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Personal profile

Biography

Eva Navarro López is a passionate scientist and an inspiring educator. With a passion for research and wide span of interests, her area of expertise defies easy compartmentalisation, and the multidisciplinary approach she has developed sets her apart from her computer science peer group. Her natural inclination is to open new pathways rather than re-tread old ones. She has an acknowledged ability to build new areas of research from scratch, identify key problems and raise questions that have not been voiced before. She approaches the answers in an original way by transferring ideas from one field to another. Few computer scientists can credibly claim to have controlled walking robots, eliminated mechanical vibration in oil fields, introduced formal methods of computer science into dynamical systems theory, and modelled important aspects of the human brain to create a new theory of neuroplasticity with the potential to radically change the study of the brain and neuromorphic computing.

Eva is a scientist of international standing in hybrid dynamical systems, cyber-physical systems, network science, mathematical modelling, simulation, automated verification and reasoning, formal methods of computer science, symbolic artificial intelligence (AI), automation, control engineering, robotics, stability of dynamical systems, evolution of complex systems, self-organisation, advanced algorithms, computational neuroscience, neuro-inspired computing, data science and collective intelligence. 

Eva has developed her career in industry and academia in three different countries: Mexico, the UK and Spain. She shadowed the footsteps of Alan Turing in Manchester, and Santiago Ramón y Cajal in Madrid. She is one of the world's experts in Turing's morphogenesis –having collaborated with the last Alan Turing’s student. She is currently proposing new brain-inspired models of computation, learning and evolution for complex systems and modelling important aspects of the human brain as a Reader in Data Science and Director and Founder of AiDAs, the Artificial intelligence and DAta science Research Lab at the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences in the University of Wolverhampton. 

Embedded within the nascent field of cyber-physical social systems, she is also a 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 she applies network and data science to analyse social and urban dynamics. Moreover, she is part of the core team of AI Mexico, which promotes artificial intelligence (AI) education and its responsible adoption by industry. AI Mexico is the coordinating institution of the Coalition IA2030Mx, a key coalition for the National Agenda for AI of Mexico. She is part of 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. She has been recently appointed as an Expert of the UNESCO Inclusive Policy Lab and a member of the Board of Trustees for the Swedish AI Fund Program at AI Center in Sweden.         

Eva is 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. She is also a member of the British Computer Society (BCS) Women in Computing Research Committee of the BCS Academy of Computing. 

Reflecting her international standing in neuromorphic computing, hybrid systems and cyber-physical systems, she is advisor for the prestigious Jülich Forschungszentrum in Germany 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”. She is 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, amongst many other technical committees and advisory roles in prestigious international associations. 

More information about Eva Navarro's eclectic work can be found at Eva Navarro's webpage.

Research interests

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, smart cities, 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 a sabbatical year at Instituto Cajal, has the potential to revolutionise the modelling, analysis and simulation of complex adaptive systems.

Other recent applications of my work include:

Network science and machine learning for collective intelligence in evolving social systems. We have refined complex network theory and machine learning techniques to detect and classify ‘communities’ in software dependency networks. We have also used network science theory and statistical methods to identify key properties in social networks, and in temporal linguistic networks –specifically, the evolution of the English language in the past 1,000 years. 

Machine learning and data science for health. This is part of my work on bio-health informatics, specifically on gene regulatory networks and medical imaging analysis.

Dynamical systems theory, network and data science for social computing. I am part of the Group of Planning and Environmental Management and the Manchester Urban Institute within the School of Environment, Education and Development at the University of Manchester. We are applying complex networks theory, dynamical systems analysis, and data science to model and analyse social interactions in metropolitan areas, including different aspects of urban dynamics and the built/natural environments, land use and transport interactions, new mobility systems, autonomous vehicles and demographic dynamics. We are working closely with Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).

Safety- and security-critical infrastructures. Mainly, smart grids including renewable energy sources. I have a long-standing experience in modelling and analysing energy distribution systems –since my work in the energy sector in Mexico.

More details of my eclectic research is at https://www.evanavarro.org/research.

My group

My collaborations

Would you like to discover, learn and create through cutting-edge research topics?

Visit the following webpage to discover all the wide range of opportunities that you have to work with me.

Other teaching information

Would you like to learn in my classes?

I am a Fellow of The Higher Education Academy of the UK.

My teaching activities are driven by my passion for research and enthusiasm for learning. I stimulate the imagination of my students with challenging projects and ideas, and employ an innovative and creative approach to my lectures and course assignments. My students are encouraged to think for themselves, to be critical and creative.

Details on my teaching activities and philosophy can be found at the following link.

Other research

Additional information about my research can be found at the following link to my webpage.

Further information

Eva is a passionate communicator of science and technology, and has been invited to give more than 90 keynote and plenary presentations in international conferences, panel discussions, invited talks, research seminars and international conference presentations in well-reputed universities and research centres across the UK, Europe and the Americas.

She has also contributed to numerous public engagement and outreach activities and has an extensive presence in press and media

Click here to check her complete list of publications.

Overview

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures
  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute
  • Manchester Environmental Research Institute

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