An important milestone was achieved last month at IBM Forum Brussels. Kênia Sousa, who is now a doctor in Management Science, defended her PhD thesis on June 24th. Her thesis represents the consolidation of all research produced on the promising field of UI-Business alignment so far.


The ceremony was preceded by a presentation of Dr. Noi Sukaviriya, a distinguished researcher of the Watson Research Center, NY. The subject of her presentation was “Human Aspects & Entity-Centric Business Process Modeling”, summarizing the IBM contributions on rethinking the way how business processes might be managed in the future.

The ceremony began when the jury entered the room and the president of the jury, Prof. Philippe Chevalier, presented the members of the jury, who were Prof. Jean Vanderdonckt (UCL, Belgium), the advisor; Prof. Gaëlle Calvary (UJF – Grenoble INP, France); Prof. Stéphane Faulkner (UCL, Belgium); Prof. Manuel Kolp (UCL, Belgium); and Dr. Noi Sukaviriya (IBM Research, United States). Unfortunately, the jury could not count on the presence of Prof. Elizabeth Furtado (Unifor, Brazil), who was Kenia’s advisor during her scientific initiation. Although, she had an important participation on Kenia’s private defense early this year.


Kenia presented her research during 35 minutes. After that, the president passed the word to the jury for questions. She was questioned for more 15 minutes, going very well in all answers. Then the president called the jury in private out of the room to the final deliberation. After some minutes the jury and the president came back to the room and announced their decision, assigning to Kenia the title of “Docteur en sciences économiques et de gestion” for her thesis titled “A Model-Driven Approach for User Interface – Business Process Alignment”.

The ceremony was witnessed by friends, relatives, co-workers and IBM employees. Most of them were kindly mentioned in the thesis acknowledgments for their direct support for the success of this challenging journey. This post is one more opportunity to say “thank you” to all the supporters. At last, Congratulations Kênia! We hope you keep your motivation high to continue this impressive and highly recognized research.