Juliana Vasco-Correa, post-doctoral scholar in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, was recently named a 2018 recipient of a Faculty for the Future fellowship from the Schlumberger Foundation.
Since its launch in 2004, nearly 700 women from over 80 countries have received Faculty for the Future fellowships. The goal of these awards is to increase the number of women pursuing scientific careers and post-doctoral studies in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Of the 555 applications for the 2018-2019 academic year, Vasco-Correa was among the 50 new awards recipients selected.
“The Faculty of the Future fellowship is for me a validation of my career goals, as well as my accomplishments,” said Vasco-Correa. “The Schlumberger Foundation gives a significant weight to my outreach activities, especially those that involved educational activities with children, which are really important to me. This fellowship will allow me to work on research projects that will help to develop the circular bioeconomy and generate products and processes with higher benefits for consumers and the environment.”
Vasco-Correa was born and raised in Medellin, Colombia, where she was interested in STEM subjects, especially biology and mathematics, from a young age. She received her B.S. in Biological Engineering and M.S. in Food, Science and Technology from the National University of Columbia, Medellin. In 2012, she received a Fulbright Fellowship, which allowed her to continue her studies at The Ohio State University in pursuit of her Ph.D. in Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, which she received in 2017.
Her postdoctoral research relates to anaerobic digestion, a technology where bacteria are used to transform organic matter into renewable energy. She aims to develop an innovative technology to convert anaerobic digestate - the contaminant byproduct of the process - into high value products with applications in bioenergy, agriculture, and wastewater treatment. One day, she hopes that her technology will solve one of the major drawbacks of anaerobic digestion while also increasing its cost-effectiveness. Vasco-Correa conducts her research with her advisor, Ajay Shah as a part of the Biobased Systems Analysis Lab (BSAL).