ROMAN DIAZ, Senior, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 2019
Research Program: NSF LSAMP/CAMP
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jae Wan Park, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Graduate Student Mentor: Joseph Lecap
Research Title: Turning a New Leaf with Second-Life Battery Packs
Hometown: Coachella, CA
Three words to describe me: intellectual, determined, kind
What are your future plans and/or goals?
My goals are to receive a Masters's or Ph.D. and spend some time researching in the aerospace engineering industry and possibly become a professor.
In what ways has engaging in undergraduate research impacted your future goals and plans?
Outside of research, I had a discussion with my P.I. about his graduate studies experience; he spoke of pursuing his research in a way that would benefit the world and that’s what I have wanted to do. The realization that I could use my own future research to help others around the world has further motivated me to pursue a Masters's and/or a Ph.D.
What contribution(s) will your research make to your field of study?
My research has the chance to impact the future of Electric Vehicle battery recycling. When an EV's battery is replaced, it typically winds up in a landfill which is bad for the environment. Therefore, with my research, we will find ways to give the replaced battery modules a second life in the form of modular battery packs for energy storage.
What preparation and research experience did you have before applying to your research program?
Prior to applying to my research program, I had no research experience; however, my engineering courses prepped me for the majority of simulations and design studies I would run.
Personal achievements/accomplishments or other news and information:
Recipient of CALESS's Rigoberto Valdivia Award; Certificate of Completion of NSF CAMP Summer Research Program
What advice do you have for other undergraduate students seeking research experiences?
It might be intimidating to directly ask a professor to join their lab, but most times they are seeking motivated undergrads. My best advice is to email them or visit their office and speak to them directly about joining their research lab(s). You never really know until you ask. Good luck!
What else would you like us to know about you?
Outside of research, I am going to be a board member for the Chicano and Latino Engineers and Scientist Society (CALESS), a club that helped me find my footing in college.