Viviana Cruz undergraduate research focuses on Humic Acid aggregation in increasing ionic strength

Four-year TLSAMP Vet builds her resume with undergraduate research involvement

Viviana Cruz portraitViviana Cruz is a senior in the Chemical Engineering program at Tennessee Tech University. She has been a member of TLSAMP since her freshman year, earning a scholarship, and continuing as TLSAMP began actively supporting student research.

She supplements her regular coursework with her participation in undergraduate research, under the supervision of her faculty advisor and chair of the Chemical Engineering program Holly Stretz. Viviana’s research is focused on Humic Acid aggregation in increasing ionic strength, which measures the time it takes for particles to settle when increasing the amount of saltwater. As a member of the Nanofactory Research group at Tech, she previously led a more senior team of students studying the dynamic fate of decay products in surface water. This work has important implications in fundamental understanding of how to control the expensive fouling of membranes used in water purification. 

Dr. Stretz describes Viviana as “an excellent orator, having won regional and national awards in presentations from LSAMP and AICHE.”  She states, “Viviana’s professional contribution to the research team is at an extremely high level and she leads the work on her project for the team at the same level as graduate researchers. She is an exemplar researcher, and it continues to be my pleasure to work with such a bright young engineer.”

She is a native of Smyrna, TN, and hopes to work as an engineering at Nissan, NA when she graduates.