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RESEARCH CENTERS AND FACILITIES ACROSS THE COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING

 

The College of Engineering (CoE) is the key contributor to Research and Development (R&D) activities at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez campus (UPRM). During the last two decades, the CoE has evolved from a College with emphasis on traditional teaching and community service, to one with a balanced portfolio which also includes a strong research component.  One of the most important components in the research activities at the College of Engineering is the existence of several centers which foster a research culture between professors, departments, students and research support staff.  Most of these centers are multidisciplinary, and have close interactions with the industrial sector.  These Centers have been an integral part of the level of growth in research activities at the College of Engineering and also play key role not only to reinforce the interdisciplinary research across the Campus but also by having a great impact on the actual and forthcoming Graduate Programs. At present, only Civil Engineering, Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering, and Chemical Engineering offer graduate studies conducive to PhD degrees. The intellectual and infrastructure growth coupled with the high level of excellence in research being experienced at the CoE, in parallel to the new scientific and technological challenges –including arising needs for up-dated technology transfer and innovation policies- faced by the Nation, paved the way to design and implement new graduate programs. The new Graduate Programs, expected to start running on January 2015, were conceived not only for specialized niches of paramount importance to the Island (e.g., Electrical and Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering) but also in emerging areas of interdisciplinary nature (e.g. Materials Science & Engineering and Bio-Engineering).

MAIN CENTERS & FACILITIES

 

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CENACCenter for Nanostructure Characterization (CeNaC)Dra. María M. Martínez-Iñesta
mariam.martinez@upr.edu
787-832-4040 Ext 3605
Located in an adjacent building in the UPRM Engineering Complex, it houses a high resolution JEOL 2100F Field Emission Transmission Electron Microscope and other advanced nanomaterial characterization instruments, such as XRD, XPS and confocal microscope. Its purpose is to provide access to unique advanced instrumentation capabilities to academic researchers and industry, and to promote competitive research.
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cpdal logo_homeNSFERC for Structured Organic Particulate Systems (SOPS)Dr. Carlos Velázquez
carlos.velazquez9@upr.edu or uprmpharmeng@ yahoo. com.
787-832-4040, ext. Ext. 5816, 5813
This engineering research center focuses on understanding the properties of organic particulate materials and the operations used in the pharmaceutical, food and agrochemical industries to process these materials. SOPS is led by Rutgers University with the participation of University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, (Chemical Engineering Department leaders), Purdue University, and New Jersey Institute of Technology. It started its operation on July 2006. Its vision is to transform the manufacturing of products of the aforementioned industries by enhancing the education experiences of undergraduate students, serving as platform for applied and basic research, offering training for professionals from the industry, and serving as technology transfer and demonstrations. The Center is backed up by most of the big pharmaceutical companies, such as Pfizer, Merck, Abbot, Lilly, Schering Plough, Bristol Myers Squibb, Glaxo Smith Kline and others.
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LOGO CAUSE-03 Center for Aerospace and Unmanned Systems Engineering (CAUSE)Center for Aerospace and Unmanned Systems Engineering (CAUSE) is the First Center of Excellence in the Caribbean to provide a framework for broad-based, competitive, multi-institutional, multidisciplinary science and engineering research that will advance the aims of space, aeronautic, and astronautic Mission Directorates across the nation and world at large. The center will foster synergy between the following science and engineering directorates: (i) unmanned systems, (ii) aeronautic, and (iii) space. The center provides an interdisciplinary environment that enables and facilitates participants to carry out collaborative educational and research of a scope and complexity that is not possible through traditional funding models. The Center’s overall mission is to leverage our strong theoretical, computational, and experimental programs to advance the frontiers of fundamental and applied research while educating a new cadre of STEM students. Goto site...
circCivil Infrastructure Research CenterDr. Ricardo López
Ri.lopez@upr.edu
787-832-4040 Ext 3892, 2178, 3434
Founded in 1991, CIRC began operating within the Civil Engineering Department in January 1992. For 10 years CIRC received funds from the National Science Foundation through the PR office of the Experimental Program to Stimulate Cooperative Research (PR-EPSCoR). At the present, the center receives funds from Federal Agencies (NSF, DOD, NASA, FEMA, US DOT, DOE, US FRGD), the University of Puerto Rico and the Department of Transportation and Public Works. CIRC also participates in the organization of international conferences and workshops. CIRC’s mission is to help government and industry design, maintain, manage, and improve Puerto Rico’s infrastructure while contributing to the expansion and improvement of the College of Engineering’s undergraduate and graduate programs in infrastructure-related disciplines.
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ERDCEducation and Research Internship Programismael.pagan@upr.edu
787-832-4040 Ext 3393
ERIP is a Summer Internship Program sponsored by the US ARMY Corps of Engineers and coordinated at the Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. It begins orientations every January.
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crestNSF-CREST: Nanotechnology Center for Biomedical, Environmental and Sustainability ApplicationsProf Marcelo Suarez
oscarmarcelo.suarez@upr.edu
787-832-4040 Ext 3393
With National Science Foundation support, this Center for research and excellence in science and technology further develops the Nanotechnology Center for Biomedical, Environmental and Sustainability Applications. The Center’s mission is to combine transformational and interdisciplinary research and education efforts in the area of nanoscale materials by focusing on: biomedical, environmental remediation, and sustainability applications. More...

