Conrad Corbella Bagot
Conrad was born in Barcelona in 1995 and he lived there up until the summer of 2017, when he moved to Los Alamos, New Mexico.
He studied Engineering Physics and Industrial Engineering, as a part of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya excellence program: the Centre de Formació Interdisciplinària Superior (CFIS).
In the summer of 2016, he took an internship at Hewlett-Packard, where he worked designing and implementing structures for 3D printer objects in their R&D team. One year later, he joined the Outreach Team at Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) as one of their Summer Fellows. His project there aimed to find a way to explain Quantum Mechanics to high school students.
Later that same year, he visited the US for the first time to prepare his Bachelor's Thesis in Los Alamos National Lab. He worked there in a couple of projects in metamaterials and antennae under the mentorship of Dr. Hou-Tong Chen.
At the University of Colorado Boulder, he is going to keep working in metamaterials, but this time under the supervision of Dr. Park. He will be pursuing a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering thanks to the Balsells Fellowship.
Victor Crespo Cuevas
Victor was born in Barcelona in 1994. He was raised in Castelldefels, a city near the Catalan capital, until coming to Boulder in winter 2018. He studied at the Escola Tècnica Superior d’Enginyeria Industrial de Barcelona (ETSEIB-UPC). He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree and his Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering.
In 2016, he spent his last undergraduate year working in a 3D printing Catalan startup called Presolid Tech. He worked on the development and innovation of SLA and FDM 3D printers. Once he started his Master’s studies, he decided to specialize his studies in the biomedical field. At the same time, he worked in the 3D printing area of the Fundació CIM-UPC.
Victor arrived in Boulder through the Balsells Mobility Program to complete his Final Master’s Thesis (TFM). He joined the Soft Tissue Bioengineering Lab of Dr. Corey P Neu. He created a software that finds the relative elasticity between the main chromatic domains of the nuclear cell. The paper of his work will be published soon.
In fall 2018, Victor started his PhD program in the Biomechanics and Biomimetics laboratory of Dr. Virginia G. Ferguson in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at CU Boulder. His current research is focused on the study of cartilage diseases of the knee and how to find a solution using 3D printed scaffolds and Tissue Engineering.
One of the facts that made Victor stay in Boulder was its incredible nature. He likes to trail run and Boulder’s mountains are the perfect place for doing it. He also enjoys road biking.
Ken Kitsu Iglesias
Ken was born in Barcelona in 1996. As a child, he lived in San Francisco and Madrid and he went back to Barcelona at the age of six. He graduated in 2018 from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya as an aerospace engineer.
In his junior year, Ken joined the rocketry project Cosmic Research. There he increased his knowledge about the design and manufacturing of light-weight composite structures.
One year later, in 2017, he was awarded with the Balsells International Mobility Program to conduct his Bachelor’s thesis on Origami-inspired space deployable structures, under the supervision of Francisco López Jiménez at CU Boulder.
The same year he was awarded with the Balsells Fellowship to pursue a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering focusing on Structures and Materials, at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Ken is a nature and science enthusiast who loves outdoor activities such as climbing, hiking, snowboarding, longboarding and sailing.
Xavi Ruiz Vilda
Xavi was born in beautiful Barcelona in 1996. In June 2018, he graduated in Aerospace Engineering at Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya ESEIAAT.
Xavi worked for AICOX during a summer in a UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) start up project developing the business and logistics plan, which allowed him to gain first-hand experience of how the industry works
In Spring 2018, he conducted his Undergraduate Thesis Project at the University of Colorado Boulder under the Balsells Mobility Program with the supervision of Professor Emeritus Jean Koster. His project consisted of developing an unmanned winged aircraft that is launched and recovered from a ship to search for whales and stop their path to possible extinction.
After finishing his thesis, Xavi was awarded with the Balsells Graduate Fellowship to pursue a MS Course in Aerospace Engineering with emphasis on Controls at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Xavi likes all kind of sports, especially soccer, skiing, hiking, racquetball and futbolín. He also loves Salsa and Bachata dancing, although he is better in Salsa. Traveling and discovering new places is one of his passions, as well as reading a great book and getting addicted to a new Netflix series.
