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CCTVal awards the Memorias Aplicadas Fund to students with innovative projects geared to the mining sector

Exequiel López and María José Astudillo will work for a year in its development and execution, with the support of mentors, financing, and connections with the industry, among others.

Exequiel López and María José Astudillo will work for a year in its development and execution, with the support of mentors, financing, and connections with the industry, among others.


Two projects geared to the mining sector were the winners of the Memorias Aplicadas Fund granted by the Centro Científico Tecnológico de Valparaíso (CCTVal), initiative that in its first version awarded thesis students Exequiel López, Civil Metallurgical Engineering and María José Astudillo, Civil Chemical Engineering for their projects “Síntesis electroquímica de nanopartículas de cobre” and “Implementación y validación experimental de un sensor en línea para la medición de cobre en soluciones acuosas, basado en señales multiespectro y redes neuronales”, respectively.

A total of 47 projects participated in this competition, which was launched by the middle of this year with the objective of supporting the development of thesis belonging to USM students and newly graduates with the potential to be of high impact in the areas of mining, medicine, IT and energy, among others.

Winning this fund represents a great opportunity for López, “I was surprised to see the publication offering to finance students’ thesis projects with CCTVal’s technological applications because I had always linked the Center to subjects related to electronics, and not to metallurgy or chemistry. So I decided to apply because I believe that it is a unique opportunity to develop this project which has great potential”. 

It is important to note that his thesis is focused on developing protocols to manufacture and develop copper nanoparticles through a new production methodology, thus, creating added value to Chile´s main exporting product. “This project includes multiple applications for industries as diverse as health and mining”, he adds.

On the other hand, María José Astudillo´s project consists in building a first prototype to demonstrate that it is possible to obtain copper concentration using an image-based sensor, which will impact areas such as the control of mining processes, among others.

For her, working with CCTVal represents “the opportunity to better develop my idea, to obtain feedback from researchers and professors of areas different to mine, but still related with my work. It attracted me because they (CCTVAL) have all the technical aspects that I do not have to develop my prototype”.

Both students agree that it is a great privilege to maintain their ties to the University after obtaining this fund, and that this type of instance should be promoted. “This is very motivating, I mean this is a job, it reaffirms the idea that working on research does not mean that we are out of the industry since we are developing solutions for it”, she points out.

Astudillo also believes that “the academy must work closely with the industry because in Chile, it is seen as two different things, but we are constantly generating more knowledge and that knowledge must be applied somewhere. These initiatives contribute value to our knowledge”.

On the same line, López says, “it is great to motivate students to develop a good thesis, instead of just doing a quick job to graduate, it is also an opportunity to develop and contribute towards science based Innovations”.

The students will work with CCTVal to develop prototypes of their projects, and will continue with the support of their respective thesis advisers.

Science based innovation

According to Christian Romero, CCTVal associated researcher and one of the winner´s adviser, the purpose of this initiative is “to find young people with interesting ideas, ideas that we think have certain level of relevance to applied science. Our Center is interested in science based innovation, this is what distinguishes us from other organizations, here, we have scientists doing innovation”.

The competition, aimed at thesis students from Civil and Execution Engineering, and Product Design Engineering, seeks to support them in the development and implementation of their thesis projects with items such as financing, use of space and laboratories, connections with the industry, and at the same time, give them the opportunity to keep on working at CCTVal once their research is over.

The thesis students will be able to develop their projects during the year, period in which results are expected “it is a short, low investment project. In 12 months, we will know if the idea is viable or not. It is a powerful concept and always in the same line of science based innovation”, Romero sustains.

It is worth noting that this initiative is framed by the Basal Center´s objectives of contribution to the discovery of new knowledge and development of cutting-edge technology in the country.

If you are interested in learning more about the work conducted by CCTVal, please visit their http://www.cctval.cl/index.php/es/">website or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Escrito por Super User 10 · Nov · 2017