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Featured Project
Developing Prototype Detectors for a Peruvian Neutrino Observatory in the Andes

TAMBO is a planned neutrino observatory located in the Peruvian Andes that is designed to detect tau-lepton-induced air showers. The observatory will comprise several thousand semi-autonomous detectors spaced in ~100m intervals. Each detector must be capable of communicating with its neighboring detectors to determine the incoming direction of an air shower at sub-millisecond speeds. This is technologically challenging given the distributed nature of each detector, along with the high elevation, which can damage digital components. In this collaboration, the team will develop a data acquisition system for TAMBO meeting these specifications; this project leverages Prof. Argüelles’s (Harvard) group’s detector development experience with Prof. Tarrillo’s experience with high-altitude electronics. As a result of this collaboration, the team will develop a test array of detectors that will serve as a proof of concept for TAMBO.

Featured Project
Characterization of materials in the ransom room of Atahualpa, Cajamarca, Peru: Science, technology, archaeology and conservation at an iconic historical landmark

The project will assemble an interdisciplinary team able to select samples of stones (Inka architecture) and other excavated materials, and characterize them using chemical and mechanical approaches. Based on these results, it will be possible to develop strategies for the conservation of Inka stone architecture. The project will be completed with a workshop to communicate/disseminate the analysis results and offer stone conservation training for locals, international students, and specialists. Due to the historical importance of the site, representing a significant milestone in Peru’s history, and the unprecedented scientific investigation it is about to undergo, this project holds immense potential for consolidating the Harvard-UTEC partnership through the collaborative efforts of the UTEC, SEAS, the Department of Anthropology and Peruvian stakeholders.

Featured Project
Chicha: where ancient traditions meet technology

This research project will thoroughly reveal the biological, chemical and physical aspects of ‘chicha’, including a state of the art characterization of its microbial communities. There is an established collaboration with Malena Martinez, founder and director of Mater Initiativa, and the team at restaurant MIL. Through this collaboration the research team will have the unique opportunity to collaborate with several otherwise inaccessible chicherias in the Sacred Valley. The chicherias are otherwise inaccessible to outsiders due to language and social barriers. The chicherias are highly artisanal, making the chicha at each location unique.

As a part of the project, the team will optimize a novel sequencing technique, recently developed at SEAS, that allows for unprecedented strain-resolution of microbial communities. Developing this technique in the context of fermented foods will contribute a useful tool for microbial characterization to the food fermentation industry and community.