Alex Lopez was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, and he moved to Oklahoma as a small child. As a high school student, he loved math and chemistry, so he decided to study chemical engineering. When Alex was offered an ECAP scholarship, it cemented his plans to come to the University of Arkansas. He is now a chemical engineering major and an Honors College student.
“ECAP opened a lot of doors,” said Alex. “It made a lot of things easier.” During his time at the University of Arkansas, Alex has taken advantage of these opportunities. The summer after his freshman year, he became involved in biodiesel research, and continued to help with that project for the next three years. Now in his senior year, Alex is doing an honors thesis on the use of algae to produce oil that can be made into biodiesel.
Alex spent his second summer at Louisiana State, doing research on biomedicine and nanotechnology. He took part in a project to test whether certain nanoparticles would cause cancer if they were incorporated into the human body. Alex continued to study biomedicine the following summer, taking part in a project that looked at time-release drugs. With the help of nanoparticles, these medications can be delivered directly to the part of the body that needs them, relieving pain and promoting healing with minimal side effects.
Alex is a member of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honors society, and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He serves as a peer mentor for freshman engineering students and participates in volunteer work and mission trips.
The thing that sets his education apart, Alex has noticed, is “the ability to connect
with people.” He explained that he has many friends and mentors in the College of
Engineering, and he believes that makes the University of Arkansas and the ECAP program
notable. “You’re not a number here,” he explained. “You’re not alone.”
Alex has been accepted to several graduate schools. Eventually, he’d like to work for a national laboratory or a private company, doing research and development in the biomedical field.