Albert Cisquella Serra was born in Barcelona in 1992. In 2015, he received his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from IQS School of Engineering at Universitat Ramon Lull (URL). During his senior year, he worked as a product manager assistant in the fluid control department at ELION, S.A.U. He developed his bachelor’s thesis, under the advice of Dr. Jose Porro and Prof. Rafael Gonzalez de Olmos, at the consulting company Cobalt water. His thesis was based on the development of control strategies to reduce N2O emissions in wastewater treatment plants.
In 2015, Albert started his Master’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering at URL. In the summer of 2016, he conducted a 4-month internship as a Project Engineer at TechnipFMC. In 2017 Albert was selected to develop his Master’s thesis at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). During the 2017-2018 academic year, Albert carried out his research under the supervision of Prof. Marc Madou at the Biomems Laboratory and Prof. Salvador Borros at IQS. His research was based on developing carbon microelectromechanical systems (C-MEMS) with various applications such as gas sensing. Albert received his Master’s degree with high distinction in the summer of 2017 and was accepted at UCI in the MMT Ph.D. degree program (Engineering with a concentration on materials and manufacturing technologies) which started in the fall of 2018. Albert is developing his Ph.D. thesis under the supervision of Professor Manuel Gamero-Castaño and co-supervised by Professor Marc Madou in the Electric Propulsion Laboratory. Albert’s Research focuses on electrospray and electrospinning technologies for nanomanufacturing applications and Localized Chemical Vapor Deposition of metal oxides on carbon structures. He is the author of several articles in peer reviewed journals such as Carbon and the Journal of Colloid and Interface Science.
Albert speaks four languages fluently: Catalan, Spanish, English and French; and is learning German. He enjoys surfing, travelling, camping, and reading.
Carles Diaz Vilor was born in Parets del Valles (Barcelona) in 1995. As a high school student, he won several national and regional research contests, allowing him to carry out a short-term stay at a Spanish Research Center (CSIC). In 2017, he recieved his B.S. in Telecommunications Systems Engineering at the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC). During his sophomore year, he joined the Signal Processing and Communications (SPCOM) group where the focus of his research was statistical signal processing and optimization, applied to Malaria detection, and was the topic of his Bachelor’s thesis. Before graduating, he was co-author of two conference papers and was awarded by UPC for the best final degree thesis in the area of Systems. He also received a fellowship from the SPCOM group, and, a second one from the Spanish Ministry of Education to carry out research activities at the university.
In 2017, Carles began the M.S. in Telecommunications Engineering at UPC. During this period, he was able to conduct two 6-month internships. The first one was at UTC Fire and Security where he was in charge of modeling and simulating Control Processes and Communications Channels. The second was at Cellnex Telecom, focused on the management of telecommunication projects. In addition, he kept conducting research with the SPCOM group, co-authoring a journal paper and two more conference papers in high impact venues in the fields of pattern recognition and communications theory. He specialized in Signal Processing and Communications before graduating in 2019. His interests include Beamforming, Non-Orthogonal-Multiple Access (NOMA) techniques addressed to 5G, Estimation & Detection Theory and Communications Theory.
In 2019, he was awarded a Balsells Fellowship to pursue a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS) at the University of California, Irvine, focusing on the aforementioned research topics.
Carles also enjoys hanging out, travelling, and various outdoor activities such as hiking, soccer and surfing among others.
Judit Giró Benet was born in Valls, Tarragona in 1996. In June 2018, she received her Biomedical Engineering degree from the Universitat de Barcelona. During her studies, she was one of the national coordinators of AECS, the Catalan delegation of the International Federation of Medical Students Association (IFMSA). She also conducted part of her studies at the Universität zu Lübeck, Germany during the last semester of her degree.
Throughout the last year of her studies, Judit carried out her bachelor’s thesis on the “Study of the viability of a low-cost, non-invasive, non-irradiating and specific breast-cancer screening device (eNose)”. The project aimed at designing a biomedical Point-of-Care device, both from software hardware point of views, which was able to detect breast cancer by processing the odor of human urine by simulating the processing algorithm of the mammal odor.
