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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 four areas, all connected among them:

  • Experimental determination of Magnetic Structure for Resonance Layers in MIRROR/CUSP Electron Cyclotron Resonance Plasma
  • Modeling of MIRROR/CUSP ambient magnetic field and level surface for Electron Cyclotron Resonance resonance layers
  • Particle tracing simulation of the trajectory calculations for electron cyclotron acceleration particle – Wave Interaction
  • Construction and testing of the Hyperbolic Energy Analyzer for the detection of Hot Electron in ECR MIRROR/CUSPS Plasma.

    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), and the mentors Carlos Alvarado Lugo and Edwin de la Rosa, upper level undergraduate students.

    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 an Electron Cyclotron Resonance (ECR) reactor which creates plasma confining magnetic field and particles with a heating source microwave.