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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.

Education and Research Internship Program

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.  ERDC has seven research labs where our students may participate.

Contact:

Prof Ismael Pagán Trinidad –
ismael.pagan@upr.edu
Civil and Surveying Engineering Dept.
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 3393

MAIN CENTERS & FACILITIES

NSF-CREST: Nanotechnology Center for Biomedical, Environmental and Sustainability Applications

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 at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez (UPRM). 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. Faculty members involved in the Center will investigate application-oriented processing of materials with properties and applications that depend on phenomena occurring at the nanometer scale:

  1. Medical and Biological Applications
  2. Remediation of Recalcitrant and Emerging Contaminants from the Environment
  3. Sustainability.

This project will establish effective means to institutionalize research and education aimed at founding a sustainable platform at UPRM of international recognition. Through formative and summative assessments, a systematic project evaluation will provide information to ensure continuous improvement, focusing on achieving the proposed objectives.

This Center for Biomedical, Environmental and Sustainability Applications will develop technologies for cancer therapy, water disinfection and air cleaning, and sustainability. Despite dramatic improvements in cancer chemotherapeutic, there is still an unmet need to understand the underlying causes of treatment failures. The knowledge acquired through the proposed activities will become invaluable for the development of novel cancer therapies and materials with applications in medicine. Center goals will also address global environmental challenges associated with water and air. Sustainability-related research will also be impacted by the Center. At the undergraduate level, the Center will impact the Undergraduate Certificate in Materials Science and Engineering program, as well as undergraduate research courses in the various engineering departments.

Contact: 

Dr. O. Marcelo Suarez
msuarez@ece.uprm.edu
General Engineering Department
Phone: 787-832-4040, ext. 2350, 2398

NSF-PREM:  Wisconsin – Puerto Rico Partnership for Research and Education in Materials [Wi(PR)2EM]

The Wisconsin – Puerto Rico Partnership for Research and Education in Materials [Wi(PR)2EM] has been funded by the National Science Foundation since 2009.  The mission of the Wi(PR)2EM is to strengthen and broaden collaborations between the University of Wisconsin – Madison (UW) and the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) by leveraging and augmenting the reach of such alliances to develop a formal long-lasting relationship in nanostructured materials research and education.  The Wi(PR)2EM promotes the formation of a strong strategic partnership by fostering and expanding current and emergent research projects in collaboration with UW’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Center on Nanostructured Interfaces (MRSEC) and Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center on Templated Synthesis and Assembly at the Nanoscale (NSEC) and by combining research and education expertise found in the participating institutions into truly synergistic groups.

The Wi(PR)2EM impacts a diverse collection of research areas organized into three interdisciplinary research teams (IRT) and one interdisciplinary educational and outreach team (EOT).

  • IRT 1 combines expertise in the design, synthesis and structural analysis of discrete oligomers and polymers intended to display antibacterial and/or antifungal activity with knowledge in microbial biology to analyze the mechanism by which these novel molecules exert antimicrobial effects. In addition, IRT 1 explores polymer self-assembly with the goal of identifying encapsulation or hydrogel-forming materials that manifest intrinsic antimicrobial activity.
  • IRT 2 uses a concerted theoretical and experimental effort for the rational design of colloidal liquid crystal gels and nanocomposite liquid crystal elastomers, thereby allowing us to identify the origins of experimentally observed behaviors and to design or dial-in specific thermodynamic, mechanical, and optical responses that rely on advanced molecular models of the materials considered in our work.
  • IRT 3 also combines experimental and theoretical work to develop and characterize hierarchical catalytic materials with various functionalities and porous polymeric materials with pillared layered structures.  We believe that the rational combination of surface functionality and pore structure will enable design of novel materials for the sustainable conversion of biomass resources into renewable fuels and chemicals and for removal of bulk CO2.

The Wi(PR)2EM leverages the highly regarded Science on Wheels Educational Center (SONW) established by Dr. Juan López-Garriga, that coordinates the Education and Outreach activities of our program.  We are implementing interdisciplinary education programs that foster strong, effective, and productive education impacts.  The EOT conducts activities dedicated to three primary groups: K-12 teachers and students, undergraduates, and graduate students and postdoctoral researchers such as: Research Experiences for Teachers, Module Training, Mentoring Experience, REU, Research Exchanges, Grad School Readiness Workshops and Young Faculty Mentoring Program.

