Global Ambassador: Louis Caceres Martinez
Louis Caceres Martinez, from Colombia is a Ph.D. student in Engineering Technology. His present research focuses on the chemical and physical characterization of aviation fuels, especially through gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, for the development of sustainable alternatives aiming to reduce life cycle GHG emissions compared to conventional jet fuel.
Ambassador Q & A (Questions and Answers)
Briefly describe your research.
My research focuses on the chemical and physical characterization of aviation fuels, especially through gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, for the development of sustainable alternatives aiming to reduce life cycle GHG emissions compared to conventional jet fuel.
Why did you choose Purdue?
Purdue is characterized by its excellence and innovation, not only in the US but also worldwide. Purdue offers an outstanding multicultural environment with well recognized programs that are characterized by the development of first-class research, boosted by impressive human talent, instrumentation, and multidisciplinary programs.
How did you decide what to study?
Mechanical engineering encompasses multiple topics. I was amazed when I was a teenager with topics like design, materials, fluid power, and thermal sciences. By the end of my bachelors thermal sciences captivated my mind, due to vast opportunities to develop alternative and green solutions for generating electricity, heat, and power. Thus, I decided to explore research projects to transform solid organic residues into syngas during my master studies in Colombia. I was part of the Biomass and Optimization of Thermal Processes research group. Later, my interest turned to liquid fuels, finding analytical chemistry an invaluable science to complement my scientific passion to understand, characterize, and develop alternative fuels that can power our lives with minimal environmental impact.
What was your process for selecting a graduate school?
I explored multiple alternatives, taking into account my professional background, the academic potential of the institutions, and funding opportunities. I found the School of Engineering Technology at Purdue Polytechnic through the Fuel Laboratory of Renewable Energy. It was the perfect fit for doing applied research on biofuels in a multidisciplinary environment while getting funded for completing my studies.
What is your favorite fact about Purdue?
Purdue is home to Indiana's first and only nuclear reactor.
What does your typical day look like?
During winter, I drive for around 10 min to the university. During summer, I love to ride my bike, which takes me about 15 - 20 min. I usually work at the lab, collecting and analyzing data. I take lunch at the Pharmacy Building. Then, I go back to the lab or go to a library to study. I return home in the evening for cooking, listening to music, and catching-up with my family.
What's the biggest difference between your home country Colombia and Purdue?
I would say that the biggest difference is the weather. Colombia is a tropical country with no seasons. I don't like the short and freezing days during January - February.
Where do you spend most of your time on campus?
I spend most of my time in the lab at POTR. However, I also enjoy studying at WALC, KNOY and in the Pharmacy buildings.
How do you de-stress in your free time?
I enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and my dog walking around Lafayette and West Lafayette, enjoying the nature and beautiful landscapes that these cities offer. I also enjoy biking, playing soccer, and hanging around with friends in restaurants.
What are you hoping to do after you graduate from Purdue?
I imagine myself in a research position in industry.