The conference was held in Washington DC from February 28 to March 3. Her poster titled "Understanding and Exploiting Compromises between Different Co-Zn Ferrite Nanoproperties” was coauthored by Zaimara E. Hernandez-Marquez (2012 Industrial Engineering graduate) and Silvana Urcia-Romero (former CREST student currently doctoral one in Florida State University). The project is a collaboration between the IRG2 and the Interdisciplinary Computational Group, led by Prof. Mauricio Cabrera-Ríos, Nicole's adviser.  Nicole is an accomplished young researcher, as evinced by a publication in the Journal of Engineering Manufacture and outstanding participation in local, national and international conferences. Her enthusiasm for interdisciplinary work has never gone unnoticed in such events.

Nicole Blanco

This is the third consecutive year that CREST students have received awards at this event. The ERN Conference in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Education and Human Resources Programs (EHR) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Human Resource Development (HRD), within the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR). The conference is aimed at college and university undergraduate and graduate students who participate in programs funded by the NSF HRD Unit such as the Centers for Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST).

Poster Competition Dominated by CREST Students PDF Print E-mail

UPRM-CREST students demonstrated their high quality investigative experience as they are honored with four out of the six research awards at the 6th NEA Science Day that took place at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez on February 7th, 2013.

Neshma López Meléndez, Chemical Engineering student,  received the First Prize in the Undergraduate Category for her poster “Processing and Mechanical Characterization of a NbB2/Al Composite.” The work is a collaboration with another undergraduate, José Moreno-Quiles (Mech. Eng.), under the supervision of Prof. O. Marcelo Suárez, (CREST-IRG4).

The Second Prize of the same category was awarded to Marcos Corchado Sonera, Mechanical Engineering student, for the poster titled “Effects of Zinc and AlB2 Particles on Absorbed Impact Energy of an Aluminum Matrix Composite.” This work was also carried out under the supervision of Prof. Suárez and in collaboration with Fernando Reyes, an Industrial Engineering undergraduate.  

Angélica Román Martínez, Chemical Engineering graduate student, was awarded an Honorable Mention in the graduate category for her poster titled “Polymeric Nanocarriers as Vehicles to Enhance the Efficiency of Enzyme Replacement Therapy for Lysosomal Storage Diseases.” Angélica works under the supervision of Dr. Magda Latorre Esteves (CREST-IRG1).

Finally, Civil Engineering graduate student Luis Zapata Orduz, who is co-advised by professors Genock Portela, and O. Marcelo Suárez, obtained the Second Prize in the graduate category for his work “Weibull Statistical Analysis in Superplasticized Ternary and Quaternary: Concretes Containing Different Mineral Admixtures and Nano-SiO2.” Civil Engineering professor Omar Molina was also a co-author of this work.

Luis Zapata, Marcos Corchado and Neshma López during the award dinner

From left to right, Luis Zapata, Marcos Corchado and Neshma López during the award dinner (image is courtesy of José Primera)

The UPRM NEA Science Day is part of the Northeast Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (NEAGEP), which is one of 26 NSF-funded Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) programs in the US. The goal of this event has been to provide participants (undergraduate and graduate students in all STEM disciplines) an opportunity to share their research experiences, plans, and achievements with faculty and students of the ten institutions of the Northeast Alliance.

More information (in Spanish) available at:

Outstanding CREST Graduate Student PDF Print E-mail

On November 16, 2012, UPRM CREST IRG4 graduate student Sonia L. Aviles-Barreto received Second Prize in the Graduate Poster Competition during the SHPE Conference 2012, held in Ft. Worth, TX, in November 2012, for her poster titled “Effect of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes on the Transport Properties of SIBS Membranes.” This is the third important award for Sonia, a PhD student in Chemical Engineering supervised by CREST IRG4 Prof. David Suleiman.

For this study she investigated the transport properties of poly(styrene-isobutylene-styrene) (SIBS) as a function of sulfonation levels and single-walled carbon nanotube (CNT) loadings for gas sensors and fuel cell applications. Sonia characterized the functionalized sulfonated SIBS containing CNTs to assess accurate sulfonation levels and thermal stability of the composite.

Few days later, on November 30 Sonia took part in the Poster Competition of the Graduate Research Symposium of the UPRM Department of Chemical Engineering. She was honored with First Prize in this competition.

Sonia L. Aviles-Barreto in the SHPE Graduate Poster Competitions 2012
Professor O. Marcelo Suárez Received Prestigious ASM International Fellow Honor PDF Print E-mail

The American Society for Materials (ASM International) has named UPRM CREST Director, Prof. O. Marcelo Suárez a Fellow of the society. The honor of Fellow represents recognition of Dr. Suárez's distinguished contributions in the field of materials science and engineering.

ASM International, one of most important professional societies of materials scientists and engineers in the world, selected 25 members worldwide for distinguished contributions to science, engineering and the profession. The Class of Fellows 2012 represents seven countries, including U.S.A. (17), Japan (2), Taiwan (2), Australia, France, India and Puerto Rico. The Fellows work in a variety of venues including universities (14), industry (7) and research labs or government (4).

Dr. Suarez receives the award from Dr. Christopher C. Berndt, 2011-12 President of ASM International
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NCBEDSA is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez
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