Balsells Graduate Fellow Profiles

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Interested in learning more about the Balsells Graduate Fellowship Program at the University of Colorado Boulder? Please contact Sharon Powers, coordinator:

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sharon.powers@colorado.edu

2014 Balsells Graduate Fellows

Jorge Cañardo Alastuey

Jorge was born in Huesca, near the Pyrenees, in 1990. He moved to Barcelona to simultaneously pursue a double degree through CFIS (Interdisciplinary Higher Education Centre) with a comprehensive scholarship. He studied Mathematics (Facultad de Matemáticas y Estadística) and Engineering (Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería Industrial de Barcelona), and won a gold medal in the Iberoamerican Physics Olympiad in 2008.

He spent the summer of 2012 at the University of Oxford helping develop innovative methods to solve PDEs on surfaces. For his final degree project, he was awarded a Balsells Mobility Fellowship to work at CU-Boulder in 2013. There, under Dr. Rob Knight's supervision, he worked on statistical tools to analyze food and the gut microbiome and started contributing to several open source scientific packages. The following year he was awarded the Balsells fellowship to pursue an MS in the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering and continued to do research in the Knight lab.

He enjoys spending time in the mountains to go skiing or hiking, loves travelling and taking pictures, and reading.

David Faulón Marruecos

David was born in 1991 and grew up in Barcelona, Spain. He graduated in December 2013 with a degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Barcelona. In Fall 2013, he was awarded a Balsells International Mobility Fellowship to perform his Final Degree Project at the University of Colorado Boulder. He worked at the Protein Engineering Department (Joel Kaar Lab), creating fluorescent proteins (fibronectin and integrins) in order to study their behavior and interactions on different surfaces, by using the FRET (Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer) technique.

After this stay in Boulder, David came back to Barcelona to do research at his home University during one semester (Spring and Summer 2014). He worked at the Product Development Department designing a new kind of milkshake that contains different particles of nuts in solution. He performed stabilization studies by using a wide variety of additives and rheological analysis. At the same time, he did research and product quality control for the company Barry Callebaut, which also works with nuts in dairy products (creams, fillings, bakery, ice-creams…).

Finally, David was awarded a Balsells Graduate Fellowship to pursue a PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering.

David is also a professional dancer, and taught urban dance in Barcelona at an academy for 5 years. He enjoy drawing, outdoors activities, sports and, of course, dancing. 

Martí Garriga Font

Martí was born in Barcelona in 1989. In July 2013, he graduated in Civil Engineering from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC). During his studies in UPC, he took part in the exchange program with the Imperial College London where he studied the last year in Civil Engineering with a focus in structural and geotechnical engineering. His research project topic was the adaptation of the direct strength method to stainless steel cold-formed sections led by Dr. Leroy Gardner.

Between January and July of 2014, Martí worked in Odgers Berndtson Management Consultants. During this time he participated in an interdepartmental efficiency project for a multinational top-tier e-commerce company. Meanwhile he was awarded the Balsells Fellowship to undertake a Master degree in Structural Engineering at UC Boulder starting on the fall of 2014.

Martí likes to spend his free time playing different sports: rock climbing, soccer, windsurfing and snowboarding, as well as reading and travelling.

Andrea González Rodríguez

Andrea was born in Barcelona in 1992, but her family moved to Tarragona when she was 8 and has lived there ever since. In June 2014, she graduated in Chemical Engineering from the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV).

She has worked on four chemical plant preliminary design projects, acting as a team leader on two of them. During the summer of 2013 she worked in the lab department of the company Jose Mª Sans Amill, developing a new product range by optimizing the operation conditions with a fellowship from the Banco Santander.

In 2014, she was awarded the Balsells International Mobility Project in order to do a research project at the University of Colorado Boulder focused on the use of biomaterial matrices as culture models to understand heart valve disease. The same year she was awarded a Balsells Graduate Fellowship to pursue a master’s degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering.

In her free time, Andrea enjoys meeting with friends, reading, watching movies and doing outdoor activities. She loves travelling and learning about different cultures.

