(382b) The Institute of Advanced Studies Canada – Mexico: Positive Influence and Achievements In the Formation of Mexican Graduate and Undergraduate Students

Authors: 
Serrano, B. Sr., Universidad Autonoma de Zacatecas.
Valadez, P. Sr., University of Western Ontario
Hernandez, M. A. Sr., Universidad Autgonoma de Zacatecas
Carrillo Reveles, D. A. Sr., Universidad Autonoma de Zacatecas
Vazques Minjares, J. L. Sr., Universidad Autonoma de Zacatecas
Moreira, J. Sr., The University of Western Ontario
de Lasa, H. I., University of Western Ontario

Introduction

The Institute of Advanced Studies Canada – Mexico (IASCM) has had a positive influence in the development and formation of Mexican students of Chemical Engineering and Masters in Energetics in the Universidad Autonoma de Zacatecas (UAZ - Mexico). The IASCM has also had a positive impact in other Mexican universities. The initial phase of IASCM has been to fully or partially sponsor the research stays of Mexican students in Canada, mainly in The University of Western Ontario in Canada. The research stays aim to train the students in strategic research areas of common interest between Mexico and Canada. The IASCM also organizes conferences in Mexico.

Students participating in the research stays have reported an increasing interest in pursuing graduate studies, either in Mexico or overseers. Another important benefit to these students is that they learn the basics of scientific research, which.  The IASCM has strongly supported  Mexican students that have applied for scholarships to CONACyT for graduate studies in Canada.

The Institute of Advanced Studies Canada – Mexico (IASCM).

The objectives of IASCM are:

a)      To develop collaborative research in areas of strategic importance for both Canada and Mexico.  This would consist of developing, testing and implementing technologies for the protection of the environment; the use of clean and renewable energy resources; as well as research on related socio-cultural, health, legal and migration issues.

b)      To contribute to the training of Canadian and Mexican Master and PhD graduate researchers and university professors, in their respective fields.

c)       To promote the creation of spin off companies in the areas of green process engineering by involving experts from industry and academia from both Canada and Mexico.

The IASCM was proposed by Dr. Hugo de Lasa (The University of Western Ontario, Canada, UWO) and for Dr. Benito Serrano Rosales (UAZ Mexico) in 2003, in order to institutionalize an excellent scientific and academic collaboration established and performed between them since 1994. The IASCM was created through an intention letter that was signed in Zacatecas Zac. Mexico on May 13, 2005.

 

Actions Performed.

In the initial proposal of the IASCM was to support the academic, scientific and technical formation of Mexican and Canadian students at the doctoral level. In this respect, during the first 10 years of the IASCM, the following strategic actions were done:

  1.  Promote the IASCM among students and professors from Mexican universities. Several lectures and conferences were  held  at the Universidad Michoacana, Universidad de Guanajuato, Tecnológico de Celaya, Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosí.
  2. Purchase photo catalytic reactors patented in Canada with the objective of performing research related on photocatalysis at the UAZ. These projects were financed by CONACYT-Mexico.
  3. Submit a research proposal to the call IDRC - Canada 2006 with the objective of getting to start the operations of the IASMC. The proposal was granted.
  4. To prepare  two proposals in 2006 and 2010 to obtain funds for the operation of the IASMC. These two proposals, however, were not successfully accepted.
  5. Organize international conferences in several cities in Mexico. During the conference, the IASMC was promoted with the objective of attracting Mexican students to pursue doctoral studies in Canada. Other objectives of these events were: establishing communication among academics, researchers, government authorities, both from Mexico and Canada. This communication could lead to researchers work together in joint projects. In this respect, conferences were organized in San Luis Potosi (2006),  Celaya (2006, 2007, 2009), and Zacatecas (2005, 2010).
  6. Met with CONACyT officials in March 2007. Special agreements, that would support students applying for scholarships under the program of IASCM, were achieved.
  7. Promote the renewal of a scientific collaboration agreement, between UAZ – Mexico and UWO – Canada, in April 2010.
  8. 17 Mexican (11 from UAZ, 5 grom UASLP and one from ITC) students performed a two-month research stays in universities and institutions in Canada since 2004.
  9. Propose a triangular scheme for the doctoral formation of Mexican and Canadian students. In this respect, a Mexican or Canadian student is jointly supervised by, two professors, one from Mexico and one from Canada. Currently, 8 Mexican students are working under this scheme in UWO – Canada and Dr. Hugo de Lasa, Dr. Benito Serrano and Dr. Rafael Maya are the set of advisors.
  10. Help and support recent PhD graduates so that they could get jobs upon their return to Mexico. Jobs could either be industrial or academic. This action will allow PhD graduates apply their knowledge in the workplace in Mexico. This will greatly benefit Mexico in the long term as new highly qualified personnel will enter the workmarket.  
  11. Form a network with universities from Mexico and Canada, five Mexican universities and six Canadian universities have already signed intention letters for collaboration.and this will make easier the mobility of students and professors.