Contact: 

Dr. Nelson Cardona-Martínez
nelson.cardona@upr.edu
Chemical Engineering Department
Phone: 787-832-4040, ext. 3747

NOAA-Center of Research Excellence in Science and Technology

CREST began in 1988 through the sponsorship of the National Science Foundation as a Minority Research Center of Excellence.  This initiative intended to increase participation of underrepresented groups in the areas of science and engineering.  The original program consisted of three research segments: Marine Natural Products, Tropical Terrestrial Ecology, and Caribbean Geology, utilizing scientists from the Mayagüez and Río Piedras campuses.  The primary focus of the Program continues to be the development and support of students in undergraduate and graduate programs.

Some of the Center’s objectives are to provide research that will enable underrepresented minority students to choose careers in science and engineering, develop the infrastructure necessary to establish collaboration with other institutions, develop a competitive group of scientists, and provide educational improvement activities for professors and students. Through research activities, students explore and gain career understanding of future alternatives.  Student participation in national and international symposia is also encouraged at the Center where they have the opportunity to meet international and national leaders in their research fields, develop leadership skills and share information.

Contact

Dr. Hamed Parsiani
parsiani@ece.uprm.edu
Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept.
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext. 3821

            

Civil Infrastructure Research Center

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.  CIRC developed a comprehensive strategic plan which can be accessed at http://civil.uprm.edu/ circ/. The Civil Infrastructure Research Center has a computer center which is constantly updated with funding from projects and from the Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying.

Contact:

Dr. Ricardo López –
Ri.lopez@upr.edu
Civil and Surveying Engineering Department
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 3892, 2178, 3434

 

 

Weather Radar Network: Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere

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. The network comprises 3 Tropinet and 5 OTG distributed mainly on the west side of the island of Puerto Rico and they complement the data from the NWS radar located on the East of the island (in Cayey).

The new network 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.  It uses of a dense network of radars capable of very high spatial and temporal resolution, which is necessary for better prediction of landslides, flooding, tornado warnings and other meteorological phenomena. These systems 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. This multi-million center brings together a multidisciplinary group of engineers, computer scientists, meteorologists, sociologists, graduate and undergraduate students, and industry and government representatives to conduct fundamental research, develop enabling technology, and deploy prototype engineering systems based on a new paradigm: Distributed Collaborative Adaptive Sensing (DCAS).

Contacts:

Dr. Sandra Cruz Pol
cruzpol@ece.uprm.edu,
Dr. José Colom
Ustárizcolom@ece.uprm.edu
Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept.
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 2448

 

 

Puerto Rico Water Resources and Environmental Research Institute

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.

The PRWERRI is a component of the Research and Development Center of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. As such, it acts as the official liaison of the University of Puerto Rico with industry and government agencies for all water resources research activities. The Institute also functions as an advisor to these two sectors on water resources issues. This role translates into multidisciplinary functions and activities which add relevance and impact to the Institute research efforts.

By virtue of the local relevance of its research and the prestige and leadership of its investigators, the Institute has become the focal point for water-related research in Puerto Rico. Meetings, seminars, technical reports, and a quarterly newsletter keep the water resources community and general public informed about advances in research.  Approximately, once every two years, the Institute organizes major conferences on water-related research in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean in collaboration with other technical organizations in the region. All these activities facilitate the translation of  Institute’s sponsored research into practical applications of direct benefit to industry, government, and the general public.

Contact:

Jorge Rivera-Santos, Ph.D., P.E.
jorge.rivera40@upr.edu
Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying
Tel. (787) 833-0300

UPRM Model Factory

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:

  • Practice based experiences dealing with all aspects of an actual manufacturing system.
  • A space where local manufacturing industry issues can be studied.
  • A place where modern production technology and techniques can be studied as they are applied in an integrated manufacturing system.
  • The opportunity to assist local manufacturers in the development of their production system.
  • Incubator facilities where products and process can be developed or improved.
  • Serve as a meeting place where people from several disciplines can meet and learn to work in teams, and get an appreciation of the technical aspects of the other’s area of knowledge.