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pmfPuerto Rico Strong Motion ProgramDr. José a. Martínez Cruzado
Jose.martinez44@upr.edu
787-832-4040 Ext 3406
The Puerto Rico Strong Motion Program (PRSMP) has the mission to minimize the fatalities and the economic losses during moderate and high intensity earthquakes through the seismic instrumentation and supporting related research. The PRSMP has two main divisions: the free field stations, and the seismic instrumentation of structures. Regarding the free field stations there are 110 strong motion stations in the main island, surrounding islands (Mona, Caja de Muerto, Culebra and Vieques) and countries US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands (BVI), and Dominican Republic. Fifteen stations are continuous recording and sending the data through Internet while other 46 are modem connected.More...

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TRANSPORTATION-TECH-TRANFERPuerto Rico Transportation Technology Transfer Center – Local Technical Assistance Program:
LTAP-FHWA
Dr. Benjamín Colucci
Benjamin.colucci1@upr.edu
787-832-4040 Ext 3393
The Transportation Technology Transfer Center that was created on April 1, 1986 in the Civil Engineering and Surveying Department of the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus as part of the Federal Highway Administration Rural Technical Assistance Program (RTAP) that emphasized technical assistance to local transportation officials in rural communities. With the approval of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) in 1991, the program was changed to the present Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) and included technical assistance to urban areas with an expansion of the network to 57 Centers (one in each state, five in tribal communities and our Center).
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Puerto Rico Water Resources and Environmental Research InstituteJorge Rivera-Santos, Ph.D., P.E.
jorge.rivera40@upr.edu
(787) 833-0300
PRWRERI is one of 54 water research centers established throughout the United States and its territories by an act of Congress in 1964 which presently operates under Section 104 of the Water Research and Development Act of 1984 (P.L. 98-242). Since its foundation, the Puerto Rico Water Resources Research Institute has sponsored a substantial number of research projects supported jointly by federal and university funds.
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preciseProgram for Research in Computing and Informational Sciences and Engineering (PRECISE) Dr. Domingo Rodríguez, Dr. Néstor Rodríguez, Dr. Edgar Acuña, Dr. Manuel Rodríguez, Dr. Wilson RiveraPRECISE expects to significantly strengthen the current environment in Computing and Information Sciences and Engineering (CISE) at UPR through more diverse, competitive, and sustainable research. Four research groups have been created out of these areas: Advanced Data Management (ADM), Automated Information Processing & Digital Systems Implementation (AIP-DSI), Computational Statistics and Data Analysis (CSDA), and Parallel and Distributed Computing (PDC).
censsis-logoCenter for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging System (CENSSIS): Dr. José Colom, Dr. Sandra Cruz Pol, Dr. Shawn Hunt, Dr. Wilson Rivera,Dr. Rafael Rodríguez Solis, Dr. Raul Torres, Dr. Miguel VelezHyperspectral Imaging (HSI) data contains high spectral resolution and spatial information of the object under study. HSI processing is based on the concept of imaging spectrometry where spectral and spatial information is used to identify or detect objects, or estimate parameters of interest. As the object of interest is embedded in a complex media (i.e. coastal waters or skin), the measured signature is a distorted version of the original object signature (e.g. a coral reef or a blood vessel) mixed with clutter. The main objective of this research work is the development of information extraction algorithms for HSI data by optimal integration of physical models with the available spatial and spectral information.
OASIS logo2OASIS-Open Access Smart GridsDr. Manuel Rodríguez
manuel.rodriguez7@upr.edu
787-832-4040 Ext 3821
We seek to develop a new Smart Grid infrastructure where the power utility opens up the electric grid for citizens, businesses, and other third-parties to participate in a marketplace of electric services providers.
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cpeslogoCPES: Center for Power Electronic Systems Dr. Eduardo I. Ortiz-Rivera
eduardo.ortiz7@upr.edu
Dr. Andrés Diaz
Andres.Diaz@ece.uprm.edu
Dr. Krishnaswami Venkatesan
venka@ece.uprm.edu
Dr. Marcel Castro-Sitiriche
mcastro@ece.uprm.edu
Dr. Efrain O’Neill
oneill@ieee.org
787-832-4040 Ext 3821
A National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center. CPES is a consortium of 5 Universities and over 80 industries led by Virginia Polytechnic Institute in partnership with University of Wisconsin-Madison, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, North Carolina A&T, and the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez. At the University of Puerto Rico- Mayagüez (UPRM), research is focused on power converters, motor drives, electro thermal modeling, and system integration. There are many opportunities for graduate and undergraduate student participation at CPES, which include: fellowships, research assistantships, exchange programs with the other partner institutions, and opportunities to work in state of the art facilities.
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weather2Weather Radar Network: Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the AtmosphereDr. Sandra Cruz Pol cruzpol@ece.uprm.edu
Dr. José Colom
Ustárizcolom@ece.uprm.edu
A weather research network comprised of two types of X-band weather radars was developed thanks to funding from two NSF programs; Engineering Research Centers (ERC) and Major Research Instrumentation (MRI). The first type of radars are the small Off-the-grid (OTG) radars which measure only rainfall rate and are capable of operating with renewable (wind and/or solar) power in case of blackouts which are common during extreme weather events. The other type of radars are more sophisticated Doppler Polarimetric weather radars called Tropinet, which are capable of measuring rainfall, wind speed and other hydrometeors such as hail, among others. This project provided the first polarimetric weather radars on the island. More...

