MIT MRSEC Partnership Provides Puerto Rican Students with Valuable Research Experience

The MIT MRSEC and the Universidad Metropolitan (UMET) in San Juan have a highly successful partnership that provides opportunities for students at Puerto Rican universities to enhance their research skills. Dr. Juan Arratia, Executive Director of UMET’s Student Research Development Center, coordinates the partnership at UMET.  Undergraduates from UMET participate in cutting-edge research as participants in the MRSEC REU program. Others worked with graduate students at MIT learning to use characterization instruments in the Shared Experimental Facilities (SEFs).  MRSEC graduate students and faculty visit UMET to present their research and help with a local high school program. Recently, with the assistance of MRFN funds, two UMET faculty brought their students to MIT to use SEF equipment for their ongoing research. Return visits with additional students have been scheduled. To date, a total of 17 undergraduates and two graduate students from Puerto Rico have conducted research at the MIT MRSEC through this partnership.  Six of the undergraduates have gone to graduate school, one of whom completed a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering in 2014.