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This program aims to assist Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program institutions to drive improvements in education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
In late 2012, the U.S. Department of Education through its program “Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program” (MSEIP), allocated over $740,000 to fund a research in Plasma Science and its applications at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. As a commitment to improving the education of undergraduate engineering students, the Plasma Engineering Laboratory has assembled a new team of students from a pool of 168 students of which eleven students were selected to participate in the project. This new generation will conduct research in:
The group is composed of students Celso Melendez Vazquez, Daniel Borrome, David Torres, Felix Diaz Madero, Gabriel Colon Cacho, Jonathan Cedeño, Julio Lebron, Mirnalyn Castro, Naomi Delgado, Pedro Melendez and Ricardo Colon. The group operates under the direction of Dr. Angel Gonzalez-Lizardo (P.I.), Professor Ernesto Ulloa (Co. PI), Professor Claudia Talavera (Co. PI), Mr. Ramon Rivera Varona (Lab Technician). Research Assistants Carlos Alvarado Lugo and Edwin de la Rosa, upper level undergraduate students, also support the initiative to offer support to participants.
The project implements the use of the model “Affinity Research Group” (ARG), created at the University of Texas-El Paso, which focuses on developing research skills in students who are required to work in teams. By participating in research, multidisciplinary groups of students gain a rewarding experience that seeks to achieve the commitment to prevail in their studies until graduation and prepare them for the world of work and / or graduate studies.
The program aims to assist MSEIP institutions serving minority populations drive improvements in education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The participants use facilities include Plasma Laboratory of the university, which is equipped with a machine “Electron Cyclotron Resonance-Reactor” (ECRR) which creates plasma confining magnetic field and particles with a heating source microwave.
Training Workshop Mentors Program “PUPR Students Undergraduate Research Program”
Interviews for the New Year (II) of the proposed “PUPR Students Undergraduate Research Program” began
Orientation Activity to selected students of the proposal MSEIP -2
Workshop “Business Etiquette” with Angie Escalan
Workshop “CREO” – Ramón Rivera Varona
Workshop “Managing Time” – Giselle Alicea
Presentation “Progress Report”
Presentation “Progress Report”
Introduction to Ethics
MATLAB Classes by Dr. Angel Gonzalez
Participation in Open House
Workshop – “Design of Experiment”
Workshop “Writing paper/poster/presentation” with Prof. Luis Vicente
Attendance at “Workshop Plasma Physics Summer School”, Lawrence Livermore National Lab, California. – Naomi Delgado and Julio Lebron
First Essay AGMUS Symposium Presentations 2014
Second Test Symposium Presentations AGMUS 2014
AGMUS SYMPOSIUM 2014
SACNAS Symposium 2014
Students of the second CUSPS group receive their first ARG Orientation
Professor Ernesto Ulloa instructs the students on the JIGSAW puzzle learning technique
Dr. Angel Gonzales, Professor Ernesto Ulloa and laboratory Technician Ramon Varona, participate along the students on the JIGSAW puzzle learning technique
Dr. Angel Gonzales, Professor Ernesto Ulloa, laboratory Technician Ramon Varona and Professor Claudia Talavera participate along the students on the JIGSAW puzzle learning technique
Former CUSPS Group gave a keynote on their learning experience in the Plasma Engineering Laboratory.
Profesor Ernesto Ulloa lectures on Plasma Physics
Students in Plasma Physics Lecture
Research Assistant David Torres, takes high school students on a tour for the Plasma Laboratory Facilites
Profesor Claudia Talavera explaining how the former CUSPS group carry their experiments
Laboratory Technician, Ramon Varona assists students in the design of the HEA
Profesor Claudia Talavera examines the work of the students.
Dr. Luis Vicent teaches a workshop on paper writing
Paper Writing Workshop
ARG is a cooperative learning approach to involving students with diverse backgrounds that effectively ensures student engagement. ARG uses an structured team approach to tach the students how to conduct research, lead effective team discussions, execute a research project, and much more. This model is the framework for evoking student’s interest and developing research skills in the area of plasma engineering (and engineering in general). The project team seek to integrate methods which have been deemed viable in helping students integrate and develop a sense of belonging to their communities of practice. Specifically, we seek to address concerns related to our Hispanic student population, the majority of who are part-time commuting students with economic limitations and a keen interest in improving their own quality of life at the time they contribute to their families and communities’ well-being. NSF-supported research reported the benefits of undergraduate research in attaining increased student confidence in their professional self-image and ability to do, present and defend research.
Full Professor of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science and Director of the Plasma Laboratory at Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. Dr. González-Lizardo holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from University of Dayton and has extensive experience in power systems, controls, and computers. Dr. González-Lizardo ‘s research has focused on plasma applications and diagnostics, instrumentation and computer systems, and digital systems. He has participated in the publication of eight papers in international conferences in Plasma Physics. Much of his research will be the basis for the student research questions that will be developed for student research in this proposal. Dr. González-Lizardo has been directing an ad-hoc undergraduate research program at the Plasma Engineering Laboratory for more thant five years now. This program has benefited more than a 150 students since its inception, with the participation of around 10 students each term. Dr. González-Lizardo will be in charge of the management and administration of the proposed activities.
