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Brazilian engineering students visiting Loyola for the summer design tool that safely removes wires from e-waste

| By Stephanie Weaver
Brazilian engineering students Loyola University Maryland
From left to right, Josuelton Alves Limeira, Allexia Souza, Daniela Oliveira de Almeida, and Arthur Rank de Vasconcelos

Loyola University Maryland is hosting four engineering students from Brazil on campus this summer through the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program (BSMP), a government program that offers Brazilian students in STEM fields the opportunity to study abroad in the United States.

The students – Josuelton Alves Limeira, Allexia Souza, Daniela Oliveira de Almeida, and Arthur Rank de Vasconcelos – will spend 10 weeks at Loyola designing a prototype to safely remove wires from e-waste. This is the first time students from BSMP program have come to Loyola.  

All four students have been in the United States for about a year at other universities. Josuelton and Allexia, both chemical engineering majors, spent the academic year at State University of New York in Buffalo, while Daniela, an industrial engineering major, and Arthur, a civil engineering major, spent the year at University of Rhode Island.

In Brazil, Josuelton studies at Centro Universitario UNA; Allexia attends University of Sao Paulo, Daniela studies at Universidade Federal Fluminense, and Aruthur studies at Universidade Catolica de Brasilia, or the Catholic University of Brasilla.

Daniela reached out to Suzanne Keilson, Ph.D., assistant professor of engineering at Loyola, about research opportunities on campus this summer. Keilson helped create the e-waste and e-recycling project for the four Brazilian students.

Brazilian engineering students Loyola University MarylandE-waste includes computers, tablets, and smartphones. In some areas of the world, people burn the devices to extract the precious metals and wires inside, which is harmful to the environment. Keilson and the students are working to create a prototype that will safely remove these items.

The objective of the project is to help global waste pickers recycle electronics safely, efficiently, and with dignity, Keilson explained. In addition to their time on campus, the students visited various companies throughout the Baltimore area for inspiration.   

The students and their project contribute to a greater understanding of engineering outside of science and math.

“Engineering is about people. For me, the project has shown me that STEM can have a humanitarian and global focus,” she said.

Keilson said hosting the group of students gives Loyola the possibility and potential for additional opportunities like this – bringing international students to Loyola’s campus to experience Loyola and Baltimore. The engineering department is also looking for ways to incorporate this project into the curriculum for Loyola juniors and seniors.

Brazilian engineering students Loyola University MarylandWhen Josuelton, Allexia, Daniela, and Arthur return to Brazil, they will have one more year of school before graduation. For now, they are enjoying their time in Baltimore and at Loyola.

“We felt very welcomed when we arrived to Loyola,” Arthur said. “Everyone has been friendly and wanting to get to know us – our department, other academic departments, and students in our residence hall.”

They have explored downtown Baltimore and agree that Baltimore is a charming city. They also hope to visit Washington, D.C., before going back to Brazil.

While in America, Allexia, Daniela, and Arthur have been craving Pao de Queijo, a Brazilian cheese bread made with tapioca flour. Josuelteon has been enjoying the sweets of America – including cheesecake and red velvet cake – difficult to find in Brazil.

And they all love Five Guys.

“America knows how to make a burger,” Arthur said.  

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