Currently, this laboratory houses a for-profit manufacturing activity and provides students from various engineering disciplines with an exemplary manufacturing experience inside the university.  The factory also hosts a printed circuit assembly line for surface mount components in which production and prototype runs are performed for customers in the electronics sector.  Prior to working in the manufacturing line, students receive pay and credit for their involvement, similar to a COOP experience.  These students are then the ideal candidates to participate in course projects and summer and COOP internship in sector companies.  The sector will nourish from these young but experienced graduates.  Part of the charter of the Model Factory is to share process breakthroughs with partners of the electronics sector.  Close to ten companies have contributed to this initiative, including Hewlett Packard and Solectron Corporation.

Contact:

Dr. Pedro Resto
presto@ece.uprm.edu
Industrial Engineering Department
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext. 3819

 

ERC for Structured Organic Particulate Systems (SOPS)

This engineering research center focuses on understanding the properties of organic particulate materials and the operations used in the pharmaceutical, food and agrochemicalindustries 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.

Contact: 

Dr. Rodolfo Romañach
rodolfoj.romanach@upr.edu
Chemistry Department
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 2604
http://ercforsops.org/

Center for Nanostructure Characterization (CeNaC)

The Center for Nanostructure Characterization is managed by the Department of Chemical Engineering and is 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.

Contact:

Dra. María M. Martínez-Iñesta
mariam.martinez@upr.edu
Chemical Engineering Department
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 3605

http://inqu.uprm.edu/research/centers/CeNaC

CASA: Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere

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. This $40 million center brings together a multidisciplinary group of engineers, computer scientists, meteorologists, sociologists, graduate and undergraduate students, and industry and government representatives to conduct fundamental research, develop enabling technology, and deploy prototype engineering systems based on a new paradigm: Distributed Collaborative Adaptive Sensing (DCAS).

Contacts:

Dr. Sandra Cruz Pol
cruzpol@ece.uprm.edu
Dr. José Colom Ustáriz
colom@ece.uprm.edu
Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept.
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 2448

http://www.ece.uprm.edu/~pol/CASA

 CPES: Center for Power Electronic Systems 

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.

Contacts:

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
Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept.
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 3821

http://www.cpes.vt.edu

UPRM-LM Cloud Computing Center

Cloud computing is definitely becoming the next step in the development of distributed applications. By FY2012 all major IT investment requests will require a cloud computing option. The objective of this Center is to investigate and develop an open source private cloud computing research targeting Defense, Intelligence, and Civilian agencies concerned with security and privacy associated with cloud computing. This is a collaborative project with Lockheed Martin Corporation.

Contact:

Dr. Manuel Rodríguez
manuel.rodriguez7@upr.edu
Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept.
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 3821

 

Mechatronics Center

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.  Training facilities are equipped with eight laboratory work stations with basic equipment to perform experiments and projects in mechatronics.  The center also includes a prototyping laboratory with additional equipment to conduct independent research projects; a design center where students will be able to share ideas and make presentations; and a full-time technician to support the center’s activities.  The prototyping laboratory provides students with access to specialized mechanical, electrical, and software tools for the design and realization    of intelligent machines.  The center also utilizes the equipment available in the Manufacturing Processes Laboratory  to handle a wide variety of complex projects involving the fusion of mechanics, electronics, and software technologies.

Contact:

Dr. Pedro Resto
Pedroj.resto@upr.edu
Mechanical Engineering Department
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 3719

Puerto Rico Transportation Technology Transfer Center – Local Technical Assistance Program: 

LTAP-FHWA

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).

The PR LTAP Center originally was part of the Region 1 of the Federal Highway Administration geographical division that included the states located in the Northeastern portion of the United States.  Since 1996, as part of the reorganization of the Federal Highway Administration the Center is part of the Southeastern region with the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.  The Centers of this region collaborate in organizing regional meeting and conferences and in sharing technology transfer materials and instructors.  At the national level, the LTAP Centers are coordinated by the Federal Highway Administration with the assistance of the American Public Works Association Clearinghouse and the National Associaton of  Transportation Technology Transfer Centers.  At the local level, our Center receives assistance and guidance from an Advisory Committee consisting of members from the state transportation department, agencies that deal with municipal problems and the Virgin Islands.

Seminar Program

The principal activity of the Center is its seminar program for local transportation officials from the 78 municipalities in Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rico Department of Transportation and Public Works and the Virgin Islands Department of Public Works.  The annual program has included

at least 40 seminar days in Puerto Rico and 10 seminar days in the Virgin Islands.  The level of training and the selection of the instructor depend upon the topic and the audience to be addressed but the Center assures the quality of the information and the materials provided to the participants.

The seminar program can be classified into two major categories:  technical seminars and supporting tool related seminars.  Technical related seminars correspond to topics of technical nature related to transportation, such as pavement design, pavement rehabilitation and management, materials, drainage, highway safety, traffic engineering and geographic information systems.  Supporting tool related seminars include those that complement routine transportation related activities such as introduction to microcomputers, introduction to spreadsheets and databases, basic management concepts, ethics for engineers, basic statistics, basic supervisory skills, tort liability and guidelines in technical writing.

The seminars have been offered in several of the municipalities in the Island including Ceiba, Humacao, Mayagüez, Ponce and San Juan and in the Virgin Islands specifically in St. Thomas and St. Croix.  The facilities of the College of Engineers and Surveyors in Mayagüez, Ponce and San Juan, Puerto Rico Department of Transportation and Public Works, Virgin Islands Department of Public Works, and the University of Virgin Islands have been used for the seminar program in addition to the conference facilities of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. Several of the seminar topics have been accredited by the College of Engineers and Surveyors for its continuous education program.

Technical Library & Audiovisual Material

The Center provides technology transfer materials in the form of technical publications and videotapes to municipalities or to transportation officials when requested.  In terms of publications, the Center maintains a library of technical reports associated with the field of transportation.  The library includes over 1,500 research reports, technical magazines, transportation and highway engineering textbooks, proceedings of transportation related conferences, and catalogues of information services that assist in the acquisition of technical information not available at the Center.  This library is complemented with the newsletters received from the other LTAP Centers as well as CD’s from the Transportation Research Board (TRB), the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) among others.

In terms of audio-visual material, the Center has developed a technical library that currently consists of over 350 videotapes in VHS format.  The topics include administration and management, asphalt, bridges and structures, design and construction, equipment and vehicles, geo-technology, drainage, maintenance and operation, pavements and traffic safety.  The Center also distributes, on a loan basis, videotapes developed by the International Road Federation (IRF) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

 Information Service

The Center provides technical information services to municipalities as requested using university staff, Center’s Co-Directors and through its web page, www.uprm.edu/prt2.  The information provided is in terms of advice, guidance, or referral to published materials, new video releases associated with safety, drainage, pavement maintenance, traffic congestion, environmental issues associated to transportation and other relevant areas associated to the built transportation infrastructure in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.  Telephone, letter and electronic mail (e-mail) will also be used to handle any request.  In certain cases, the requests could be used to develop a seminar topic of interest to other officials from the municipalities.

Special Projects

The Center participates in short-term projects to complement its daily technology transfer activities.  These projects are of interest to the municipalities.  Puerto Rico DTPW, and the Virgin Islands Ministry of Public Works.  A sample list of special projects that the Center has participated are listed below:

  • Development of microcomputer software associated with transportation.
  • Translation of technical material of transportation related topics to Spanish.
  • Identification of municipalities needs related to transportation.
  • Development of guidelines for the municipalities on how to prepare Request for Proposal (RFP) related to public transportation projects.
  • Translation and adaptation of Federal guidelines related to different aspects of the mass transportation program.
  • Development of technical videos regarding the proper use of asphalt, concrete and soils, in road and bridge construction.
  • Spanish translation of Standard Specifications for Construction of Roads and Bridges on Federal Highway Projects (FP-85).
  • Development of technical guidelines for traffic control in construction zones.
  • Participation in the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) Assessment Project regarding the documentation of successful stories associated to the implementation of safety products in highway construction zones, and the inventory of existing pavement distresses.
  • Surveys to determine the need of municipalities with a population less than 50,000.
  • American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its legal implications.
  • Evaluation of existent transportation facilities in municipalities with a population less than 50,000.
  • Evaluation of marketing methods to promote public transportation in municipalities with a population less than 50,000.

Contact:

Dr. Benjamín Colucci
Benjamin.colucci1@upr.edu
Civil and Surveying Engineering Dept.
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 3393

http://prltap.org/eng/

Puerto Rico Strong Motion Program

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.  In addition, there are twelve continuous recording joint seismic stations where accelerograph and broad band seismograph are one beside the other.  The program uses both the Antelope and Earthworm Network Administrator.

