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UPRM PREM Students Did It Again

The five technical divisions of The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS) -Electronic, Magnetic & Photonic Materials, Extraction & Processing, Light Metals, Materials Processing & Manufacturing, and Structural Materials - sponsored the Student Poster Contest during the 2009 TMS Annual Conference & Exhibition held in San Francisco on February 15-19, 2009. The Poster Contest winners representing the University of Puerto Rico - Mayagüez Material Advantage Chapter were:

Daniel Paez, "Nanofabrication of Metal-Polymer Composites for Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy Based Biosensing" in the Electronic, Magnetic, and Photonic Materials Division.
Graduate Student EMPM Division
Ninoshka Cantres, "New Application of Recycled Metallic Matrix Composites" in the Light Metals Division.
Undergraduate Student LMD Division
Nayomi Plaza, "Effects of Magnesium Levels in Aluminum Matrix Compositesc Subject to Mechanical Wear and Abrasion" in the Structural Materials Division.
Undergraduate Student SM Division
Alexandra Cintrón-Aponte, "On the Statistical Analysis of the Effect of Chemical Composition in Al-V and Al-Zr Composites Under Directional Solidification" in the Extraction and Processing Division.
Undergraduate Poster EPD Division

Daniel Páez is a UPRM Mechanical Engineering MS student working under the guidance of Prof. Rubén Díaz; his work is supported by the Puerto Rico Institute of Functional Nanomaterials. Ninoshka Cantres (UPRM Chemical Engineering undergraduate), Nayomi Plaza (UPRM Mechanical undergraduate), and Alexandra Cintrón and Víctor Martínez (both UPRM Industrial Engineering undergraduates) have been directly supported by PREM. Nayomi Plaza and Víctor Martínez are also recipients of the Puerto Rico Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. This is the second year in a row in which Alexandra won the First Prize in the EPD division of this competition. Other PREM students co-authoring the winning posters were: Ruth G. I. Hidalgo (2006 TMS LMD Scholar and Bridge-to-Doctorate fellowship holder), José Vázquez and Carlos Báez (both 2007 TMS Poster Contest winners). Of all the 12 awards available, UPRM students received 4, i.e. 33%. In 2007, PREM students won two, while in 2008 UPRM PREM students received three.

The Celebration
The UPRM team waggle the four ribbons in celebration and are joined by Dr. Robert Shull and his wife. Dr. Shull (NIST Magnetic Materials Group Leader) was the 2007 TMS President and served in the TMS Board of Directors.

The large UPRM delegation shown below was joined by Andrew Fairbrother (third from left in the back row), from New Mexico Tech, and 2008 UPRM REU participant and Z. Humberto Melgarejo, UW PREM doctoral student (far right). The travel of the group was made possible not only by UPRM PREM support but also by grants and donations from TMS, the PR LSAMP, the PRSGC, BP, Raytheon, and the NASA/MUST program. Important travel funds were provided by UPRM Dean of Engineering, Dr. Ramón E. Vásquez Espinoza, a prime supporter of PREM and the Chapter.

The UPRM Material Advantage at 2009 TMS

These achievements crown a fruitful 2008-2009 Academic Year for the Mayagüez Material Advantage Chapter. Founded in 2004 under the auspice of UPRM PREM the group received the 2008 Chapter of Excellence by the national organization. The award was officially conferred during the Materials Science & Technology meeting held in October in Pittsburgh.

Visiting the Dean

After returning to campus, the successful delegation presented the ribbons to UPRM Engineering Dean Dr. Ramón Vásquez (left), Daniel Páez, Ruth Hidalgo, Nayomi Plaza (Chapter President), Alexandra Cintrón, Ninoshka Cantres, José Vázquez, Víctor Martínez, and Prof. O. Marcelo Suárez (Chapter Faculty Mentor).

Chapter of Excellence

The Chapter outstanding performance was praised by the 2008 TMS President Dr. Diran Apelian (on the left photograph). He visited the Mayagüez campus in early February 2009 to meet with the Material Advantage students and UPRM faculty. Other individual achievements of Material Advantage/PREM students were:

  1. Nayomi Plaza, who joined PREM as a junior high school student and became 2007 Puerto Rico Math Honorific Mention top high school graduate, received the Robert C. Byrd scholarship, the Lockheed Martin HENAAC scholarship, the NASA/MUST scholarship and a Boeing scholarship.
  2. Maxuel Cruz, a Puerto Rico Space Grant Consortium undergraduate fellow, received the Northrop Grumman HENAAC scholarship.
  3. Ronald Carrasquillo, former UPRM PREM and now UPRM CREST undergraduate Chemical Engineering student, received one of the three Engineering awards in the 2008 Sigma Xi poster competition.

UPRM Material Advantage Student Chapter UPRM PREM