My manifesto 

I am:

What do I do? 

Scientists and artists are alike in that both attempt to understand the world better. At best, both scientists and artists manage to make the world a better place. Diversity and happiness lies within. These are my goals. At root there is an ethical dimension to my strong commitment to people and social awareness in science and education.

The core of my research is complex dynamical systems, computational science and industrial automation. However, I have always challenged the existing orthodoxy in these areas and have combined five classically-separated disciplines: computer science, artificial intelligence (AI), control engineering, mathematical systems analysis and network science –with strong links to industry.

I am a leading researcher in various aspects of hybrid dynamical systems, cyber-physical systems, control systems, automated formal verification, stability theory, complex networks and symbolic AI, as well as self-organising systems, with applications in brain networks, evolution in ecology, gene regulatory networks, software dependency networks, social networks, collective behaviour in animals, cells and people, electromechanical systems, robotics, power electronics, smart grids, systems biology, drilling mechanisms, oil and gas networks, and distribution and transportation networks. Uniquely, I have made key contributions to the theory of dissipative nonlinear discrete-time systems and hybrid automata, and to the automated verification and control of diverse discontinuous/switched, hybrid and cyber-physical systems. I was the principal investigator in the first funded project in the UK (DYVERSE) dedicated explicitly to the control and formal verification of nonlinear hybrid dynamical systems with multiple equilibria and non-standard and non-simplistic dynamics. Very few researchers deal with this type of theory and systems.

My contributions to the oil and energy industry sector in Mexico are highly regarded. I coordinated and participated in projects on exploration and production, drilling, optimisation of distribution/transportation networks, smart grids and fault diagnosis. I also worked in projects on computer security systems, expert and agent-based systems for decision making (process plants), and logistics problems.

My work on hybrid dynamical systems, automated verification and symbolic AI is unified within the novel computational dynamical framework of DYVERSE. This is an acronym for the DYnamically-driven VERfication of Systems with Energy considerations. The ‘energy’ referred to here is the exchange of energy of systems with their environment, which may be an abstract or physical entity. The formalisation of the abstract energy of dynamical systems is carried out through the dissipative systems theory, an area of control theory in which I have been acknowledged as one of the world leaders, and my publications are citation classic papers. Within DYVERSE, I have developed the automated verification, modelling –mainly, model checking techniques and nonlinear hybrid automata models–, discrete abstraction, bisimulation, and stability analysis of nonlinear complex hybrid systems. We are proud to say that we are one of the very few groups who have successfully dealt with the verification of liveness properties, which are properties that are eventually true, in contrast to safety properties that are always true. For this, we have proposed dynamically-aware verification algorithms, deadness properties, a new class of hybrid automata including computation nodes, and a novel lazy-Satisfiability Modulo Theory-based bounded-model-checker for safety falsification.

Building on DYVERSE and based on the adaptive processes of the human brain –that is, neuroplasticity–, we are currently working on Neuro-DYVERSE: an attempt to transform computational neuroscience by introducing the field ‘hybrid systems neuroscience’. This requires the reformulation of hybrid system models, analysis dynamical tools and control schemes for neuronal systems. We have shown how the modelling and analysis framework of our tool DyverseRBT (Rigid-Body Toolbox), based on the non-classical MRB (Multi-Rigid Body) hybrid automaton specification, is applicable to the case of neuronal networks. This work, enhanced by my work developed at Instituto Cajal, has the potential to revolutionise the modelling, analysis and simulation of complex adaptive systems.

Other recent applications of my work include:

More details of my eclectic research is at my section of research and in the webpage of my lab AiDAs, the Artificial Intelligence and Data Science Research Lab.

Not too short biography 

Born in Alicante (Spain), Mexican at heart, and adopted Mancunian.

I have an MEng in Computer Science Engineering, with a PhD specialisation in Space Dynamics and Celestial Mechanics from Universitat d'Alacant/Universidad de Alicante. I have also a BSc in Physical Systems Engineering and a BEng in Systems and Electronics from the same university. I completed a PhD in Automatic Control and Industrial Electronics at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) in Barcelona. I have also a grade of Specialist Engineer in Instrumentation and Control from Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo.

I worked for the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) of Spain at the Instituto de Automática Industrial in Madrid and in the Institut de Robòtica i Informàtica Industrial in Barcelona during more than four years. 

