Profs Mentor Undergrad Researchers from Mexico
Program Acquiants Participants With Opportunities and Demands in Disciplines

Undergraduates from Mexico conducting research at UTD

Undergraduate students from Mexico have been pursuing their own research projects at UT Dallas this summer.

Ten undergraduates have designed medical devices, studied magnetic phenomena and more under a UT Dallas summer program that invites students from Mexico to explore careers in science and engineering research.

The UT Dallas Summer Research Program is designed to equip students from participating Mexican universities with the skills and knowledge needed to pursue careers in these areas.

Under the annual program, participants conduct their own research projects under the supervision of research mentors in one of the active research environments on campus.  They analyze their own data and present their findings this week on campus. 

“An active research experience of this type is considered one of the most effective ways of attracting talented undergraduates and retaining them in careers in science and engineering.” 

Dr. Austin Cunningham,
dean of graduate studies

The program, which has been in existence for 10 years,  is organized by the Office of Graduate Studies and the Center for U.S.-Mexico Studies.

“An active research experience of this type is considered one of the most effective ways of attracting talented undergraduates and retaining them in careers in science and engineering,” said Dr. Austin Cunningham, dean of graduate studies and the program’s director.

The projects were as individual as the students behind them.

“I have been developing a strain gauge device for spinal fusion,” said Dario Jose Villarreal Suarez of the Technological Institute of Saltillo. “I designed, created and tested it in Dr. (Manuel) Quevedo’s lab. This research is significant because it will help prevent additional surgeries in spinal fusion patients.”

Manuel de Anda of the University of Guanajuato studied light emitting electrochemical cells in Dr. Jason Slinker’s lab. “This research is important because it is the first time to our knowledge that magnetic effects in these kind of devices have been studied,” de Anda said.

Adrian Herrera, also of the University of Guanajuato, studied computer-aided simulations of how various materials behave. “The most important thing I have learned this summer is how complicated a material can be, but that’s the reason why this is a very interesting field of mechanics,”  Herrera said.

The program runs eight to nine weeks. Housing is provided on campus. Since 2002, 94 undergraduate students have taken part in this program and conducted research in biology, nanotechnology, computer science, chemistry, engineering, the natural sciences, management, and related fields.

UT Dallas-Mexico Summer Research Program

Listed by the universities they attend, the students and their research interests are:

Higher Studies Technological Institute of the Carbonifera Region (ITESRC)      Angel Buentello (mechatronics)      Aldo Garcia Sandolval (mechatronics)

Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education      Maria Llama Loza (biotechnology)      Laura Garcia Curiel (biotechnology)      Jose Andres Lopez Gonzalez (chemical engineering) Technological Institute of Saltillo      Yesika Gonzalez Fernandez (mechatronics)      Dario Villarreal Suarez (mechatronics )

University of Guanajuato      Adrian Herrera (mechanical engineering)      Manuel de Anda Villa (physics)

University of Las Americas, Puebla      Jessica Martinez (physics)

Faculty Mentors

The UT Dallas faculty mentors for this year are:

Dr. Xin-Lin Gao, professor of mechanical engineeringDr. Jason D.  Slinker, assistant professor or physicsDr. Anvar Zakhidov, professor of physicsDr. Gail A.M. Breen, associate professor of biologyDr. Santosh D’Mello, professor of molecular and cell biologyDr. John Ferraris, professor of chemistryDr. Walter Voit, Dr. Manuel Quevedo (materials science)Dr. Thomas Lambert (English and cultural program)

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

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