Colombia Purdue Initiative — CPI

Andres Diaz Cano profile picture


PhD in Material Science, Purdue University
BSc in Mechanical Engineering, Universidad Nacional - Medellín


What was your research topic and how did you become interested in it?

My research was focused on ceramic material processing. Throughout the course of history, the human ability to manipulate and control the environment and tools has determined our progress and quality of life. Now that we are in the information age, we need ceramic materials for many technologies that we use today such as computer processors, dental implants, kitchen utensils, and aerospace components.

I was first interested in the topic of materials processing when I was part of the research group in tribology and surfaces of Universidad Nacional – Medellín. During my voluntary participation in this group, I realized the impact that material science has in things we use every day. I enjoy learning and understanding how things work and how I can modify their structure and properties to solve big problems.


"What I liked the most of my time at Purdue was the resources and events available in the area – like this Air Fair - and the diversity of the students." - Andrés Díaz Cano

What were the most difficult and the most gratifying aspects of your studies?

Several things were difficult: Adapting to the customs of a new country and acclimatizing to the methodology of the classes; Learning and understanding new research topics; Staying strong mentally and emotionally; Not letting stress take over and knowing when to take a rest and when to start a new day. Yet, all these challenges made for a more rewarding experience.

The most gratifying aspect of the experience is seeing how a material that once was totally unknown, behaves in the way you expected. Results and performed tests confirm that you learned something valuable and suitable to solve a problem. 

What are your plans after graduation?

I will be a postdoctoral researcher at Rutgers University in New Jersey. My research will be focused on new methods to process ceramic materials. The results of our work will feed the technological development that will, in turn, be used in commercial applications.

Contact information:

LinkedIn - Website - E-mail


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