Up-to-date research timeline
PhD defence: November 27, 2019
Graduation expected by the end of 2019
A Conversation with President Barack Obama
Last night I had the incredible opportunity to listen to the 44th President of the United States Barack Obama. I always heard that he was an excellent speaker and I truly wasn't disappointed.
My main takeaways were his comments on the importance of our local communities because these define our identity and his advice on focusing more on what you want to do instead of focusing on what you want to be. Actually, I was briefly interviewed by the local station VOCM after the event and they made a brief note to my comment.
Thanks to the St. John's Board of Trade for organizing this excellent event and giving us the opportunity to listen to President Barack Obama.
Photo obtained from www.cbc.ca
Hire Me St. John's
I'm happy to announce that I'm one of the finalists for the Hire Me St. John's pitching contest organized by the St. John's Board of Trade.
The contest is now open to the public and I need your help, vote for me (by clicking here) if you think I did a great job!
You can also check my video on YouTube by clicking on the following thumbnail. Thanks a million!
PhD defence date: November 27, 2019
Date confirmed on October 18, 2019
Thesis submited for review
Research stay in Bilbao
From early December last year to late February, I had the opportunity to collaborate with the research team of the Systems and Automation Engineering Department at the Faculty of Engineering in Bilbao. Dr. Itziar Cabanes and her team welcomed and offered me a great setting for writing my thesis and network.
The control systems integration team (GCIS) conducts research in the areas of automation, intelligent manufacturing, advanced control robotics ans bioengineering. Dr. Cabanes has currently 2 PhD students, 3 master students and 2 undergraduate students doing research in monitoring crutches for intelligent diagnosis and help with the patient rehabilitation. For more info about their research and applications, please contact Dr. Cabanes or the GCIS team.
I want to thank the PhD Students Asier Brull, Inigo Sesar, and Jon Martin and the faculty members Dr. Aitziber Mancisidor, Dr. Asier Zubizarreta and Dr. Eva Portillo for welcoming and treating me like one of their own. I also want to express my sincere gratitude to Dr. Cabanes for her support and guidance during my stay in Bilbao; she was my mentor during my previous degree and she is still a true inspiration.
From left to right: Inigo Sesar, Oihane Cereceda, Aitziber Mancisidor and Asier Brull
Drones, Volume 3, Issue 2 (June 2019)
Technical report on intertia and aerodynamic coefficients calculation for the EPP FPV aircraft now available online
This report calculates the inertia and aerodynamic coefficients based on the aircraft dimensions and its similarities to the mini SGS-126 glider.
Technical report on JSBSim for UAV Applications now available online
This technical report provides a simplified version of the current JSBSim open-source for UAVs and includes the minimum requirements for the design of a UAV in JSBSim. The package and its application for UAVs are introduced with a case study that aims to help and guide any modellers on the UAV computer design task.
Coding 101 workshop
In March, WISE GSS hosted a two-day coding workshop that aimed to provide a supportive environment for women and gender minorities to learn how to code. I participated with its organization and I was glad to teach the Python and the Unix Shell modules belonging to the technical stream.
During the workshop, we received the surprising visit of CBC, whose reporter interviewed some of us and wrote an article on the event.
Myself teaching during the workshop.
Read the CBC article here: "Coding workshop for women hopes to reprogram the playing field"
Congratulations WISE NL on their 30th anniversary!
On November 21st, we celebrated the Women in Science and Engineering Newfoundland and Labrador (WISE NL) 30th anniversary. WISE NL is a non-profit, incorporated, volunteer organization that aims to increase the participation of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers by increasing awareness that these professions are rewarding and exciting options for women. WISE NL also provides mentoring, professional developing and networking opportunities to facilitate the success of women in these fields, and advocates for equitable workplaces.
I have been collaborating with the graduate student branch for two years and I didn't miss the opportunity to join the main organization in this evening of celebration. In the graduate student society, we provide professional workshops, offer networking events and organize other social and educational activities; always focused on promoting the participation of female graduate students in STEM fields.
Representation of the WISE GSS board at the 30th anniversary celebration. From left to right: Anke Krutof (Past-president), Emily Devereaux (Communications), Diana Sankar (Treasurer), Danielle Quinn (VP) and Oihane Cereceda (President)
2018, a Year of Conferences
As we approach the end of 2018, I think of the most significant events of the year and I realized that this year has been full of conferences and making connections. I presented different parts of my research in each of those conferences and I also had my first experience as a session chair.
