Byline: Elizabeth Benham, Isabel Baucom Chavez, and Maritoni Litorja
The Office of Weights and Measures (OWM) welcomes four 2023 NIST Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program research fellows to our Gaithersburg, Maryland campus: Dinelka Jagoda, Benjamin Tran, Bryan Rezende and TJ White, Jr. Their 11-week summer internship appointments are scheduled from May to August 2023, where they’ll gain experience in legal metrology, calibration laboratory operations, proficiency testing, the metric system (International System of Units, SI), and federal public service. OWM 2023 SURF research projects were announced in the December 2022 newsletter.
Dinelka Jagoda is a Computer Science (CS) major entering her sophomore year at the University of Maryland, College Park. With her CS major, Dinelka is also pursuing an upper-level concentration in art, specifically digital design. In her spare time, Dinelka enjoys practicing various art forms, her favorites are digital art, journaling, painting, and creative writing. In the future, she is eager to find a career path combining her computer science background with her passion for art.
Dinelka is returning to OWM, having previously worked as a spring 2022 NIST OWM Professional Research Experience Program (PREP) intern. This summer, Dinelka is working full-time on the NIST Gaithersburg campus within the OWM Metric Program, with research advisor Elizabeth Benham to develop and publish Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) resources focused on the International System of Units (SI) and measurement science. Her project portfolio will include publishing a SI Card Deck classroom activity where students apply the SI Base Units, Fundamental Constants, and Prefixes, producing an elementary education How to Use a Metric Ruler video, designing a SI Derived Units with Special Names website, enhancing 2023 Metric Week celebration materials, and enriching Metric in Sports education outreach resources in preparation for the 2024 Summer Olympics.
Travis White Jr., “TJ”, studies Mechanical Engineering at Mercer University, located in Macon, Georgia. After graduation, he intends to further his studies in graduate school. He aspires to conduct doctoral engineering studies to become proficient in the professions of engineering and research. His research interests include mechanical processes and aerospace mechanics, as displayed by his current university research involving fluid dynamics. In his free time, TJ enjoys listening to music, playing guitar, and driving cars. In each of his interests, he strives to uncover how science, mathematics, and engineering apply to these fields. During the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program, TJ aims to further his understanding of applying knowledge to research to aid his preparation for graduate studies. He believes this experience will enlighten his studies by portraying research applications in varying fields of science. This summer, TJ is conducting a full-time internship, working with research advisor Isabel Chavez Baucom to evaluate OWM Proficiency Testing (PT) Program quality and statistical analysis tools. TJ is returning to OWM, having previously worked as a 2022 NIST OWM SURF research fellow in the Metric Program.
To begin his summer fellowship, TJ audited the Fundamentals of Metrology course, offered to laboratory metrologists to improve their understanding of laboratory practices and requirements. TJ concludes that this course was a valuable addition to his summer program that introduced him to various aspects of metrological practice. He additionally notes that he is grateful for having had this experience to study metrology and is confident that the learned course content will prove useful throughout his fellowship.
Benjamin Tran is a senior at the University of Maryland, College Park, studying electrical engineering. He is interested in the digital hardware and software side of electrical engineering as well as data science and information technology (IT). After graduation, Benjamin envisions a career related to both electrical engineering and IT and hopes on eventually returning to school to receive a Master’s in Project Management. Outside of academics, Benjamin is an avid musician, where he normally plays piano, participates in his parish’s adult choir, or practices beatboxing. He also enjoys recreational activities like soccer, volleyball, and running. This summer, Benjamin is working as a full-time intern under the mentorship of Dr. Maritoni Litorja in OWM on projects related to the SI-traceability of measurements, legal metrology, and electric vehicle charging & metering. Additionally, he is collaborating with mentor Dr. Richard Steiner and his mentee Bryan Rezende in order to develop the basic laboratory measurements necessary for a NIST calibration service to disseminate SI to meters used by regulators. His specific task is to generate user interface modules and post-acquisition data analysis modules for these meters to be calibrated. From the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program, Benjamin is hoping to gain a greater understanding of the increasingly relevant topic of electric vehicles as well as hands-on experience working with the laboratory equipment and electronics at NIST.
Bryan Rezende is a senior physics student at University of Maryland College Park. He is working on instrumentation assembly and writing control software for a laboratory reference meter for power and energy, at levels appropriate for EVSE metering. He is generating simulations of voltage and current to emulate the output of a charger operating in the field session. He is busy writing data acquisition programs for direct current (DC) power and energy measurements. When he is not hard at work on EV charger calibration standards in his basement lab at the Gaithersburg campus, he enjoys taking scenic rides on his motorcycle through the backroads of rural Maryland. He also enjoys spending time with his partner and family—visiting craft coffee shops and breweries around Baltimore and Washington D.C. on the weekends. While on campus at his university, he dedicates his spare time organizing events to promote diversity and inclusion in his department through the local chapter of SPS (Society of Physics Students) and assisting other physics students as a tutor or TA. He says he’s not 100% sure what his future career will be but that the ideal job would include elements of learning, teaching/mentoring, research, and the application of his knowledge in physics.
Ben and Bryan are working on various tasks for a joint SURF project between OWM and the PML Applied Electrical Metrology Group, to establish SI traceability of field meters which will be used to verify electrical energy dispensed by chargers to an electric vehicle. Their tasks range from writing code for data acquisition and analysis, to performing a mock inspection of a charging station using a draft of OWM guidance document.