Researcher, Bioprocesses Engineering Laboratory, Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja (Loja, Ecuador)
I am, Belen Sotomayor, a chemical engineer passionate about biotechnology, a scientist at heart, and a violinist. I have worked in bioleaching which is a green mining technology to extract gold and silver by using bacteria, and an environmental-friendly bioprocess to decrease the concentrations of free cyanide.
My aim is to improve the quality of life of the communities who leave near mining areas. Thus, my research is focused on developing mathematical models to describe and predict the biodegradation of free cyanide (CN-) present on gold-mine wastewater.
Because of the environmental and community impacts of my research, I have been honored with the following awards and recognitions:
-National Prize to Scientific Research at the “V National Scientific National Research Competition” “Galardones Nacionales” in Ecuador organized by the Secretary of higher education, science, technology and innovation of Ecuador (SENESCYT).
-Prize for Leadership, Social Responsibility and Innovation “Tomas Moro”. Greatest prize the university gives to one person per year. Prize given by Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja.
In addition, I am also a bio enthusiast who believes that everything is possible. I taught myself programming, and I was honored as winner of the National Innovation Competition “Innova CEDIA-Wolfram" that also took me to represent Ecuador in the Wolfram Technology Conference.
-Winner of the Ecuador National Fair of Chemical Engineering “Industry, environment and development”.
-Winner of the “III Fair of Chemical Engineering” in Ecuador.