Holds a MS and BS in Theoretical Physics from the University of Puerto Rico (Mayaguez Campus) and is currently working in his doctoral dissertation at the Chemical Physics PhD program at the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras. Professor Ulloa is a full time physics professor at PUPR since 1994. His professional appointments at PUPR include Coordinator of Physics Courses and Professor at the Department of Science and Mathematics. Professor Ulloa has performed research work in the area of superconductivity at the Fermi National Accelerator, photon emission from neodymium ions trapped in crystal fields, numerical force field calculations for large molecules trapped in molecular crystals, and others. Professor Ulloa’s current interests in physics are centered on research at the institution’s plasma laboratory. He is currently studying the physics of hot electron populations created in the electron cyclotron resonance regions. His current research interest is directed to the application of these principles in planetary magnetospheres, pulsar electrodynamics, space physics, and ion engines.
Holds a Master Degree in Mathematical Science from the University of Puerto Rico, and a Bachelor Degree in Computer Science from the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Ensenada, Mexico, and is a graduate candidate for a Master Degree in Computer Science at Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. Professor Talavera is Assistant Professor at Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico and worked in aBroadening Participation in Computing Alliance project, giving high school students a research experience in computer science, by teaching them the scientific method applied to computer problems. Professor Talavera is proficient in C, C++, Visual Basic, Matlab, Data Structures, Numerical Analysis, and Discrete Mathematics. Prof. Talavera is in charge of advising the students in the programming side of the research experience for the CUSPS students.
Carola is a 21-year old fourth-year student at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. She is currently seeking a Bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering with a concentration in Electronics. In November of 2012 she was selected to participate in a research proposal by the Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP), as part of the Affinity Research Group (ARG) at PUPR Plasma Laboratory. Her work in the laboratory as a research assistant involved developing software to acquire plasma parameters data along with five other students. During the summer of 2013 she participated in the Summer Undergraduate Laboratory Internship funded by the Department of Energy, in which she worked at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory as an intern under the Measurement Science and Systems Engineering Division. Her work there involved embedded instrumentation and controls for advanced nuclear systems. She plans to continue her studies with a Master Degree in Electrical Engineering and a Bachelor degree in Asian Studies. Her research interests include Plasma Physics, Cyber Security, Digital Signal Processing and Sensors and Controls for Advanced Nuclear Systems
Former Research Assistant, Edwin De La Rosa is a 21 years old, undergraduate student, born in Miami, FL and raised in Puerto Rico. He currently pursues a Bachelors Degree, in Electrical Engineering, specialized in Controls and Automation, at Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. Edwin was selected to work as a research assistant along with a group of students, at the PUPR Plasma Laboratory, were they have been given the opportunity to apply and enrich their skills and knowledge in a research project, determining the effect of a strong magnetic field in different plasma parameters such as density, electron temperature, Larmor Radius, Debye Length, etc.. Moreover, part of the objective of the project is to enhance the students communication and teamwork skills making them more effective in a group environment. De La Rosa took part in the design and implementation of computer software that calculates and stores the plasma parameter measurements into a comma delimited file. He also participates as part of the university Soccer Team. His current research interest is towards plasma jet for space propulsion technology. Furthermore, he plans to pursue a PhD in Nuclear engineering.
Celso Melendez Vazquez is a junior at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. He is a native of Springfield, MA where he graduated from the Springfield Renaissance School. He is currently working on a Bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering. Celso is a long distance runner on the university’s track and field team. This year he was selected to undergo research at the PUPR Plasma Engineering Laboratory.
is a computer engineering undergraduate student pursuing a bachelors degree with a minor in Mathematics. Currently, Pedro Melendez is working in the Plasma Engineering Laboratory at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico conducting a research in magnetic structure of resonance layer electrons in the ECR plasma reactor. With an expected graduation on May 2015, he aspires to explore him career in data modeling, nanotechnology
Naomi Delgado Cruz- is a mechanical engineering undergraduate student pursuing a bachelors degree with a minor in aerospace engineering. Currently, Naomi Delgado is working in the plasma engineering laboratory at the polytechnic University of Puerto Rico conducting a research in magnetic structure of resonance layer electrons in the ECR plasma reactor. With an expected graduation on May 2015, she aspires to explore her career in robotics, propulsion and machinery analyzing such as gas turbines, control devices, and jet engines.
David Torres is a Junior Electrical Engineering Student, he expects to develop professional skills while gaining knowledge in the field of Plasma Physics. After graduation David Torres expects to fully develop in to an Electrical Engineer.
Ricardo Colon Montes currently studying computer engineering at Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. He is in junior year, and hope getting good knowledge on how to work in team, with colleague of a different concentration. He is currently still deciding in what area he will focus in his Masters. He has great confident he will keep studying beyond a Bachelors degree.
Julion Lebron is a junior in Mechanical Engineering, he currently conducts research in particle movement inside the ECR Reactor. After graduation he will pursuit a Doctorate degree.
