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Barbarita Lara: Chile’s first winner of the Ada Byron Award for Women’s Technology

Her inexhaustible interest in combining technological progress and social justice, the creation of an emergency warning system for the population in the event of natural disasters and her constant search to disseminate and inspire the work of women in scientific research, made Barbarita Lara the first winner of Chile’s prestigious international recognition, Ada Byron, who came to the country at Andrés Bello University.

Barbarita, 36, is a Computer Science Implementation Engineer from the Federico Santa Maria Technical University, a researcher and social entrepreneur, and already at a young age has won multiple awards for her continuous research work.

One of his most well-known works is SIE, “an emergency system that allows populations affected by a natural disaster to communicate, even if there is no Internet or mobile phone networks, and combines analog and digital technologies, allowing smartphones to send messages to each other over a specially enabled wireless network.” for radio,” he explains.

This invention led her to be the first Chilean to be highlighted in Technology Review’s global list of innovators under the age of 35 published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in 2018.

Along the way, he created Emercom, which designs and connects disruptive solutions to help the world.

This social perspective is what has consistently made her stand out in the national technological field, because for her, “progress should always focus on having a positive impact on all people equally.”

“We have to create inclusive systems for all, for us, our children and all to come,” said an emotional Viñamarina in her speech after receiving the award.

Barbarita is a mother of two children with special needs. His eldest son is part of the autism spectrum and his youngest son, born in 2022, came into the world with congenital heart disease, which forced him to have open-heart surgery just 15 days after he was born. Fortunately, technology has done its job and little Max continues to recover alongside his mother, who spares no effort in traveling the world to raise awareness of the need to make technological innovation more accessible and diverse.

01.12.2023 Santiago Barbarita Lara Recipient of the Ada Byron Award for Women’s Technology Chile 2022, an award presented by the Universidad Andrés Bello, jointly with the Universidade de Deusto, that seeks to recognize and highlight the work of Chilean women. A community-relevant profession in the fields of engineering, technology, and other scientific fields related to these fields.

Barbarita Lara came to receive the Ada Byron Award for Technology Chile 2022 “Very tired, but happy,” she commented.

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“Yesterday (January 11) I was with more than 300 girls and women in Concepción, at the FEM Biobío workshops, talking about entrepreneurship and innovation, making them see that whatever is in their heads is possible. And she was also chosen among the 100 women leaders in In 2020 and 2018, her sense of optimism and her faith has been very fulfilling.

“Half of the world is women, which suggests that we should have much more vision than we have today, so that there are references, so that our sensitivity affects and yet technological developments reach everyone as they should, because diversity gives us they are stronger,” Barbaretta added, He is also a prominent international speaker.

At the awards ceremony, one of the most discussed topics was the ongoing research developed by Andres Bello University to shorten those long distances that exist between men and women in the scientific and technological field.

“I am so grateful to the university for opening up these necessary spaces to gain recognition and clarity,” said Barbaretta.

For her part, Pamela Alvarez, Director of the Department of Engineering Sciences at Andrés Bello University, affirmed, “I am proud to belong to this institution that has put so much energy into this initiative and others to achieve female participation. Evidence of this is our beloved Gender Equality Commission in the College of Engineering, Where we work every day to promote gender justice and equity, as it should be in various activities.”

Born in 2014 as an initiative of the University of Deusto, Spain, the Ada Byron Award owes its name to the British author and mathematician recognized as one of the pioneers of female participation in computing and technology.

Its internationalization began years ago, and it first arrived in Chile, under the wing of Andrés Bello University.

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“It was motivating to discover that we have so many outstanding women in technology in Chile. They are today a model for motivating future generations to pursue this kind of career that sometimes seems so far away, but here we are,” said Pamela Alvarez, a member of the award’s scientific committee. to change these stereotypes.

For his part, Julio Castro, President of the United Nations University, added, “We are proud to help prove that there is a high and distinguished female participation in scientific research in Chile.”

This honor seeks to reward women with a degree or a professional career in technology, engineering, and other scientific fields closely related to technology.

In Chile, there were 110 applicants, of whom 55 advanced to the final selection. On Thursday, January 12, the final ten winners were awarded, with the selection of Barbarita Lara as the first winner of the Ada Byron Prize for Female Technologies in Chile.

The judging panel, led by the Rector of Andrés Bello University, Julio Castro, was also made up of the Minister of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation, Dr. Silvia Diaz; former Minister of Transport and Communications Gloria Hutt; Executive Director of the UN Global Compact Chile Network, Margarita Duce; and Dr. Alex Rayon Jerez, Vice Chancellor for International Relations and Digital Transformation at the University of Deusto.

The latter, who was also present at the awards ceremony, highlighted “the huge number of participants. Never in any university have we had so many requests, which would make the country feel so proud, of the quality of the women researchers and the technologies they have.”

The ten finalists are: Apolinaria García, biochemist, PhD in Biological Sciences from the Faculty of Biological Sciences of the University of Concepción. She has more than 120 publications and many awards. Among them are two Avonni 2022 awards: Innovative Woman and Roche Health and Science.

Barbara Poblete, Civil Engineer in Computing from University of Chile (2004), Ph.D. in Computing, University of Pompeu Fabra, Spain. Co-founder of ChileWiC, the premier event in Chile bringing together women in computer science and technology, and chairs the Program Committee of the ACM SIGIR International Conference.

Camila Martinez, Food Biotechnologist, Projects Director at the NGO Susténtate, CEO and Founder of the Academy of Agricultural Biotechnology and Project Manager for Inspiratoria. She was recognized as one of the 25 Women of Science Latin America 2022.

Carolina Parra, Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Federico Santa Maria Technical University, Postdoctoral Fellow in Nanoscience at Stanford University, US. Among the many accolades for her scientific and innovative work are the Avonni National Innovation Award 2021 and Women in Science UNESCO-L’Oreal.

Claudia Prieto, Civil (Electrical) Industrial Engineer, PhD in Electrical Engineering from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and Postdoctoral Fellow at King’s College, England. This year she was ranked among the best engineering and technology scientists in Chile in the first edition of the prestigious ranking Research.com.

Catherina Fernandez, Civil Engineer (Chemistry) from USACH, Doctor of Engineering Sciences from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. His work focuses on biotechnology and biomaterials development, among others, having been involved in twenty projects

Maria Virginia Garriton, Biochemist and Doctor of Biological Sciences from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; Postdoctoral Fellow in the Laboratory of Plant Molecular Biology, Rockefeller University, US. She is Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Sinovac Biotech Chile, Scientific Advisor at Fundación Puerto Ideas and Member of the Technical Advisory Committee for Research Projects of the National Agency for Research and Development (ANID).

Pamela Guevara, Civil Electronic Engineer, University of Concepción, PhD in Physics from University of Paris-Sud, France. He specializes in the use of modern data management techniques and artificial intelligence for health problems, particularly in medical image analysis, structural brain connectivity, and scientific visualization. She is among the top 1% of academics writing on Diffusion Tensor Imaging in the past 10 years, globally, being rated an expert by Expertscape.

Veronica Lowe, a Forestry Engineer from the University of Chile and a PhD in Biological Sciences and Agro-Food Sciences from the University of Córdoba, Spain. He has led 19 projects with national and international funding, and has developed hundreds of publications, articles, and scripts for books.

Barbarita Lara, winner of the Ada Byron Prize for Technology in Chile 2022, is awarded an economic scholarship of 3,000 euros, the possibility to pursue a master’s degree in business administration with mention of technology (Tech MBA) at Andrés Bello University and a sculpture entitled “El Legado” by outstanding artist Claudia Pascure.