The 2020 Junior Technical Meeting (JTM) and the Puerto Rico Interdisciplinary Scientific Meeting (PRISM) will be held at UPR-Río Piedras on April 18, 2020.  JTM and PRISM are the island's largest annual scientific forum for undergraduate and graduate STEM students to present their research projects to peers and faculty members.

The JTM-PRISM provides vertical integration of the educational pipeline by bringing together secondary school students and teachers, undergraduate and graduate students from all STEM disciplines from all major institutions of higher education in Puerto Rico.  Participants are encouraged to cross disciplinary lines by attending presentations and posters from other disciplines.    

Electronic Registration Deadline: March 18, 2020
(this registration is required only for students presenting at the event)


Important Links:


Invited Plenary Speakers:

Dr. Héctor Abruña

Dr. Héctor Abruña
Émile M. Chamot Professor and Director
Center for Alkaline Based Energy Solutions (CABES) and Energy Materials Center at Cornell (emc2)
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Baker Laboratory, Cornell University


Professor Abruña, Émile M. Chamot Professor of Chemistry, is Director of the Center for Alkaline Based Energy Solutions (CABES) and the Energy Materials Center at Cornell (emc2).  He completed his graduate studies with Royce W. Murray and Thomas J. Meyer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1980 and was a postdoctoral research associate with Allen J. Bard at the University of Texas at Austin from 1980-81. After a brief stay at the University of Puerto Rico, he joined Cornell in 1983.  He was Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology from 2004-2008.

Prof. Abruña has been the recipient of numerous awards including a Presidential Young Investigator Award, A. P. Sloan Fellowship, J. S. Guggenheim Fellowship and J. W. Fulbright Senior Fellow.  He is the recipient of the Electrochemistry Award for the American Chemical Society (2008), and the C.N. Reilley Award in Electrochemistry for 2007.  He was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2007, member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007 and Fellow of the International Society of Electrochemistry in 2008.  He  received the D. C. Grahame Award from the Electrochemical Society for 2009, the Faraday Medal of the Royal Society for 2011, the Brian Conway Prize from the International Society of Electrochemistry for 2013, was named Fellow of the Electrochemical Society in 2013 and in 2017 was the recipient of the Gold Medal of the International Society of Electrochemistry. Most recently, he was elected member of the National Academy of Sciences (2018) was awarded the A. J. Bard Award of the Electrochemical Society (2019) and the Frumkin Medal of the International Society of Electrochemistry (2019). Prof. Abruña is the co-author of over 490 publications (h-index = 99) and has given over 630 invited lectures world-wide. He considers his 56 Ph.D. students and 70 Post-Doctoral associates as his most important professional achievement

Presentation: Energy Conversion and Storage: Novel Materials and Operando Methods

This presentation will deal with the development of new materials and operando methods for energy conversion and storage with emphasis on fuel cells and battery materials and technologies. The presentation will begin with a brief overview of the methods employed. Particular emphasis will be placed on the use of X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) X-ray microscopy and tomography and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) under active potential control. The utility of these methods will be illustrated by selected examples including electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR) and spectroscopic studies of Li/S and Li/Se batteries and Li metal deposition and dendritic growth. The presentation will conclude with an assessment of future directions.

Energy Conversion and Storage: Novel Materials and Operando Methods


Dr. Luis Echegoyen

Dr. Luis Echegoyen

President-elect of the ACS for 2019, Robert A. Welch Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry,
University of Texas at El Paso






 Luis Echegoyen has been the Robert A. Welch Chair Professor of Chemistry at the University of Texas at El Paso since August 2010 and was elected President of the American Chemical Society in 2018, so he will serve as president elect in 2019 and as president in 2020. He was the Director of the Chemistry Division at the National Science Foundation from August, 2006 until August, 2010 where he was instrumental in establishing new funding programs and research centers. He was simultaneously a Professor of Chemistry at Clemson University in South Carolina, where he maintained a very active research program with interests in fullerene electrochemistry, monolayer films, supramolecular chemistry, endohedral fullerene chemistry and electrochemistry; and carbon nanoonions, synthesis, derivatization and fractionation. He served as Chair for the Department of Chemistry at Clemson from 2002 until his NSF appointment. Luis has published 426 research articles and 47 book chapters and his current h index is 83 (Google Scholar, 11-1-19). He was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2003 and has been the recipient of many awards, including the 1996 Florida ACS Award, the 1997 University of Miami Provost Award for Excellence in Research, the 2007 Herty Medal Award from the ACS Georgia Section, the 2007 Clemson University Presidential Award for Excellence in Research, and the 2007 University of Puerto Rico Distinguished Alumnus Award. He was also selected as an ACS Fellow in 2011 and was the first recipient of the ACS Award for Recognizing Underrepresented Minorities in Chemistry for Excellence in Research & Development, also in 2011. Luis is a coveted speaker who has to his record over 469 scientific invited lectures and presentations. He has delivered several named lectureships in places like Northwestern University, Georgia Tech., UC-Riverside and is a member of several international advisory boards, such as the IMDEA-Nanoscience Center in Madrid and Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces (PCOSS) Center at Xiamen University in China. He has been the editor in chief of the Journal of Physical Organic Chemistry, a Wiley publication, since 2010.

