*During February, CONICYT unveiled the 2016 national PhD scholarship competition results. Five of our young researchers, part of the 120 students who chose to continue their academic formation at University of Concepción, were selected.
A total of 1559 admissible applications were received during the latest national doctoral scholarship competition of CONICYT, a program which aims to fund doctoral studies offered by Chilean universities in all areas of knowledge, for a maximum period of four years. Of the total applications, 735 were selected and among them were four students who are already studying for their Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the CEFOP-UdeC in the areas of optoelectronics and images. Added to those four students already linked to CEFOP-UdeC is a fifth student who comes from the Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi, Mexico, who will be joining the group of Dr. Guilherme Barreto. The five will continue their research at the University of Concepción, the academic institution chosen by a total of 120 university students pursuing their doctoral degrees.
The winners are Guillermo Machuca Beltrán, Javier Soto Salcedo and Wladimir Valenzuela Fuentealba, of the Faculty of Engineering, and Jorge Tapia Farias, of the Physical Sciences and Mathematics Faculty. For the students, the possibility of interacting with researchers linked to the Center allows them to expand their capabilities to the maximum, achieving ample formation while working with various groups. “In my experience, my development as a researcher within CEFOP-UdeC has made a difference, for it has permitted me to realize interdisciplinary work where I have been able to learn from researchers in the fields of engineering, biology and, of course, physics”, said Jorge Tapia, a member of the optical trapping and microscopy laboratory.
Meanwhile, Guillermo Machuca noted the support of the teachers linked to CEFOP-UdeC. “During the development of my undergraduate and master’s degree, they helped me and guided virtually all my training, and I obtained excellent results at the end of each process,” he said.
Training and research
Guillermo Machuca is gathering information to continue with his doctoral thesis. His research is related to infrared microscopy for digital imaging. “These kinds of tools will enable to derive more information from the images obtained and will benefit uses for different types of applications,” said the young researcher.
As for Jorge Tapia, he has studied the application of a new methodology for image acquisition, plenoptic cameras. “Light field information of an image is obtained as a 4-dimensional function, in order to digitally refocus different image planes of a scene after acquiring the information. We have applied these concepts in infrared cameras to eliminate fixed pattern noise.” This research has resulted in a patent application and will soon be sent to an ISI publication. “At the start of my PhD studies, my initial objectives are related to the design and implementation of this type of camera in microscopy in order to obtain a tool to answer problems of interest related to biology.”
Both agree that their experience at CEFOP-UdeC has permitted them to solve research problems with experts in multidisciplinary work groups, achieving multidisciplinary, but complimentary, perspectives on the research problems explored.