Regarding the instrumentation of structures there are five buildings, nine dams, two bridges, and the Control Tower of the BVI main airport instrumented. Strong Motion records are available upon request.  The program is housed in the Civil Engineering and Surveying Department. It is funded from a grant assign by the PR Legislature.

Contact:

Dr. José a. Martínez Cruzado
Jose.martinez44@upr.edu
Civil and Surveying Engineering Dept.
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 3406

http://prsmp.uprm.edu/prsmp2/

MAIN RESEARCH LABORATORIES

Manufacturing Automation Room

Inaugurated in May 2004, MAR serves as a platform for hands-on experience on practical process control for undergraduate students.  The room currently counts with two industrial control systems (Delta V, and PCS7) currently connected to six physical chemical processes.  The students are required to configure control strategies for these 6 unit operations, validate the work done, and tune the control strategy.  MAR was developed with industrial funds from Merck, Pfizer, Abbott, Automation Technologies, OSI Safety, and Coneco and participation of UPRM-staff and undergraduate students.  Engineers from system integration companies support the students working in their projects with seminars on validation, configuration, and data managing, and direct support during the programming.  Students from other programs, such as electrical (currently participating) mechanical, and industrial engineering, could use and benefit from the facilities.  It can also be used to offer training in control strategies.

Contact:

Dr. Carlos Velázquez
carlos.velazquez9@upr.edu
Chemical Engineering Department
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 5813, 2576

Laboratory for Applied Remote Sensing and Image Processing

LARSIP is a multidisciplinary laboratory located within the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UPRM dedicated to  research and implementation of remote sensing, and to the development of signal and image processing, geographical information systems (GIS), and emergency response system and Global Positioning System (GPS) technologies.

Additional services such as scanning, slide making, color plotting, and accessing aerial color and infrared photographs provided by NASA continue to be in high demand. The Space Information Laboratory receives, processes, and distributes images of the Caribbean and Northern Amazon regions for the purpose of investigation, planning, proposing, deciding upon and implementing studies of the infrastructure of the entire Caribbean community of nations and a large portion of the Amazon region.

The National Science Foundation (NSF), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and  the American Telephone and Telegraph Corporation (AT&T) provided initial funding for LARSIP and its research projects. Currently, LARSIP receives funding from  NASA University Research Centers Program, (NASA-URC), RAYTHEON Corporation,  Economic Development Administration of the Government of Puerto Rico (FOMENTO), and UPR through the Tropical Center for Earth and Space Studies (TCESS) established in 1995. TCESS complements and enhances LARSIP.  Both LARSIP and TCESS function as training centers in a bilingual (Spanish and English) environment for current and future scientists and engineers of the Caribbean region and the South and Central Americas. The training centers are multidisciplinary in scope, serving  Mayagüez and other UPR campuses. Universities and institutions in other countries are encouraged to form and establish liaisons with LARSIP and TCESS through Memoranda of Understanding or other similar arrangements.

Contact:

Dr. Luis O. Jiménez
Jiménez @ece.uprm.edu
Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept.
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 5276

http://larsip.uprm.edu/Human Factors/Ergonomics and Work

Measurement Laboratory

This laboratory has been designed to provide students with hands on experience in the analysis and evaluation of humans and their working environment.  Tasks are simulated and evaluated based on anthropometrics, biomechanics, cardiovascular, and force requirements. The laboratory is equipped with modern equipment for the analysis of work systems and computers with software for the analysis of manual material handling activities. The following is a list of some of the equipment available in the laboratory: Computers with licenses of ErgoIntelligence for analysis and evaluation of workstation design as well as the analysis of lifting tasks with the NIOSH lifting guide; Chatillon digital force measurement gauges and equipment for the analysis of pushing and pulling tasks; hand dynamometers and pinch gauges to measure hand force; anthropometers and calipers for the collection of anthropometric data; heart rate meters and a treadmill for the evaluation of cardiovascular requirements of physical tasks; electromyography with data collection software for the analysis of muscular activity; goniometers and data collection software for the analysis of flexion, extension, and rotation of body members; heat stress monitors and Wet-bulb globe temperature meter for the analysis of environmental variables, among others.

