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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 80 students of which twenty students were selected to participate in the project. This group of students will conduct research in:
The group is composed of students Polanco Anabel , Nunez Angel, Rodriguez Keisy, Arocho Joel A, Guadalupe Alberto J, Acevedo Mario A , Chang Juan, Ferra Jorge J , Fernandez Alberto, Fleming Dereck, Lopez Francibel, Juarbe Grexa, Taveras Miguel, Serrano Ivia, Jimenez Bryan, Soto William . 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 Mentors Ricardo Colón, Mirnalyn Castro, Jonathan Cedeño, Edwin de la Rosa, Carola Cruz Molina, 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 to drive improvements in education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The participants use facilities including the Plasma Laboratory of the university, which is equipped with a machine “Electron Cyclotron Resonance-Reactor” (ECRR), which creates a plasma-confining magnetic field and particles with a heating source microwave.
Initial guidance MSEIP-3 Diagnostic Experimental Test Diagnostic Test – (Matlab, physical and electrical) Group meetings and jigsaw
Plasma Introduction Reading of Literature on chapter two (2):
Scientific Method Workshop
Plasma Introduction Scientific Method -Training Business Etiquette Presentation – Angie Escalante
Basic Programming Workshop- Claudia Talavera
Plasma Lab Test Explanation of programs to students MSEIP-3 – Felix Diaz and Julio Lebrón (MSEIP-2) LATEX Workshop Time Management Workshop
Experiment’s Review (HEA, and HALL-EFFECT CLEA) LATEX and paper-writing Workshop Group photo (CUSPS)
Jigsaw (initial objectives of each project individually)
ARG is a cooperative learning approach to involving students with diverse backgrounds that effectively ensures student engagement. ARG uses a structured team approach to teach 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 seeks to integrate methods which have been deemed viable in helping students integrate and develop a sense of belonging in 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 as they contribute to the well-being of their families and communities.. 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 than five years now. This program has benefited more than 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.
Prof. Ulloa 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.
Prof. Talavera holds a Master’s Degree in Mathematical Science from the University of Puerto Rico, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Ensenada, Mexico, and is a graduate candidate for a Master’s Degree in Computer Science at Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. Professor Talavera is Assistant Professor at Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico and worked in Broadening 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’s 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’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and a Bachelor’s 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-year-old undergraduate student, born in Miami, FL and raised in Puerto Rico. He currently pursues a Bachelor’s 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, where 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 toward plasma jet for space propulsion technology. Furthermore, he plans to pursue a PhD in Nuclear engineering.
Ricardo Colon Montes is currently studying Computer Engineering at Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. He is in his junior year, and hopes to acquire good knowledge on how to work in a team with colleagues of different fields of study. He is currently still deciding in what area he will focus his Master’s Degree. He has great confidence he will extend his studies beyond a Bachelor’s Degree.
Jonathan Cedeno Reyes is currently completing a Bachelor’s 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 belongs to the Department of Mechanical Engineering. As part of her project in Plasma Research 2013- 2014, her job is the design of a Hyperbolic Energy Analyzer as described by Edbetho Leal`s thesis. In this project, 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. Mechanical Engineering has always been a field of fascination for Mirnalyn Castro Lozada, and she has identified several branches in which she could further develop professionally. For this reason, after she finishes her Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Aerospace, she is determined to complete a Master’s Degree in Project Management.
Juan Chang Liang is currently coursing his junior year under the Department of Mechanical Engineering with concentration in Aerospace. He has always been fascinated with aircrafts and astronomy. His dream is to help humanity explore the deepest corners of the universe. Through the MSEIP Proposal, he seeks the knowledge to perform and excel in his field of study and achieve said goal. He intends to join National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) once he finishes his Bachelor’s Degree while also pursuing a Master’s Degree in the same field.
Francibel Lopez Perez is coursing her junior year and belongs to the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. She has been selected to form part of the Miscellaneous Group in the Undergraduate Plasma Research Program. Her goal as a professional is to acquire a Master’s Degree in biomechanics. Her long-term goal is to help children who are physically handicapped by using her future studies in biomechanics.
Ivia E. Serrano Torres courses her junior year of college at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. She belongs to the Department of Civil Engineering, and was selected for Plasma Research Program 2014 – 2015 under Prop. MSEIP, belonging to the group of the laboratory. Her goals are to graduate from university, succeed as a research student, and acquire the experience and knowledge to develop herself in college and as a future civil engineer. Her passion for engineering has been a motivation to acquire new long term goals, such as specializing in structures and projects for environmental conservation. Ivia’s dream is to develop a company that covers diverse fields of engineering.
Jorge Ferrá Hernández is coursing his fourth year in the Department of Chemical Engineering. He currently forms part of a group that’s being prepared in theoretical plasma physics for the MSEIP proposal, in which he’s looking to gain the skill, knowledge and experience needed for graduate studies. He wishes to pursue a Master’s Degree in Genetic Engineering.
Miguel Angel Taveras Mercedes is currently coursing his third year in the Mechanical Engineering Department. He works as a programmer in the MSEIP Proposal 2014-2015, where he was selected to participate in plasma research and investigation. He believes that plasma research will provide the knowledge and experience that will launch his professional and intellectual success. Also, it will provide the tools that will help him manage his future career and pursue his passion for nanotechnology. He will develop skills as a researcher to improve his academic performance and help him pursue a PhD in nanotechnology.
