Skip to main content

ORNL’s Olivera Kotevska recognized by IEEE

Olivera Kotevska, a research scientist in Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate, has been awarded senior membership by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the world’s largest association for technical professionals.

The award recognizes scientists, engineers, and educators who’ve made significant achievements over at least five years. Fewer than 10 percent of the IEEE’s more than 400,000 members worldwide hold senior status, the organization’s second-highest rank.

Kotevska earned her doctorate from the Universite Grenoble Alpes in France in 2018 and began her career at ORNL as a postdoc in 2019. She works in the Discrete Algorithms Group, led by Ramki Kannan, where her work focuses on machine learning, data privacy, and the internet of things.

Kotevska’s recent projects at ORNL include:

  • Solving data privacy challenges for streaming applications, edge computing, and machine learning algorithms;
  • Investigating novel methods of privacy in machine learning;
  • Designing an event-detection framework for modeling human activity and global behavior as part of the PlanetSense real-time geospatial intelligence network;
  • Development of an algorithm to increase energy efficiency of home thermostats; and
  • Designing an automated system to monitor biomedical literature for keywords, including COVID-19.

“These projects give me a chance to explore my interests with other talented professionals who share them, and ORNL has been a great place to find encouragement and support,” she said. “This award was a lovely surprise. I’m proud to see my work recognized as important.”

Kotevska also serves as a reviewer for proposals and journal articles, as a conference panelist, and as a workshop participant. She takes a special joy in mentoring students of all ages, particularly girls and young women, through programs such as ORNL’s annual Introduce Your Daughter to AI event. June 2021 marked her third year participating in the event.

“I try to answer all the questions they have and be as honest and supportive as I can,” Kotevska said. “I share lessons from along my own career journey so they can avoid some of the mistakes I made. It’s good to be on the other side as a teacher and get that perspective. I tell them to believe in themselves and pursue their passion in science and engineering.

“Sometimes we as women in science are scared to ask certain questions. We may try to figure too much out on our own. But sometimes we just need to ask. It’s important for everyone to feel empowered so they can thrive.”

UT-Battelle LLC manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory for DOE’s Office of Science, the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. DOE’s Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit — Matt Lakin