Contact:

Dr. Cristina Pomales
cristina.pomales@upr.edu
Industrial Engineering Department
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 3819

http://ininweb.uprm.edu/labs.asp?lab=hfl

Manufacturing Automation Laboratory

This teaching-learning facility is the hands-on laboratory for the Real Time Process Control course where students design, build, and control scaled models, mainly emulating real manufacturing operations.  The emphasis is in the use of programmable logic controllers (PLC), industrial sensors and actuators, pneumatics, and computer-based human machine interfaces. The laboratory counts with 20 workstations equipped with all the necessary software and hardware.  The facility is available for demonstration and custom trainings.

Contact:

Dr.  Lourdes Medina
lourdes.medina@upr.edu
Industrial Engineering Department
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 3819

http://ininweb.uprm.edu/labs.asp?lab=mal

Statistical Quality Control Laboratory

The laboratory is equipped with Statistical software for data analysis, design of experiments, and validation procedures.  It can also provide hands- on demonstrations for applied statistics courses and for simulation courses.

Contact:

Dr. David González
david.gonzalez6@upr.edu
Industrial Engineering Department
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 3819

International Service Systems Research Laboratory (ISSER)

ISSER is a research and consulting laboratory within the Industrial Engineering department at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez.  The Mission is to support ongoing research and professional services that advance the understanding, design and evaluation of complex service-delivery systems. A service system (or value co-creation system) is a configuration of technology and organizational networks designed to deliver services that satisfy the needs, wants, or aspirations of customers. Marketing, operations, and global environment considerations have significant implications for the design of a service system as well as human considerations, given that most services are co-created by human providers and customers. Research areas are grounded in service science theory, operations research tools and techniques and statistical analysis of customer data. One important and emerging area of research is how culture and other behavioral factors affect inter-cultural service systems and how one can design them to minimize negative effects while maximizing benefits.  Research thrust areas include:

  • Survey research and qualitative customer data analysis
  • Systems Thinking and Systems Integration
  • Operations Research
  • Data Envelopment Analysis
  • Facilities Design

In the consulting arena, ISSER faculty aims at working with the private sector and government with the goal of recommending a system design that is capable of delighting customers while achieving world-class efficiencies. This is done through the application of scientific design principles to real life problems affecting the service industry such as specific IE and OR tools for the improvement of systems in specific research areas.

Contact:

Dr. Alexandra Medina Borja
Alexandra.medinaborja@upr.edu
Industrial Engineering Department
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 3819

http://ininweb.uprm.edu/iSSER/

Bio-Industrial Engineering Laboratory (Bio IE Lab)

The Bio IE Lab focuses on the use of engineering analysis methods to extract biological knowledge from scientific in-silico, in-vitro and in-vivo experiments. The laboratory integrates high computing capabilities and state-of-the-art algorithms to lead data-based biological discovery. The lab work relates statistical, soft-computing and optimization techniques to biological data analysis. In particular, the search and discovery of biomarkers of cancer is a central line of work of the Bio IE lab.  Located in the Industrial Engineering Department, the laboratory is equipped with four MacPro workstations and one iMac capable of running UNIX, Mac and Windows software.

Contact:

Dr. Mauricio Cabrera
Mauricio.cabrera1@upr.edu
Industrial Engineering Department
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 3819

Lean Logistics (LeLo) Laboratory

The Lean Logistics (LeLo) Lab is a student-centered lab seeking to provide hands-on experience while creating practical research-based solutions to contemporary logistics problems, particularly those of Latin American countries. Currently the lab has three main streams of research: facility logistics, humanitarian logistics, and supply chain networks security. Consulting and training at the supply chain, facility, or production line level are available through the lab. The LeLo lab is partly funded by the National Science Foundation and Department of Homeland Security.

Contact:

Dr. Héctor Carlo
Hector.carlo@upr.edu
Industrial Engineering Department
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 3819

Mechanical Systems Response Research Laboratory

MSRRL is located at the Mechanical Engineering Department and supports research efforts in various areas that focus on mechanical/material component systems in military and civil applications.   Areas ranging from structural vibration control, material characterization, infrastructure health monitoring and diagnostics to even Micro Electronic Mechanical Systems (MEMS) sensor development and applications are currently being performed.  MSRRL is supported through research efforts by five faculty members from different departments. MSRRL performs research from various government agencies such as DoD, NSF, NSF-EPSCoR, NASA, and private industry with funding currently approaching $2 million.  Projects include topics such as:

