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Thursday, 01 August 2019

Nanotechnology and the ICN2 at the X Researcher’s Week

Laia Villalobos, a student at the Collegi Sant’Andreu of Barcelona, reached the final stage of the INVESTIGA I+D+I Programme, organized by Iberdrola and the CSIC, with a project on graphene nanotechnology. The technical advice offered to her by Dr César Moreno Sierra of the ICN2 Atomic Manipulation and Spectroscopy Group was key to this achievement.

The 10th edition of the INVESTIGA I+D+I Programme, established by the clean energy company Iberdrola and the CSIC with the purpose of drawing high school students toward science and technology, concluded in June with the X Researcher’s Week (X Semana del Investigator) held in Madrid.

Among the 15 “young researchers” selected, who could join the Campus Iberdrola and visit a variety of investigation centres, is Laia Villalobos, a 16-year-old student of the Collegi Sant’Andreu of Barcelona. She participated in the competition with a project on graphene nanotechnology, which she could develop thanks to the technical advice offered by Dr César Moreno Sierra of the ICN2 Atomic Manipulation and Spectroscopy Group.

More than 10.000 pupils aged 15-16 from all over the country have taken part in this programme throughout the past 10 editions. Structured in three phases, it aims at encouraging teenagers to become interested into science and at enhancing their knowledge in different fields of technology and research.

As a first step, students are required to submit a scientific-technical work on a topic included within one of the proposed thematic areas. The best projects (up to five for each institute) gain access to the second phase, which is the three-days-long Iberdrola INVESTIGA I+D+I Congress. Here the pupils get the opportunity to work together in thematic groups, under the tutorship of researchers and experts in the different areas. The result of this collaborative work is presented in the last session of the event.

A small group of students, who stood out for the submitted project and their results at the congress, are admitted to take part in the Researcher’s Week, which represents the third and final phase of the programme. During such week, they have the opportunity to learn more about a range of advanced technologies, meet experts, discover innovative companies and outstanding national research centres.

I am very grateful to the ICN2 and to Dr César Moreno, who opened up the doors of his laboratory and provided me with very interesting information about graphene and nanotechnology”, comments Laia Villalobos. “Thanks to him I discovered a new passion for materials and their applications and I got the great occasion to reach the third phase of the Iberdrola INVESTIGA I+D+I Programme.”

Was a future ICN2 researcher born?