What did you find most rewarding or gratifying about being a Summer 2015 UROP Scholar?
The most gratifying part about being a Summer 2015 UROP scholar was the opportunity to do a relevant academic research during my junior year, considering that few people have the opportunity to do it as an undergraduate student. As a Summer 2015 UROP scholar, I learned how to do research, how to define a strategy to solve problems, and how to find and evaluate information. Finally, I could contribute writing an article, and publishing it in a very recognized journal.
If someone asked you to give them an elevator pitch on your research in three sentences, what would you say?
A challenge for engineering is to make solar energy economical because it represents an attractive and alternative energy source. In order to make this possible, we need to investigate and create effective and efficient methods of producing materials to absorb sunlight. Our research presents a simple approach to the synthesis of CdS coating on TiO2 nanotubes, a material that produces the highest reported photocurrent under UV-visible illumination when compared to similar systems.
What achievements and/or successes have resulted from participating in the UROP program that you would not have had otherwise?
A great achievement that resulted from my participation in the UROP program was publishing the article “A one-pot strategy for coupling chalcogenide nanocrystals with 1D oxides for solar-driven processes” on the cover page of the “Journal of Materials Chemistry” – Read Journal Article. In addition, I received an award of Outstanding International Undergraduate Student of 2015 from the Office for International Students and Scholars – University of Nevada, Reno.
Share something about yourself that you won’t find on your resume?
I am a chemical engineering student from the Brazilian scholarship program called Science without Borders. The program seeks to improve science, technology, and innovation in my country. I am very proud to have had the opportunity to study in the US and do research in the field of renewable energy. However, before having the opportunity to pursue a degree and study in the US, I was a girl living in a small city in Brazil. I came from a humble family, and my chances of being studying at a university in the United States back in that time were very small. Although facing all the challenges, I studied very hard during my entire life, and now I am having the opportunity to pursue my dreams.
Is there anything you would like to add?
I would like to thank the NSF EPSCoR for the opportunity of being a scholar during the summer of 2015. I am also very grateful for being involved in such an important and enlightened group at the SOLAR (Synthesis and Optimization of materials for Light Activated Reactions) laboratory.