Subcategory: STEM Research
- University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus
Co-Author(s): Liz Diaz-Vázquez, Zhongfang Chen, Elvira Cuevas, Ileana Feliciano, Peter Feng, Luis F. Fonseca, Eduardo Nicolau, Jorge R. Ortiz-Zayas, Dalice Piñero, Keyla T. Soto-Hidalgo, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, San Juan, PR ; Wilfredo Otäo, University of Puerto Rico, Cayey Campus, Cayey, PR ; Rubén Diaz, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, Mayagüez, PR ; Ileana González-González, Universidad del Turabo, Gurabo, PR
The CREST-Center for Innovation, Research, and Education in Environmental Nanotechnology (CIRE2N), with participants from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, Mayagüez, and Cayey Campuses, and Universidad del Turabo (a HSI-PUI in Gurabo, PR), will be dedicated to the development of nanomaterials and devices for applications in water and soil remediation, sensors, and energy conversion. CIRE2N is based upon the overarching philosophy of using research and education as a vehicle to achieve self-sustainability and to develop the future Hispanic STEM workforce. CIRE2N will engage in the following interdisciplinary research groups (IRGs): IRG 1: Nanomaterials for Water and Soil Remediation, which will be working on innovation, research and education in water recycling and purification, and resource recovery. In particular, reactive membranes for water purification, heavy metal remediation, and microbial reactors will be developed. IRG 2: Sensors for Human Health and Environmental Monitoring, which will develop nanomaterials that enable new, robust and stable devices for physical and biochemical sensing. The goal is to develop devices that remain operational in harsh conditions and with minimal power consumption. IRG 3: Nano materials for Energy Conversion and water recovery, which will be working on energy storage and conversion, with special interest in the development of advanced materials for ammonia alkaline fuel cells and urea microbial fuel cells. The testbed for the nanotechnology being developed will be at Las Cucharillas Marsh, a coastal wetland reserve in Cataño, Puerto Rico, managed by the Corredor del Yaguazo, Inc., a community-based NGO that has a cooperative agreement with UPR-Rio Piedras, and Puma Energy. CIRE2N will support the development and training of students, K-12 teachers, and faculty members in their respective research areas. CIRE2N will provide our undergraduate and graduate students with the necessary tools to develop successful STEM careers. It is the primary objective of CIRE2N to strengthen Hispanic STEM education and nanotechnology technical areas outlined in this proposal together with the institutionalization and sustainability of the Center through the development of a high potential of nanotechnology commercialization by increasing the technology readiness level (TRL). This is especially relevant for areas where heavy metal and sewage contamination is a serious threat to ecosystems and human health.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): NSF-CREST Grant Number 1736093
Faculty Advisor: None Listed,