Having started his professional career 16 years ago, Paulo Carvalho did not plan any major career changes. Then an opportunity came up that would change work life as he knew it and a few years later, the French/Portuguese national is completing his PhD at the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST).
“The fact that I am a researcher was not planned in the beginning of my professional career. I am not the typical young student continuing his studies”, Paulo says, adding:
“When I finished my university degree in 2001, I never thought I would be a student again. I started my professional career 16 years ago in Portugal. 12 years ago I moved to Luxembourg where I worked two years in the private sector for the European Court of Justice. Then, an opportunity arose to join the Centre de Recherche Public Gabriel Lippmann (now LIST) for a CDD which eventually turned into a CDI. It was risky. Things went well… and here I am.”
Upon first joining the Centre de Recherche Public Gabriel Lippmann in 2007 on a temporary (CDD) position, Paulo was involved in several projects, with CNPF (Caisse Nationale des Prestations Familiales) as main collaborators. His temporary contract was changed to a permanent contract and a few years later in 2014, Paulo decided to start a PhD.
Paulo is now a member of the eScience unit (IT unit) in the Environmental Research and Environment (ERIN) Department at LIST. For the past 3 years, he’s been working on his PhD thesis, which is related to the fields of Open Data and Information Visualisation – Paulo elaborates:
“This choice came from the emerging trend of the Open Data field and from the potential existing, socially and economically, by exploiting the data available. It consists mainly in showing and finding the best visual solutions in order to understand, assess and promote the reuse of Open Data.”
“My regular tasks are balanced between writing scientific articles related to my projects, including my PhD thesis and software development related to the projects I am involved in. After that, I go home and have a normal ‘dad life’”, Paulo says when asked what a typical day is like for him.
Both now and during the core of his PhD, Paulo was always involved in more than one project. Now that the bulk of the PhD project is completed, Paulo is working on two different projects in two different areas, one being in the field of water quality and the other in the field of historical storytelling.
“I did my PhD work on 50% of my working time because I had other projects where I was involved. This is somehow unusual, I think”. Paulo hopes to defend his PhD thesis before the summer of 2017 and already has plans for where he wants to go next. Besides a desire to create a patent, Paulo also has ideas on the future of Open Data in Luxembourg:
“My thesis can contribute to the Open Data reuse which has high potential, both in social and economic terms. Unfortunately, the Open Data field in Luxembourg is quite behind other main countries in terms of evolution. But in my opinion, if we give the tools to exploit conveniently Open Data, then this field could be boosted here in Luxembourg.”
You can find Paulo on LinkedIn
Published 20 April 2017
About Spotlight on Young Researchers
Spotlight on Young Researchers is an FNR initiative to highlight early career researchers across the world who have a connection to Luxembourg. This article is the 7th in a series of around 20 articles, which will be published on a weekly basis. You can see more articles below as and when they are published.
Spotlight on Young Researchers: Paul Hauseux
Paul Hauseux was always interested in science, but only recently settled on the researcher path. Before that, his career ambitions stretched from working in sports or music to teaching science. Some years and a PhD later, the French national has come to Luxembourg for his computational engineering Postdoc in the team of ERC grantee Stéphane Bordas at the University of Luxembourg.
Spotlight on Young Researchers: Towards predicting ageing-related diseases
A rapid increase in both life expectancy and global population size has led to a rise in the prevalence of chronic ageing-associated diseases. Brain and heart age-associated diseases including hypertension, stroke, heart failure, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are leading causes of mortality and disability worldwide. Researchers are working on much-needed ways to predict these diseases.
Spotlight on Young Researchers: Anna Scaini
Anna Scaini’s appetite for becoming a researcher was stirred at University, stemming from a desire to ‘save’ the last natural river in Europe, which runs close to her home town and causes dangerous local flooding. The Italian national is taking the first step towards pursuing her goal as she prepares to complete her PhD thesis in Hydrology at the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST).
Spotlight on Young Researchers: Glioblastoma and the challenge of getting cancer drugs to reach the brain
Glioblastoma is the most aggressive form of brain tumours in adults. The incidence is about 4 per 100.000 people and the average survival after diagnosis is about 14 months with current treatments. The tumour’s location represents a major challenge – few drugs make it past the blood brain barrier. Researchers are working on designing a novel kind of drug that could help do just that.
Spotlight on Young Researchers: Ramona Pelich
Ramona Pelich uses data from satellites in space to improve maritime surveillance and flood hazard monitoring. Splitting her time between the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) and the company LuxSpace as part of her AFR-PPP Postdoc, the Romanian national’s work has already found direct application when flood maps she co-developed were used in the aftermath of destructive 2017 hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Spotlight on Young Researchers: Zhe Liu
Zhe Liu’s passion for research grew from a desire to find out how things work and why. Considering himself as a ‘Luxembourg-made Chinese researcher’, Zhe came to Luxembourg in 2011 for his AFR PhD, a project for which he later won an FNR Award for ‘Outstanding PhD Thesis’ in 2016.
Spotlight on Young Researchers: An algorithm to allocate satellite resources
When the first satellite was launched in the 1950s, earth orbit was a lonely place. Since then, more than 11,000 satellites have been launched into space and over 3,000 are still in operation. Estimates suggest an exponential increase in satellites in the next years, creating a challenge for the effective allocation of the needed bandwidth and power. Researchers are developing algorithms to more effectively allocate the resources where and when they are needed.
Spotlight on Young Researchers: A hazelnut quality forecasting system
Can we predict the likelihood of a hazelnut tree becoming sick? Or what quality defects, and in what percentage, will be present in the final harvest? Science could soon make this possible, thanks to a hazelnut quality forecasting system based on a combination of machine learning and simulation models.
Spotlight on Young Researchers: Harnessing the potential of the Internet of Things and satellites to make smart agriculture a reality
Lack of access to fast and reliable Internet in rural and remote areas is a [multi-step] challenge that must be addressed to pave the way for smart agriculture and precision farming, a vital step toward ensuring food security in a changing climate. In the quest for smart agriculture, researchers are working on solutions for connecting Internet of Things (IoT) with satellite communication (SATCOM) systems.
Spotlight on Young Researchers: Dementia in neurodegeneration – defining the role of microglia, the brain’s immune cells
An estimated 55 million people in the world suffer from dementia, with the number estimated to increase to 78 million by 2030. In Luxembourg, more than 10,000 people suffer from dementia, including patients affected by Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia with Lewy Bodies. These incurable diseases have an increasing socio-economic impact along with the burden on patients and caregivers. One of the approaches researchers are taking is studying microglia, immune cells in the brain.