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Aldo Jonathan Muñoz-Vázquez and Ivan Díaz-Rodríguez were bestowed the honor of national researchers, level 1 by the Sistema Nacional de Investigadores for their extensive contributions and dedication to research. | Image: Texas A&M Engineering Communications

The Sistema Nacional de Investigadores awarded Texas A&M University faculty members Aldo Jonathan Muñoz-Vázquez and Ivan Díaz-Rodríguez the title of national researchers, level 1. This prestigious honor is bestowed by the government of Mexico to recognize distinguished and decorated researchers. 

“This award is a reminder of my commitment to science to produce high-quality and impactful work, as well as to uphold the truth and motivate future generations to generate scientific breakthroughs,” Muñoz-Vázquez said.  

Mexico’s government created the award to promote continued research and innovation. They use a thorough evaluation and application process for selection, looking closely at the quality and number of publications the researchers produce, its contribution to society and how their research impacts graduate students. It is an award both faculty members have worked tirelessly to achieve.

“The government takes almost a year of evaluation to decide who can be part of the system,” Díaz-Rodríguez said. “I am extremely honored to receive such an important award. It requires time, effort and hard work to achieve, and I feel happy to finally receive this honor.” 

Muñoz-Vázquez is an instructional assistant professor in the Department of Multidisciplinary Engineering. His research focuses on robotics, modeling, control and motion planning schemes. This includes control of constrained and cooperative mechanical systems, nonlinear control, fractional-order control and applied mathematics. This is the second time he has received this honor; he was first awarded the title in 2017.

“Novel technologies and modern manufacturing systems demand a high degree of precision and perplexing performance specifications,” said Muñoz-Vázquez. “In this sense, and taking into account day-to-day technological advances and necessities in automation, my research aims to provide innovative and outstanding tools for control engineering theorists and professionals.” 

In the future, he will work toward developing novel methodologies for teaching engineering and science, as well as the development of didactic material and new technologies that allow university students to understand challenging topics. He has published more than 40 articles, 29 as the first author. He was recognized in 2018 and 2019 by Publons as the top 1% of reviewers in engineering. 

Díaz-Rodríguez is also an instructional assistant professor for the department. His research focuses on control systems and performance, working on proportional-integral-derivative controllers used in industrial manufacturing systems. His research has been highlighted at several conferences and is respected internationally. He discusses his research in the book “Analytical Design of PID Controllers,” which was an essential component of receiving this award. His future research will focus on designing controllers to better the planet.

“My research work will provide new and alternative controller design approaches that will contribute to the best use of renewable resources and will directly benefit to the reduction of air pollution and global warming,” said Díaz-Rodríguez. 

Díaz-Rodríguez will hold the title of National Researcher Level 1 for the next three years, and Muñoz-Vázquez will hold the title for the next four years. The award is a great honor for both researchers and a tribute to the quality of professors at Texas A&M.