Juan Duran-Vara

Juan Duran-Vara

Operations Research and Information Engineering
Financial Engineering


MEng Concentration: Financial Engineering 
Anticipated Graduation Date: December 2017

Originally from Madrid (Spain), Juan received his Masters of Engineering degree from the University of Durham (United Kingdom). Throughout his undergraduate degree, he majored in Mechanical and Energy Systems Engineering. In his senior year he obtained the highest GPA in a class of 300 engineering and computer science majors. He was also awarded with the "British Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ (IMechE) Prize for the Best Final Year Research Project", and was invited to participate in the “Durham Rising Stars Symposium” for excellent communication in science.

Prior to joining Cornell’s Financial Engineering program, Juan had already gained exposure to finance. He was a fund manager at the Durham Finance Society, where he managed the £20,000 J.P. Morgan-sponsored Oil & Gas fund, obtaining a 40% annual return on investment over 2 years. During his engineering degree, he also centered his master’s thesis research work around energy systems and energy economics, creating an Energy Market Model for the U.K. which included an Stochastic Mixed Integer Linear Optimization, Rolling Planning and Monte Carlo simulations.

Juan’s internships also provided him with quality financial industry exposure. First, he completed a Sales & Trading internship with RBS (London). This was followed by an Investment Banking internship at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (London), where he worked on a high achieving project with the Commodity and Trade Finance Team, analyzing the global market for Commodity Trade deals. Finally, he recently completed a six-month placement with Santander Bank (Madrid), where he analyzed Santander UK’s Value at Risk Model, improved the algorithm which monitors Santander Poland’s Non-Maturity Deposits (worth $15000 million), and created an Incremental Risk Charge (IRC) simulation model in order to calculate the impact of potential defaults and rating migrations on Santander’s bond portfolio. It was during these academic and professional experiences that confirmed his passion for finance, and concluded that he could successfully use his quantitative, communication, and leadership/strategic thinking skills in the financial world.

In his free time, Juan enjoys playing tennis, skiing, jogging with the Cornell Running Club and reading about history. At his previous university, he was Vice-President of the university’s Hispanic Society and Chief Engineer at the 2015 World Solar Car Challenge Team.

Upon graduation, Juan wishes to pursue a career in Trading or Asset Management.