Paula Vinyeta was born in Barcelona on December 28th, 1995. She graduated from Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya as an energy engineer.
During her undergraduate studies, Paula participated in a project with the United Nations Framework Convention in Climate Change (Bonn, Germany) developing new approaches to beat climate change, where she realized how significant the environment is for her. She was also able to undertake an internship in Bangkok, Thailand as part of her extracurricular work.
In spring 2017, Paula was awarded with the Balsells Mobility Scholarship at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, where she enhanced her interest for the state of Colorado and all it has to offer. She was working in Barcelona as a Renewable Energy Trader for a year before being awarded the Balsells Fellowship at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Currently she finds herself pursuing her Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, following the Energy and Environment path. Her passion for sustainability and outdoors makes Boulder the perfect place, and completes the whole experience.
Jordi Ballesteros Soberanas
Jordi Ballesteros was born in Tarragona in 1995. He graduated from Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona as a chemical engineer.
Jordi spent some time during his undergraduate working for the University of Michigan under the supervision of Professor H. Scott Fogler as a researcher in the field of asphaltene characterization and deposition for crude oils from the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. and Canada.
Jordi then spent his senior undergraduate year (2017) at the Lappeenranta University of Technology in Finland. There he wrote his Bachelor thesis: Production of fertilizer pellets from ash and digestion waste--an insight into the concept and design of a recycled-based fertilizer plant.
During his abroad ventures, he gained experience in fields such as research, resource management and entrepreneurship in the start-up world.
He accepted the Balsells Graduate Fellowship and is now in Boulder, CO pursuing his Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering. Boulder is a very fitting place for his passion for the outdoors and winter sports.
Gerard Casas Saez
Gerard was born in Manlleu, Barcelona in 1995. He lived in Barcelona for his whole life. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in computer engineering at FIB (Facultat d’informatics de Barcelona) at Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya. He focused and specialized on software engineering.
Gerard started working as part of the support team at Inlab FIB in May 2015. There, he worked as a web developer on the faculty’s intranet and as the main developer for the faculty's REST API. In addition, starting in 2013, he started going to a YMCA camp in Indiana, USA every summer to improve his English. He went there two summers as a camper and then three as a counselor. He also spent one summer working at con terra GmbH in Münster, Germany as an intern.
In Spring 2017, he accepted a Balsells International Mobility program research internship to complete his final Bachelor thesis at the University of Colorado Boulder. He worked in Project EPIC under Prof. Kenneth M. Anderson by developing and studying infrastructures for Big Data analytics by using containerization and automatic orchestrated systems like Kubernetes.
After finishing his thesis, Gerard was awarded with the Balsells Graduate Fellowship to pursue a Master’s Degree in Computer Science at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Gerard’s favorite hobbies include traveling, trying new food, taking pictures, playing the piano and reading. In addition, he is also part of the organizing team of two hackathons: one from Barcelona (HackUPC) and one from Boulder (HackCU).
Noemi Collado Nebot
Noemi was born in 1995 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She moved to Vilafranca when she was 5 years old, and lived there until coming to Boulder.
She studied a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering with an emphasis in Chemical Process Engineering at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Noemi’s first work experience was in summer of 2016, when she interned at Air Liquide performing some projects related to industrial control systems.
In spring 2017, she received the Balsells Fellowship to pursue a MS in Chemical Engineering at University of Colorado Boulder. She graduated as a Chemical Engineer B.S. briefly after receiving the fellowship, in June 2017.
In her free time, Noemi enjoys travelling, watching movies, reading, and spending time with friends. She also loves ice skating and skiing, so Boulder is perfect for her.
Oscar Fuentes Muñoz
Oscar was born in Barcelona in 1995 and lived most of his life in Cardedeu, a small village north of Barcelona. He graduated in 2017 from ESEIAAT (UPC) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering.
In a collaboration fellowship awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Education, he worked for the Lightning Research Group at Terrassa. There he studied the application of commercial rocketry to atmospheric science and lightning triggering.
