Rafael Borrajo is an associate professor in Mechanical Engineering. His research is focused on materials innovation and characterization, and the use of ion and nanoparticle beams to create/modify materials. Furthermore, he is responsible for the teaching of two courses: Materials Technology and Hydraulics and Machine Systems.
Dr Borrajo completed a MSc (2012) and a PhD (2014) with a focus on material science and space propulsion at the University of California in Irvine, under the supervision of Prof. Gamero-Castaño. He investigated space thrusters (electrosprays) and their interaction with solid surfaces. He studied the energetic impact of electrosprayed nanodroplets on hard crystalline materials, and characterized the resulting surface modifications, e.g. material removal (sputtering), topographic changes and nano-structural transformations (amorphization), to find out the physical mechanisms involved in these phenomena.
As a post-doctoral researcher in the Dpt. of Materials Science and Engineering at KTH in Stockholm, he investigated super-hard composite materials and steels. He participated in the development of cemented carbides and, through materials characterization, provided insight about the effect of the manufacturing process (sintering) and thermal treatment in their resulting nano-structure and properties. In addition, he studied the optimization of steel by controlling phase decomposition and particle precipitation in the nano- and micro-scale. Through his work on materials characterization, he has acquired expertise in the following techniques: scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), TEM sample preparation with focused ion beams (FIB), electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), x-ray diffraction (XRD), energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and atomic force microscopy (AFM).
As a propulsion engineer at OHB Sweden, Dr. Borrajo worked on systems engineering and developed propulsion systems for spacecraft. He collaborated with Luleå Technical University to find new methods for satellite propellant gauging in-orbit, and with the European Space Agency (ESA) in the design of spacecraft power and propulsion systems with a simpler, lighter and more cost-effective structure.
As a research engineer at the Norwegian company Cardiaccs, Dr Borrajo worked in the development of heart sensors for the monitoring of the cardiac function in real-time to prevent complications during open-heart cardiac surgery.
Formerly at Yale University, Dr. Borrajo conducted pre-doctoral research working with Prof. Fernandez de la Mora. He took part in the development of analytical instrumentation based on ion mobility and mass spectrometry, with the capability to separate and identify traces from gas mixtures in very low concentrations, enabling real-time chemical/medical diagnosis. As examples of his research, he studied the real-time separation of traces in room air for explosive detection, the chemical patterns in human breath and skin vapours for the detection of disease markers (cancer), and biometric identification of people.
Dr. Borrajo completed a BSc (2008) in industrial engineering at the University of Malaga, in Spain. As part of his BSc dissertation, he performed research on fluid/thermal numerical simulations of heat exchangers using computational fluid dynamics (CFD).
Fields of study
Brain activation during gait and balance
The human body is a biological marvel in many ways.