Stefany Cruz

Hi! My name is Stefany Cruz and I am a Ph.D. student in Computer Engineering at Northwestern University. I work in the Ka MoaMoa lab, where I am advised by Josiah Hester. I am supported by the Microsoft Research Ada Lovelace Ph.D. Fellowship.

I obtained my B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Riverside (UCR) in 2019 where I performed undergraduate research in Dr. Grover’s TEC Lab and Dr. Wei Ren’s  Cooperative Vehicle Networks (COVEN) Lab. Prior to UCR, I attended Pasadena City College where I received my A.S. degrees in Mathematics and Physics, and A.A’s in Engineering Technology and Natural Science.

My research focuses on democratizing wearable technologies by developing and co-designing inclusive wearables with and for marginalized groups. I work at the intersection of hardware systems and human-computer interaction to explore how we can build equitable, efficient, and intelligent wearable systems.


Northwestern University

Ph.D. in Computer Engineering
Evanston, IL

June 2024

Northwestern University

M.S. in Computer Engineering
Evanston, IL

June 2022

University of California, Riverside

B.S. in Electrical Enegineering
Riverside, CA

June 2019

Pasadena City College

A.S. in Physics and Mathematics
Pasadena, CA

May 2016


Kortbeek, V., Bakar, A., Cruz, S., Pawełczak, P., Hester, J., Yildirim, K. 2021. Battery-free Programming for Everyone, Everywhere.Under review for Proceedings of the ACM annual conference on Interactive, Mobile, and Ubiquitous Technologies (Virtual, September 12 - 16, 2021).IMWUT ‘21. ACM, New York, NY.


  • Social Justice Mini-Grant, $2,500, 2022
  • Microsoft Research Ada Lovelace Fellowship, 2021
  • CRA-WP Grad Cohort for Women Workshop, 2020 (Postponded to 2021 due to Covid-19)
  • CRA-WP Grad Cohort for URMD Workshop, 2020
  • NSF SenSys/BuildSys Student Travel Grant, 2019
  • GEM PhD Fellowship, National Gem Consortium, 2019
  • National Science Foundation ECCS Research Grant, $5,000, 2017
  • Hispanic Serving Institute Summer Bridge Research Grant, $5,000, 2016
  • MESA Pasadena Student Achievement Award, $1,000, June 2016
  • Student Achievement Award, $500, May 2016


R&D Electrical Systems Engineering Intern

Applied Medical

Tested, trouble shot, and validated product functionality and ensured coverage of various test cases for Applied Medical's Voyant 2 Electro Surgical Generator.

June 2018 - August 2018

Undergraduate Researcher

University of California, Riverside - Department of Electrical Engineering

Built and programmed crazyflie 2.0 Nano quadcopters using the ROS environment and implemented UWB (Ultra Wideband) Technology for precision real time location using two way ranging .

August 2017 - December 2017

Undergraduate Researcher

University of California, Riverside - Department of Bioengineering

Programmed Atmel ATtiny84 microcontrollers to implement Pulse Width Modulation to the MEC (Multidisciplinary Evolutionary Components) system library for automating instrument processes and reduce the need fro human interference .

June 2016 - August 2016