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Three former Industrial Master's students stand out at MIT

Juncal Arbelaiz, Naroa Coretti and Borja Apaolaza, send news from one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

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Juncal Arbelaiz, Borja Apaolaza and Naroa Coretti at MIT PHOTO: Courtesy
17/06/19 10:43 Communication Service


The former students of the Master's Degree in Industrial Engineering from Tecnun Borja Apaolaza, Naroa Coretti and Juncal Arbelaiz, write from Boston about their experience at MIT, one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Juncal Arbelaiz, PhD student in Applied Mathematics at MIT, is in her third year of her thesis, and explains that the "first two years were intense because you have to pass a large number of subjects with grade requirements, as well as a 2-hour oral exam that dictates whether or not you can continue in the PhD. I am fortunate to be able to say that I managed to get through this phase of the doctorate by fulfilling all the requirements, and I consider that the training I received at Tecnun played an important role in this". She mentions the institutions that have supported her financially to be able to do her thesis in Boston: first MIT did it through a Presidential Fellowship and later La Caixa with its Postgraduate Scholarship.

As if that wasn't enough, she has recently won a National End of Career Award, a prestigious Google Fellowship in the USA, and the Rafael del Pino Foundation Excellence Fellowship last month. In addition, she is part of the executive committee of Graduate Women at MIT (GWAMIT), from where they try to promote the professional and personal development of graduate women at MIT. The projects she is working on, as the young engineer specifies, are mainly at the intersection between control theory and optimisation algorithms, applied to large-scale, spatially distributed dynamical systems. 

Naroa Coretti finished her Master's Degree in Industrial Engineering and left for Boston in February with the hope of "returning with a backpack full of experiences and learning". Before leaving, she said that she "hoped to return with the same anecdotes she had had at Tecnun. because the master's degree had given her a lot, and there had always been a great atmosphere".

Expectations have been fulfilled, since, as she describes, her American experience is "great, because every day is a new adventure and that makes the pace of learning totally accelerated. What's more, I come every day with a lot of enthusiasm and a thousand ideas in my head".

Naroa Coretti says her research focuses on how bike-sharing systems can be transformed into a more attractive and efficient solution for transport in cities. "Specifically, I am working on an autonomous bicycle that will behave like a normal bicycle while it is being used, and will ride autonomously from the point where it has been deposited to the point where the next user is. Turning bike sharing into an on-demand mobility system would not only make its use much more convenient, but would also solve the current redistribution problem with its consequent economic and ecological cost," concludes Coretti from the other side of the pond.

For his part, former student Borja Apaolaza explains that he has participated in the Changing Places project. "I have studied how we interact with the spaces in which we live and how they can be used more efficiently, given that we are heading towards a future in which cities will be densely populated. The spaces in which we live are expected to shrink, and this is why City Science is investigating ways in which, through robotic architecture and sensorisation, we can achieve comfortable living in micro-apartments," says Apaolaza.

In this line, a few years ago the startup Ori Living was formed in City Science, directed by the San Sebastian-born and also former student Hasier Larrea, who has recently made public a very ambitious collaboration with the Swedish multinational IKEA, with a series of products that make this possible.

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