During the spring of 2017 he conducted his Bachelor’s dissertation at the University of Colorado Boulder, sponsored by the Balsells International Mobility program. He worked for Professor Daniel Scheeres, in the characterization of the population of Near Earth Objects and mission design.
The fall of 2017 semester is the beginning of his journey in pursuing graduate studies in the US. Thanks to the Balsells Foundation, the Generalitat de Catalunya and the University of Colorado Boulder he is now a Master’s student of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, focused in Astrodynamics.
In Oscar’s free time he enjoys meeting with friends, playing sports such as basketball or soccer, running, travelling or reading.
Roger Huerta i Lluch
Roger was born in 1995 in El Masnou, a town in the seaside next to Barcelona. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering at the Universitat de Barcelona. There he did an internship with the Radiofrequencies & Microwaves Department developing a new product that could help the hospital track all their patients and staff in a wireless and autonomous way.
In spring 2017, while he was in an Erasmus+ Program in Torino (Italy) he was awarded with the Balsells Fellowship to pursue a MS in Aerospace Engineering in the focus area of bioastronautics at CU Boulder.
In Roger’s free time, he enjoys reading, travelling, climbing and hiking through the Flat Irons, which reminds him of his beloved Pyrenees.
Albert Maristany Utrera
Albert Maristany was born in Barcelona in 1995 and grew up in Tiana, Barcelona. In June 2017, he graduated in Chemical Engineering from the Universitat de Barcelona (UB).
During the 2016 summer, he did an internship with Amphos21 working as a nuclear and geochemical consultant with a fellowship from Banco Santander. That same year, he was awarded admission to the Balsells International Mobility Program in order to do a research project on grafting of polymers to surfaces for his Final Degree Project, under the supervision of Andrew Goodwin at CU Boulder.
The following year, he was awarded a Balsells Fellowship in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. His research is focused on polymer chemistry and organic synthesis.
He is interested in anything related to music, cinema or books, and in his free time he enjoys team sports and outdoor activities.
Mar Cols Margenet
Mar was born in Vic (Barcelona province) in 1993. She moved to Barcelona city when she started her Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering Technology at ETSEIAT (UPC). Mar arrived in Boulder in Fall 2015 through the Balsells Mobility Program in order to carry out her final thesis project (TFG). She joined the Autonomous Vehicle Systems laboratory in the Aerospace Engineering Sciences department at CU Boulder.
In Spring 2016, Mar started a PhD program in Astrodynamics and Satellite Navigation. Her current research is focused on GN&C (Guidance, Navigation and Controls) and flight software development.
Mar has fallen in love with the outdoorsy life that so well characterizes Boulder, and she especially enjoys trail running and mountain biking. She also practices karate, and likes skateboarding during summer and snowboarding in the winter season. She spends part of her free time reading fiction books and learning foreign languages. Furthermore, she loves some of the cultural experiences that Boulder offers in terms of theater and concerts: the Colorado Shakespeare festival, the historic Red Rocks Amphitheatre and the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, among others.
Josep Maria Fargas Cabanillas
Josep was born in Barcelona in 1993. He was raised in a small town called Castellterçol. He finished his musical studies focusing on the keyboard at the Manresa’s music conservatory in 2010. He started collage in 2011 at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) in Barcelona. He started studying Industrial engineering technologies. In 2012 he was accepted to the Centre de Formació Interdisciplinari Superior (CFIS) program. This program allowed him to study another major at the same time, so he began studying Engineering Physics as well. In summer 2013, he did an internship at Insitut de Ciencies Fotoniques (ICFO) founded by the ICFO summer fellow program. In summer 2015 he moved to Boulder, Colorado in order to do his senior project for 10 months. He worked in the field of silicon photonics designing an enhanced 50:50 beam splitter. The new device was ultra-compact, broadband, and low loss. At the end of this project he received the opportunity to stay at CU as a Ph.D. student. He was founded by the Balsells fellowship and his advisor Milos Popovic. In summer 2017 he finished his Masters in Electrical Engineering. In September 2017, he moved to Boston University with his advisor and is now currently working at BU as a Ph.D. student.
