Katerina Chagoya, Sustainability Coordinator, Orange County Convention Center
Katerina Chagoya is the Sustainability Coordinator at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC), where she works to reduce the environmental impact of large events while simultaneously maintaining and improving the sustainability of the Convention Center as a venue. Katerina obtained her bachelor’s degree in physics in 2016, and her PhD in mechanical engineering in 2021, each from the University of Central Florida (UCF). At UCF, she conducted research in green chemistry and fuels for 8 years, including catalytic carbon dioxide reduction, the synthesis of biofuels, and optimizing carbon-free, emissionless fuels for long-duration space flight. Between the years of 2016-2018, Katerina worked at an industrial chemistry laboratory developing a clean manufacturing process for synthesizing biofuels from agricultural wastes. From this and other research projects, she has authored 6 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles. Her passion is in the Earth and positive solutions to Climate Change.