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Universidad de los Andes: The seventh best university in Latin America according to the U.S. News & World Report

Image of the campus at Universidad de los Andes, in Bogotá, Colombia.

The Best Global Universities ranking includes Los Andes as the only Colombian university within the top-ten in the region.

14/02/2018
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The fourth edition of the annual U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Global Universities” ranking, which globally compares research and reputation of universities, placed Universidad de los Andes as the best university in Colombia, the seventh best in Latin America, and the 385th best globally.

The 2018 ranking, which measured 1,250 institutions from 74 countries, placed the University of Harvard in the United States as the best globally and the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil as the best in Latin America.

U.S. institutions, as well as those from over seventy countries, have been measured based on thirteen indicators that measure academic research and university reputation on a global and regional level.

In Colombia, the Universidad Nacional and the Universidad de Antioquia also figure in this ranking. They are in the top thirty best universities in Latin America.

The U.S. News & World Report was founded in 1933, and it is a media company that specializes in news, opinion, analysis, and personal finance as well as hospital, school, and university rankings. Along with Time and Newsweek, it is considered as one of the leading magazines in the United States. It provides its readers with information on rankings, news, and analysis that helps them make consumer decisions based on the results of its surveys.
The 10 best in Latin America:
  1. Universidad de Sao Paulo (Brazil)
  2. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (Chile)
  3. Universidad Federal de Río de Janeiro (Brazil)
  4. Universidad de Buenos Aires, UBA (Argentina)
  5. Universidad Estatal de Campinas, Unicamp (Brazil)
  6. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Unam (Mexico)
  7. Universidad de los Andes (Colombia)
  8. Universidad de Chile (Chile)
  9. Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María (Chile)
  10. Universidad Federal de Río Grande del Sur (Brazil)

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Colombian project promoting a healthy lifestyle given an award

Picture of four Colombian researchers and a professor

Members of the winning team from Los Andes: Olga L. Sarmiento, Felipe Solano, Andrés Medaglia, and Lina Navas with Celso C. Ribeiro, editor of International Transactions in Operations Research.

Diploma

IFORS Prize for Operations Research (OR) in Development, 2017.

Picture of students and teachers

Epidemiology group (EpiAndes) part of the Faculty of Medicine, and the Center for Optimization and Applied Probability (Copa for its acronym in Spanish) part of the Faculty of Industrial Engineering

Picture of four Colombian researchers and a professor
Diploma
Picture of students and teachers
22/01/2018
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Taking Bogotanos into consideration and improving their environment so that they can undertake physical activity were the foundations of the project for which researchers from the Universidad de los Andes and the District Institute of Recreation and Sport for Bogotá (IDRD for its acronym in Spanish) were awarded an international prize.

These two organizations joined forces to design a database that determined characteristic factors of the population and its environment in order to adapt open air spaces to promote citizens adopting healthy lifestyles. 

The model developed by the epidemiology group (EpiAndes) and the Center for Optimization and Applied Probability (Copa for its acronym in Spanish), both from Los Andes, received the IFORS Prize for Operations Research (OR) in Development for their project entitled A Robust DEA-Centric Location-Based Decision Support System for Expanding Recreovía Hubs in the City of Bogotá (Colombia). The project began in 2013 and was presented at the end of July in Quebec (Canada).

The project consisted of developing a software called RecreoBOG, which included simulations that are able to predict the scope of Recreovías: one of Bogotá Town Hall´s programs that gave Bogotanos access to and promoted physical activities aimed at professionals.

The information from this software allowed the district to replicate the program in new areas and positively impact the population. “There are a total of 55 Recreovías that offer activities six days a week. Nine parks that we recommended are already operating,” affirmed Olga Lucía Sarmiento, director of EpiAndes.

The researchers –students and professors of public health and industrial engineering at the university– worked for four years on the design and creation of this software.

A group of medical students from EpiAndes evaluated the impact of physical activity and defined a list of chronic diseases that affect public health. Additionally, a group of engineers from Copa, led by professor Andrés Medaglia, gathered information on topics including the demographic density, safety conditions, implementation costs, and spaces to undertake the activity.

The Colombian project fulfilled all the requirements in terms of impact on society and methodological and innovative solutions, and, as such, was awarded first position, ahead of competitors from Brazil, Cameroon, and China. The prestigious award was presented by Mikael Rönnqvist: professor at the Université Laval (Canada), coordinator of the team of evaluators, and in charge of this year’s prize.