Josep loves dancing Salsa and Bachata. He spends his free time climbing and training martial arts. On the weekends he tries to visit new places, meet new people, and keep everyone updated on Instagram (@josepfargas). Check out his video on the CU Boulder Balsells home page to find out more about his experience.
Alexandre Cortiella Segarra
Alex was born in Barcelona in 1992. He graduated from UPC’s Escola Tècnica Superior d’Enginyeries Industrial i Aeronàutica de Terrassa in 2014, obtaining a B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering. After graduating, he wished to get hands-on experience in the aerospace sector. Eventually, he joined Nanosat Lab, a research facility affiliated with UPC and centered on designing and manufacturing nanosatellites. During that time, he was in charge of the attitude determination and control system of 3Cat-2, a six-unit nanosatellite aiming at testing novel GNSS-R concepts. 3Cat-2 nanosatellite was successfully put into orbit in the summer of 2016.
In April 2016, he was awarded a Balsells Graduate Fellowship to pursue a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder. His main areas of interest comprise structural design optimization, computational mechanics, and spaceflight dynamics. He would like to focus his research on design optimization of space systems.
Alex is passionate about all kinds of sports. He was a handball player for 17 years, competing all over Spain. However, he currently loves trail running, obstacle course racing, and downhill mountain biking. Apart from sports, he also loves to spend his free time traveling and listening to different music styles.
Monica Iglesias Echeverria
Monica was born in Lleida, western Catalonia, in June of 1994. Due to her passion in both medicine and technology, in 2012 she moved to Barcelona to start her studies in Biomedical Engineering at Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), a field that she found fascinating.
Monica’s first work experience was in the summer of 2014, when she interned at the Biomedical Research Institute of Lleida and was part of a team which studied progression of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). The next summer, she interned at the University Hospital Zagreb Centre, Croatia, where she was a team member on a research project focused on aortic insufficiency disease. In October 2016, she was awarded the Balsells Mobility Program, which gave her the opportunity to complete her bachelor’s thesis at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), working from January to July 2016 in the Radiology Department. Specifically, she worked as a research assistant on a project involving a low risk detection technique for lung disease coordinated by Dr. Sabee Molloi.
In the summer 2016, Monica was awarded the Balsells Fellowship to complete a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at CU Boulder. She decided to focus on Bioengineering, specifically tissue-engineered vascular grafts. Here, she hopes to acquire all the aptitudes necessary to pursue a career in the Medical Devices sector, where she plans to work after she graduates.
Monica’s hobbies include reading, traveling, playing viola, skiing, trying new food, listening to music, and hanging out with her beloved family and friends.
Rocío Navarro Vázquez de Parga
Rocío Navarro Vázquez de Parga was born in Tarragona in 1991. She pursued a degree in chemical engineering at Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) between 2009 and 2013. That same year, she started her master’s degree at URV.
In 2014, she received the Balsells Mobility Award to perform her master thesis in the University of Colorado, Boulder. She worked with Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Robert H. Davis, in a project related to fluid mechanics.
During those years, she worked at BASF, Bayer Material Science and PROAS Cepsa. After graduating from her master’s, she worked for a year at Dow Chemical. In 2016 she was awarded with the Balsells Fellowship to pursue her Ph.D. in chemical engineering.
She enjoys travelling, hanging out with friends, playing sports and reading.
Savina Brachthauser Balcells
Savina was born in Ibiza in 1993 and lived there until she started university. She moved to Terrassa and studied a Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering Technology at ETSEIAT (Escola Tècnica Superior d’Enginyeries Industrial i Aeronàutica de Terrassa). In spring 2015 she was awarded the Balsells Fellowship to pursue an MS in Aerospace Engineering in the area of fluid dynamics and propulsion at CU-Boulder.
Before graduating, Savina worked as an intern in Sener for six months at the RAMS Engineering Department. She participated in international projects in the railway sector and worked on the management of safety and reliability requirements. During this period she also performed her final degree project, in which she implemented a finite element model for laminated composite materials for aerospace structures and studied the optimization of these materials.