Bryan O. Jiménez Rodríguez currently courses his junior year at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico and belongs to the Department of Computer Engineering. He was selected to form part of the Undergraduate Research Plasma Laboratory from the MSEIP proposal. Jiménez became part of the group of programming in the research. During this opportunity he hopes to gain knowledge and experience that will help in his future career. His long term goal is to acquire a Master’s Degree in Computer System Security.
Dereck G. Fleming Soto currently courses his junior year and belongs to the Department of Civil Engineering. Fleming became part of the group of miscellaneous in Undergraduate Plasma Research Program 2014-2015. Dereck wants to develop his skills and put them to good use, achieving excellent results in his work and assigned area. His long-term goals are to finish a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering and subsequently specialize in water treatment and project management.
Joel A. Arocho Rivera courses his junior year and belongs to the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He was recently selected to be part of the programming group in Plasma Research 2014- 2015. His goal through this experience is to gain knowledge in programming, presentation and manufacturing skills. Joel Arocho sees in Plasma Research the opportunity to improve his performance as an engineer and the key to work in many other places around the world. After he finishes his Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Aerospace, he is determined to acquire a Master’s Degree in Aerospace and a Bachelor’s Degree in Foreign Languages.
Keisy Rodriguez Villafañe, from the Chemical Engineering Department, is currently coursing her junior year. She has been selected to be a part of the Plasma Research from the MSEIP proposal, where her job is to study the physical behavior of the plasma that’s being investigated. From this experience, Keisy desires to gain knowledge in plasma physics, as well as experience in doing research in a different branch of science. She wishes to pursue her graduate studies in biomolecular engineering and organic chemistry.
Mario Acevedo Portela is a third year undergraduate student from the Department of Electrical Engineering with academic emphasis in DSP and electronics. Currently he participates as an active member of the institution’s research proposal MSEIP at the physics division. His long-term goal is to become acquainted with a laboratory setting and attain a deeper understanding and insight of theoretical plasma physics for future work. He aspires to become a fully realized Condensed Matter Physicist some time after completing his degree in Electrical Engineering. His research interests are Electromagnetic and acoustic metamaterials, Photonics, BEC’s, Superfluids & Superconductors, Photonic matter, and the domain of nanoscience.
Grexa O. Juarbe De Alba is a senior student currently studying Electrical Engineering in the area of controls and signals at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. After graduating from her Bachelor’s Degree, she wants to course a Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering. Her goal at Plasma Laboratory Research is to increase her knowledge as a student in the required areas. She also wants to gain professional and personal skills to accomplish her goals as an engineer and individual.
Alberto O. Fernández Lebrón is a junior student currently studying Mechanical Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. He previously completed an Associate Degree on Automotive Technology at the University of Puerto Rico-Carolina. His-short term goal is to acquire all tools that could be used to achieve excellence in future classes. His long-term goals include to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree on Mechanical Engineering with all the knowledge necessary to excel in the work environment. He is interested in the Plasma Research Program because he likes working in mechanical environments, and the Plasma Laboratory offers some of that, and it can also help increase his knowledge for his academic and professional life.
Alberto Juan Guadalupe Gonzalez currently courses his senior year and belongs to the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He has been selected in Plasma Research Program from the MSEIP proposal. He became part of Physics Group in the laboratory and has a deep interest in this project. Mechanical Engineering has always held a fascination for Guadalupe, because he likes robots and has the motivation to be a professional in this area. His long-term goals are to create a third-party company for the technological improvement of the industry and, if possible, acquire a graduate degree in Robotics.
Anabel Polanco Martinez is a junior student currently coursing Industrial Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. Her short-term goals include to gain professional and personal skills, while also developing her presentation skills. Her long-term goal is to acquire a Master’s Degree in Accounting. She is interested in Plasma Laboratory because she knows that a research in Plasma Physics will increase her knowledge as a student and as a professional.
Ángel A. Núñez Mojica currently courses his junior year in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Aerospace at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. As part of project 5 in Plasma Research 2014- 2015, he became part of the Laboratory group. His goal in this experience is to gain a knowledge that provides the tools to improve his performance in his college degree and as a future engineer. He is very interested in this project because Aerospace and Spacecraft Propulsion has always been his fascination. His long-term goal is to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree on Mechanical Engineering and be able to apply the unique properties of plasma to improve processes and performance over many fields.
William D. Sot Soto currently courses his junior year in the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico and belongs to the department of Mechanical Engineering. His favorite area in research is alternative energy resources and machinery efficiency. His goal during this experience is to gain knowledge on the applications of plasma and the functioning of the vacuum pressure machinery. He is also interested in continuing his postgraduate studies, and this experience will be the perfect opportunity to provide him the necessary tools to succeed in his professional career.
The magnetic flux density in magnetized plasmas, in the presence of energetic electrons, is probed with shielded Hall probes. The magnetic structure of wave particle interaction regions is investigated.
Measurement of energy distribution function of hot electron in magnetized plasmas using the HEA (Hyperbolic Energy Analyzer)
Design, construction, and testing of a prototype novel energy analyzer for focusing energetic particle using cylindrical electrostatic lens.
Calculation of electromagnetic radiation distribution for relativistic electrons interacting with a static magnetic field and oscillating electromagnetic fields
The trajectories and confinement times of charged particles in static and time varying magnetic fields is studied using leapfrog algorithm
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, 0 – 5,000 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.