  • Characterization of sandwich composite materials used in civil and military stealth applications
  • Vibration control using shape memory alloys
  • Vibration shaker design
  • Damage detection and health monitoring using neural networks
  • Flow induced vibrations
  • Acoustic emission in damage detection and material characterization
  • Novel dynamic material characterization techniques

The MSRRL laboratory is equipped for research in mechanical/material component systems.  The laboratory has a laser vibrometer for structural vibration response, several dynamic signal analyzers, acoustic emission equipment, data acquisition equipment, transducers (acceleration, force, and temperature), conditioning amplifiers, power supplies, oscilloscopes, computer facilities and a vacuum system for composite manufacture.

Contacts:

Dr. David Serrano
David.serrano@upr.edu
Dr. Frederick Just
Frederick.just@upr.edu
Mechanical Engineering Department

Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 3719

Micro and Nano Devices Research Laboratory

The Micro and Nano Devices Research Laboratory is a Class 100 (ISO Class 5) cleanroom for photolithography located at the UPRM Research and Development Center. The facility houses a SUSS MicroTec Mask Aligner (MA-6) with backside alignment, a Reactive Ion Etcher with CF4 chemistry, a multiple target (AC/DC) Sputtering System (AJA Orion Thin Film Deposition System), a Stylus Profilometer (KLA Tencor P-6), a chemistry hood and photolithography peripherals. An Electron Beam Lithography system (JEOL 6390 retrofitted with a JC Nabity Nano Pattern Generation System) is also available off-site.

Contact:

Dr. Rubén E. Díaz
Rubene.diaz@upr.edu
Mechanical Engineering Department
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 3719

New Materials Development Laboratory (NMDL)

NMDL is responsible for matching many new differentiated materials and technologies with market needs in the areas of bioengineering, alternative energy and electronics. The NMDL include a materialographic laboratory, a mechanical testing facility (including a DMA), thermal chambers, tribometers and a rapid solidification facility, which uses a 35 K induction power supply.  Basic equipment for materialographic preparation, hardness testers, heat treatment furnaces and a sophisticated optical imaging system are available. NMDL performs sponsored research from various government agencies such as: DoD, NSF,  NIH, and various private industries for example Lockheed Martin.

Contacts:

Dr. Pablo Cáceres,
Pablo.caceres@upr.edu
Dr. Pedro Quintero
Pedro.quintero@upr.edu
Mechanical Engineering Department
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 3719

Vehicle Design and Research Laboratory

Vehicle Design and Research Laboratory is involved with alternate fuel vehicle research for current and future transportation needs. It is equipped with a machine shop, both engine and chassis dynamometers and emissions measurement equipment. Data acquisition instrumentation is available for vehicle development and optimization.  Current research includes an energy management for solar powered, electric and hybrid vehicles, motorsport vehicle optimization, high speed maglev transportation systems and r/c aircraft.

Contact:

Dr. David Serrano
David.serrano@upr.edu
Mechanical Engineering Department
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 3719

Rapid System Prototyping Laboratory (RASP)

The main mission of the RASP Laboratory is to enable graduate students acquire the necessary training, skills, expertise, and capabilities to conduct academic and industrial research work in the field of rapid prototyping digital and mixed-signal electronic systems.

Contact:

Dr. Manuel Jiménez
Manuel.jimenez1@upr.edu
Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept.
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 3821

http://ece.uprm.edu/index.php/About_RASP

The Power Electronics Laboratory

The Power Electronics Laboratory includes three workstation with specialize software for power electronics application, and motor control.  This laboratory serves the capstone design course in power electronics, demos for the motor control course, and research (both graduate and undergraduate).  Students in this laboratory design systems with solar power, energy efficiency, converting from DC to AC and vice versa, etc.

Contact:

Dr. Eduardo I. Ortiz-Rivera
eortiz@ece.uprm.edu
Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept.
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 3821
http://minds2create.ece.uprm.edu/

Integrated Circuits Design Laboratory (ICDL)

The Integrated Circuits Design Laboratory (ICDL) is located in Room 210B, Stefani Building in the UPRM campus. The facility provides 800sq. ft. devoted to the tasks of designing and testing analog, digital, and mixed-signal integrated circuits and systems. The facility was established in 1999 with the sponsorship of Texas Instruments (TI) under the UPRM-TI Collaborative Program. It provides 16 design workstations running industry-grade software tools for the design entry and design validation in bipolar and MOS technologies. In addition the lab provides four testing stations with state-of-the- art test and measurement tools used by senior and graduate students, in advanced and graduate course projects in electronics as well as graduate research students for their projects.