After my PhD at UPC in Barcelona, I worked as Principal Research Scientist at Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo in Mexico City, forming and leading a group on modelling, analysis and control of discontinuous dynamical systems, and mechanical vibrations in oil well drillstrings. I also coordinated projects and consultancies of exploration and production, drilling and optimisation of distribution and transportation networks, computer security systems, expert and agent-based systems for decision making (process plants), and logistics problems. I was nominated for the Eni Award for my contributions to research in energy. I held a Ramón y Cajal Fellowship for outstanding international researchers from the Spanish Government. In particular, I focused on the analysis and control of discontinuous dynamical systems and control switched system: mainly, electromechanical systems with impacts and friction, and power converters.

I was a Research Councils United Kingdom (RCUK) Academic Fellow and Lecturer (Assistant Professor) within the Formal Methods Group in the School of Computer Science at The University of Manchester. This School is acknowledged as one of the historically pioneering departments of computer science in the world. Here, I formed and led the group of modelling, automated verification and control of hybrid dynamical systems, cyber-physical systems and complex networks. During one year, I was a Visiting Professor in Instituto Cajal -one of the most prestigious research centres in neurobiology in the world, founded by Santiago Ramón y Cajal, the father of modern neuroscience. I am an Honorary Senior Research Fellow of the Spatial Policy Lab of the Manchester Urban Institute and the School of Environment, Education and Development at The University of Manchester, where I am applying network and data science to analyse social and urban dynamics. I am also part of the core team of AI Mexico, which promotes artificial intelligence education and its responsible adoption by industry. AI Mexico is a coordinating institution of the Coalition IA2030Mx, in charge of the National Agenda for AI of Mexico.

I was a Reader in Data Science at the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences in the University of Wolverhampton. In the UK, a Reader is equivalent to a Full Professor without a Chair and is a research-oriented permanent tenured post for senior academics with an international reputation in research. In Wolverhampton, I was the Director and founder of AiDAs, the Artificial Intelligence and Data Science Research Lab, and the champion of equality, inclusion and diversity as the Chair of the new Athena Swan Task Force Group within the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences. I was also the Research AI Lead and Outreach and Knowledge Exchange Lead within the Digital Innovation and Solution Centre, and the creator and course leader of the two new courses of "Data Science" and "Research Methods" within the new MSc in Data Science and MSc in Artificial Intelligence.

Currently, I am the Director of the School of Information (iSchool) and Full Professor in Computing within the Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, New York. At RIT, I am a member of the Council of Chairs, affiliate faculty of the Center for Human-aware AI (CHAI) and the Personalize Healthcare Technology Research Centre, and member of the Internal Advisory Board for the AWARE-AI program.  I am also serving as RIT 's  representative at the iSchools Organization.

In recognition of my contributions to research, I was awarded the membership of the Sistema Nacional de Investigadores (SNI, Mexican National Research System) within Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT, Mexican Council of Science and Technology), México. The SNI is the Mexican national body for eminent scientists. I am advisor for different government agencies in México and Spain. 

I have made research stays in prestigious research centres and universities from all around the world, namely: Computer Laboratory at University of Cambridge, Microsoft Research Cambridge, Johns Hopkins University, Institut Français du Pétrole in Paris, Laboratoire d’Automatique de Grenoble (ENSIEG-INPG), Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford/Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics in Oxford, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Navales at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, the Mechatronics Department of the Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del I.P.N. (CINVESTAV) in México, D.F., the Department of Electronics and Telecommunications of the Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada (CICESE) in Ensenada, Baja California, Instituto Potosino de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (IPICYT) in San Luis Potosí, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC) Campus Ensenada in Baja California, Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM-CEM), Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) in México, D.F., Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and Tecnun – School of Engineering at Universidad de Navarra in San Sebastián.

