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Student of the Doctoral program in Physics of PUCP presented research in Seminar in Plasma Physics at Princeton University

Zully Calderón, student of Doctoral Program in Physics at PUCP, participated as lecturer at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory Graduate Summer School. The young researcher was eligible for one of the only two international vacancies for this virtual seminar convening 38 doctoral degree students from 31 US universities.

Autor: Fiorella Palmieri | Fotos: Sulsba Yépez
Student of the Doctoral program in Physics of PUCP presented research in Seminar in Plasma Physics at Princeton University

Out of 270 candidates, only 38 doctoral degree students, from 31 US universities, were admitted in the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory Graduate Summer School. In this rigorous selection process, Zully Calderón Ipanaqué, student of the second year of the Doctoral program in Physics of PUCP also participated. Our representative was eligible for one of the only two additional international vacancies for lecturers in this event, which was conducted virtually in August 10 to 14.

“This is the first time I attend an international graduate program. This experience allowed me to obtain and share knowledge, either from specialists and from other doctoral graduates. I have learned a lot and, at the same time, I felt at the same level than other participants” says Zully, who connected to the sessions from her native town Piura, where she resides presently, as she could not return to Lima due to the COVID-19 conjuncture.

This experience allowed me to obtain and share knowledge, either from specialists and from other doctoral graduates. I have learned a lot and, at the same time, I felt at the same level than other participants”.

Zully Calderón Ipanaqué

Student of the second year of Doctoral Program in Physics at PUCP

RESEARCH AT INTERNATIONAL LEVEL

For a week, the thesis student participated in web conferences and seminars with experts and researchers on plasma physics. During these sessions, she got to know Dr. Luis Delgado Aparicio, a Peruvian recognized scientist and physicist graduated from PUCP, with whom she talked about her projects. On Thursday 13th, she was responsible for giving a lecture of the research results on plasma properties through computer-based simulation using the finite element method.

Photo: Personal file

In early March, Zully Calderón (in the middle), participated in the Materials Science and Renewable Energy Group – MatER-PUCP workshop, with guests from the Technische Universität Ilmenau (Germany.)

This work is performed jointly with Dr. Rolf Grieseler, professor of the Physics Section of PUCP; and Erik Pérez, undergraduate student of Physics, both of them members of the Materials Science and Renewable Energy Group – MatER-PUCP. Moreover, they received the advice from Dr. Humberto Torreblanca, PUCP graduate and researcher of the Swiss Plasma Center.

“The Princeton University program wherein Zully participated is a high-impact scientific workshop with plasma experts. As a representative of PUCP, she made a presentation and presented a poster with the results of the work of the MatER-PUCP research group. During these months, we have made experiments for our project virtually, with promising results, which are a good basis for subsequent publications in indexed journals”, said Dr. Grieseler, who is also advisor of the doctoral thesis of Zully.

“Plasma physics is a very wide area that involves from the research of materials used to produce computer microprocessors to technology to create a nuclear fusion reactor, an almost ideal energy source. The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory Graduate Summer School is a leader in this matter. Participating in its summer program is an enriching experience for our students”, commented Dr. Torreblanca, who cooperates with the research projects of MatER-PUCP and who, in this opportunity, gave advice to make simulations using the finite element method.

LEARNING AND ACHIEVEMENTS

At her 28 years old, Zully achieved huge goals. She grew up in the valley of San Lorenzo, a rural town of the district of Tambo Grande, in Piura. She studied in a small public school where she always occupied the first positions of her class. Her ability and love for science enabled her to obtain direct admission to the Specialty of Physics at Universidad Nacional de Piura.

Based on her merits, Concytec granted upon her a scholarship to pursue Master Studies in Physics at Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería. Then, she received again a scholarship for the Doctoral Program in Physics of our University.

“It is believed that if you leave a public school in the farm you have fewer opportunities, but studying and doing your best you can achieve your goals and get ahead. I always liked physics, and I was very curious to know how things around us really work”, states the researcher, who today develops a doctoral thesis focused on the study of parameters and properties of plasma.

“Pursuing doctoral studies at PUCP allows me to work in the Materials Laboratory, which is very well-equipped with a cold plasma magnetron sputtering system. Due to quarantine, we have worked virtually to make simulations. I presented the results of this work in the Summer School”, says Zully, who after this experience is considering –in the future- the possibility to visit the laboratories of Princeton University, and to undertake an internship abroad.

Experience of an undergraduate student in the event

The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory Graduate Summer School had also the participation of Erik Pérez, a Physics undergraduate student, and also a member of the MatER-PUCP research group. Erik participated in the same research project that presented Zully Calderón and had the opportunity to attend the lecturers and conferences of this seminar as a listener.

“I cooperated with the preparation of the poster presented by Zully. My work was to provide numeric and graphic results of the simulations made in COMSOL Multiphysics software, as well as with ordering them to have a better presentation”, says Erik, for whom participating in this international event allowed him to open up his academic future.

“The fact that a member of our research group presents results gives the opportunity that researchers in other parts of the world see our work and become interested in cooperating with us. Besides, if one plans to pursue graduate studies, expanding the networking, working in collaborative projects and submitting projects as this one extends your possibilities to be accepted in an international program”, considered Pérez.

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