Contact:

Dr. Manuel Jiménez
Manuel.jimenez1@upr.edu
Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept.
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 3821

http://ece.uprm.edu/icdl/

Parallel and Distributed Computing Laboratory

The PDC Group performs research in the design, implementation, and efficiency measurements of parallel algorithms. It also addresses research issues related to parallel and distributed computing systems with an emphasis in high-performance cluster computing and Grid computing. Our work includes a wide spectrum of experiences from computing systems to modeling and simulation of physical and biological phenomena.

The mission of the PDCLab is to stimulate and facilitate the growth necessary to extend the state of the art in parallel and distributed computing systems, while fostering a multidisciplinary research and educational environment for faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and partners at UPRM.

Contact:

Dr. Wilson Rivera
Wilson.riveragallego@upr.edu
Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept.
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 3821

http://ece.uprm.edu/PDC/

Space Information Laboratory (SIL)

SIL is located in the second floor of the Research and Development Center (RDC) main building at the UPRM. The facility is currently housing the TeraScan High-Resolution Picture Transmission (HRPT) reception system, the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) station, and the Satellite Data Acquisition & Research (SAR) station. These three stations place the SIL in a good standing position inside the remote-sensing field. Data from SIL is being used by different departments of UPRM campus (i.e., Marine Science, Geology, INEL and INME) and from other universities. SIL capabilities enable students to have the opportunity of hands-on experience with satellite ground stations. Security of data captured is guaranteed by having backups in CD, DVD and digital tapes.

Contact:

Dr. Rafael A. Rodríguez Solís
Rafael.rodriguez18@upr.edu
Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept.
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 3821

http://www.ece.uprm.edu/inelicom/research/lab.php?id=23

Electric Motors and Drives Laboratory

Experimental facilities dedicated to component testing and prototyping, component modeling and simulation. There are three computer-based test benches for implementation of control and identification algorithms for drives and power electronics applications. Test bench one and two are based on the rapid prototyping system for control algorithms using Dspace 1104 board. Test bench three is designed for fractional horsepower up to 9 hp motors including a Magtrol Dynamometer. The laboratory also has the following equipment: Power supplies from fraction volts to 500 Vdc; UPRM built 3 phase rectifier/inverter for motor control, 1 HP; Controllable DC power supplies.

Contact:

Dr. Marcel Castro Sitiriche
Marcel.castro@upr.edu
Electrical and Computer Engineering Dep.
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 3821

 

Automated Information Processing (AIP) Laborator

The Automated Information Processing (AIP) Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez Campus has as main objective to conduct basic and applied research in the design and development of efficient rapid systems prototypes for digital electronics applications. Special attention is given to prototypes for digital vector testability for large scale digital designs, FPGA development for emulation and simulation of signal processing computing methods, and the development of Integer Representation-based CAD tools. Target applications include remote sense imaging circuits, coding and cryptography systems, wavelength division multiple-access (WDM) communications circuits, and other large scale computing applications in Signal Processing and Communications. This research group is associated with newly created RASP Laboratory. A main mission of the RASP Laboratory is to enable graduate students acquire the necessary training, skills, expertise, and capabilities to conduct academic and industrial research work in the field of rapid prototyping digital-based systems, in general, and digital signal processing systems, in particular.

Contact:                                                           

Dr. Domingo Rodríguez
domingo@ece.uprm.edu
Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept.
Phone: 787-832-4040 Ext 3821

http://www.aip.ece.uprm.edu/

Parallel and Distributed Computing Laboratory (PDCLab)

The Parallel and Distributed Computing Laboratory (PDCLab) at UPRM facilitates a research and educational environment for faculty and students to perform research in the theoretical foundations, design, implementation, and efficiency measurements of parallel and distributed systems. Research in the PDCLab is supported by the National Science Foundation, the Puerto Rico Development Company (PRIDCO) and Hewlett-Packard.

Contact:

Dr. Wilson Rivera
wilson.riveragallego@upr.edu
Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept. Phone: 787-833.3323

http://ece.uprm.edu/PDC/index.php