I collaborate with well-reputed scientists in institutions and companies in the UK, Europe, the Americas and Australia. My publications record is outstanding, covering hybrid dynamical systems, stability theory, formal methods and verification, control engineering and theory, network science and machine learning, with a wide range of application domains. I have published more than 80 research works in major international journals, books and major international conferences. With an h-index of 21 and i-index of 32, my research, with 4* (world leading) research outputs, was considered in the UK 2014 Research Excellence Framework and helped her department come 4th in computer science in the UK. My publications with their citations and h-index are at Google Scholar. My complete list of publications is in this link

I have headed 6 projects as principal investigator and have been the co-investigator of 4 projects, and additionally, have worked in more than 23 projects and consultancies; most related to the oil and energy sector, drilling, control systems, security, fault diagnosis, software design, process plants, logistics, distribution networks, and more recently to hybrid/cyber-physical systems, neuroscience, formal verification, text mining, smart grids and artificial intelligence. I was the principal investigator of DYVERSE, the first funded project in the UK dedicated to the formal verification and control of nonlinear hybrid dynamical systems. 

I have given more than 100 invited talks, keynotes, research seminars and panel discussions in institutions and conferences of high-standing around the world (including University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, MathWorks Inc, Johns Hopkins University, Jülich Forschungszentrum, Technische Universität Berlin, AI Center in Sweden, amongst many others). A selected list of these events can be found at this link. I have been a member of the programme committee for 26 major international conferences. I am referee for the best international journals and conferences in my areas of expertise. I am associate editor for the prestigious journal Simulation and a member of the editorial board of Ingeniare. Revista Chilena de Ingeniería and Contextos Educativos. Revista de Educación.

Reflecting my international standing in neuromorphic computing, hybrid systems and cyber-physical systems, I am advisor for the prestigious Jülich Forschungszentrum for the foundation of two institutes of neuromorphic computing and served as the UK representative on the management committee of the European Action “Multi-Paradigm Modelling for Cyber-Physical Systems”. I am currently part of the steering commitee of the European Union project AI4LABOUR: Reshaping labour force participation with Artificial Intelligence. I am also a member of the IFAC Technical Committee of Discrete Event and Hybrid Systems, the IFAC Technical Committee of Biological and Medical Systems, the IEEE-CSS Technical Committee on Power Generation Control (Renewable Energy Generation), the Turing Centenary Advisory Committee, and the Observatory of Industry 4.0 in Spain. Moreover, I am part of the core team of AI Mexico, part of the Coalition IA2030Mx (National Agenda for AI in Mexico).

I am one of the 7 founders of ACM-Women Europe (the Association for Computing Machinery’s Council on Women in Computing in Europe) and the founder of the ACM womENcourage conference series in Europe. I was the 1st ACM-Women Europe Regional Celebrations Leader and the chair of the 1st ACM womENcourage Europe conference held in Manchester, 1st March, 2014. I am also a member of the British Computer Society (BCS) Women in Computing Research Committee of the BCS Academy of Computing. She has recently joined TechnoLatinas, a community to bring together technologists and scientists from Latin America and all around the world to support each other and advocate for equality, diversity and inclusion. I am proud to say that I am an Expert of the UNESCO Inclusive Policy Lab, Member of the Board of Trustees for the Swedish AI Fund Program at AI Center, and Member of the International Panel on the Information Environment (IPIE). IPIE was publicly launched at the "2023 Nobel Prize Summit: Truth, Trust and Hope'' in Washington DC in May 2023.

In collaboration with the MRC National Institute for Medical Research, we participated in the RCUK Business Plan Competition, and were invited to the final event in London. This was the seed of the idea for the company Locomizer. I have been invited to several events organised by EPSRC to identify research needs and opportunities in systems and control engineering in the UK. 

I have an ability to inspire people to fulfill their maximum potential, acquired by extensive public engagement and outreach activities, including: residency at the UK Houses of Parliament, museum exhibitions, science festivals and panel discussions with the general public. My work has been acknowledged by high profile appearances in the British, Spanish, French and Mexican press and media. I was part of the longest documentary made about Alan Turing, produced by France Culture (part of Radio France). It was broadcast in four episodes in 2018. I also contributed to the exhibition “Alan Turing and Life’s Enigma” in the Manchester Museum about Alan Turing’s morphogenesis. This exhibition has been the most important in the topic, and over 8 months, received thousands of visitors from all around the world. 

I am a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the IEEE Control Systems Society (IEEE-CSS), IEEE Women in Engineering, and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and its special interest groups of embedded systems, and algorithms and computation theory. I am an affiliate member of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC). I am also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, member of the EPSRC-funded eFutures, network for electronic systems research, the Black British Academics Community Interest Company, and the EPSRC-funded Systems-NET, amongst other international associations.