The work-life balance in a virtualizing world

Women in CASS and Young Professionals event

The recent COVID-pandemic, but already before that the increasing digitization, forces us to work more and more virtual. This new virtualization, however, causes work and life to blend more and more. With a diverse panel (male/female, industry/academia, ...) we will debate on the impact this has on our work and our life, and how to best deal with this evolution. What are the consequences on an academic career? And on an industrial one? Does this improve or deteriorate our work life balance? And is this different for industry or academics? What are best practices to not suffer from, but exploit this virtualization?

After panelists' individual statements we will open up to questions from the audience. These will be submitted via the Whova chat.


  • Kathy Wilcox (AMD)       
  • David Atienza Alonso (EPFL)
  • Suk Hwan Lim (Samsung Electronics)
  • Esther Rodriguez-Villegas (Imperial College)


Marian Verhelst (KU Leuven & IMEC)

Kathy WIlcox - AMD

She graduated from Cornell University with a BS in Electrical Engineering.  Upon graduation, she joined Digital Equipment Corporation (where she had complete two co-op terms) and worked on different architectural units (instruction cache, instruction fetch, execution unit, mapper) for a number of Alpha microprocessors. In 2000, she joined C-Port Corporation (acquired shortly after she joined by Motorola) to work on network processors. Since joining AMD in 2003, she has worked on custom circuit designs and circuit design methodology for many CPU cores. Her current focus is on design technology co-optimization, libraries, environment and methodology. Kathy has authored or co-authored nine conference and journal publications and SSCS magazine articles.  She has served on the technical program committees for International Symposium on Low Power Electronics and Design, Symposium on VLSI Circuits, and ISSCC.  She is currently serving a 3 year term on SSCS AdCom. In addition, Kathy is the mom to three boys ages 17, 20 and 22.  She has been involved in many of their activities as a soccer coach, a music parents organization officer and a Boy Scout merit badge counselor.  Kathy enjoys to bicycle with her husband and the family enjoys hiking and downhill skiing.

David Atienza Alonso - EPFL

David Atienza leads the Embedded Systems Laboratory (ESL) at EPFL. He is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at EPFL. He is an expert in energy-efficient computing systems. In particular, his interests deal with the next-generation of AI-based embedded systems co-design for the Internet of Things and energy management of servers and datacenters for Big Data processing. Indeed, he has been working for the last 15 years on smart wearables both for humans and a wider range of other smart objects including cars and home automation, where he has focused on the low-power design of these objects and how embedded Machine Learning (ML) can be used to make these objects  interact with each other, as well as with humans, to create new personalized services and healthcare. In these areas he has published more than 300 papers world-wide and he works with more than 30 companies world-wide, including IBM, Facebook, Google, Huawei, Apple, Samsung, etc. He has also received several individual awards from IEEE and ACM for his technical achievements in these research areas and since 2016 he is an IEEE Fellow and a Distinguished Member of ACM.

Suk Hwan Lim - Samsung Electronics

Suk Hwan Lim is currently VP of engineering and leads the Multimedia Team at System LSI business of Samsung Electronics. His team delivers hardware and software IPs such as NPU (Neural Processing Unit), DSP, Camera, Display, Video and Audio. Prior to his current role at Samsung Electronics, he worked at Google, Apple and Hewlett-Packard Laboratories. At Google, he was head of imaging & vision organization specializing in various sub-areas in imaging & vision for mobile, wearable and laptop products (e.g., Pixel 2~4, Google Clip, Pixelbook). His sub-teams included Imaging & Vision algorithms/software, Machine Learning accelerator HW/SW, Imaging pipeline, Camera hardware modules and camera image quality tuning/testing for Google products. At Apple, he was the main/lead architect for Imaging and computer vision blocks for four generation of iPhone and iPad products. Responsibilities included inventing digital imaging and computer vision algorithms and architectures for hardware and software implementation. He holds B.S from Seoul National University and M.S./Ph.D from Stanford University. 

Esther Rodriguez-Villegas - Imperial College

Esther Rodriguez-Villegas is a Full Professor of Low-Power Electronics at Imperial College, originally known for her engineering techniques to drastically reduce power in integrated circuits.  She subsequently focused her research on life-science applications, founding the Wearable-Technologies-Lab. This lab specialises on both: creating innovative wearable medical technologies to improve management and diagnosis of chronic diseases; and neural interfaces to facilitate brain research whilst improving animals’ welfare. Esther is also a founder, co-CEO/CSO, of two active life-sciences companies, Acurable and TainiTec.  Apart from her contractual positions, Esther also holds a number of highly prestigious unpaid ones, including being the lead of the medical devices theme for one of the UK British Heart Foundation Centres for Research Excellence, and acting as an advisor  for Innovation in  Test and Trace for the UK government during the COVID-19 crisis.  Esther has received many international recognitions and  awards, including two European Research Council grants (2009 and 2016),    a global XPRIZE-award (2014),  and a global AAALAC 3Rs  award (2018). She was also named the top scientist/engineer in Spain under the age of 36 in 2009 (Complutense award).  Apart from being the author of a large number of academic publications,  Esther has also taken ten products, successfully, from the idea conception and research in her academic lab, to product development, mass production and commercialisation.


© 2020
2020 IEEE International Conference on Artificial Intelligence Circuits and Systems.