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Graduate Student Profile: Jose Ramirez Ruiz

I am originally from Oaxaca, a southern state on the Pacific coast of Mexico. As a child, I was very curious and would always welcome new challenges. I applied and was accepted to the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City where I studied metallurgical engineering. During my last year as an undergraduate student, I became very interested in modeling plastic deformations in metals and alloys. Solid mechanics and materials modeling was not a strong research field at UNAM, so I did modeling of a vanadium redox battery.

Upon graduation, I pursued my interest in advanced microstructural characterizations and was accepted into the materials institute at UNAM. I completed my master’s degree in advanced characterizations of Al- Li alloys. This led to an opportunity to study and work in France as a research engineer where I worked in the CEMEF Center at École des Mines de Paris, one of the most prestigious engineering universities in France. I performed numerical simulations of closed die forging operations and studied post fracture analysis. During this time, I became passionate about modeling discontinuities and cracks for structural components.

As a graduate student in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Idaho, I have been researching fracture mechanics and computational simulations using the finite element method, in addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate courses. I collaborated on a research project that had three main axes: 1) creep-fatigue testing, 2) creep microstructural characterization and 3) numerical simulations. As a research group, we collaborated to characterize high temperature fracture behavior of Alloy 709, an austenitic chromium-nickel steel to be employed in the next generation of nuclear reactor components. My dissertation work, stemming from this project, focuses on models that can predict plasticity-induced crack closure and creep-fatigue crack growth rates in Alloy 709. This work is highly relevant because it provides critical information for the design and safety of core components in power plants. Research is challenging but I love challenges, and I have grown so much throughout my journey as a graduate student.

Article by Jose Ramirez Ruiz

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