STEM Professional of the week

Alejandro Heredia-Langner, Ph.D.      
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

An influential and recognized leader in the field of engineering, Alejandro Heredia-Langner was born and raised in Mexico City, where he would earn his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering. His professional course as a chemical engineer began shortly after college, when he started working for a private chemical company before making the bold decision to attend graduate school in the United States. It would take a year before Alejandro would begin graduate school.

The transition wouldn’t be easy for Alejandro. He understood that a profound knowledge of the English language was imperative in order to begin the application process for his graduate studies – a language he had only minimally studied in middle school and high school. Undeterred, Alejandro worked hard to absorb as much as he could and fortunately, found a program that provided assistance with international applications to universities in the U.S. After working with them to complete the process, Alejandro was selected and began pursuing a doctorate in materials science. Just short of his dissertation, Alejandro came to the conclusion that the materials science field was not what he was most passionate about. Proving that it’s never too late to achieve one’s ambition, Alejandro changed majors and eventually earned a doctorate in industrial engineering.

Shortly thereafter, Dr. Heredia-Langner joined the staff at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) where he has remained ever since. Dr. Heredia-Langner is currently a research scientist in the Computational & Statistical Analysis Division at PNNL, where he focuses on developing algorithms for modeling, optimization and analysis. He has worked on building, applying and analyzing results from statistically designed experiments in areas of sensor modeling and optimization for the detection of explosives, studying the effects of particle size on the transport of chemical waste, and simultaneous optimization of multiple responses in chemical and biological systems.

Dr. Heredia-Langner’s technical contributions have helped establish PNNL as a leader in the area of statistical data analysis and the application of design of experiments modeling to projects ranging from radiation portal monitoring to the determination of the inherent toxicity of novel nanomaterials. His contributions often help take other projects to another level and cannot be overlooked. Dr. Heredia-Langner’s ability to quickly grasp the research goal of projects in various science domains and proceed to develop the appropriate analysis approach is his hallmark. His contributions to publications in high-impact journals representing diverse scientific fields, intelligence, professionalism and enthusiasm for science makes him a vital member of the research community.

Dr. Heredia-Langner holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico and a Ph.D. in industrial engineering from Arizona State University.

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