BE (Mining Engineering)
MSc. and PhD. (Environmental Engineering) – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Post-Doc: King Abdullah University of Science and Technology at Saudi Arabia
Post-Doc: Curtin University of Technology at Australia.
Dr. Gutierrez is an expert in Membrane Technology applied to desalination, drinking water, and industrial/urban wastewater treatment. Also, Dr. Gutierrez has extensive experience in the field of colloidal/interfacial chemistry. He applies sophisticated experimental techniques that aid in elucidating the dominant interacting mechanisms between surfaces (i.e., membranes, mineral surfaces) and organic compounds or colloids (i.e., viruses, bacteria). His core training at the Seitz Materials Research Laboratory (University of Illinois) included: (Cryo) Transmission electron microscopy, (Environmental) Scanning electron microscopy, Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, (Time-Resolved) Dynamic Light Scattering, and Streaming (Zeta) Potential-Electrophoretic mobility measurements. In addition, Dr. Gutierrez received specialized training in biosafety levels 1 and 2 (handling/growing/purification of pathogens, bacteria, viruses, phages, and cell stocks), Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM-contact and tapping mode) coupled with Raman Spectroscopy, Quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation technique, and Synchrotron-based Small Angle X-Ray Scattering (i.e., at the Argonne National Lab at Chicago, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford University). Dr. Gutierrez has collaborated with multidisciplinary teams of prestigious Universities and National Labs (e.g., Yale University, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology KAUST, Curtin University of Technology, MASDAR Institute of Technology, Poitiers University, etc.). His research projects have resulted in publications in international peer-reviewed journals (e.g., ES&T, Water Research, Langmuir, Soft Matter, etc.) and have been presented in international conferences (e.g., American Chemical Society, Materials Research Society, Euromembranes, etc.). Dr. Gutierrez is currently holding a Full-Professor position at Universidad Del Pacífico (Ecuador), where he develops robust and sustainable desalination technologies for decentralized applications in developing countries and membrane-based industrial and urban wastewater treatment.
The current research interests of Dr. Gutierrez are mainly focused on membrane-based technologies for drinking water, urban and industrial wastewater treatment. Two broad scenarios are considered:
a) robust, low-energy requirement, and sustainable desalination of brackish/seawater for the production of drinking water in developing countries for decentralized applications, and
b) membrane modification for organic micropollutant removal (e.g., pesticides, personal care products-PCPs, pharmaceuticals)
Additionally, Dr. Gutierrez’s research emphasizes Organic Matter (i.e., a ubiquitous and highly heterogeneous mixture of organic compounds of different chemical compositions, structures, and properties) interfacial interactions with membrane surfaces, particularly ion-exchange and bipolar membranes during (assisted/reverse) Electrodialysis. These organic matter/membranes interactions would lead to irreversible/reversible fouling, where membrane modification for antifouling strategies constitutes a key goal of Dr. Gutierrez’s studies. Thus, the characterization of nanomechanical properties of membranes (ultrafiltration hollow fibers, ionic exchange membranes, dense membranes) and (organic/bio) foulants are of special interest.
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