DOE Fellows from the DOE Science and Technology Workforce Development Program at Florida International University (FIU) participated in the Waste Management 2013 Conference (WM13) in Phoenix, AZ, from February 24 to February 28, 2013. A total of twenty-two (22) FIU students, including 21 DOE Fellows, participated in WM13 and twenty (20) presented technical posters during Session 31 (Student Poster Competition: The Next Generation – Industry Leaders of Tomorrow) based on the hands-on research that they have performed at ARC and during their summer internships at DOE sites, national laboratories, and site contractors. In addition, 2 DOE Fellows (Paola Sepulveda and Lillian Marrero) presented their DOE-EM research during the professional oral sessions.

en_WM13_clip_image004The DOE Fellows also had the opportunity to meet Mr. David Huizenga (DOE’s Senior Advisor for Environmental Management) and had a chance to describe their EM applied research work at FIU’s Applied Research Center and the work they have performed during their internships at DOE HQ, DOE sites and national laboratories.

In addition, one (1) DOE Fellow (Ximena Prugue) participated in a panel session at the conference, Session 62 on “Graduating Students and New Engineers – Their Wants and Needs.” During this panel session, students and industry and government representatives shared their perspectives of the newer generation entering a workforce primarily occupied by workers nearing retirement age. A former DOE Fellow, Rosa Elmetti (DOE EM), participated in a second panel session at WM13, Session 63 on “Young Professionals.” Ms. Elmetti described her experience as a DOE Fellow and as a young professional working for DOE EM’s International Program.

The FIU students also had the opportunity to participate as Student Assistants at the conference and helped conference organizers and presenters during the technical sessions. In addition, interested DOE Fellows attended the Women of Waste Management panel and had a chance to interact with a working group of professional women in the industry.

en_WM13_clip_image002DOE Fellows Program Director (Dr. Lagos) performed as the lead organizer for the student poster session (session 31) and co-chaired the panel discussions (sessions 62 and 63) on “Graduating Students and New Engineers – Their Wants and Needs” and “Young Professionals.” Dr. Lagos also made a professional oral presentation on “Training and Mentoring the Next Generation of Scientists and Engineers to Secure Continuity and Successes of the US DOE’s Environmental Remediation Efforts.”

The DOE-FIU Science and Technology Workforce Development Initiative is an innovative program between the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management and Florida International University’s Applied Research Center designed to create a “pipeline” of minority engineers specifically trained and mentored to enter the Department of Energy workforce in technical areas of need. This innovative program was designed to help address DOE’s future workforce needs by partnering with academic, government and DOE contractor organizations to mentor future minority scientists and engineers in the research, development, and deployment of new technologies addressing DOE’s environmental cleanup challenges.  Students selected as DOE Fellows perform research at FIU and at a DOE site.  Upon graduation and completion of this fellowship, the students seek employment with DOE as well as other government agencies, DOE contractors, and private industry.

Posters included: