WiSE Feature Interview- Rosa Delgado

How did you get started in the field of systems engineering?

I left my country of origin, Peru and went to the UK to study at Warwick University and worked at same time, at GEC LTd Telecommunications. Then, I went to work at CERN (the European Centre for Nuclear Research) based in Geneva, at the Proton & Synchrotron (PS) Division. Very proud, to say that one of my colleagues was Tim Berners Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web (web) whom, was creating this wonderful Internet application, at the time.

I started to work with the system engineer group for the control of the PS accelerator. It is at CERN where I really started to love and understand more about engineering design and implementation of control systems, used in almost every industry and critical element of systems engineering.

What do you find interesting or exciting about working in the field of systems science and systems engineering?

I was always interested to understand and build systems. Very early in my life I made the decision, to study engineering because, I believe everything around us are systems. Systems engineers design, analyze, integrate, and manage engineered systems to find ways to identify challenges and best solution for people. Systems engineering is about engineered systems complexity over their whole life cycle to solve problems with real solutions.

Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Combination of AIoT, and Blockchain serve to build health, agriculture, education, and climate change systems that can save lives and the planet. For example, AI systems have played a critical role in the creation of vaccines in a very short time, image guided surgical operations, autonomous transport, and so on.

System engineering is critical for less developed countries. I am deeply involved in supporting emerging world to perform the ‘leap frog’ process to design and implement customized systems that meet real needs. My work took me to different continents but what really helped me to understand developing nations specific needs and challenges, was to be one of them, have worked in Latin America, Africa, India, and China, and speak languages ex. Spanish, English and French.

What advice do you have for those just starting out in the field of systems engineering?

Passion, readiness, and willingness. Innovation shapes the future, lest make this world sustainable. Believe that ‘Internet is for ‘Everybody’, and you will do great things!!

Get the knowledge of concerned fields before you start the work, and become productive. It is critical not to lose sight of the big picture and work in a collaborative way with knowledgeable and friendly teams that aim to contribute to the success of the project. It is also important to have peers that support the team, provide the good feedback at the right time, and solve the specific problems.