On top of the Interdisciplinary Aldrich and Teaching and Learning Conferences (see below), I have also participated at the Canadian Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering (CCECE) in Quebec in May, The ACM Canadian Celebration of Women in Computing (CAN-CWiC) in Halifax in November, and the Newfoundland Electrical and Computer Engineering Conference (NECEC) in St. John's in November as well.
I particularly enjoyed the IEEE Green ICT initiative talk during the opening ceremony at the CCECE. This initiative aims to apply ICT solutions to different aspects of life since technology is transforming the way of living as much as the current business models. More info here.
As an involved woman in Engineering, I could not miss the fantastic Women in Engineering Forum in Quebec and the CAN-CWiC in Halifax. Both were an incredible opportunity to make connections aside of the classical technical conferences that most of us are used to attend. It is empowering to see the increasingly involvement of women in STEM fields and its impact.
Back in St. John's, I attended the annual NECEC conference in which I have been taking part three times in the last few years. The easiest way to start your network is in your community and this conference has been my yearly go-to event.
Some highlights from the conferences:
Thanks to the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, SGS, GSU, TAUMUN, NSERC and CAN-CWiC for providing the funds to attend these conferences.
I am happy to announce that as of today, I am a certified Software Carpentry instructor. If you want to know more about what we do, please check the Carpentries website and if you are interested in having a workshop, please do no hesitate to contact me.
2018 Teaching and Learning Conference
I recently attended the Teaching and Learning conference at Memorial University, which was an amazing opportunity to listen, see, and absorb from effective teaching practices. I had a particular interest in attending this conference as I have seen how many engineering students struggle to understand certain concepts, especially in their first year. I wanted to learn from experienced instructors in diverse departments because teaching is not just about sharing knowledge, it is about instilling your passion for your field of expertise.
I was overwhelmed by all the information and science behind teaching/learning and the great difference that we can make as instructors. The main topic was transformative learning and I really feel that the conference itself was a total eye-opener.
After the conference, I reread my notes and besides all the significant teaching practices that current professors use and have proved to make a difference, I found that effective communication and feedback between students and instructors was the common link in all of them and it is, in fact, the key to a transformational learning. Classes are no longer about content, are about learning how to learn and think about thinking. Instructors have to inspire students and encourage a collaborative environment where students can construct their knowledge by themselves.
For more info about teaching practices and other resources mentioned during the conference, visit the following links:
• The courage to teach (BOOK)
Aldrich Conference 2018
On March 22nd, I presented a summary of my research at the Aldrich Conference, which is the annual interdisciplinary conference at Memorial University. The conference consisted of 2 days of sessions, workshops, and networking whose intent is to promote the communication between the departments by giving an event where we all can share what we do inside our offices.
It was an amazing opportunity to see the ongoing research in all fields. The keynote speaker in the first day (Emad Rizkalla - Bluedrop) was highly motivational with his success story and Cecile Badenhorst* in the second day gave us a fantastic and very useful workshop on publishing in peer-reviewed journals.
I personally had a special interest in presenting at this conference because I wanted to use this summary to structure my thesis and start the writing process. If you missed it and want to know a bit more, you can download the abstract and the presentation here:
I'm really looking forward to coming back next year! Aldrich website
*I highly recommended to check out her YouTube channel by clicking here.
Entrepreneurship Training Program 2017-2018
I always had a curiosity about all fields: History, Science, Arts, etc. and when I saw that applications were open to register for the Entrepreneurship Training Program (ETP) at Memorial University, I didn't think it twice and I applied. The program consisted of weekly 2h sessions with different speakers from inside and outside university plus the opportunity to join a local entrepreneur once a week.
Over these two semesters, I learned a lot. I think this program was very practical and oriented to show us what is really needed to start our own business. We didn't necessarily need to have any business background, which I was very happy about because I am a technical person. Being an entrepreneur is not only about being good with business, it is also about problem-solving, networking and critical thinking. Those skills are needed inside and outside the entrepreneurship world because something that I learned taking the program is that you can be an entrepreneur in your job by filling gaps with your ideas and talent.
For more info about the program, visit the ETP website.
In the photo I was receiving my certificate at the closing ceremony on March 16th from Aimée Surprenant, Dean of Graduate Studies at Memorial University.
NECEC2017 and Holiday wishes
The Newfoundland Electric and Computer Engineering Conference (NECEC) is an annual event happening in St. John's in November where local industry and researchers get together to share ideas and projects. It's a great opportunity for networking and making your connections stronger; I believe that in order to build a great network, you have to make yourself known to the community.