Savina likes nature and practicing outdoors sports such as running, diving, hiking and climbing. Although she does not know how to ski, she is looking forward to learning it during her next winter in Boulder. She also plays saxophone and flute and loves jazz music.
Maria Carles Carner
Maria was born in 1993 in Sabadell, Barcelona. After doing many internships, she gained much experience in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries.
In spring 2015, she accepted a Balsells International Mobility research internship to work at CU-Boulder. She worked at the BioFrontiers Institute, in a project that was a collaboration between Dr. Theodore Randolph and Dr. Robert Garcea’s laboratories. During these five months, she did her final project for the chemical engineering degree she was pursuing in Barcelona. She was part of a research group that was developing protein-based pharmaceuticals; particularly investigating new ways of formulating a new vaccine for the HPV virus, which causes cervical cancer. Throughout her stay, Maria gained additional laboratory skills working in a medical field exploring new biotechnological techniques.
In July 2015, she graduated as a chemical engineer from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). After a brief vacation at home, the Balsells Graduate Fellowship brought her back to Boulder to pursue her master’s degree in Chemical Engineering. Boulder is the perfect fit for Maria because of her passion for the outdoors such as running, hiking, and skiing.
David Iglesias Echevarria
David was born in Lleida, western Catalonia, in February of 1991. His life there was very happy and he visited the place as often as he could since it’s where some of his friends and family live. In 2010, he moved to Barcelona, a much bigger and livelier city, to start his studies in aerospace engineering.
David’s first work experience was in the summer of 2011, when he interned at an industrial engineering firm and performed CAD/CAM designs of various mechanical elements. The next two summers, he was a research assistant at a biotech public company, IRTA. In 2014, he was one of the 7 Spanish students selected to participate in the CVA Summer School, an annual three-week seminar for students and young professionals of the space sector. In September of 2014, he was awarded a collaboration scholarship by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Spain to work with a group developing new data-driven business models (DDBM) for smart cities. In October of 2014, he was lucky to become part of the Balsells community when he was given the opportunity to complete his bachelor’s thesis at CU Boulder, working from February to July of 2015 in the Turbulence and Energy Systems Lab, coordinated by Peter Hamlington.
In August 2015, David started his master’s degree in aerospace engineering with a focus on Astrodynamics and Satellite Navigation Systems. Here, he hopes to acquire the competences that will allow him to pursue a career in the space sector, a field of knowledge that, despite being very young, he feels has the potential to dramatically change how we will live in the near future. Dream job? Any that lets him think out of the box and tackle some of the challenges that he considers important. He also has an interest in entrepreneurship and firmly believes that individual endeavors can make a huge difference in the world.
David’s hobbies include reading, traveling, trying new food, listening to music and hanging out with my awesome friends and family. Some people that inspire him are Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman and Elon Musk.
Eduard Jimenez Castano
Eduard was born in 1993 and grew up between Barcelona and Almeria, Spain. He graduated in July 2015 with a degree in chemical engineering at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. During his Bachelor’s, he was awarded with a scholarship from Banco Santander. From 2009-2014, Eduard was working in Coatresa, a chemical company dedicated to Fluor-based polymers. In Fall 2014, he accepted a Balsells International Mobility program research internship to perform his final degree project at the University of Colorado Boulder. He worked at the Polymer Engineering Group (Andrew Goodwin Lab), synthesizing and developing carbamate polymers for drug delivery in order to study their behavior and interactions on different conditions and stimulus.
Finally, Eduard was awarded a Balsells Graduate Fellowship to pursue a Master’s Degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering.
Eduard is also a professional football player. He was playing in Spain in the second best league. He enjoys poetry, outdoors activities, all types of food and, of course, science.
Marina Nieto Caballero
Marina was born in Granollers (Barcelona) in 1991. She graduated from Escola Tècnica i Superior d’Enginyeria (ETSE) in July 2015 at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) with a degree in chemical engineering with mention in Biochemistry.