Gabriel A. Colon Cacho is a junior in the Polytechnic University. Is currently studying Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Aerospace Engineering. In the MSEIP program we expect to become better students and to test our limits in our education. This is going to be an interesting experiences for all of us. Gabriel aspirations for after graduation is to work hard on different jobs opportunities that present themselves such as mechanical engineer work or aerospace engineering.
Felix Ramon Diaz Medero graduated from Jose Rojas Cortes High School of Orocovis in May, 2010 with honors. Is currently a senior in the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico and expects to receive a Bachelors degree in Science in Mechanical Engineering. He is undergoing a research at the plasma laboratory of the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico and expects it will expand his knowledge and professional experiences and create new opportunities in his life. After graduation he hopes to continue to do graduate studies.
Daniel Borrome de la Rosa is a sophomore in the electrical engineering department. Daniel is learning about the topics of plasma and its different functions to be use in the daily life. He desires to learn the process of manufacture during the journey. The subject expects to find a job that he likes at any part of the world. He doesn’t wish to keep on studying after he finishes his Bachelors degree but he wishes to keep on learning on the field.
Jonathan Cedeno Reyes is currently completing a Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Aerospace in the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. As a member of an Undergraduate Research Program in Plasma Engineering Laboratory, he is in charge of the manufacture and assembly of a Hyperbolic Energy Analyzer. With an expected graduation date of May 2015, Jonathan Cedeno’s goals are to keep participating in research programs and summer internships to gather as much work experience as possible before graduation.
Mirnalyn Castro Lozada, courses her junior year and belong to the Department of Mechanical Engineering. As part of project in Plasma Research 2013- 2014, her job is design a Hyperbolic Energy Analyzer as described by Edbetho Leal`s thesis. In this experience, her goal is to gain knowledge in the proposal MSEIP that provides her the tools to improve her performance in her college degree and as an engineer. The Mechanical Engineering has always been a field of fascination for Mirnalyn Castro Lozada and has several branches to develop her professionally. For this reason after she finish her bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Aerospace, she has determined to realize a Master degree in Project Management.
Primary Investigator and Co-Pi’s gave a trimester long lecture to prepare the students in Plasma Physics topics, MatLab, Laboratory Equipment and Safety Procedures in order to prepare them for their assigned projects.
Plasma Engineering Laboratory Technician, Ramon Rivera Varona, conducted a workshop on how to create a maintainable project plan.
Dr. Luis M. Vicente conducted a four week workshop on how to write a research paper.
Gradient B drift
Finite Larmor radius effects
Time dependant E & B fields
First & Second adiabatic invariants
Mirror field confinement
Plasma dielectric constant
Plasma equation of motion for two charged fluids
Plasma continuity equation
Diamagnetic Plasma Drift
The Plasma Engineering Laboratory (PEL) was founded in 2004 for the study of plasma physics, plasma diagnostics, and plasma applications. More than 170 students at PUPR have received hands-on experience working on interdisciplinary research projects at the laboratory since its inception.
PUPR’s Plasma Engineering Laboratory is equipped with an Electron Cyclotron Resonance (ECR) Plasma Device able to work in two modes, Mirror and Cusp. The PUPR Mirror/Cusp Device has the unique characteristic of being able to run produce stable plasma for 80 plus continuous hours. The machine is cylindrical in shape with two copper coils wound around the machine to provide the necessary mirror or cusp field configuration. The plasma is heated using the electron cyclotron heating method at a frequency of 2.45 GHz, using a Variable CW Microwave Power Supply, until ,000 Watts.
The PUPR Mirror/Cusp Device can vary the plasma density between 104 and 1012 electrons/cm3 and electron temperatures between 0.1 eV and 100 KeV and magnetic fields between 100 Gauss and 2000 Gauss. It has many ports to introduce samples and probes, and to select the gas composition. Plasma can be produced from hydrogen, helium, argon, neon, and/or nitrogen depending of the type of experiment designed.
Students performing research at the PUPR Mirror/Cusp (MC) Device will have to use a unique set of diagnostics for measurements of plasma density and plasma temperature during the experiments. From the simplest Single and Double Langmuir probes to the more complicated Ion and Electron Energy Analyzers, the students will have the opportunity to use, design the hardware and software and build the needed to perform diagnostics. The design of PUPR-MC allows studies of basic plasma physics, providing easy access for new diagnostic tools and experimental applications. The practical design of this device, including the large size, the possibility for switching gases to generate different plasmas, the large number of ports to penetrate the device allow for diverse experimental applications including space plasma, solar wind plasma and ionosphere plasma conditions, plasma coatings, ion implants, manufacture of new materials, plasma sterilization of pharmaceutical products and medical devices, ion propulsion studies, and test of new plasma diagnostics, among others.
Additionally, the device has 16 radial viewing ports located in the vertical mid-plane, 8 tall ports (11 in. from vessel to flange) alternate with 8 short ports ( in. from vessel to flange). These allow for the introduction of multiple probes at the same time to the vessel enabling multiple concurrent diagnostics. The movable coils are located in their closest position of 30 cm. between coil centers which results in a mirror ratio of 1.15. This setting can also be adjusted as needed. Students working at the Plasma Engineering Laboratory have the unique opportunity of working in real life problems either performing a design project or a research project.