Dr. Juan F. Arratia
Dr. Juan Arratia is the Director-Research Professor and Mentor of the Virtual Saturday Research Academy. Also, he is the Team Leader of the Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund Grant with sites in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Russia
Dr. Juan F. Arratia was born in Pomaire, Chile. He graduated from Universidad Técnica del Estado with a BS in Electrical Engineering in 1973. He was awarded an MSc in Engineering from Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana, in 1979 and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri in 1985. He has taught and conducted research at universities in Chile (Universidad Técnica del Estado and Universidad Austral de Chile), Puerto Rico (Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico and the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez), and in the US mainland at Washington University, St. Louis, and Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana. He has lectured and given conferences on advanced automation, robotics, vision systems, artificial intelligence, total quality management, and science and engineering education in Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama, Mexico, Brazil, Nicaragua, Perú, Canada, Spain, the Netherlands, Turkey, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Australia, China, Puerto Rico and in the US mainland. He was the Advanced Manufacturing Manager for Medtronic, Inc., a leading pacemaker company, and is a consultant in advanced automation for pharmaceutical and medical devices companies in Puerto Rico. From 1998 to 2008, he was the Director and Principal Investigator of the Model Institutions for Excellence (MIE) Project, a National Science Foundation-sponsored program based at Universidad Metropolitana in San Juan, Puerto Rico. From 2008 to 2018, he was the Executive Director of the Ana G. Méndez University System (AGMUS) Student Research Development Center, designed to disseminate MIE best practices at Universidad del Turabo and Universidad del Este. For twenty years he was part of AGMUS and during his tenure, he wrote a proposal to NSF and was awarded more than 85 million USD for MIE, CCCE, AGMUS Institute of Mathematics, MRI-AMISR, MRI-Puerto Rico Laser, Administration of Arecibo Observatory among others. For his contribution to research activities, impacting pre-college and undergraduate students from Puerto Rico, in November 2007, he was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring at a ceremony in the White House in Washington DC. From 2018 to the present he is the President of Scientific Caribbean Foundation in San Juan Puerto Rico. In October 2021, he was awarded the grant Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund (CDAF), funded by the US Department of State, impacting with research experiences, pre-college and undergraduates from Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Russia.