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casa-logoCASA: Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the AtmosphereDr. Sandra Cruz Pol cruzpol@ece.uprm.edu
Dr. José Colom
Ustárizcolom@ece.uprm.edu
CASA seeks to advance fundamental knowledge and provide societal benefits by creating a new engineering paradigm for observing, detecting, and predicting weather and other atmospheric phenomena. Distributed refers to the use of a dense network of radars capable of high spatial and temporal resolution. These systems will operate collaboratively within a dynamic information technology infrastructure, adapting to changing conditions in a manner that meets competing needs of end users, the government, private industry, and the public.More...
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model factoryUPRM Model FactoryDr. Pedro Resto
presto@ece.uprm.edu
787-832-4040 Ext. 3819
The UPRM Model Factory integrates modern equipment, materials, and people into a manufacturing system. Its mode of operation is through interdisciplinary working teams from several engineering and business disciplines. This is a coordinated effort between several Engineering Departments. The goals of these laboratory facilities are to provide the following:More...
applied optimization group logoThe Applied Optimization Group at UPRM
Mauricio Cabrera-Ríos, PhD mauricio.cabrera1@upr.edu, applied.optimization@gmail.com 787324040 x5964
The AOG at UPRM focuses on statistical characterization, modeling and optimization of manufacturing sytems, processes, as well as biological systems.
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Mechatronics CenterDr. Pedro J Resto
Pedroj.resto@upr.edu
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 3719
The Mechatronics Center at the Mechanical Engineering (ME) Department is the only training and research center in Puerto Rico dedicated to study intelligent mechanical and electromechanical systems. The center offers training to industry and support for existing ME courses while providing facilities and resources for research in the fields of modeling and computer control of mechanical and electromechanical systems. More...
Tropical Center for Earth and Space Studies (TCESS) Dr. Miguel Velez-ReyesThe Tropical Center for Earth and Space Studies (TCESS) at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez is a NASA University Research Center (URC) established in 1995. The TCESS mission is to conduct research and to train students in areas of interest to NASA strategic enterprises. Our vision is to become a resource to NASA and the nation for high quality relevant research as well as trained professionals. TCESS is a multidisciplinary research center with the participation of faculty and students from the Colleges of Engineering, Arts and Sciences, and Agriculture. The center has six components: Space Information Laboratory (SIL), Bio-Optical Oceanography, Materials and Electronics for Space Applications (MESA), Information Processing and Extraction (IPEG), Carbon Sequestration in Tropical Watersheds, and Education and Outreach effort GLOBE/TEST.