Nelson Cardona Martínez


Cardona-Martínez obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) in Madison, WI in 1989 and his B.S. at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez (UPRM) in Mayagüez, PR in 1983.  Both degrees are in Chemical Engineering.  He has been a Chemical Engineering Professor at the UPRM since 1997. He was an Honorary Fellow of the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department at the UW from 2009 to 2015. He was UPRM’s Chemical Engineering Department Chairman from 2003 to 2008. He was a member of the UPRM’s Administrative Board from 2002 to 2003 and an UPRM’s Academic Senator from 1998 to 2003. He is the director of the NSF EPSCoR:  RII Track-2 FEC: Center for a Sustainable Water, Energy, and Food Nexus (SusWEF) since August 2016 and was the director of the NSF PREM:  Wisconsin - Puerto Rico Partnership for Research and Education in Materials from 2009 to 2015. He is also the Associate Director of the Science on Wheels Educational Center at UPRM since 2014.

Interest in Materials Science

Cardona-Martínez  developed an interest in materials science and engineering while working as a Coop student at Union Carbide in Texas City, TX in 1982. He was working with catalytic reactions at the refinery and developed an interest in heterogeneous catalysis. Cardona-Martínez  has been working with catalytic materials since 1983.

Current Position

Cardona-Martínez is a Chemical Engineering Professor.

Recent Awards

2014 Honorary Member of the Golden Key International Honor Society

2013 Star – Educator for Higher Education Award, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Inc.

Research Interests

Cardona-Martínez  is interested in developing catalytic materials and processes for the conversion of agricultural residues into high-value products. He is also interested in helping underdeveloped communities find solutions to their problems.

Future Goals

Help valorize agriculture in PR. Help mitigate effects of Hurricane Maria in PR.

Impact of PREM

“PREM gave the opportunity to learn a variety of skills to manage large projects that I continue to use to this day. It opened new avenues for research that I continue to expand today.”