My name is Alejandro Barilari Serres, I was born in Argentina but I have spent the last five years in Puerto Rico. I’m a full time student of the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico and my major is in Mechanical Engineering. Last summer I participated in the Undergraduate Research Scholarship Program, sponsored by the NASA Missouri Space Grant, the Louis Stokes Missouri Alliance for Minority Participation (LS-MoAMP), the Graduate School of the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU), US Department of Energy and the Missouri Research Reactor (MURR). This was a great experience because it was my first research and a challenge for my spoken English.
My main duty was to work in the Nuclear Reactor of the University of Missouri. In this reactor I had to prepare and expose the samples sent from Puerto Rico to the neutron flux of the reactor and determinate the quantity of percent of hydrogen. Based on the results of this research, I had to prepare a poster entitled, “Prompt Gamma Neutron Activation Analysis for Planetary Exploration.”
Among the different activities, I participated in seminars like Radiation Safety, Radiochemistry, Laboratory Safety and others. I also took a course in Nuclear Engineering. One of the most impressive experiences was a visit to the Callaway Nuclear Plant. This program helps me to clarify in what I want to focus my career. It also helps me a lot with my limitations with the English language. I think this is an excellent program to put on practice many concepts which I learn in book. I hope I can enjoy this experience again next summer.
~ALEJANDRO SERRES, UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-COLUMBIA