Carlos Avila Avendaño

Empalme, Sonora, Mexico.

Doctoral degree pursuing:
PhD in Materials Science and Engineering

The University of Texas at Dallas

Advisor: Manuel Quevedo-López

How did you first learn about the ConTex fellowship program?

Dr. Quevedo, my advisor, told me about this new program called ConTex. This was the first year of ConTex and I thought it was a great opportunity.

Tell us about your research and why it is important to you

I am part of a team working on the development of large-area radiation detectors. This technology has applications in different fields. From medical applications, where large-area detectors are needed in diagnostics and radiation therapy, to security applications, where it can be used for monitoring nuclear materials.

What have been the most challenging and rewarding aspects of studying at UT Dallas and living in the U.S.?

Personally, I found the language the most challenging aspect of my stay here. However, I am glad to say that I always had support from my colleagues. Latinos gave me advice and encouraged me to improve my English skills and the rest had patience when I struggled to communicate. Similarly, one of the most rewarding experiences is the improvement I have made in my English and that I can give support to new colleagues who are in the same situation that I was in when I came to UT Dallas.

How do you hope your research will influence the bi-national relationship between the U.S. and Mexico in the future?

I believe that doing a good job representing Mexican students will make people in the world of science pay more attention to what we can achieve with the proper resources.

I really would like to see investments in science in Mexico increase, not only from the government, but also from the international industry. Giving more opportunities to Mexican scientists and Mexican research centers will become a win-win situation.

What advice would you give other Mexican students who may be considering studying in Texas?

My advice would be to take the opportunities. ConTex is a great opportunity and applying is usually much easier than what we expect. Finally, if you think you will feel nostalgic, don't worry, there are also good tacos here.