Obtained Results.

 

Certainly, the IASMC has obtained many achievements that involve students, professors and academic institutions. In this material, however, emphasis will be done in those benefits obtained for the students. Under the programs IASCM, since 2002, five Mexican students have completed their PhD degree and two more students master degree. All the above students held a scholarships granted by CONACYT. This is the result of the strong support that the IASCM has had during the scholarship application process.; .currently,

five Mexican students are pursuing PhD studies at the UWO in- Canada with scholarships from CONACYT.

Three of the students whom conducted a two-month research stay in UWO are now doing graduate studies in universities form Mexico, Spain and USA. Additionally, four students completed master in Mexico and one more is about to finish a master degree in Mexico.

The above mentioned students have been co -authors or have been involved in the publication of 3 books, 20   refereed papers, 25 international conferences. Moreover, three professors from UASLP completed a sabbatical year in a Canadian university.

New exciting results have been able to achieve thought the IASMC activities; for instance, a 1 ½ collaboration between UAZ and Univesite Laval in Quebec project was granted by CONACyT-Mexico. This project will investigate the the biomass gasification. It will be an opportunity to promote participation of more Mexican students and professors. Other universities, such as Universidad Metropolitana Iztapalapa and Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo are involved in this project.

The majority of graduate students related with IASCM are now working in Mexican universities and institutions, disseminating and applying their acquired knowledge, and serving as multiplying elements of benefits for Mexico. Now, the big challenge of IASCM will be to get more resources, sponsors, donators, from government, industry, international agencies, in order to get more scholarships and to be able to found more doctoral programs in Mexico.

Conclusions

1.- All the activities of IASMC have been decisive and firm in supporting the formation and professional development of many Mexican students. Thanks to the research stays, participation in conferences,   , the students have been able to obtain scholarships that allowed them to pursue and complete graduate studies . This benefits the students because they  get training in different strategic research lines; they also contribute to the creation of new technologies, etc.

2.- The activities of IASCM have impacted the academic and scientific world due to the impressing formation of academic resources and scientific production achieved in a short time.

3.- The activities of IASCM have benefited both countries, Mexico and Canada., Canadian technology has been able to transfer to Mexico in order to perform research related to environmental preservation.

References.

de Lasa H, Serrano B., Salaices M., “Photocatalytic Reaction Engineering”, Springer Publishers (2005). Jaimes L., Badillo M.A. , de Lasa H., “FCC Gasoline Desulfurization Using a ZSM-5 Catalyst. Interactive effects of sulfur containing species and gasoline components” Fuels, 90,2016-2025(2011)

Leyva E., Lopez L.,Moctezuma E., de Lasa H., “A Bentonitic Clay Assisted Method for the Preparation of 2-(R-Anilino)-1,4-Naphthoquinones” Topics in Catalysis,49,3-4, 281-287(2008).

Moreira J., Serrano B, Ortiz, A., de Lasa H., “Evaluation of Photon Absorption and forward scattering in a TiO2 slurry photocatalytic reactor” Ind.Eng.Chem.Res. 49, 10524-10534 (2010).

See more of this Session: The Evolution of the ChE Curriculum: Towards Graduation

See more of this Group/Topical: Education Division