Debraliz Isaac Aragones, '19


Debraliz Isaac Aragones, '19





Debraliz Isaac Aragones was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico and moved to Clermont, Florida at the age of six. She received her associate's degree from Lake Sumter Community College in the fall of 2015. She transferred to the University of Central Florida in pursue of a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering with a minor in mathematics. Her passion for mathematics, learning, and space exploration led her to this career path. She has research backgrounds in materials science with a focus on additive manufacturing and heat transfer focused on thermal management of electronics. Debraliz is very involved in STEM outreach and is currently an UCF STEM ambassador. She hopes to inspire young children, especially girls, to pursue careers in STEM and higher education. Her future goals are to obtain a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and work in research and development in the space industry. Her long-term goal is to return to academia to share her career experiences with the next generation of engineers.

Undergraduate Major

Aerospace Engineering

Future Plans

Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering

Summer Research

Project Title: "Study of the Effective Thermal Conductivity of Polymer Composites with Varying Filler Arrangements"

Institution: Purdue University

Mentor: Amy Marconnet, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University


Alternative thermal management solutions for electronic devices are being widely explored due to the increasing heat concentration that results from shrinking sizes and increasing power of modern electronics. Clearly, there is a need to spread the heat effectively in these systems, and polymer composites can potentially provide high thermal conductivity at low filler fraction while maintaining desirable mechanical properties for electronic packaging. The present study aims to investigate the effective thermal conductivity of various copper filler arrangements in a polymer matrix. The polymer composites are fabricated using laser cut acrylic templates to embed aligned copper rods in epoxy and create different configurations, from ordered to random arrangements, while maintaining a constant volume fraction. Heat conduction through the cross-section of the composites is studied using an infrared (IR) camera that enables 2D mapping of temperatures. The effective thermal conductivity of the composites is obtained using a simplified 1-D reference-bar type technique. The experimentally obtained effective thermal conductivity is validated using both simulation software and relationships from the effective medium theory. The resulting effective thermal conductivity of the different configurations are compared to obtain an optimum filler configuration. Furthermore, the experimental and simulation results help provide an understanding of the effect percolation networks have on the effective thermal behavior of composite materials. Such polymer composites, with enhanced conductive properties, can be implemented in electronic packaging as an alternative to conventional heat dissipation methods (i.e. mechanical fans, heat sinks, fins, etc.).

Project Title: "Investigation of Additive Manufactured Ni-based Alloys using Non-destructive Methods of Evaluation."

Institution: German Aerospace Center; Cologne, Germany

Mentor: Marion Bartsch , Ph.D., Institute of Materials Research


Additive manufacturing of nickel-based super alloys is a burgeoning field poised to revolutionize the power generation and jet engine turbine industries. Due to their wide-spread application, improvements in manufacturing techniques of nickel alloys have the potential to save both companies and consumers millions of dollars. Before additive manufacturing can be applied to its full potential in manufacturing, repair, and rapid prototyping, a thorough understanding of its effects on the favorable properties of nickel alloys is essential. This work aims to elucidate the effect of laser and electron-beam melting methods on the manufacturing of two types of nickel alloys, IN718 and CMSX-4. The formation of precipitate phases as a result of high-temperature cycling during the AM process and powder re-use is illustrated with high-energy x-ray diffraction. By using XRD to investigate the characteristics of the microstructure after the AM process and relating the findings to state-of-the-art knowledge of precipitate-strengthened alloys, a valuable contribution can be made towards the full implementation of AM.


"US-Germany Collaboration in Materials for Extreme Environments: Developing an International Research Pathway Towards Creating Global Engineers for the Future"

Institution: University of Central Florida

Mentor: Seetha Raghavan, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Central Florida


The US-Germany Collaboration in Materials for Extreme Environments program was conceived to provide teams of graduate and undergraduate students from the University of Central Florida (UCF) the opportunity to conduct collaborative research with scientists from the German Aerospace Center (DLR), both in the US and in Germany. The program takes place over a period of three academic semesters and involves extensive pre-trip preparations, ten weeks conducting research abroad, and research continuation upon return. Outside of research, the students promote international engineering through mentoring. This work reports on the technical, professional, and global impacts of this unique program. Experiences gained at both their home and partner institutions improved the students’ research, professional, and global skills measured through publication outcomes, surveys, and propensity for graduate studies. Upon completion of the program, students were found to be more likely to pursue graduate studies. The students also perceived that the program had helped in improving their research, professional, and global skills as engineers. The program delivers these improvements by leveraging world-class facilities and scientific mentorship in both countries. Exposing undergraduate and graduate students to the challenges of an international research environment has impacts that carry on to the future workplace.

Debraliz Isaac Aragones, '19