Tuesday, December 01, 2015


Meet a Roadrunner: Lorenzo Brancaleon expands international collaborations

Ben Fountain

Student Alicia Vall Sagarra (left) and Associate Professor Lorenzo Brancaleon

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(Oct. 30, 2013) -- Meet Lorenzo Brancaleon. The physics associate professor and chair of the graduate program in the UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy graduate program is fostering collaborations with researchers from the IQS School of Engineering in Barcelona, Spain.

This year, Brancaleon hosted Alicia Vall Sagarra, a 23-year-old chemist from Catalonia, Spain. She's working on a master's thesis about photosensitive dyes and proteins that could one day assist in cancer treatment therapies. Brancaleon is trying to establish the collaboration with her adviser, Santiago Nonell, a world-renowned photochemist.

Before leaving Spain, Vall Sagarra wasn't sure if she wanted to return and spend another five years pursuing a doctoral degree. But, after working in the laboratory under the mentorship of Brancaleon, she is more committed than ever.

"He made me fall in love with this by treating me like a scientist and not like a student," said Sagarra. "He showed me the importance of keeping track of all the work that I do. I feel like I have talent in this area."

Brancaleon is trying to find funding that would allow a stream of physics students to enjoy research opportunities at a university in Spain and also at UTSA.

"This collaboration could expand our research capabilities and also bring more visibility to the types of research we are doing here at UTSA," said Brancaleon.

Since joining UTSA in 2003, Brancaleon has seen physics faculty numbers triple to 16, physics majors increase to 119 and the number of physics graduate students increase to 90. The Physics graduate program is the fifth largest in Texas.


Do you know someone at UTSA who is achieving great things? Email us at social@utsa.edu so we might consider your submission for an upcoming installment of Meet a Roadrunner.



Dec. 1, 9 a.m.

CITE Venture Competition & Exposition

The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus

Dec. 3, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert

This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus

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Did You Know?

UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

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UTSA's Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

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