Esther Oyaga Iriarte
Tell me about your background and culture, where you took off and how it evolved.
I grew up in a little village in Navarra (Spain) and I went to Bilbao to study Mathematics at the University. When I finished my degree, I continued my studies and I obtained two master’s degrees, specializing in data analysis.
My first job was in a startup company where we developed mathematical models to study the behavior of different drugs to optimize medical treatments. In this company, I had the opportunity of starting my PhD related to the development of mathematical and artificial intelligence (AI) models to describe and predict the behavior of different chemotherapy treatments, which ended in June 2019.
A year and a half ago, I started to work in AKKA. I wanted to apply my knowledge in maths and AI to other sectors and, since I have always been interested in renewable energy and the opportunity that AKKA gave me to work in the wind energy sector was the perfect plan for me.
What’s the greatest challenge you’ve overcome in your professional/academic career?
Definitively, completing my PhD has been the greatest challenge in my professional/academic career. This period was really hard because I had to combine my full-time job with my PhD, so I had to give up a lot of things, like some of my hobbies or spending time with my family and friends. However, it was worth it. It felt good when I saw my study published in different journals because sharing your research with others is very fulfilling.
What interested you in AKKA?
I think that one of the most valuable aspects of working in AKKA is the fact that you can apply your knowledge practically to any sector of the industry; in my case, renewable energy. I have always had an interest in data analysis that can be applied to real problems that can benefit society. Therefore, being able to work in renewable energy was a great highlight for me.
Another very positive aspect of working in AKKA is that there are a lot of specialists that are experts in a very wide range of fields and technologies, which is really enriching and makes you a better professional.
Moreover, I would like to say that I found in AKKA a great team, with professional colleagues and interesting people.
Tell me your hobbies/interests.
I love spending time in nature doing activities like hiking, climbing, or skiing. I also like playing basketball, I have played my whole life. Reading is another hobby of mine and I always have a book on my nightstand.
But my very favorite hobby is traveling and getting to know different countries. I hope that we can travel safely again soon.
Tell me about the greatest thing you’ve learned from a colleague/mentor.
This is a difficult question to answer because I have met a lot of great people from whom I have learned many valuable things. If I had to choose one, I would say that one of my professors at the University taught me that, when facing a new problem, it was important to “stop and think”. I hope that this piece of advice can help someone else as it helps me every day.
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