Special Event Celebration

Hispanic Heritage Month 2022

Thursday, September 29, 2022

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is spotlighting our faculty, graduate students, and alumni. We celebrate their contributions to the department, our community, and engineering. Their achievements are an inspiration to our future engineers.


Andres Ayes 
PhD Student, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Andres Ayes was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. He received a B.S. degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Rochester in 2021. He started his doctoral studies the same year. His current research interests are in 3-D integrated circuits, VLSI clocking, and power delivery networks for high-performance systems supervised by Professor Eby Friedman.  



Irving Barron Martinez
PhD Student, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Irving R. Barron attended Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronic Engineering, and a Master's degree in Electronic Engineering in 2014 and 2015, respectively. He began doctoral studies in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Rochester in 2016 and received a Master of Science degree in 2018. He is currently doing his research in digital image processing, with applications to privacy and security, under the supervision of Dr. Gaurav Sharma.


Benjamin Castañeda,Ph.D. ’09 UR ECE Alumnus
Professor-Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú

Benjamin Castaneda (Senior Member, IEEE) received a M.Sc. degree in computer engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology, NY, USA, and a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Rochester, NY, USA.  After his Ph.D. degree, he founded the Medical Imaging Laboratory, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP), where he is currently a Full Professor in electrical engineering and the Director of Research and Innovation with the Department of Engineering. He has more than 15 years of experience in biomedical ultrasound and medical imaging analysis. His research interests include quantitative elastographic imaging (breast cancer diagnosis, prostate cancer detection, and skin characterization), computed aided diagnosis tools (automated diagnosis of Tuberculosis, spondyloarthrosis, follow-up of treatment for Leishmaniasis, and preventive diagnosis in maternal-perinatal health), and telemedicine (obstetric ultrasound and colposcopy). Dr. Castaneda has been twice a finalist for the Young Investigator Award from the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine in 2007 and 2011, for his research work. He received an honorable mention from the worldwide engineering contest of Mondialogo (sponsored by UNESCO and Daimler, in 2007), and an honorable mention in the SPIE Medical Imaging International Conference in 2008. In 2013, he received the Academic Innovator Award from the Peruvian Government for his continuous work in the development of medical technology (SINACYT/CONCYTEC, in 2013). The same year, he won the Best Patent from the Peruvian Government (INDECOPI, in 2013) for an automated staining system for tuberculosis detection. The same invention received a silver medal at the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, in 2014. He is also the Founder of Medical Innovation & Technology, a Peruvian start-up focused on the development of telemedicine technology for rural areas. He is currently a member of the Peruvian Committee for Health Informatics and an Associate Member of the IEEE Bio Imaging and Signal Processing Technical Committee.


Maria Helguera, Ph.D.
Adjunct Faculty, Electrical and Computer Engineering

María Helguera was born in Mexico City. She got a BsC in Physics from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, UNAM, where she also worked at the Institute of Astronomy developing instrumentation. In 1988 she was awarded a National Council for the Sciences and Technology (CONACYT) scholarship to attend the University of Rochester, where she got a MsC in Electrical Engineering in 1990. She returned to Mexico to lead the Department of Electronics Engineering at the National Center for Research and Technological Development (CENIDET) in Cuernavaca, Morelos. In 1995 she enrolled in the PhD program in Imaging Science at RIT and was hired as an Assistant Professor at the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, RIT in 2000. She was the principal investigator in the Biomedical Imaging Lab from its inception until 2016 when she retired from RIT. During her time at RIT, she was the academic coordinator of the Imaging Science online Master’s program, 2000 – 2008, and from 2012- 2016 she was the coordinator of the Imaging Science undergraduate program. She taught numerous courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, she supervised 34 undergraduate students, 12 MsC students in Imaging Science and Mechanical Engineering and 4 PhD Imaging Science students.

She has over 80 publications with her students in journals and conference proceedings.

In 2016, upon retirement, she returned to Mexico and joined the Institute of Technology Mario Molina in Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco where she was responsible to form a research department. She taught Physics, Calculus, Probability and Statistics, Research Practices, and Artificial Intelligence for the Computer Engineering, Industrial Engineering, and Automotive Engineering departments. In 2021 she joined the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Rochester as an adjunct professor.


Gonzalo Mateos, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering & Computer Science
Asaro Biggar Family Fellow in Data Science

Gonzalo Mateos joined the faculty of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering as an assistant professor in September 2014. He is also a member of the Institute for Data Science and has a secondary appointment in the Department of Computer Science.