Besides all the fantastic presentation sessions, in which I presented a paper (see publications), I want to highlight the Keynote speakers Kris McNeil (Solace Power) and David Shea (Kraken Robotics). I particularly enjoyed the talk about the Avro Arrow search in the depths of Lake Ontario where a combination of AUVs and ROVs have been successfully used to identify and locate aircraft rests and nike boosters. It's a very interesting ongoing project I was not aware of and I recommend checking it out by clicking here »
For more info about the conference, visit the NECEC2017 website.
➔ I wish you all a great Holiday season and the best for 2018! ☃ ★ ❄
PhD Proposal review
Last Thursday I presented my PhD proposal research to the members of my supervisory committee Dr. Masek, Dr. Iqbal and Dr. O'Young with Dr. Hayes as delegate for the Faculty of Engineering.
The goal of the proposal was to describe the research and results that I have been carrying so far and to get feedback from my committee. A regular PhD Proposal presentation consists of a presentation of 25-30 minutes and 2 rounds of questions from the committee and audience (if time allows).
It was a challenge to cover all the topics and work done in a few minutes but gladly, I was able to explain all the missing aspects during the question rounds. The feedback given by the committee will help me to get prepared towards my PhD defense (expected by Summer 2018).
Pint of Science in St. John's, NL, Canada (15-17 May 2017)
Last week I volunteered in the Pint of Science festival as it was organized and hosted by members of WISE GSS. For those who never heard of Pint of Science, it is a 3-day event where scientists and people interested in science get together in a bar over a beer and speak about...(guess what?!) Science! This year was the first time in St. John's and the second time in Canada. However, it's an event happening at the same time in 11 countries around the world.
On Monday, Dr. Steve Bruneau spoke about the Newfoundland "Iceberg Alley" always known for its giant and amazing icebergs around this time of the year. He is a world-renowned ice researcher and a great speaker; it was also a pleasure to see his ice and iceberg pictures from when he went on a field trip to the Arctic.
On Tuesday, Dr. Kathy Hodgkinson gave us a great talk about the impact of genetic diseases in Newfoundland families. Her group discovered a genetic cause for familial young sudden cardiac death due to abnormal heart rhythms that has led to treatment and a big increase in the quality of life of those affected. She was also an awesome and fun speaker and we learnt the basics of genetics without going to class!
In the last night of the festival, we had a lively chat about Chemistry with Dr. Fran Kerton and Dr. Chris Kozak. Although it was sometimes hard for me to follow (the last time I had a Chemistry course was over 10 years ago) we learnt that Chemistry is not always bad as we usually imagine due to pharmaceutical or oil industry; it is actually a great way to fix our mistakes that effect the planet. I also want to acknowledge the great discussion we all had with the speakers after their talk.
Despite it being the first time in NL, the festival had a great turn out. An average of 60 people came around each night, the discussions between the speakers and the crowd were very interesting and it was an awesome environment to share ideas and questions with experts in a very informal way. I'm really looking forward to next year!
If you want to take part of Pint of Science in the future -wherever you may be -, don't forget to check the website by the beginning of May to see what's going on in your town!
Thanks to Jennifer Smith for the pictures
Thoughts from Budapest
11/20/2016, updated 1/17/2017
A month ago I had the chance of presenting part of my work at the SMC conference in Budapest, which is a city I highly recommend -especially because of its history/heritage and thermal baths.
SMC2016 is the main conference of the IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society. The technical areas covered in this conference include Information Systems, Human-Machine Cooperation and even Robotic systems. However, this year there was a special emphasis in Cybernetics including Tutorials and Workshops. 900 papers were submitted for presentation in 49 special sessions and 24 poster sessions.
For more info, find the conference report here, (SMC eNewsletter, December 7th, 2016).
I had a vested interest in attending SMC 2016 because I believed that the feedback I could get from both the industry and academia would give me a different and new perspective than the Aerospace field had given me. I attended the conference looking for ideas, suggestions and a more ''systems-related'' point of view of my research. After the four days of my first international conference, I was extremelly happy with the outcome.
The work that I presented at the conference is the first part of a bigger project which will lead to the establishment of regulations for UAV Flight Dynamics Computer Model validation. This topic will be the first part in one of the chapters of my thesis.
To read more about the paper, click here.
To read more about the validation discussion that will be part of my thesis, click here.