In 2019, Judit was awarded a Balsells fellowship to purse a master’s degree on Embedded and Cyber-Physical Systems at the University of California, Irvine. By joining this program, she wishes to gain further skills to pursue a career in point-of-care devices research and implementation. In her free time, she loves practicing artistic skating, her favorite sport, and going around and explore California.
In her bachelor’s thesis, she investigated the development of aqueous graphene suspensions as a member of the Group of Materials Engineering (GEMat). Her project’s focus was to optimize the reaction and transfer conditions for a new substrate geometry and composition of the aqueous solution for the release of CVD graphene into suspension.
In 2019, Anna was awarded a Balsells Fellowship to pursue graduate studies in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California, Irvine. Her main research interests include nanomaterials and polymers. In her free time, Anna enjoys traveling and practicing sports.
Amadeu Malats Domenech was born in Vic in 1997. He graduated from the Escola Tècnica Superior d’Enginyers de Camins Canals i Ports (ETSECCPB) of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) in 2019, where he obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering, taught completely in English.
He was awarded a Balsells Mobility Fellowship in 2019 to pursue his Bachelor’s thesis at the University of California, Irvine, where he carried out research on additive manufacturing of concrete, mentored by Professor Mo Li.
In May of 2019, he received a Balsells Graduate Fellowship to pursue an MS and PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Irvine, in the Henry Samueli School of Engineering. His research interests are 3D concrete printing of large structures using fiber reinforced cementitious composites.
He enjoys travelling, playing sports and playing the piano.
Robert Planas Casadevall was born at Cassà de la Selva (Girona) in 1997. In 2019, he graduated from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) with two bachelor’s degrees, Mathematics and Aerospace Engineering, being enrolled in the Centre de Formació Interdisciplinària Superior (CFIS).
His academic career began at an early age, in 2012, when he was awarded the CiMs-CELLEX scholarship in order to acquire his International Baccalaureate at INS Jaume Vicens Vives. This, alongside being accepted in the Joves i Ciència (Youth and Science) program, sponsored by Catalunya Caixa, created and awaken the passions towards science and mathematics which he has been exploiting for the past years. In 2014, he won a bronze medal in the Spanish Physics Olympiad and got admitted into the CFIS program to pursue his two bachelor’s degrees. During his undergraduate years, he conducted several internships, one of them at the Institut de Robòtica i Informàtica (IRI), which helped him develop both his knowledge and research skills.
During his last semester, he joined professor Jorge Cortés at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) to write his bachelor thesis: “Characterization of the oscillatory behavior of the brain”, a theoretical approach to the model and analysis of large brain networks with linear bounded dynamics.
In 2019, Robert was granted a Balsells Graduate Fellowship and continued his academic journey as a graduate student in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, Irvine (UCI).
His research interests mainly focus in the areas of control theory and robotics, specially enjoying the interdisciplinary aspects that these research fields can offer. Apart from his academic interests, he enjoys climbing and surfing, social activities and cooking.
Pol Sin Arumí was born in Barcelona in 1991. He graduated from the Facultat de Medicina i Ciències de la Salut (UB) with a degree in medicine (MD) in 2015. In 2019, he graduated from the Escola d’Enginyeria Barcelona Est (EEBE-UPC), obtaining a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering.
During his junior and senior years studying Mechanical Engineering, he was awarded an Aula Lliure fellowship from UPC to mentor freshmen students in Physics and Mathematics.
He received a Balsells Mobility Award to conduct his bachelor’s thesis at the University of California, Irvine during the last semester of his Mechanical and Engineering degree. There, he worked with Professor Dave Reinkensmeyer and his team in the Biorobotics Laboratory, helping with the development and testing of a new mechanical wheelchair aimed to help with the rehabilitation of stroke patients.
In 2019, he was awarded a Balsells Graduate Fellowship to pursue graduate studies in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, Irvine, also under the direction of Professor Reinkensmeyer. His main research interests are human kinematics, robotics, prosthetics and neuroplasticity.
He enjoys inline roller skating, climbing, skiing, snorkeling and reading, and he is also a fan of musical theater and ice hockey games.