Johanna Castellanos Arias, a doctoral student from Colombia visiting Rice as a Fulbright Scholar in electrical and computer engineering (ECE), has won first place in the Humanitarian Contest sponsored by the Industry Applications Society of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).
Since 2018, she has been a doctoral student at Javeriana University in Bogotá. At Rice she is working in the lab of César A. Uribe, the Louis Owen Jr. Assistant Professor of ECE.
Castellanos helped develop a sustainable energy solution for an indigenous school in Kuisa, in the department of La Guajira in northernmost Colombia. The project included installation of a photovoltaic system to power the community, providing refrigeration systems and eco-toilets, and an endowment of electronic devices including televisions and computers.
Her research interests include smart grids, microgrids, distributed optimization and control systems. She has been a volunteer IEEE member for 15 years, and was the founding chair of the Colombian chapter of IAS, founder and secretary of the IEEE Colombian chapter of the Robotics and Automation Society, founding vice chair of the IEEE Colombian chapter of Control Systems Society, and founding chair of the Santanderes subsection in the IEEE Colombia Section.