Main menu


Brazilian students exchange culture and corrosion research

For PhD students Bernardo Santos and Maria Serenario, researching corrosion at Ohio University’s Corrosion Multiphase Technology Institute (ICMT) was a top priority prior to completing their degree.

Hailing from Brazil, Santos and Serenario shared more than their home country. Both of them studied mechanical engineering as undergraduates and went on to master’s programs immediately after graduating. While studying Mechanics and Materials Science, my passion for corrosion research began.

New opportunities arose when they decided to pursue their PhDs independently of each other. The Brazilian government has offered scholarships for PhD students to study in research exchange programs. Both students were interested in corrosion, so they knew exactly where they wanted to study: Ohio University.

“We knew ICMT because we always read the papers of researchers here. We knew that ICMT was one of the best corrosion centers in the world,” Santos said. I’m here.

Both students headed to Athens, Ohio when they received news that their scholarships had been awarded.

“Everyone made us feel really welcome the day we arrived. Dr. Young picked us up from the airport on the first day,” said Santos.

Dr. David Young, Associate Research Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Engineering, was one of the many people who made Santos and Serenario feel at home from the moment they arrived on campus.

They were not only welcomed by the ICMT, but also warmly welcomed by the Athenian community. Santos tells how his advisor, Dr. Marc Singer, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Engineering, invited Santos to his recreational football team, the Hellbenders.

“My first week in this town, I was already playing for the team, and we’ve been playing together all this year. It’s been a great experience,” Santos said.

So many faculty, staff, and students contributed to their meaningful experience, and the project leader, Dr. Xi Wang, helped guide them in their respective projects.

Bernardo Santos and Maria Selenario in the lab
PhD students Maria Serenario and Bernardo Santos demonstrate their research in the laboratory of the Institute for Corrosion and Multiphase Technology.

“Whenever you have a question, Xi is open to talk about it. She’s young, but she’s very experienced.” I thought, ‘I can do it,'” said Serenario.

Santos and Serenario have been working on their own project for a year at ICMT. Independently, they both investigate internal corrosion of pipelines in the oil and gas industry and work to identify solutions and processes that reduce corrosion. Test different conditions to simulate corrosion in the natural environment to improve safety.

As they wrapped up the project, they started thinking about the next steps in their careers. PhD in Brazil. It means students are preparing to teach at university. Engaging in postdoctoral research or working as a researcher in industry is less common. This exchange program allowed Santos and Serenario to meet international students from around the world studying at ICMT and explore their future possibilities.

“The cultural exchange was great. The center is very international, so we were always surrounded by people who knew what we were doing and who had something new to share.” said Santos.

In addition to cultural exchange, Santos and Serenario felt supported in their research.

“The facility is great. We have everything we need, and if there is anything that will help us in our research, we ask for it. We are surrounded by people who really understand corrosion who want to help us.” ‘ said Santos.

According to Santos and Serenario, a year of study flew by. From researching corrosion with eminent professors to spending nights exploring Jackie O’s Pub and Brewery and Little Fish Brewing Company, they created countless memories to bring back to Brazil.

“When I returned to Brazil, there was a student in our lab and I already told her to do a research stay at Ohio University. Now I can share with her that they won’t bite you,” joked Selenario.