Professor Virginie Ruiz obituary
20 October 2023
It is with great sadness that we share the news of the recent passing of a former colleague, Professor Virginie Ruiz.
Virginie was Head of the School of Systems Engineering between August 2014 and July 2016. Her family advised the University that she passed away on Saturday 6 October at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.
Virginie joined Cybernetics in 1998 as a senior lecturer and became a key member of the Department. She made outstanding contributions to our courses, serving and later chairing boards of studies and running the important final-year projects. She also held the roles of School Director of Teaching and Learning and Head of School.
Her research was in Signal Processing, and her many papers concerned its use in medical applications, such as detecting abnormalities in mammographic images and classification and detection of tremors in patients with Parkinson's disease.
Colleagues fondly remember projects she collaborated on, including the KTP project with @UKplc (now cloudBuy). This comprised three linked partnerships, two involving Reading (with Slawomir Nasuto and Victor Becerra, Virginie and Richard Mitchell), and one with Goldsmiths (Mark Bishop and Sebastian Danicic).
This produced the SpendInsight and GreenInsight systems, which use artificial intelligence techniques to handle the extremely challenging data associated with purchasing in large organisations. They allow savings to be made economically and/or environmentally.
The National Audit Office concluded the systems could 'make overall savings of at least £500 million, around 10% of the total NHS consumables expenditure of £4.6 billion'.
Virginie left the University in 2016 but will be remembered as a wonderful person to work with and be dearly missed by colleagues.