Six Grad Students from Mexico Receive Fellowships

Six Grad Students from Mexico Receive Fellowships

Participants in the MGREP’s summer institute are, from left, Paloma Fierro, Dianalaura Cueto, Arturo Meza, Ana Van Boeyen, Isaac Triujeque, Daniela Ruiz, Margarita Rivera, Steven Allison, Efi Foufula Georgio, Brandon Esquivias and Luisa Kregel. – Six graduate students from Mexico will matriculate to the Samueli School this fall as participants in UC Irvine’s Mexico Graduate Research and Education Program (MGREP).

Launched in 2016 by UCI’s school of engineering, the MGREP facilitates research and academic collaborations between the U.S. and its neighbor to the south.

The six students – three men and three women – came to campus in August for a weeklong summer institute on Life and Climate Change, and as preparatory training for the program.

“These students are in diverse fields of research; their vision and determination to contribute to the well-being of our neighbor region will benefit both of our countries,” said Luisa Kregel, program director.

Four of the six are from Mexicali Baja California, Mexico, and graduated with bachelor’s degrees in renewable energies engineering from Autonomous University of Baja California. They include:

Margarita Rivera Aguayo, whose research will focus on developing sustainable, conscious and novel solutions for the operational process of thermal power plants, where the excessive use of water is required.

“Particularly in the Mexicali region, where plenty of thermal power plants are located and operating even in extremely hot weather and when water resources are scarce, my research will not only benefit the economy by optimizing the current process, it will also contribute to better water use and management,” Aguayo said.

Dianalaura Cueto is interested in power-to-gas research, and she recently spent six months at Hiroshima University, Japan, studying environmental impacts of gas power generation. With this fellowship, Cueto hopes to advance clean, cheap and reliable energy resources that help in the transition to renewable energy. She plans to study sustainable power generation from natural gas of deep ocean water methane hydrates, coupled with electrochemical systems.

“Natural gas, a low-emissive fossil fuel, has the potential to fulfill the job as the use of this fuel increases worldwide. Thus, new sustainable methods to extract natural gas from almost unreachable areas such as the deep ocean are required.”

Brandon Esquivias ’ research focuses on energy systems and energy generation. In 2014, he worked at solar and conventional power-generation plants in Mexico City. Then, from August 2015 to December 2016, he completed his professional studies in environmental engineering at the Technical University of Brandenburg in Cottbus, Germany, followed by three months of work at Audi in southern Germany.
"With my research, I look forward to developing economic and innovative solutions to resolving the problems around combined cycle power plants, which have significant environmental impacts. With this work, I hope to be able to help my region make decisions on how to best approach energy generation in Mexico-USA," Esquivias said.

Daniela Ruiz is interested in solar thermal energy as a renewable source. According to the Mexico Secretary of Energy, Mexico ranks third in the world in its potential for solar. “I intend to propose […]


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