Blanca Lorena Villarreal Guerra, PhD

Title: Associate Professor and Chair
Company: DigiPen Institute of Technology
Location: Redmond, Washington, United States

Blanca Lorena Villarreal Guerra, PhD, associate professor of the electrical and computer engineering department at DigiPen Institute of Technology, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Scientists for dedication, achievements, and leadership in robotics.

With nearly 10 years of experience to her credit, Dr. Villarreal has excelled as associate professor of the electrical and computer engineering department at DigiPen Institute of Technology since 2016. She began her career as a research specialist in the center for robotics and intelligent systems at the Tec de Monterrey in México. She was further associated with the Universidad de Monterrey as a professor and researcher of robotics and embedded systems.

Before embarking on her professional path, Dr. Villarreal pursued an education at the Tec de Monterrey, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in mechatronics engineering in 2009 and a PhD with a major in robotics and artificial intelligence in 2014. She continued her academic efforts at some fellowship programs, at the Ensenada Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education, she worked on genetic programming algorithms for robots in 2013 and at the Royal Academy of Engineering and University of Oxford she completed coursework in the Leaders in Innovation Fellowship Program in 2015. Her extensive coursework, including machine learning and robotics, showcases her commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements.

Beyond her responsibilities in education, Dr. Villarreal has participated in numerous endeavors outside of her professional circles. She co-authored many published articles in robotics and education and contributed to several conference papers. Moreover, she holds a patent in the United States and Mexico. Dr. Villarreal remains affiliated with various organizations in relation to her areas of expertise. She has demonstrated organizational commitment as she has held a position on the diversity committee, some hiring committees and the ABET accreditation committee at DigiPen Institute of Technology. She is also a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and The Worldwide Women’s Association.

Dr. Villarreal’s proudest achievement was the successful building of a sniffing robot with a nose based on the biological canine nose and the odor source localization algorithms using genetic programming based on how the human brain works.

In light of her impressive undertakings, Dr. Villarreal has accrued several accolades throughout her career. She was presented with the Innovators Under 35 Award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2014. She attributes her success to hard work, passion, and motivation, and the full support from her spouse and her family. In the immediate future, she would like to continue growing, teaching, and gaining experience to share with her students.

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