Joan Ortega Alcaide

Joan was born in Barcelona in 1990. He graduated in Mathematics from Facultat de Matemàtiques i Estadística in June 2013 and in Industrial Engineering from Escola Tècnica Superior d'Enginyeria Industrial de Barcelona (ETSEIB) in March 2014 at the Unversitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC). He pursued the two degrees simultaneously through the CFIS (Centre de Formació Interdisciplinària Superior) multidisciplinary studies program. Before finishing his Engineering degree, he was awarded a Research Collaboration Scholarship to work as a Research Assistant in the Finite Element Method at the department of Strength of Materials and Structural Engineering the ETSEIB.

Joan was awarded the admission to the Balsells International Mobility Program at CU-Boulder in fall 2013 to develop his final degree project working at the Advanced Medical Technologies Laboratory (AMTL) under the direction of Professor Mark Rentschler. His final degree project was on modeling the contact between the Robotic Capsule Colonoscope (RCC) treads and a synthetic tissue simulating the bowel. During the mobility program, he was 2nd author of a journal article published on that topic.

The following year, Joan was awarded with the Balsells Graduate Fellowship to pursue a master's degree in the Mechanical Engineering Department. He is now working at the AMTL on a new Robotic Capsule Colonoscope.

In Joan’s free time, he enjoys watching movies, travelling, spending time with friends, playing basketball and soccer, and snowboarding.
 

Ulises Techera Roda

Ulises Techera is a very happy guy who has a story of success to tell you. Ulises was born in Uruguay 1986 and during his teen years he immigrated to Barcelona. Catalonia gave him opportunities that his old country didn’t give him. First, he studied Catalan, a beautiful language that he loves very much, and then he enrolled in the Civil Engineering school of UPC (ETSECCP). In June 2014, he finished his Master’s Degree and was awarded by the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering of the University of Colorado in Boulder with the magnificent opportunity of studying a doctoral program in Construction Engineering Management.  In this occasion, Catalonia blessed him one more time with the intervention of Pere Balsells who helped him through his fellowship program. Now Catalonia and Colorado have a deep and huge part in his heart. 

 

2013 Balsells Graduate Fellows

Esther Vasiete Allas

Esther was born in 1990 in Barcelona. In 2013, she graduated in telecommunications engineering from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). Her interest in signal processing, and especially in image processing and computer vision, started at the University of Surrey (UK), where she studied for one semester as an Erasmus student. She then developed an Android application related to computer vision as her first final-degree project at the Computer Vision Center (CVC) at UAB.

She also worked on a research project to provide a near-lossless predictor-based hyperspectral image compression system for satellites onboard.

In 2013, Esther was awarded a Balsells Fellowship to pursue a master’s degree in electrical engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Esther loves music and attending live concerts. She also enjoys going out with her friends and meeting new, interesting people. She would like to travel all around the world.

Antoni Escalas Bordoy

Antoni was born in the south of Mallorca (Spain) in 1991, where he lived until he moved to Barcelona at age 18 to undertake his undergraduate studies.

Currently, he is a master’s degree student at the University of Colorado Boulder in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, where he hopes to do his research in the area of biomaterials or something in the medical field. 

Antoni likes music, and he played the French horn in his hometown's band for about 10 years. In his free time, he also likes watching TV shows and playing video games.

Eduard Benet Cerda

Eduard was born in Tarragona in 1989, but his family moved to Lleida a few weeks later, where he lived until he started college in Barcelona. In June 2013, he graduated in civil engineering from the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC).

In 2012, Eduard was awarded admission to the Balsells International Mobility Program to do the final thesis of the degree at the University of Colorado Boulder. Since he had focused his degree in numerical methods applied to structures, Eduard began a research project with a group working in the computational mechanics of biological materials. As a result of his experience at CU-Boulder, the results of Eduard's research were published in the book Multiscale Simulations and Mechanics of Biological Materials.

During the following 12 months, Eduard finished his construction project at the UPC, a wastewater plant, and at the same time worked as an operations technician at SOREA (group AGBAR).

In the summer of 2013, after graduating in Barcelona, Eduard was awarded with a Balsells Fellowship to pursue a master of science in civil engineering at CU-Boulder. His research will be focused again in developing computational models of biological tissues.

