Elizabeth Martinez, a graduate student researcher in the Department of Nuclear Engineering, has been selected as one of the students to receive scholarships from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship Programme. This marks the second year in a row that a student from UT has been selected to receive this award.
Martinez, a first-year master’s student, has experience as a researcher and engineer, having worked in research and development as a mechanical engineer at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
“Upon graduating with my bachelor’s of science degree in mechanical engineering, I always had an interest in pursuing a career in nuclear power,” said Martinez. “As technologies evolve, appropriate protocols and review processes in using atoms for peace across the world requires dedicated people and I strive to be one of those people.”
Martinez worked with Assistant Head for Graduate Studies and Associate Professor Nicholas Brown in the department. She said she enjoyed working with someone who understands the need for talented people to make a clean, renewable future possible.
“Knowing that I have an advisor with similar values and immense technical background to guide me into my future has been extremely valuable to me and I thank him for his mentorship as well as the support,” said Martinez.
Martinez comes from the south side of central El Paso, Texas. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas, El Paso. She didn’t always believe she could attain a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree due to financial and cultural limitations.
“I am proud of my humble beginnings, and I feel comfortable sharing my experiences to outreach and bring awareness that everyone has a story and sometimes the road to success is not so linear as one might hope,” said Martinez.
She said this award means she can expand her network in the nuclear industry while maintaining financial stability in her pursuit for her master’s degree.