Gonzalo Mateos was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1982. He earned the B.Sc. degree from Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay, in 2005, and the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, in 2009 and 2011, all in electrical engineering. He joined the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, in 2014, where he is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, as well as a member of the Goergen Institute for Data Science. During the 2013 academic year, he was a visiting scholar with the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University. From 2004 to 2006, he worked as a Systems Engineer at Asea Brown Boveri (ABB), Uruguay.  

His research interests lie in the areas of statistical learning from Big Data, network science, decentralized optimization, and graph signal processing, with applications in dynamic network health monitoring, social, power grid, and Big Data analytics. He currently serves as Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, the IEEE Transactions on Signal and Information Processing over Networks, and is a member of the IEEE SigPort Editorial Board. Dr. Mateos received the NSF CAREER Award in 2018, the 2017 IEEE Signal Processing Society Young Author Best Paper Award (as senior co-author), and the Best Paper Awards at ICASSP 2018, SSP Workshop 2016, and SPAWC 2012. His doctoral work has been recognized with the 2013 University of Minnesota's Best Dissertation Award (Honorable Mention) across all Physical Sciences and Engineering areas.


Juvenal Ormachea Quispe, Ph.D. ’20 UR ECE Alumnus
Ultrasound Scientist at Verasonics Inc., in Seattle, WA

 Dr. Juvenal Ormachea was born in Lima, Peru. He attended Pontificia Universidad Catolica University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronic Engineering in 2011. He began graduate study in the Department of Engineering at Pontificia Universidad Catolica University in 2012 and received a Master of Digital Image Processing degree in 2015. He began graduate studies in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Rochester in 2014 and received a Master of Science degree in 2016. He pursued his research in biomedical ultrasound imaging under the direction of Professor Kevin J. Parker.

Dr. Juvenal Ormachea currently works with the development of leading-edge and programmable ultrasound systems that provide researchers and developers with an advanced and flexible tool that enable them to develop new algorithms and products used in diagnostic, interventional and therapeutic medical ultrasound. In particular, working on applications relating to research in ultrasound elastography and High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU).


Tara Peña
PhD Student, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Tara Peña received her bachelor’s degree in physics from Adelphi University in 2017 and her master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Rochester in 2019.  She is currently pursuing her PhD in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Rochester. A first-generation college student from Queens, New York, she was awarded a Provost’s Fellowship by the University in 2017, in addition to the NSF GRFP fellowship in 2019. Peña’s research in Professor Stephen Wu’s lab is in strain engineering two-dimensional materials for nanoelectronic applications.


Jesús Sánchez Juárez
PhD Student, Electrical and Computer Engineering

 Jesús Sánchez Juárez received his M.S. from Tecnológico Nacional de México Campus Orizaba Veracruz (TNM/ITO) in 2021. His research focuses on decision analysis systems with artificial intelligence techniques. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering in 2014. He is interested in the application of intelligent systems with AI, for the production and detection of 2D materials. Jesús works in the Cardenas Lab supervised by Professor Jaime Cardenas.


fz.jpgJose Fernando Zvietcovich Zagarra,Ph.D. ’19 UR ECE Alumnus
Postdoctoral Fellow at the “Daza de Valdes” Institute of Optics from the Spanish National Research Council – CSIC, Madrid, Spain

Fernando Zvietcovich was born in Arequipa, Peru, in 1988. He earned the B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering in 2012, and M.Sc. in Digital Image and Signal Processing in 2013, all from Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru (Lima, Peru). He obtained his PhD in Electrical Engineering at the University of Rochester in 2019. Since then, Dr. Zvietcovich has been working as a postdoctoral fellow and research assistant at University of Houston. He is currently at the Visual Optics and Biophotonics Lab (VioBio-CSIC) at the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid, Spain, working on the IMCUSTOMEYE project funded by the European Commission's Horizon 2020 Programme.

Dr. Zvietcovich’s research includes novel wave-based optical coherence elastography methods in soft tissues for the diagnosis and monitoring and treatment of diseases in clinical environments. He is currently working at VioBio-CSIC on translating optical coherence elastography, developed and designed for the non-invasive quantification of corneal spatial biomechanical properties in 3D, into the in-vivo clinical use for human ocular disease diagnostics. During his research career, Dr. Zvietcovich achieved important international scholarships to support his doctoral studies including the Fulbright Scholarship; and postdoctoral development such as the 2020 SPIE-Hillenkamp Postdoctoral Fellowship in Problem-Driven Biomedical Optics and Analytics. He was also the winner of the 2020 Outstanding Dissertation Award for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in Arts, Sciences and Engineering at the University of Rochester and has been named Innovator Under 35 Years Old by the MIT Technology Review - Peru Section.