With the motivation to create a group in which research could be done beyond the classroom, the Research Seedbed in Applied Manufacturing was formed in October 2017. Now, after four and a half years, it has established itself as one of the most outstanding groups in the School of Mechanical Engineering due to the acceptance it has had among professors and students, to the point of usually having between 20 and 30 members.
“In the research seedbed we try to cover much of the scientific research that is done at the university, but applied to industry. The main focus is on design, materials development, process analysis and modeling. We want the students to learn from research development, which is another part of their professional training. The research seedbed does not give grades, it is not part of the curricular activity, but it does contribute a lot to their learning in different areas and skills”, said Óscar Rodolfo Bohórquez Becerra, coordinator of the Applied Manufacturing Research Seedbed.
They currently meet every Friday from 2:00 p.m. onwards. The session is enjoyable, so that it does not give the impression that it is a class and thus stimulates the participation of students, in addition to the interaction between different careers.
“It is productive because they have the possibility of doing graduate theses within the research seedbed. They can do research processes, learn the scientific method, all this allows them to have two modalities. They can also do internships in foreign universities as undergraduate students, as such is not of our research seedbed because it is a plan of the University, but from here we encourage them, “said Alberto David Pertuz Comas, director of the Research Seedbed in Applied Manufacturing.
With the passage of time the group has been strengthened, its participants have had the opportunity to participate in academic events in cities such as Cúcuta, Medellín and Cartagena. In addition, they often visit companies in the industry so that they can get to know what it is like to work in the professional area.
“Belonging to the research seedbed has been a very nourishing and enjoyable personal and professional experience. I joined in 2019 thanks to professors Pertuz and Bohórquez because they saw qualities in me. There I socialized with colleagues and professors from other Schools and that helped my interpersonal development. I had the opportunity to travel to congresses, I improved my research skills and became more proactive,” said Yulli Claudine Torres, a Mechanical Engineering graduate.
She is currently a member of the research seedbed and despite her work schedule, she tries to attend every session she can and thus continue to be involved in the area of materials and manufacturing.
Along the same lines is Sebastián Casas Parra, a student of Mechanical Engineering. He joined after hearing Professor Pertuz in a class and was motivated by everything they do in the research seedbed.
Some time later, his work became known in Serbia during a virtual congress.
“It is rewarding to get out of the routine of classes and join a project, to be in a group where the important thing is to learn in different ways and that calls one’s attention. I love everything that has to do with materials, one day I started working with a colleague and we finally presented the project at a congress in Serbia. It was great to participate internationally and even have the opportunity to write an article in a scientific journal,” the young man recalled.
Currently in the research seedbed they are working on two large projects: one is the development of a bicycle in composite material, recycled, reinforced with organic fibers; the second is on welding processes. “There is a bank of projects available for the students to work on. Here we have the facility to receive people, so that they can see the dynamics and be motivated to participate,” said Bohorquez Becerra.
Since its creation, the Vice Rector’s Office for Research and Extension (VIE) has financed them through the research seedbed support program. “This economic support has been used to purchase materials, to develop materials such as steels, stainless steels, welding wires and materials for 3D printing processes in polymers,” said Pertuz Comas.
If you are interested in joining the Applied Manufacturing Research Seedbed, you can write to the following e-mail addresses: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.