Sandra Méndez Fajardo obtained her degree in Civil Engineering in the year 2000 from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (PUJ) in Bogotá, Colombia. In 2007 she obtained her MSc in Civil Engineering focused on environmental issues, from the Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá. In 2016 she obtained her degree as PhD in Engineering at the PUJ. Her doctoral thesis, which was awarded in March 2017, was titled “Systemic decisions for more sustainable WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) management in developing countries”. During her doctoral research she worked as academic guest at Empa, St Gallen, Switzerland (11 months between 2014 and 2015), and at the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, Germany (for 2 months in 2015).
Between 2001 and 2016 she worked as Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the PUJ, in the fields of Solid Waste Management, Impacts Assessment and Sustainable Development. In 2010, she led the conceptualization, design, and implementation of the Social Program PROSOFI which is still developing projects with poor communities in locality of Usme, in the south of Bogota. She led the project “Community appropriation for the conservation of streams in Usme” which obtained the award Goldenseal Environmental Responsibility , in 2012. In addition, she has taken part of different policy committees at the Ministerio de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sostenible (2005 – 2015).