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Name Catalina Suecun Gonzalez
Languages Spanish, English, French
Interests 3D printing, 10R, Circular Economy, Solid plastic waste management, Biomedical engineering
Groups ERPI
Links []
Registered 2022

"If you possess a profound life purpose, the quantity of journeys you undertake and the time required become inconsequential."

Once upon a time, there lived a curious, passionate, and dreamy young girl named Catalina. From a very early age, Catalina drove her parents nut with her endless questions about how everything worked. It was a common sight to hear her ask, 'Why this?' 'Why that?' and 'Why, why, why, why?' Her natural curiosity extended to dismantling things to explore their inner workings. It was no surprise that, as the years passed, she developed a profound fascination with understanding the intricate mechanics of airplanes, eventually leading her to embark on a journey in aeronautical maintenance.

However, Catalina's dreams were not confined to aviation alone. Fueled by a desire to become an engineer, she embarked on a journey to earn her Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering, which she successfully achieved. Throughout her academic voyage, she seized opportunities to broaden her horizons participating in an academic exchange program in Mexico City and visiting universities in Germany. These experiences solidified her determination to pursue a Master's degree overseas, prompting her to venture to Australia to refine her English skills. As part of her commitment to lifelong learning and enhancing her engineering career, she also completed two diplomas in Project and Program Management, skills that are increasingly important but often overlooked by engineers.

Catalina's time in Australia was enriching and has increased her desire to help transform the science world as well as people’s lives. During this journey, she encountered the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, particularly the goals of 'Good Health and Well-being' (Goal 3), 'Responsible Consumption and Production' (Goal 12), and 'Climate Action' (Goal 13). These goals resonated deeply with her passion for 3D printing, materials, sustainability, and rehabilitation engineering, inspiring her to pursue a Master's degree in the field of Biomedical Engineering.

Why this field, you may ask? In her quest for the right Master's program, she stumbled upon the work of Bernie Craven, an Australian former hairdresser who ingeniously transformed the issue of shampoo bottle waste into a solution for amputee children. Bernie's 3D-printed prostheses, created from recycled materials, left an indelible mark on Catalina's heart. The concept of manufacturing from recycled sources with the goal of enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities profoundly fascinated her.

Catalina's journey led her to France, where she pursued her Master's degree in Biomedical Engineering and conducted her internship at Lorraine University's ERPI laboratory. Her internship focused on enhancing the interfacial adhesion between multi-materials through 3D printing, specifically for the fabrication of orthotic devices.

Today, Catalina advances her academic journey by pursuing a doctoral degree at Lorraine University's ERPI and LRGP laboratories, collaborating closely with Dr.J.M.Pearce at Western University's FAST laboratory. Her project aims to transform multi-material plastic waste into feedstock for large-scale 3D printing while enhancing material properties and compatibility through the addition of compatibilizers.

Catalina believes in the power of innovation to shape a more sustainable and inclusive future by creating open-source technological solutions that benefit society and the environment.

Education[edit | edit source]

Ph.D. Materials Science Université de la Lorraine, France (2021-2024)[edit | edit source]

Post-consumer waste study and its application in large-scale 3d printing

M.SC. Biomedical Engineering Ecole des Mines Saint-Etienne, France (2020-2021)[edit | edit source]

Skill and Knowledge related to R&D activities in the biomedical sector. m

Diploma in Project Management - Program Management (2017-2019)[edit | edit source]

Manage project scope, time, quality, cost, risk, and all other elements of project delivery.

Projects[edit | edit source]

Human-powered vehicle[edit | edit source]

During my undergraduate studies, I actively participated in the construction and design of human-powered vehicles for competitions organized by ASME, which is dedicated to promoting vehicle design through contests. I was fortunate enough to represent my university in 2015 when we took part in the Latin America Challenge hosted by the University of the Andes in Bogota. Following this incredible experience, the plan was to establish a research group with the objective of manufacturing these vehicles to address the specific needs of the Colombian population, particularly in Bogota, and to find solutions to the mobility challenges faced by disabled individuals. Unfortunately, when the project was presented, it did not move forward.

Young Ambassadors program[edit | edit source]

During my master's program, I was a member of the Young Ambassadors Association in the French region where I was located. The association's aim is to contribute to the international reputation of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region and its university cities through the principle of reciprocity, where international students are paired with a French sponsor. This sponsor is a local socio-economic representative, and their mission is to introduce them to the regional culture, the French way of life, and the world of business. In turn, the young ambassador, along with their sponsor, has the opportunity to design an innovative, realistic, and ultimately viable development project that brings the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region closer to the young ambassador's home region. This project spans one year. At the end of the year, there is a trophy competition with three categories: the Attractive Trophy, the Innovation Trophy, and the Citizen Trophy.

My project was a collaboration with an Argentine colleague who had a very similar project idea to mine. Our project aimed to develop a program to bring together children with visual and auditory impairments through physical activities, which could be implemented in our respective countries. In this program, children with disabilities and children without disabilities integrate and participate in various sports activities together, fostering inclusiveness. Since there were already several organizations that offer sports-related activities for individuals with disabilities, we wanted to develop something more creative and unconventional. First, the partnership between children with and without disabilities, and second the implementation of two innovative exercise techniques:

  1. The first technique called "animal flow," which combines different disciplines that mimic the fluid movements of animals.
  2. The second technique is known as "natural movement." This technique has origins similar to "Parkour," which is a physical discipline based on an individual's motor skills.

Both disciplines are based on practical, adaptable, and natural movements that enable the development of the body to tackle challenges related to balance and flexibility.

At the end of the year, in the trophy competition, our project received a special mention in the category of sports and health.

Lorraine Green FabLab[edit | edit source]

Preload: Green Fab Lab Project

In addition to my Ph.D. project, I have been actively involved in the Green FabLab project at the ERPI laboratory. The primary goal of this project is to establish a local plastic recycling network for 3D printing, which will create new prospects for the circular economy and promote a distributed recycling model.

Publications[edit | edit source]

Multi-material distributed recycling via material extrusion: recycled high density polyethylene and poly (ethylene terephthalate) mixture

2024- Multi-material distributed recycling via material extrusion: recycled high density polyethylene and poly (ethylene terephthalate) mixture

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