Diana is a Scientist with over 8 years of research experience and over 6 years of industrial experience as a project and process engineer. Diana has Chemical Engineering degree from Universidad Nacional in Colombia, and a Master and Doctorate degree from the University of Calgary. She is very passionate about applying her scientific knowledge and expertise in improving process efficiency. She has large experience in pilot process troubleshooting and using simple thermodynamic model to understand and improve processes.
Diana grew up in Colombia, since little, she was always fascinated with small processes that transformed agricultural products into value-added products, a simple example of this processes in Colombia is the “panela” production in the “trapiches”. This “trapiches” take the sugar cane, squeeze it to get the juice; and “cook” it in a three steps process in large “pots” and then is poured into shaped molds until it becomes solid like a brick, all done in wall-less cabins of remote farmers. One day, when she was a teenager, spending school holidays in a family house with her family in a small town, she decided to go and explore the trapiches “neraby”. As nobody in her family wanted to go a check the trapiche out (of course, they had different passions), so.. she took off by herself, without telling anybody in her family…. Oops. She walked for hours until she got a ride from somebody picking up some panela in a trapiche nearby. That venture, took the whole day for her, a whole fun and remarkable day… the problem.. her family was worry and looking for her for hours all around town, but to this day, she does not regret it… that was the first of her adventures looking to learn about processes, about creating value-added products and helping people who lots of empirical experience but who can also use some extra scientific expert process background help to improve their processes. This adventure was the define point when she decided to pursue Chemical engineering as her profession for life.
In Colombia, during her undergrad studies, she become a passionate leader in sustainable projects to use agricultural sources and transform them into value-added products. She started working on producing essential oils from rosemary, lemon, lemongrass and others using simple physical separation processes. She evaluated the technical and economic feasibility of cleaner and more sustainable separation processes, supercritical extraction and kept that into her heart. She then decided to pursue grad studies. She came to Canada following her dream to become a scientist… and she did. She graduated from her master degree in 2009 and then from her PhD in 2014. She worked for an oil a gas industry for a few years, until she was ready to follow her heart and fly with her own wings, so she started Aratinga Inc with her brother Xavier Ortiz and her husband, Tyler Powers.
Aratinga has a very special meaning for her. Wikipedia definition of Aratinga says:
“Aratinga is a genus (biological rank above species) of South American conures (group of small to medium-sized parrots). Most are predominantly green, although a few are predominantly yellow or orange. They are social and commonly seen in groups in the wild”
For Diana, it means beautiful free wings bringing nature to your hands. Inspired by her sister Carolina Ortiz who painted several beautiful parrots several years ago when Diana was a kid…. But, she will always remember those gorgeous parrots from her sister. They were the inspiration for her company’s logo, legacy of her memories and also designed by her sister.
Diana’s mission, be a scientist for other and help our society in different levels. She is also looking forward to work with woman in engineering and help them follow their dreams.
Xavier is a Senior Integrity Engineer for Industrial Facilities and Pipelines with 20 years of experience.
Xavier has combined the gained knowledge of current industry standards, practices and regulations with 15+ years of professional experience as project engineer. Xavier has contributed with the development and implementation of Pipeline and Facility Integrity Management Programs (IMP’s), applied risk assessment techniques towards selection of appropriate and effective mitigation, monitoring, and prevention measurements, developed inspection plans for pipelines and industrial facilities, been exposed to integrity assessment methods, baseline and continual integrity assessment planning, and Fitness-For-Service Assessment of both pipelines and industrial facilities among others.
As project engineer, Xavier has been exposed to tasks such as scope definition, budget preparation, cost control functions, contracting, scheduling, construction and start-up. Xavier had the opportunity to lead teams of engineers and technicians from other disciplines, as well as drafting and shop floor personnel.