The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science selected UTEP doctoral student Luis Martinez as one of 52 graduate students for the Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program | Photo courtesy UTEP

UTEP Doctoral Student earns spot in Department of Energy’s Graduate Student Research Program

Luis Martinez, a doctoral student at The University of Texas at El Paso, has a prime opportunity to elevate his research as one of 52 graduate students from throughout the United States selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program’s 2020 Solicitation 1 cycle.

The goal of SCGSR is to prepare graduate students for science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) careers critically important to the DOE Office of Science mission, by providing graduate thesis research opportunities through extended residency at DOE national laboratories. The program provides supplemental funds for graduate awardees to conduct part of their thesis research at a host DOE laboratory in collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist for between three and 12 consecutive months.

Upon completion of his bachelor’s degree at the University of Puerto Rico at Humacao, Martinez enrolled at UTEP in 2016 to begin graduate studies. Currently, he is pursuing a doctoral degree in materials science and engineering with his area of study centered on condensed matter physics.

Martinez was invited to conduct his research at Los Alamos National Laboratory through the SCGSR program. He hopes this opportunity will provide hands-on experience with new experimental techniques and teach him new methods for data analysis. Martinez also looks forward to establishing network opportunities with career scientists in the national lab for future projects.

“Learning new experimental techniques throughout this opportunity will help me complete an important part of my dissertation,” Martinez said. “This opportunity will grant me the experience I need to determine whether I will pursue a full-time position as a scientist in a national lab after graduation.”

Martinez hopes to become a scientist or join the professoriate and become a mentor for underrepresented individuals in the STEM fields to provide the same opportunities he received.

Awardees were selected from a diverse pool of university-based graduate applicants. Selection was based on merit peer review by external scientific experts.

“These graduate student awards help prepare new scientists for STEM careers that are vitally important to the DOE mission and the nation’s economy,” said Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “We are proud of the accomplishments of these outstanding awardees and look forward to seeing what they achieve in the years to come. They represent the future leadership and innovation that will allow American science and engineering to excel in the 21st century.”

Author: Christina Rodriguez – UTEP Communications