What is IFORS?

The International Federation of Operational Research Societies (IFORS) brings together more than 45 countries and gives awards every three years to projects that are focused on guiding institutions and organizations’ decision-making processes in terms of policies that have an impact on education, health, the environment and implement optimization methodologies.

“There are problems that are particular to us, which are prevalent in the region. If we develop them in a resourceful and innovative way, we can project them on an international level and turn them into better practices,” explained Andrés Medaglia, professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering at Los Andes.

The research project was financed by Colciencias and the Vice-Rectory of Research and Development at Los Andes, and it will be published in the International Transactions in Operations Research. Olga Lucía Sarmiento, professor in the Faculty of Medicine at Los Andes points out that, “The idea is that we can now develop free software and replicate these types of strategies on a national and international level.”

Creators of the project: Sepideh Abolghasem, Felipe Solano, Claudia Bedoya, Lina Navas, Ana Paola Ríos, Edwin Pinzón, Andrés Medaglia, and Olga L. Sarmiento.

 

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Colombian involved in the construction of the Bayonne Bridge in New York

Bayonne Bridge, New York

Daniela Moreno, who studied civil engineering in Los Andes was involved in the design and construction of the new Bayonne Bridge.

Bayonne Bridge, New York
Bayonne Bridge, New York
07/02/2018
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Daniela Moreno, who studied civil engineering in Los Andes was part of the design and construction of the new Bayonne Bridge in Staten Island, New York. Due to the Panama Canal expansion, a new structure was required to raise the height of the bridge for larger ships that have a higher load capacity. As such, a new bridge was built above the old one, built in 1931, to avoid having to reroute the traffic that uses the bridge on a daily basis. The bridge now has been increased by a height of 61 feet.

It is hoped that in the future train tracks will be laid on the bridge.

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Los Andes will be represented in the Latin Grammy Awards: a total of four professors and alumni have been nominated

This year’s Latin Grammy Awards were held on November 16th.
This year’s Latin Grammy Awards were held on November 16th.
23/11/2017
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The Universidad de los Andes will be represented at the Latin Grammy Award ceremony 2017 by alumni and teachers from the Department of Music who have been nominated. This year’s Latin Grammy Awards will be held on November 16th.

The following four Uniandinos have been nominated: professor Carlos Silva, with two albums he mastered in his C1 Mastering studio. They are both in the “Best Cumbia/ Vallenato Album”: "Ni un paso atrás" by Jorge Celedón and Sergio Luis, and "Sin límites" by El Gran Martín Elías and Rolando Ochoa.
Mauricio Rengifo studied production has been nominated for producer and sound engineer in the following categories: “Album of the year” and “Recording of the year” for "Despacito" by Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee.

Juan Sebastián Bastos, professor of sound production and also an alumnus from our department (production ’08), was nominated for “Best Tropical Fusion Album” with the album “Coletera”, released on his Tambora Records label. Juan Sebastián worked as the sound engineer on the album.

Alejandro Sánchez Samper, alumni from out department (Composition ´00) was nominated in the “Best Folkloric Album” category for the album "Pa' qué mas" by Quinteto Leopoldo Federico, released on the Hoot Wisdom Recordings (FAU) label. Alejandro was album producer and arranger.

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The Uniandina who broke work paradigms

Dora Muñoz is an EMBA student at Universidad de los Andes.
Dora Muñoz is an EMBA student at Universidad de los Andes and one of the most representative leaders in the Brazilian oil sector.
12/01/2018
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By: Sandra Gutiérrez P.

Entrepreneurial, pioneering, intelligent, feisty, a fighter, warm, and very feminine are all adjectives that describe Dora Muñoz: a woman who knows what she wants and how to get it. She has an undergraduate degree in petroleum engineering, post graduate diplomas in integrated environmental management and oil and gas project and business management (onshore/offshore), and she is currently an Executive MBA student in the Faculty of Business Administration at Universidad de los Andes. She believes that life offers opportunities, but you need to find them, accept them, and then take advantage of them.

The decision to undertake an EMBA in Los Andes did not seem the most feasible option as she has been based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the past eight years. However, despite having been accepted for executive programs in the University of Cambridge and in the Getulio Vargas Foundation in Brazil, she says that, “I saw the quality of the teachers -all were excellent-, I compared the programs, and my inclination was the Triple Crown. Also, I wanted to get closer to Colombia again. To get things moving, I was travelling every two weeks.”

