Dr Peña-Rios, who is currently a Senior Researcher at BT Research Labs in Adastral Park, in Ipswich, holds a PhD in Computer Science from Essex, where she is a Visiting Fellow at the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering. She completed a MSc in Advanced Web Engineering at the University of Essex, and a BEng in Information Technology at the Instituto Politécnico Nacional (Mexico).
"I feel very honoured being shortlisted for a Rising Star award at the Computing Women in IT Excellence Awards 2018. I am a big supporter of Women in STEM programs, working as a volunteer in different events. I believe that events such as this encourages more women into the IT sector, showcasing the work they do, giving recognition to their contributions in the sector, and inspiring more women to follow a career in IT."
Dr Peña-Rios was nominated for her work at BT: "I joined BT Research Labs from the University of Essex, where for the past three years I´ve been personally driving the agenda on exploring the use of immersive technologies in the context of BT´s field force operations. I work with field engineers, surveyors and apprentices to understand their roles and the multiple challenges they face; working on developing solutions for real-time decision support, collaboration and training using immersive technologies (VR/AR/MR) and computational intelligence, towards an ‘Augmented Employee’ vision."
This is not the first time she's been nominated for an award for her work with BT. Dr Peña-Rios' work to BT's portfolio was presented with a Global Telecoms Business Innovation Award (2017), and an IEEE Outstanding Organisation Award (2017). In addition, her project was highly commended at the IET Innovation Awards 2018. She also was awarded Best KTP Associate 2016 by the University of Essex Research and Enterprise Office.
The awards ceremony will take place on 27 November in London.