Eduard enjoys road biking and hiking in Colorado, and meeting new people and cultures from all over the world.

Anna Domènech Corts

Anna Domènech Corts was born in 1989 and grew up in Riudoms (Tarragona) in Spain. She graduated in 2013 with a degree in chemical engineering from the University URV  in Tarragona.

In summer 2010, she received a fellowship to work on heterogeneous catalysis with Dr. Francisco Medina in the R+D+I center AMIC at URV. From September 2010 to June 2012, Anna worked as a team leader in the URV, managing a team to design engineering projects. Especially significant was her work on the improvement of biofuels production. In summer 2011, she worked in the engineering and operating company TECHNIP, in Tarragona. Wanting to improve her English skills, Anna worked in Ireland during the summer of 2012.

In 2013, Anna was awarded a Balsells Fellowship to perform her undergraduate final project on molecular cloning in Professor Ryan Gill’s laboratory. After finishing her undergraduate studies at CU, she was awarded a research assistantship and a Balsells supplemental fellowship to pursue her master’s degree in chemical and biological engineering and continue her research in Professor Gill´s lab.

Anna enjoys travelling, hiking, skiing, backpacking, cooking, and hanging out with friends.

Juan Ansuategui Vicente

Juan was born in Castellón in 1989. He graduated in mathematics from Facultat de Matemàtiques i Estadística in July 2012 and in industrial engineering from Escola Tècnica Superior d'Enginyeria Industrial de Barcelona (ETSEIB) in October 2013 at the Unversitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC). He pursued the two degrees simultaneously through the CFIS (Centre de Formació Interdisciplinària Superior) multidisciplinary studies program.

Juan was awarded admission to the Balsells International Mobility Program at CU-Boulder in fall 2012 to develop his final degree project working at the Knight Lab under the direction of Professor Rob Knight. The next year, he was awarded with a Balsells Graduate Fellowship to pursue a master's degree, but this time in civil engineering.

Juan enjoys reading and sports, especially soccer and skiing.

Marc Prades Villanova

Marc Prades Villanova was born in Reus (Catalonia) in 1988. In July 2013, he graduated in civil engineering from the University Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC). Before finishing his degree, Marc also started an architecture degree in Barcelona. During his graduate degree, Marc also worked with Engineers Without Borders in El Salvador establishing a drinking and sanitation system for a rural community.

In 2012, he also was awarded admission to the Balsells International Mobility Program for a semester to complete his senior thesis at the University of Colorado Boulder. Because of his interests in architecture and construction, he joined John Zhai’s research group to focus on how to apply vertical farms in a famous skyscraper in New York.

In 2013, Marc received a Balsells Graduate Fellowship to pursue a master's degree in construction engineering and management (CEM) at the College of Engineering and Applied Science. He is now working as a research assistant with Professor Matt Hallowell in the area of workers' safety in the construction industry.

Building castells (human towers) is one of Marc's favorite activities. He loves to spend time with his friends, as well as playing any kind of sports, especially soccer, climbing, and mountain sports like hiking and skiing.

2012 Balsells Graduate Fellows

Alejandro Caicedo Ramírez

Alejandro Caicedo Ramírez was born in Colombia in 1988. When he was seven, his family moved to Barcelona. In 2010, he graduated with a technical engineering degree in industrial chemistry from the Escola Universitària d'Enginyeria Tècnica Industrial de Barcelona (EUETIB), UPC.  In 2012, he obtained a master's in molecular biotechnology from the Universitat de Barcelona.

During his graduate degree, Alejandro studied in Finland as an Erasmus Program student, and also worked as an environmental inspector in dumping control for Clabsa, the official sewage metropolitan company of Barcelona. During his master's, he also was a support researcher in the Biotransformation and Bioactive Molecules Research Group in the Centro Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC).

In 2012, Alejandro received a Balsells Graduate Fellowship to pursue a master's degree in environmental engineering at the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Alejandro enjoys mountain sports, especially climbing, trail running, and skiing. He also likes to spend his free time traveling and discovering interesting places and people.

