UTEP Professor Wins 2019 Great Minds in STEM Hispanic Engineer Award
Last Updated on August 08, 2019 at 12:00 AM
Originally published August 08, 2019
By UC Staff
Natalia Villanueva Rosales, Ph.D., assistant professor of computer science at The University of Texas at El Paso, has been named a recipient of the 2019 Great Minds in STEM (GMiS) Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference (HENAAC) Education Award.
Villanueva Rosales joins 26 other scientists, engineers, educators and STEM professionals who will receive awards that recognize the achievements of the country’s top engineers and scientists within the Hispanic community during the 31st annual Great Minds in STEM Conference Sept. 25-28 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
“I am extremely proud of Dr. Villanueva Rosales and her recognition as the GMiS Most Promising Engineer or Scientist,” said Ann Gates, Ph.D., chair of computer science in UTEP’s College of Engineering. “She is truly an emerging leader in computer science and a role model for the Hispanic community. Her research portfolio, which is focused on knowledge representation, negotiation and integration, primarily addresses water sustainability challenges and applications for building smart and connected cities – areas that have societal impact. What is impressive is her multi-national collaborations, and her dedication to develop undergraduate and graduate student researchers who have a global perspective.”
Villanueva Rosales’s work aims to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the discovery, integration, and trust of scientific data and models. Her work links human and machine knowledge to address problems in areas that require interdisciplinary research and international collaborations such as the sustainability of water resources and planning of smart cities. Villanueva Rosales is passionate about encouraging and supporting women and Hispanics pursuing a career or education in science and engineering. This is the second national award she will receive this year. On May 14, she was awarded the 2019 Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award from the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) in Nashville, Tennessee.
“I am humbled and honored to receive this award that recognizes not only my work but the collective efforts at UTEP to provide excellence and access in research and education,” Villanueva Rosales said. “Computer science can be used for transforming communities and improving people’s life. I believe that training the next generation of engineers to be data-savvy with a global perspective and local impact contributes to creating a more inclusive society. It is a privilege to serve as a professor and mentor at UTEP and be a role model for Hispanic students, particularly Latinas in STEM.”
GMiS has recognized the achievements of America’s top engineers and scientists within the Hispanic community during the HENAAC Conference for more than three decades.
“It is with extreme honor that Great Minds in STEM announces the selection of our 2019 HENAAC Award Winners,” said Anna Park, chief executive officer and board member of Great Minds in STEM. “The University of Texas at El Paso has so many outstanding role models. Professor Villanueva is a stellar honoree. These outstanding individuals are evidence that we, as a nation, have what it takes to keep America as the world’s technology leader.”