During her undergraduate degree, Marina studied in Finland as an Erasmus Program student, and also worked as an environmental inspector in seven waste water treatment plants for Aqualogy (Agbar).
In Spring 2015, she accepted a Balsells International Mobility Program research internship, to perform her final degree thesis at the University of Colorado Boulder. She worked with Dr. Anushree Chatterjee creating and simulating a mathematical model to describe Hepatitis C virus’s lifecycle within a cell, in order to develop new and more effective drugs against it.
Since then, she was accepted in the Chatterjee group where she is currently doing research about viruses’ replication cycles while doing a master’s degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering.
In Marina’s free time, she enjoys travelling, skiing, hiking, spending time with friends and reading.
Adriana Souto Martinez
Adriana was born in Menorca, one of the Balearic Islands
in Spain, in 1989. She moved to Barcelona to study Architecture at the ETSA Barcelona (Polytechnic University of Catalonia), where she graduated in July 2013.
During the degree she took part of several competitions and workshops related to sustainable and green architecture. Because of her participation in an international workshop in Morocco, she was invited to be a lecturer in the III Low-TECH congress organized in Barcelona by UPC Tech were she presented sustainable materials and building design in that country.
Once she finished her degree she moved to New York to get some experience in the architecture field and improve her English for academic purpose, at Columbia University, NY. She also could experience firsthand the American´s culture and find out that she wanted to come back!
In 2014 she won the “Leonardo da Vinci” European scholarship to work for the famous architecture firm “RRA” in Norway. During one year she worked in such a diversity of assignments, from residential projects to large urban planning, landscape interventions or public infrastructure and facilities. She experienced the overall process in architecture, not only the design but also the development of technical solutions for the final construction. Adriana could learn from the RRA expertise in using sustainable materials and environmental solutions.
The following year she was awarded the Balsells fellowship to pursue a PhD degree in Architectural Engineering in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, where she will research and learn about sustainable building design and lifecycle assessment.
In her free time, Adriana loves reading, dancing and skiing at the amazing mountains of Colorado. She also loves traveling and discovering new cultures and new people.
Alberto Roper Pol
Alberto was born in Ibiza in 1993 but moved to Terrassa (Barcelona) four years ago to pursue a degree in Aerospace Engineering at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC).
Between June and September of 2014 he got the Banco Santander's scholarship to do an internship at the Heat and Mass Transfer Technological Center (CTTC) for six months. After that he received a collaboration award from the Spanish Ministry of Education to continue working with the CTTC during 2014-15 academic year. His research was based on numerical methods applied to solving Navier-Stokes equations.
His final thesis was conducted at the École Nationale Supérieure de Mécanique et d'Aérotechnique (ISAE-ENSMA) in Poitiers, France. He worked there at the Institut Pprime doing a hydrodynamic analysis for vertical axis turbines (VAHT).
Finally, he was awarded a Balsells Graduate Fellowship to pursue an MS in Aerospace Engineering Sciences (Fluid track) at CU-Boulder.
He likes to spend his free time meeting with friends, reading, playing sports (rock climbing, basketball, table tennis, running, mountain biking) and travelling.
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.
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.
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.
Albert Harguindey Sanchez
Albert was born in Reus in 1992, but he lived most of his infancy in a small town named Ascó, then moved to Cambrils at the age of 12 and lived there ever since. In June 2014, he graduated in Chemical Engineering from the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV).
He received a Fellowship from Banco Santander, and because of that he worked on APLICAT.SL during the 2013 summer performing research in water purification. He also has experience in teamwork and project management as a result of URV’s strong focus on preliminary designs of chemical plants.
In 2014, he accepted a Balsells International Mobility position in order to do a research project on the improvement of solar panels by imitating the biological mechanisms seen in the photosynthesis and applying them to nanotechnology, under the supervision of Jennifer N. Cha.
Since then, he was accepted in the Cha group where he is currently carrying out his research in the pursuit of a Ph.D. in Chemical and Biological Engineering.
In his free time, he enjoys outdoor activities, playing video games, and going to the cinema.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.