Josep Casamada

Josep was born in Castellar del Valles (Barcelona) in 1986. He holds a technical industrial engineering degree from Escola d’Enginyeria de Terrassa (EET) and a chemical engineering degree from Escola Tècnica Superior d’Enginyeria Industrial de Barcelona, both from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC).

Josep has broad international research experience, first in 2007 at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH – Sweden) developing fuel cells with membrane-electrode assembly and during 2009 at Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE – The Netherlands) characterizing hydrogels based on ionic liquids.

He worked as a project engineer at Ioniqa Technologies (Eindhoven, Netherlands) for three years on research and development of smart materials. He has experience in leading national and international research projects, with several collaborations within Europe.

During 2012, Josep was awarded a Caja Madrid Foundation Fellowship and a Balsells Supplemental Fellowship to pursue a PhD in chemical engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Josep enjoys travelling, hanging out with friends, and outdoor activities.

Núria Codina Castillo

Núria was born in 1988 and is from Igualada (Barcelona). In 2010, she graduated in chemistry from the Universitat de Barcelona (UB), and in 2012 finished her master’s in biomedical engineering at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) and UB.

During the summer of 2011, Núria spent three months doing research at the Institut de Ciències Fotòniques (ICFO) with a fellowship from Catalunya Caixa. She worked in the Ultrafast Imaging and Nonlinear Microscopy group visualizing the spontaneous process of neuron regeneration after laser axotomy. She developed her final master’s project, a six-month long project focused on functionalizing an electrochemical biosensor, at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) in the nanobioengineering research group.

In 2012, Núria was awarded a Balsells Fellowship for pursuing a PhD in chemical and biological engineering.

In her free time, Núria enjoys spending time with her friends, dancing, or doing outdoor activities.

Xavier Espinet Alegre

Xavi was born in Barcelona in 1988, but his family moved to Cardedeu (Barcelona) when he was four, and they have lived there since. In July 2012, he graduated in civil engineering at the University Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC).

Several years ago, he began to feel motivated to gain international academic experience. In 2010, he was awarded a mobility scholarship, the Euro-Korea Hydro-informatics Program, to complete a semester in the University of Incheon in South Korea.

In 2011, he also was awarded with a Balsells Undergraduate Fellowship for a semester to complete his senior thesis at the University of Colorado Boulder. He joined Franck Vernerey’s research group to focus on the computational mechanics of biological materials and structures.

After having a great experience at CU-Boulder, Xavi applied for a Balsells Fellowship in the summer of 2012 to pursue a PhD in civil engineering. His research interest is in the multiphysics modeling of interactions of cells with their environment, and he is again working with  Vernerey’s group.

Xavi enjoys meeting new people, hanging out with friends, and hiking and skiing in the Rockies.

Jose Antonio Navas Molina

Jose was born in Tarragona in 1989. In July 2012, he graduated in computer science from the Facultat Informàtica de Barcelona (FIB) at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC). During the last semester of his undergraduate studies, he worked with Associate Professor Rob Knight in the development of the QIIME software.

He was awarded a Balsells Undergraduate Internship in spring 2012 to develop his final degree project at the College of Engineering and Applied Science. He also was awarded a Balsells Graduate Fellowship in 2012 to pursue a PhD program in computer science at CU-Boulder.

Jose enjoys playing tennis, listening to music, reading, and meeting with his friends.

2011 Balsells Graduate Fellows

Lledó Esquerra Ortells

Lledó, 24, is from Tortosa. She got her Superior Engineering degree in Telecommunications from the Escola Tècnica Superior d'Enginyeria de Telecomunicació de Barcelona (ETSETB) at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC).

She has always had a strong motivation to solicit international academic experience. Indeed, she worked one summer in a cooperative project focused on the application of technical knowledge of engineering in South America.

She was also awarded with a Mobilitat scholarship and a Vodafone scholarship to complete her thesis at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. There, she joined the Medical Imaging Research Center and researched on Pattern Classification applied on Mapping Images.

In 2011, Lledó received a Balsells fellowship to pursue a Master of Science in the Digital Signal Processing research group in the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering at University of Colorado Boulder.

Lledó loves music, and she enjoys skiing in the Colorado mountains.

