Juan Carlos Vega-Vila

Juan Carlos Vega-Vila was born in Humacao, and grew up in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico. Besides Juan Carlos’ passion for science, mathematics, and education from a young age, he also grew up dancing, singing, and playing volleyball. He spent most of his formative years at the Colegio Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro, after which he went to the Centro Residencial de Oportunidades Educativas de Mayagüez (CROEM), a boarding school specialized in science and mathematics education. Juan Carlos obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez (UPRM). During his time at UPRM, Juan Carlos performed research under the advice of Prof. Nelson Cardona-Martínez on catalyst design for biomass applications. Juan Carlos obtained his Doctor in Philosophy degree from Purdue University, working under the advice of Prof. Rajamani Gounder on “Synthetic Strategies to Tailor Active and Defect Site Structures in Lewis Acid Zeolites for Sugar Isomerization Catalysis.” He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) developing synthetic protocols to investigate the influence of synthesis conditions on zeolite crystallization.