Yachay Tech student builds software for CNPEM
Jorge Castro, major of the School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, participated in the summer program of the research center from Brazil.
March 19, 2019
Jorge Luis Castro, an eighth semester student of the School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, was selected to participate in the summer program of the National Center for Research in Energy and Materials of Brazil (CNPEM in Portuguese). Jorge was one of 26 candidates selected from 559 participants from all over Latin America. The internship began in January and ended in March 2019. It consisted of carrying out a research project in the Synchrotron Light Laboratory to develop software for data processing of serial crystallography. His final product will be used to accelerate the laboratory’s research processes.
For Jorge, the assigned project was difficult and complex. He says that the goal of the CNPEM was to challenge all participants, so the first two weeks were very intense for them. Jorge remembers (laughing) that he wondered “what am I doing here? Why did they give me such a difficult challenge?” However, once he began to understand the challenge he pushed himself to continue in the software development. At the end of the internship, the students worked on a report and a presentation. Jorge explains that the project was as long as a dissertation, so he feels that the program was a good experience to prepare him to work on his thesis project.
Jorge worked in the National Synchrotron Light Laboratory where he had access to x-ray equipment to obtain the data he used to build his software. He worked with several laboratory tutors who followed-up on his process. His project will be used in the Manacá beamline in the new synchrotron that CNPEM is building on the SIRIUS accelerator. The software will serve for the processing of protein data.
Jorge hopes to continue collaborating with the next programs and projects promoted by CNPEM. He proposed to improve the software he built to do an even more refined analysis. The objective is that, for example, a biologist comes with protein crystals, places them in the beamline, comes back the next day and finds its determined structure with the software he developed.