Luis was born in Habana, Cuba in 1951. His family moved to Puerto Rico in 1960, where he spent his formative years. He received a BS in Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a research scientist at Union Carbide Corporation in Bound Brook, New Jersey. Realizing that his vocation was in academic research and teaching, he returned as Assistant Professor to the University of Puerto Rico in 1977. Luis was invited to serve as Program Officer in the Chemical Dynamics Program at NSF in 1981, and he held a simultaneous Adjunct Associate Professor position at the University of Maryland, College Park during his work at the NSF. He moved to the University of Miami in 1982, where he served as Associate Professor and Professor for 18 years. While at Miami, he took two very rewarding sabbatical leaves: one at Louis Pasteur University in Strasbourg, France in 1990, where he collaborated with Professor Jean-Marie Lehn, and a second one at the ETH in Zurich, Switzerland in 1997, where he worked with Professor François Diederich. Luis maintains active research collaborations with researchers in Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Poland and all across the US. Luis has been continuously funded since the start of his academic career, and is proud to have directed the research of a very large number of undergraduate and graduate students in Puerto Rico, Miami, Clemson and Texas, all of whom have gone on to successful academic, professional, and industrial careers.


Presentation: Fullerene Nanocontainers that Stabilize Unusual Atoms and Clusters Inside

Fullerene Nanocontainers that Stabilize Unusual Atoms and Clusters Inside  For the past two years we have been involved in the synthesis and characterization of new Uranium-based endohedral fullerenes and have obtained X-Ray crystal structures for several of these compounds. Some are mono-uranium species, U@C2n, while some are di-uranium compounds (see structure at the left), U2@C2n.1 Very recently we isolated two new mono-uranium compounds that violate the Isolated Pentagon Rule (IPR) wit a C76 and a C80 cage possessing fused five-membered rings (pentalenes) on their surfaces.2 Still other endohedral structures are much more interesting and totally unanticipated, with  formula  U2X@C2n, where X= C, O, S or N and 2n= 72,  78 or  80, which reveal interesting metal-cage interactions and totally unprecedented clusters trapped inside.  Some of the carbide compounds have been crystallized and the encapsulated U2C cluster (in  U=C=U@C80) exhibits unprecedented bonding with totally unanticipated properties (see structure to the right).3

Fullerene Nanocontainers that Stabilize Unusual Atoms and Clusters Inside

Finally, we have found that bis-porphyrin capsules exhibit exquisitely selective supramolecular binding for several of these uranium-based endohedral fullerene compounds.4 

The synthesis, purification and characterization of these interesting endohedral fullerenes will be presented and discussed, along with very recent results about uranium- based endohedrals.


  1. Zhang, X.; Wang, Y.; Morales Martínez, R.; Zhong, J.; de Graaf, C.; Rodríguez Fortea, A.; Poblet, J. M.; Echegoyen, L.; Feng , L.; Chen, N., J Am Chem Soc 2018, 140 (11), 3907 3915.
  2. Cai, W.; Abella, L.; Zhuang, J.; Zhang, X.; Feng, L.; Wang, Y.; Morales Martínez, R.; Esper, R.; Boero, M.; Metta Magaña, A.; Rodríguez Fortea, A.; Poblet, J. M.; Echegoyen, L.; Chen, N., J A m Chem Soc 2018, 140 (51), 18039 18050.
  3. Zhang, X.; Li, W.; Feng, L.; Chen, X.; Hansen, A.; Grimme, S.; Fortier, S.; Sergentu, D. C.; Duignan, T. J.; Autschbach, J.; Wang, S.; Wang, Y.; Velkos, G.; Popov, A. A.; Aghdassi, N.; Duhm, S.; Li, X.; Li, J.; Echegoyen, L.; Schwarz, W. H. E.; Chen, N., Nature Comm 2018, 9 (1)
  4. Fuertes Espinosa, C.; Gómez Torres, A.; Morales Martínez, R.; Rodríguez Fortea, A.; García Simón, C.; Gándara, F.; Imaz, I.; Juanhuix, J.; Maspoch, D.; Poblet, J. M.; Echegoyen , L.; Ribas, X., Angew Chem Int Ed 2018, 57 (35), 11294 11299.



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