Zack Valdez 40347_1257537177501_1801778679_508554_482342_n.jpg

Office phone# 254-710-2504
My PhD work in Dr. Hockaday's lab under the TIEEES program allows me to explore the interdisciplinary nature of science and utilize multiple disciplines (Biology, Chemistry, Geology, etc...) to study environmental issues. Our current research involves the effects of agricultural practices (e.g. nitrogen fertilizer application rates, harvesting frequency) on the soil biogeochemistry and sustainability of bioenergy crops.


2004- 2010 St. Mary's University, San Antonio TX
B.S. Engineering Science
B.S. Applied Physics
minor: Mathematics
Research: Nitrogen Powered Vehicles, Vehicle Routing Problems, Recycling Optimization and Implementation
Outside Research:
Science Teacher and Researcher Investigator through Stanford Univ. REU
Asian Long Range Transport of Mercury Analysis GRASP

Awards and Achievements

Congressional Science Policy Fellow (2017)
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow (2012- 2017)
Graduate Student Leadership Conference (2016)
1st Place Bioenergy Systems Poster Competition (2016)
Future Science Leaders of America (2015)
1st place Elevator Speech Contest (2014)
McNair Scholar (2007-2010)
Presidential Academic Scholarship (2004-2008)
NCAA DIV II Athletic Scholarship (2004-2008)

Work Experience

2015 Geoscience Intern, BHP Billiton, Houston, TX
Develop Algorithms to increase speed and efficiency of horizontal drilling
2014 Geoscience Intern, Covey Park, Dallas, TX
Map and quantify pay data for potential re-completion candidates using depositional environment and geochemistry
2012 Geoscience Intern, Pioneer Natural Resources, Las Colinas, TX
Statistical analysis with multi-regression neural network to predict the influence of rock mechanics on fracture size and production
2011 Engineer, Southwest Research Institute San Antonio, TX SWRI
Team engineer for chemical partitioning of heavy crudes through high heat cracking
2007-2010 Logic & Engineering Instructor, Pre-Freshman Engineering Program, San Antonio, TX **PREP**
Develop syllabus, grade coursework, and implement weekly lessons and projects for underrepresented STEM high school students
2010 AVID Teaching Assistant, Plano I.S.D., Plano, TX
Support study groups and develop interest for students to attend college


Organic Geochemistry; Biogeochemistry; Geophysics; Depositional Systems; Sequence Stratigraphy
Structural Geology; Seismic Exploration; Environmental Geoscience; GIS

Industrial Statistics; Calculus 1 and 2; Differential Equations; Object Oriented Programming
Fluid Mechanics; Electromagnetics; Thermodynamics;