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Pitt alumnus and past Universidad Monteavila President Joaquin Rodriguez joins Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

PITTSBURGH (August 30, 2018) … Petroleum refinery expert Joaquin Rodriquez joins the University of Pittsburgh this fall as Assistant Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering. Prior to Pitt, Dr. Rodriguez was President of Universidad Monteavila (2005-15) in Caracas, Venezuela, an institution with more than 400 faculty and staff, 1,500 students and 2,500 alumni that he helped to establish two decades ago.

In addition to his academic tenure, Dr. Rodriguez has 15 years of technical experience in thermal conversion processes, advanced petrochemical techniques and the manufacturing of refinery specialty products including cokes, asphalts, lubricants, and waxes. As specialty products business leader for Petroleos de Venezuela, he directed technology intelligence monitoring, research, innovation, development, refinery technical assistance and international negotiations. He coauthored one US Patent, three peer reviewed papers, 19 conference presentations and more than 70 technical reports.

“With the potential future growth of the petrochemical industry in the tri-state region, Joaquin’s research and business expertise greatly enhances our academic portfolio,” said Steven Little, the William Kepler Whiteford Endowed Professor and Chair of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering. “He will also coordinate efforts to develop a strategic vision and plan of activities for the Department for Outreach, and expand on our initiatives for Diversity and Inclusion.”

Dr. Rodriguez received his M.S. and PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, with his thesis on “Needle Coke and Carbon Fibers Production from Venezuelan Oil Residues.” He was recognized with the James Coull Award for Department’s most outstanding graduate student, and the Phillip Walker Award at the 20th Biennial Conference on Carbon. In his 20 years of various academic roles he has contributed to the development of academic contents for four careers, led the organization of seven graduate programs, promoted the foundation of 15 research centers, arranged for 50 cooperation programs, taught 22 academic courses and five seminars, and delivered 13 lectures at conferences and 40 speeches and keynotes.


Contact: Paul Kovach