Student: Francisco Negrón Avilés
Name: Negrón Avilés, Francisco A.
Hometown: Mayagüez, Puerto Rico
Institution: University of Puerto Rico
Campus: Mayaguez Campus
Major: Chemical Engineering
Expected date of graduation: May 2016
Degree: B.S. in Chemical Engineering
USDA Agency of interest: USDA-ARS Peoria, Illinois
Worked in a research internship at the USDA-FS Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin under the supervision of Dr. Richard Bergman.
Description of career experience (what I learned):
We were able to make a life cycle assessment of two short-span secondary road wood and steel bridges and analyze the environmental impacts of both structures; we
concluded that using organic salt treated wood bridge would have less environmental impact than creosote treated wood bridge. The same environmental impact was acess
for the lightweight steel bridge compared to a homogenous steel bridge.
What is your perception of agriculture now:
We need to maximize the usage of the lands for agriculture because human beings are multiplying and the lands are decreasing. It is very important to optimize food
production since it is necessary for future generations.
How has this career experience broadened your employment opportunities:
In the USDA internship I learned how to use life cycle assessment software for the analysis of the environmental impact of materials. I also learned different laboratory skills
and techniques that can open doors in ARS research laboratories.
Career and research aspirations:
In 5 years I aspire to finish my B.S. in chemical engineering and to enter in a Master degree program in Material Sciences and Engineering and apply this knowledge to
agriculture. In 10 years I would like to finish a Ph.D. program and find a job related to agriculture and nanotechnology at the USDA- ARS Peoria, Illinois, USDA-NIFA,
USDA-FS. I also want to be a group leader in the USDA and be mentor of students.
–Computer skills Microsoft Office 2010 –Excellent Spanish and English, Basic French –Laboratory General and Specialized Instruments HPLC, AAS, Raman, Muffle Furnace,
Laboratory Microwave, pH meter –Leadership and teamwork skills.
The impact of my career experience:
The research experiences at USDA-FS and CETARS has given me the necessary skills to become a competent scientist in the near future. In USDA-FS I worked with recent life
cycle assessment softwares for the analysis of different materials that compose wood and steel bridges. I also learned how to use these softwares . This experience has
allowed me to meet and work with professionals and scientist at this institution, and helped me in the research I was working at my institution. It also has allowed me the
opportunity to show them that I am a highly motivated and competent person. CETARS gave me the tools for being a professional by supporting me and allowed me to teach
public schools k-12 students from the importance of agriculture, and also for giving me research experience to grow as a professional scientist. These experiences will
prepare me to compete in the job market especially at USDA. My long term goals are to find a research position in the area of nanotechnology in an agency, and be a group
leader in at USDA.