Director of the Office of Project Planning and Oversight for Detector Projects of Brookhaven National Laboratory (US). She is member of the Nuclear and Particle Physics Directorate and member of advisory committees to define the strategy of the laboratory that is at present operating the US most powerful heavy ion collider. Maria has a PhD in High Energy Physics by the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (1997), is qualified as Professor in Particle Physics by the Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche (Francia, 2012), and was Fermilab (Fermi National Laboratory, US) Distinguished Researcher in 2014. Her research work has focused in the study of the basic constituents of matter using High Energy Collisions in the world´s most powerful accelerators.
She was responsible of the operation of the CMS detector at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) during the first run of the accelerator, that resulted in the discovery of the Higgs boson for which F. Englert and P.W. Higgs received the Noble Prize in 2013. She was member of the management board and executive board of the CMS experiment in 2012-2013.
Maria was the Spanish Delegate at the European Particle Physics Communication Network since its creation until 2015 and she has been member of several scientific committees in High Energy and Heavy Ion Physics.