Graduate Student Profile - Juan Antonio Velasquez

juan-velasquez1.jpegJuan Antonio Velasquez successfully defended his M.S. thesis on April 21, 2023. Juan is originally from Guatemala, and he obtained his Bachelor's degree in Food Science and Technology from Zamorano University in Honduras.

Juan's thesis was entitled, "Novel Microplastics Remediation Strategy Using High-Voltage Atmospheric Cold Plasma." His research focused on the mitigation of microplastic pollution, which is one of the most important environmental problems that the world is currently facing. Microplastics have been traced back to important agricultural ecosystems and have been found in food commodities, representing a potential health concern. Therefore, action needs to be taken to stop contamination with plastic microparticles. As a novel green technology, Juan's research demonstrated that cold atmospheric plasma successfully proved to be efficient in degrading plastic microparticles into non-harmful end products. Thus, it could be used to reduce the contamination of important water sources and food commodities.  

Juan's mentor was Dr. Jen-Yi Huang. Other members of his graduate committee included Dr. Dharmendra Mishra and Dr. Allen Garner.

Juan credits an undergraduate internship as the reason that he chose Purdue to pursue his graduate degree. Juan states, "Purdue Food Science has the best graduate program. As a part of my undergraduate studies, I had the opportunity to do an internship in the Food Science department back in 2019. During the internship, I learned a lot. I became involved in graduate activities, such as research, and I took some graduate level courses. At the end of my internship, I became excited and motivated to attend grad school. It was at this moment that I decided to continue my graduate studies at Purdue Food Science."

Juan strongly recommends Purdue Food Science to prospective graduate students. "If you are passionate about doing research in food and food related fields, Food Science department has a everything you need to be successful in your academic and professional life."

During his time at Purdue, Juan was involved in the Association of Zamorano Alumni at Purdue. After graduation, Juan plans to continue his graduate studies as a PhD student in the Purdue Food Science Department. Congratulations, Juan! We can't wait to see what you accomplish next!