Julia Espinoza

Julia Espinoza portrait
  • PhD Aspirant

Contact Info

2434 LEEP2


Research Advisor(s): Mark Shiflett and Aaron Scurto


M.S. in Petroleum Engineering, University of Kansas, 2022
Ph.D. in Chemical & Petroleum Engineering (In Progress), University of Kansas
B.S. in Chemical Engineering, National University of Engineering, Peru


Julia Espinoza is an international, first-gen, and nontraditional graduate student from Peru. After receiving her bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from the National University of Engineering, Lima, Peru, in 2010, she joined the National Petroleum Company of Peru (PETROPERU), where she has worked for eight years. At work, she performed different positions such as process engineer, design engineer, and lastly, as leader of the process engineering unit in 2018. In 2019, she earned the Fulbright-CAREC scholarship, which allowed her to train in English, and graduated with M.Sc. in Petroleum Engineering at KU (2022). In her investigation, she studied the phase behavior of Oil-CO2 systems under various pressure and temperature conditions to predict asphaltene precipitation using HPHT PVT and SDS techniques. From this research, she has published 02 scientific papers. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at KU under the advice of Dr. Scurto and Dr. Shiflett as part of the NSF funded project, Project EARTH (Environmentally Applied Research Toward Hydrofluorocarbons). Her research focuses on the separation of azeotropic hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) mixtures from refrigerants using ionic liquids as solvents. Julia's work occurs mainly in the lab where a state-of-the-art pilot-scale extractive distillation tower is commissioning and starting up for the first time. She has also been a partial Teaching Assistant (TA) for some C&PE courses, including Thermodynamics I and II and Reservoir Engineering I, and serves as a Graduate Engineering Ambassador. Outside the lab, her interests include learning languages, learning about cultures and their geopolitics, and practicing Zumba.


Leadership activities:

  • GEA Ambassador (2021-2023)

Grants & Other Funded Activity:

  • Fulbright Scholarship (2019-2021)
  • KU Summer Research Scholarship (2021 & 2022)