In addition to her role as DTA National Co-Director, Elena is Professor of Pervasive Computing & Associate Dean of Research at Coventry University, Faculty of Engineering and Computing.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Seeing young researchers flourish and succeed.
And the most challenging?
Making investment decisions – in people and science – competitively, when so much that is in front of us is worthy of funding!
What would you be doing if you hadn’t decided to follow this career path?
I can’t imagine not being an academic or not being at the core of research activity – as an educator for researchers, leader or carrying out my personal research; If I had not pursued Engineering however, I would have studied Neuroscience.
How do you relax when you’re not at work?
If I have the opportunity, I spend holiday time diving and mountain hiking/trekking; closer to home, I enjoy reading travel books and baking.
What’s your favourite blog and/or podcast?
The podcast, Armchair Explorer
Given a chance, who would you like to be for a day?
I’d like to be a deep ocean scientific explorer cruising the bottom of the sea at unimaginable depth but even more, I’d like to live a day in the life of one of the many refugees I have worked with over the past 5 years; I would then serve them better with my research and the engineering of future’s energy systems.
Elena received her PhD in Intelligent Sensor Systems in 2000 (Coventry University); she was awarded a Professorship in Pervasive Computing, at the same university in 2009. Over the course of her career, Elena has accrued a sturdy academic reputation in the area of Cyber Physical Systems – specifically smart sensing systems, wireless sensor networks (WSNs) and the Internet of Things (IoT). She routinely engages with national and international advisory and grant awarding bodies in the areas of sensing and distributed energy solutions. She chaired (2007–2013) the UK Wireless Intelligent Sensing Interest Group (WiSIG) within the Electronics, Sensors, Photonics Knowledge Transfer Network and is an expert reviewer and assessor for the European Commission (EC), Leverhulme trust, UK Research Councils, Finland Academy of Science and other international funders. She is a full member of the UK’s EPSRC College of Peers and the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships Peer Review College and serves on the British Council and the REF2020 Panels. She is an EPSRC affiliated member of the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) and was named as one of the Top50 Women in Engineering in the Guardian and WES awards. She is actively involved with the European Commission and regional government organizations to promote the knowledge transfer from academia to industry and society at large, particularly focusing on the use of sensing technologies for reducing poverty, increasing health, enabling social mobility, and towards the adoption of wireless technologies, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet to tackle global energy challenges. Her work is sponsored by the EPSRC, Innovate UK, Royal Society, European Programmes, British Council, Singapore- MIT Alliance and benefitted from direct sponsorship from industry (Jaguar Land Rover, Orbit Housing Association, NP Aerospace, Meggitt Ltd, etc).