Marc Vera Canudas

Marc Vera Canudas was born in Sant Joan de Mediona (Barcelona). In 2011, he graduated in chemical engineering from the Universitat de Barcelona (UB). During the last course of his undergraduate studies, he worked in a project related to membrane separations. The project was coordinated by the distinguished professor Joan Llorens.

Regarding his professional experience, he did an internship in the Chemical Industry Lasem (Manresa), working in an analytical laboratory. In 2011, Marc was awarded a Balsells Fellowship for pursuing a master of biochemical engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder. His research interests are related to biochemical separations.

Marc enjoys biking in the beautiful mountains of Colorado and spending time with his friends.

Pau Haro Negre

Pau Haro Negre was born in Barcelona, Catalunya, in 1987. In July 2011, he graduated both in electrical engineering from the Escola Tècnica Superior d'Enginyeria de Telecomunicació de Barcelona (ETSETB), and computer science engineering from the Facultat d'Informàtica de Barcelona (FIB) at the Unversitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), through the CFIS (Centre de Formació Interdisciplinària Superior) multidisciplinar center double degree program.
 
He was awarded a Balsells Graduate Fellowship in 2011 to pursue a MS degree in electrical engineering at the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado Boulder.
 
In his free time Pau enjoys outdoor sports like mountain biking, trekking, sailing and skiing. He also enjoys listening to music, and participating in free and open source software projects.

2010 Balsells Graduate Fellows

Laura Bernabé Miguel

Laura, 26, is working to model fMRI brain images in human beings through a project coordinated by Professor François Meyer in the Digital Signal Processing research group in the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Laura holds a technical engineering degree in telecommunications from Escola Politècnica Superior de Castellsdefels and a Superior Engineering degree in electronics from Escola Tècnica Superior de Telecomunicacions de Barcelona, both from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC). The past two summers, Laura worked in two cooperative projects in South America. In Spain, she worked as a high school electronics teacher.

Laura was able to resume her studies in 2010 at the University of Colorado Boulder thanks to a graduate fellowship provided by Pete Balsells, the Generalitat de Catalunya, and CU-Boulder.

When not studying hard, Laura enjoys rock climbing and hiking and is learning to ski in the beautiful mountains of Colorado.

David Garrido López

David Garrido López is from Santa Coloma de Gramenet, and was born in Barcelona in 1986. In 2009, he graduated in telecommunications engineering from the Escola Tècnica Superior d'Enginyeria de Telecomunicació de Barcelona (ETSETB) at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC); and in 2010, he graduated in electronics engineering, also from ETSETB-UPC.

During his senior college year (2009), David was awarded a Mobilitat scholarship and a Vodafone scholarship to complete his thesis at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. There, he joined the Microwave Remote Sensing Laboratory, and worked with Dr. Stephen J. Frasier on the Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave Wind Profiler Radar.

In the summer of 2010, David received a Balsells Fellowship to pursue a PhD in electrical engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder. His research interest is in the medical effects of electromagnetic fields in biology.

David enjoys travelling, hanging out with friends, outdoor activities such as hiking and biking, and reading.

Xavier Palomer Ripoll

Xavier Palomer Ripoll was born in Barcelona in 1982. In 2007, he graduated in physics from the Universitat de Barcelona (UB), and in 2010 he graduated in electrical engineering also at UB. During his undergraduate studies, he was awarded two summer school fellowships, one in HMI Research Institut for Materials and Energies in Berlin and another with Community of Cities Arianne summer school fellowship Heilbronn University in Germany.

During his undergraduate studies, Xavier was involved in the SSETI program in collaboration with ESA, designing harness subsystems for small satellites. In his professional working experience, he worked as an electrophysiologist at IDIBAPS – Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, developing multichannel recording systems and electric field stimulation devices, in collaboration with hardware companies in Barcelona.

In 2010, Xavier was awarded a Balsells Fellowship for pursing a Master of Science in electrical engineering at University of Colorado Boulder. His research interests are related to biomedical devices and bioengineering and how to mix them within the aerospace sector.

Xavier enjoys almost any kind of outdoor activity, meeting new people and especially reading.

Important Announcements

December 2014 Engineering Recognition Ceremony to be held at Macky Auditorium on December 19, 2014.

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