Thursday, May 30, 2024

Q&A: Brendy Rincon Troconis, UTSA Department of Mechanical Engineering

Q&A: Brendy Rincon Troconis, UTSA Department of Mechanical Engineering

Brendy Rincon Troconis heads the UTSA Corrosion Research Laboratory.

(March 20, 2018) – Brendy Rincon Troconis is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and head of the UTSA Corrosion Research Laboratory. She specializes in the degradation of materials.

Since joining UTSA in 2016, Rincon Troconis has received a $125,000 grant to research a new technique to mitigate cracking and corrosion in piping and other types of equipment used by the oil and gas industry. Through a $450,000 grant from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Rincon Troconis is also receiving mentorship and research support in her work on stress corrosion cracking. With 99 aging nuclear power reactors across the U.S., the challenge of material and structural safety due to corrosion and fracture is a continuing concern for the nuclear industry, and one Rincon Troconis is working to address directly.

What impact do you hope your research will have?

Research is an invaluable tool for building on pivotal knowledge. It is also the most reliable way we can begin to understand the complexities of any topic.

I hope my research results in a decrease of catastrophic failures. That would save lives, help the economy and preserve our ecosystem, while educating the engineers of tomorrow.

My goal is to understand corrosion mechanisms that are currently unknown; design new chemistries and advanced materials to mitigate and control different forms of corrosion such as stress corrosion cracking, fatigue cracking and pitting, among others; continue to develop novel and powerful methodologies to assess corrosion resistance and inhibition; and apply sustainability to this research field.

What is one major goal you have for your life or your career?

My major goal in life is to make my husband and kids happy and to raise my children as good, respectful, educated and humble people that care for one another.

My major professional goal is to give my best as a professor in teaching, research and service. I want to create knowledge to combat corrosion, while training ethical and well-rounded engineers and serving my university and community in the best way possible.

Have you had any mentors? How do they inform what you do now?

Yes, definitely. There is no way to achieve your dream job if you have no idea of how your dream job looks and if you don't have people that inspire you to follow that dream. While I’ve gone on in life collecting mentors, my main mentor is my mother, followed by my Ph.D. advisor.

Life definitely has placed wonderful people in my journey. Whenever I encounter a situation that takes me outside my comfort zone, I meticulously analyze it and then create possible solutions, which I discuss with the mentors I think can help me the most.

What would you say to a student who is interested in entering your field?

To those entering my field or any field, I would say that the limit is the sky. Every field can seem to be overwhelming, but if your passion lies there, do not worry take one step at the time and as Dory says, “Just keep swimming!” And of course, I will be here if I can be of help.

What do you think the biggest challenge researchers in your field are facing?

Not only in my field, but in all fields, the biggest challenge is not coming up with the best engineering design before catastrophes occur. We are always creating standards and generating knowledge after something has happened. It would be wonderful to not go through that.

Do you have a favorite quote?

My favorite one is from Mother Teresa of Calcutta, “Wherever God has put you, that is your vocation. It is not what we do, but how much love we put into it.”

Joanna Carver

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University of Texas at San Antonio receives ‘transformational’ $40M gift

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