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Dept. of Chemistry to host workshop for students featuring UCSB and USC scientists

Dept.+of+Chemistry+to+host+workshop+for+students+featuring+UCSB+and+USC+scientists
Cristina Esquivel

The Department of Chemistry will be hosting a workshop on Organic Photovoltaics, or solar cells, sponsored through the Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials this Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21 and 22 in the Chemistry and Computer Science Building.

Eight prominent scientists from the University of California at Santa Barbara and one from the University of Southern California will conduct the workshop.

“The main people who are going to benefit the most are UTEP students and faculty,” said Luis Echegoyen, chemistry professor.

The workshop is made possible through the Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials Grant, offered under the National Science Foundation.

According to the NSF website, PREM’s objective is to broaden participation and enhance diversity in materials research and education at minority serving colleges and universities.

Currently there are 18 undergraduate students and one graduate student studying under the PREM grant.

According to Echoyogen some of the visiting scientists are among the most famous in the material cciences field. One of these is Fred Wudl, a chemistry professor at UCSB and Harvard graduate. Wudl is credited for discovering “the most famous organic compound in solar cells,” Echoyogen said.

In a 2013 ranking by U.S. News and World Report, the University of California Santa Barbara was tied with Stanford University as the second Best Materials Engineering school in the country, behind Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It was also ranked as the top Materials Science and Engineering school in 2010 by the National Research Council Assessment.

“It’s a very specialized market,” Echegoyen said.

The workshop will also include a poster session at 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21, that will allow the UTEP PREM students to interact with the visiting faculty from UCSB and USC.

The session will also give UTEP PREM students the opportunity to “present their own research in the area of solar cells,” said Kimberly Muñoz Salayadia, business manager for the Department of Chemistry.

Maria Esquinca may be reached at [email protected].

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Dept. of Chemistry to host workshop for students featuring UCSB and USC scientists