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PhD Spotlight: Boris Peñaloza

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Aurora VanDam

Ritchie School Student Reporter

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Being a student in these times is hard enough as is, but imagine raising your first child, finishing a PhD in neuro-engineering, and working on getting accepted into Purdue University all in the same breath. For Boris Peñaloza this is his life. Peñaloza is a current PhD candidate from Panamá working under Interim Dean Haluk Ogmen, PhD, at the Ritchie School of Engineering & Computer Science.

Boris Peñaloza

Once Peñaloza earned his BS in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in his home country of Panamá from Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá, he was then granted a full scholarship to study in Germany, where he received his MS in Electrical Power Engineering from the RWTH Aachen University. After all of his years of experience and training, Peñaloza still sought to learn more. Peñaloza contacted Ogmen inquiring about his work and completing his PhD in neuro-engineering which led him to finally beginning his PhD journey at the Ritchie School.

Having studied in three countries, Peñaloza is naturally very good with languages; he is fluent in Spanish, German, and English. A hungry learner, multi-disciplined researcher, and advocate for under-represented students, Peñaloza is a founding member of the DU chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. Ogmen said, “He is very passionate not only about his research, but also about helping other students, especially under-represented students.”

Boris Peñaloza

Peñaloza is also a leader in the student organization, Ratio et Fides. He recently published two research papers in distinguished journals. Boris has just been accepted to Purdue University’s LATinE: Latinx Trailblazers in Engineering program. This program is a jumping off point to help recently graduated PhD candidates begin a career in higher education. The goal of the program is “to increase the number and success of Latinx/Hispanic engineering faculty in the US.”

Peñaloza’s dedication to education is inspiring, as well as his work ethic in striving to complete outstanding research all while raising a family. We here at the Ritchie School have no doubt that Peñaloza will go on to accomplish tremendous things.