Andrea GUTIERREZ, PhD in Mineral Processing Engineering (Bolivia)

Andrea holds a PhD in Mineral Processing Engineering from the University of Antofagasta, Chile, and is currently working as a guest post-doctoral researcher at the German Aerospace Center. Her academic approach focuses on the investigation of non-metallic industry waste, which could potentially be applied as thermo-chemical materials.

Current position: Guest Post-doctoral Researcher at German Aerospace Center (DLR), Germany

Research focus: Investigation of wastes from non-metallic industry with potential to be applied as thermo-chemical materials

During her doctoral research from 2012 to 2015, she developed new low-cost thermal energy storage (TES) methods with recycled materials from the metal mining industry.

For her achievements, Andrea was awarded a Green Talent in 2015. The jury praised her interdisciplinary and novel approach to a field of growing importance. Afterwards, she began her research stay at DLR in Stuttgart, funded by the government of Chile. This research stay will be extended for three months and funded by the BMBF due to the Green Talents Award.

2015 Best Paper Award Scientific Committee of Greenstock 13th International Conference on Energy Storage
2015 Research Stay Funding from the Ministry of Education of Chile - Energy Program

CV as submitted for the Green Talents award (2015):

University of Antofagasta, Chile

Research focus: Designing thermal energy storage materials based on waste materials from the metal industry.

With a PhD in Mineral Engineering, Bolivian-native Andrea Gutierrez focuses her studies on energy and waste management. Her scientific background offers an innovative approach for the mining industry in Chile. Andrea aims to demonstrate the enormous potential of developing new materials for thermal energy storage, based on waste.

The objective of Andrea’s research is to develop new low cost thermal energy storage (TES) with materials from waste products from the metal mining industry. Thermal energy sources can be both solar energy and the industrial waste heat. The waste materials that are being used for her current study come mainly from the copper industry. Not only does this waste contain metal oxides which improve the conductivity of these materials, but they also have a wide range of thermal stability from 0 °C to 1000 °C, which makes it possible to use them as sensible heat storage materials. Andrea states that another important advantage of these waste materials is their prevalence in Chile; the country has an enormous mining industry, extracting a great amount of copper, along with other metals.

Andrea graduated from the Bolivian Universidad Mayor de San Simon with a degree in Chemical Engineering in 2011. After this, Andrea took her PhD at University of Antofagasta, focusing on TES materials based on waste materials from non-metallic industry, she received two Chilean scholarships to realise the project. Her pre-doctoral research at the Universitat de Lleida in Spain gave her the chance to perform experimental research with a focus on the improvement of the thermal properties of waste materials from non-metallic industries both in the lab and also piloting them at the plant.

The jury praised Andrea’s interdisciplinary and novel approach to a field of growing importance. They believe that participating in the Green Talents Forum will extend her multidisciplinary scientific network and help her to continue her research on the reduction of CO2 emissions.