Dr. Eduardo Santillan-Jimenez is the director of the mentoring program, its main point of contact at the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (UK CAER) and one of the research mentors at UK CAER. Originally from Mexico, Dr. Santillan-Jimenez joined UK first as an undergraduate research intern and then as a graduate student performing his doctoral research at UK CAER and at the University of Alicante (Spain).
After obtaining his Ph.D. in 2008, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Utrecht University (The Netherlands) prior to retuning to UK CAER, where he now holds the position of Principal Research Scientist. His current research focuses on the application of heterogeneous catalysis to the production of renewable fuels and chemicals, with emphasis on the upgrading of algae oil to drop-in hydrocarbon fuels. His synergistic activities include participating in a number of K-20 educational initiatives designed to increase and broaden participation in STEM fields.
Mr. William Henderson III is the co-director of the mentoring program as well as the Director for Diversity Programs and Diversity/Out-of State recruitment for the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Engineering. Originally from Lexington, Kentucky, William obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Math Education and Secondary Math Education, respectively, from UK. He has performed a number of functions at UK including: grant writing, strategic planning for the university in general and for diversity in particular, coordinating student affairs, advising, and outreach programming.
William currently creates and conducts programming for K-12 and post-secondary Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) initiatives. He is the founder and director of the UeducateU Career Advisory Council, a think-tank designed to connect corporations, educators, stakeholders and students while solving issues related to becoming more involved with prominent careers.