She adds that, “I love the program because of its connection with Latin America and because it has shown me how to adapt to a global and changing world. My experience with the EMBA has been fantastic: the university´s futuristic vision demonstrates its commitment to excellence. Also, my classmates have an excellent level. The EMBA gave me the opportunity to connect with my country´s reality, to recognize everything that needs to be done, and discover that Colombia has a lot of potential.”

The EMBA has helped her to strengthen her managerial skills and to put them to use in her work.

This woman from Bogotá, a citizen of the world, is an example of how paradigms can be broken. She has been married for seventeen years to Guillermo Santacoloma, who is also a petroleum engineer, has a newborn son, Gabriel, and has spent twelve years outside Colombia working in Canada, Russia, and Brazil: always in the oil sector. She is the only woman who has been in a directive position in this Brazilian sector, and, also, the first to be a member of the Colombian Association of Petroleum Engineers´ board of directors (Acipet), which is a government public policy advisory body for the sector. Dora Muñoz is an example that women can work in what is a traditionally masculine territory.

She states that, “the association advertised an opening to be part of the 17th Colombian Conference on Oil and Gas 2017 technical committee, which was held between the 18th and 20th October in Bogotá. I applied and I passed. This is the biggest event in the oil industry in Colombia and one of the most important in Latin America. For me, it has been a great joy to be involved in it, and I am proud to be the only female engineer who is part of this committee”.
A history of passion and goals fulfilled

“As a woman, the challenge has been interesting. For many of the projects in which I wanted to participate in my professional life, I have always been worried about being overruled as they are male activities. Once, in a packed auditorium, in which we were the only three women, the teacher asked me to move a heavy drill bit as a ´punishment´ for having arrived late. I asked several of my male classmates to help me, and they lifted it. “I moved it” I told him, and the teacher was completely bewildered. “Strength is not in the hands; it is in the ability to create cohesion, solidarity, and compassion”.

After finishing her petroleum engineering degree, 24 years ago she began working as a statistics instructor in Acipet. Ever since then, one of her goals was to be on the board of directors, which she achieved several months ago.

“From then, I understood the importance of people connecting, having identity, having an ethic, and sharing values. I think that this is what we lack as Colombians: convincing ourselves that union and solidarity are important for the common good.” I have worked in oil and service companies in Colombia, Canada, and Brazil, and this is the experience that I would like to share.

Subsequently, she started a Masters in environmental engineering, but she did not finish as she went to Russia with her husband. They travelled to Canada where she founded an oil services company, which she ran for four years. At the end of 2009 she moved to Brazil where she was in charge of a small operating company with which she managed to drill the first producing well, but due to the situation in the great South American country, they could not continue. She created a second company in 2012 –Trayectoria Petroleo e gas do Brasil-, with which she participated in a business network. In three years, it moved from being the 49th most important company in Brazil to the 7th.

“After almost five years in that country, I had the possibility to generate business opportunities. I participated in an oil fields auction, and, although we were the smallest company, we made an offer and we won, even beating Petrobras. We have always been operated austerely, but
we know the business, and for this reason, we beat the crisis”, she explains. “I am passionate about this industry. If there is anything I wanted to be, it is this”.
The key is in sharing

“Part of the success in life is having a person who you love and who you admire. In my case, it is my husband Guillermo. We have always been travelers and Wanderers; our suitcases are always ready by the door. Gabriel´s arrival is a miracle for us that has opened new possibilities and has made us believe in the future”, she admits.
She also recognizes that women´s adaptability in a masculine environment is fundamental. “As Connie Cárdenas, teacher in the Faculty of Business Administration in the Universidad de los Andes, says in her book ´In search of female leadership: a research journey´, as women we cannot lose our essence; what we have to do it adapt and transform ourselves. It is not easy, but it is clear for me that the female tenderness transcends.”

However, she admits that life is not simply based on sex. Differences enrich and “you always have to understand people as people…You have to grow together to transform, because you cannot do it alone. You have to make a team. For this reason, I think that I am a masterpiece…as is everyone” she says with conviction.

“If I were to be born again, I would be a woman because I have the possibility to educate generations. I want to tell you all that we all transmit values; we are dedicated and courageous women who are peaceful, powerful, love, and have self-control, and are made to not compete but to collaborate”, she concludes.

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