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Guatemalan researcher wins OWSD-Elsevier Foundation award

By Mayora IP - 25/02/2021

Dr. Susana Arrechea, from the University San Carlos of Guatemala, was the winner of the 2020 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Award in chemical engineering and nanotechnology. Since 2012 the OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early-Career Women Scientists in the Developing World recognize the achievements of researchers who have made significant contributions to the advancement of scientific knowledge. The program represents a longstanding partnership between the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) and the Elsevier Foundation.

Arrechea was recognized with other four early career researchers from Bangladesh, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Yemen. The prize recognizes their work in engineering, innovation, and technology, while also acknowledging the scientists' commitment to leading and mentoring young scientists, and to improving lives and livelihoods in their communities and regions.

“Recognition and visibility are important aspects of a scientific career,” said OWSD President Jennifer Thomson. “OWSD is proud and happy to be able to give these inspiring women scientists the recognition they deserve: for their outstanding science, their commitment to building a better world and their persistence in often challenging circumstances.”

Dr. Arrechea is an Affiliated Professor at the School of Chemical Engineering on the University San Carlos of Guatemala in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Her research is focused on the potential industrial and environmental applications of materials such as nanoparticles, nanotubes, and graphene, which can be employed in creating more sustainable building materials, in water treatment, and in solar devices and other renewable energy solutions. In addition to contributing to the development of nanotechnology in Guatemala, she is also involved in improving solar electrification, connectivity, and digital and STEM literacy in schools in rural Guatemala, in partnership with New Sun Road and Microsoft.

Dr. Arrechea received her undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from the University of San Carlos of Guatemala (USAC), and worked there as a professor of physical chemistry before pursuing her master’s degree and doctorate in nanoscience and nanotechnology at the University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain. After graduating Cum Laude, she worked as a visiting researcher at the University of California-Berkeley as part of a Fulbright Nexus project on renewable energy, and later at the Center for Biotechnology Studies of the University of Valle de Guatemala. Her projects have won grants from the National Secretariat of Science and Technology in Guatemala (Senacyt) and The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), among others, and she has received awards including the 2017 “Guatemaltecos Ilustres” Award and a prize for young scientists granted by TWAS, Senacyt and the Academy of Medical, Physical and Natural Sciences of Guatemala.  

By Mayora IP - 25/02/2021
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