||Friday, May 22nd, 2009 [ versión español ]
A space for proposing new research approaches and speaking about the scientific work of university students was exactly the opportunity that 20 undergraduate students from different departments of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez (UPRM) had, they all received awards from the Lockheed Martin Corporation.
The Corporation visited the University recently to award those students for their research carried out in Science and Engineering. Each one of the 20 students received a scholarship for $1,000, at an activity that took place in Room A of the Main Library and that formed part of an alliance between UPRM and Lockheed Martin to promote the academic development of students in these disciplines.
“The intention is to ensure that we help and instill the innovation and the passion for Engineering, Science and technology. The impression that we have of the projects that were presented by the students is very good, each one demonstrates its own quality of graduate studies,” said Joe Petrone, vice president of Lockheed Martin.
Jennifer Byrne, who is the vice president of Technological Strategy of the company, emphasized the interest to nourish the development of students in this field of sciences, and their intellectual growth.
“It’s important to reaffirm the relationship between Lockheed Martin and UPRM by the dedication that these students have demonstrated, whose performance has been above average in comparison with other educational entities,” she stated.
On the other hand, the students described the activity as one of enrichment through which they could initiate a career as professional researchers, insert their academic life with the elaboration of projects related to their respective areas of study and present them in front of high executives of multinational enterprises.
“It’s a great opportunity that allows us, the students, to experiment in the field of work, practice our English and develop research that helps us in the development and preparation for graduate school,” commented Adriana Meléndez, fourth year student in Electrical Engineering.
During the event, the performance of Alfredo Díaz was awarded, student of Mechanical Engineering, whose project turned out to be the one that stuck out the most in the group.
“I wasn’t hoping to receive an award; my proposal doesn’t belong to the field of electricity and computers, which are the areas of greatest interest for the Lockheed Martin Corporation. Notwithstanding, I understand that my work represents an advancement for Science and this is what impacted the entity,” stated Díaz.
Executives of Lockheed Martin also visited the Chemistry Building, where faculty members, as well as undergraduate and graduate students, presented their Open House of the Center of Development for Chemical Sensors and Explosives (CDSQE, by its Spanish acronym).
As indicated by doctor Samuel Hernández, director of CDSQE, the activity represented a place to speak about the scientific application that is possible through the equipment and the installations that the Chemistry Department has.
“We have presented to the executives from Lockheed the theory about what the Center represents and also the opportunity to examine it personally. It’s important to mention that it has an additional attraction and that is that undergraduate students will present the work that our graduate students did,” noted Hernández.
Graduate student, Omar Rivera Betancourt added that during his tour, the executives had the opportunity to evaluate the work exhibited by undergraduate and graduate students in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, and Biology.
“This activity gives the students a sense of leadership and the opportunity to develop academically,” added the young man.
From the left: doctor Roberto Vargas, special assistant to the UPRM Chancellor; Joe Petrone, vice president of Lockheed Martin; Adriana Meléndez, student of Electrical Engineering; Jennifer Byrne and Mauricio Guadamuz, both from Lockheed Martin.
Each of the 20 undergraduate students received scholarships for their performance in research.
Alfredo Díaz, of Mechanical Engineering (in the middle) received the award for the best project in the group. He is accompanied by executives from Lockheed Martin and UPRM.
Doctor Samuel Hernández, in the front, with graduate students from the Chemistry Department.
Omar Rivera Betancourt made did his research beneath the tutelage of doctor Samuel Hernández.
Photographs by Marta Yazmín García Nieves / UPRM Press