Spotlight on Young Researchers: Paulo Carvalho

 

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: 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: Maciej Piotr Chrzanowski

Maciej Piotr Chrzanowski never thought he would become a researcher, but a successful attempt at applying for a PhD changed all of that, and the Polish national found himself moving to Luxembourg. Now in the 3rd year of his AFR-PPP PhD, Maciej is embedded both at the University of Luxembourg and in R&D Application Department of steel manufacturing corporation ArcelorMittal, where he works on development of new solutions for structures.

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Michel Thill

For his part-time AFR PhD in Political Science with Ghent University’s Conflict Research Group, Michel Thill researches a little-studied subject: everyday policing practices and interactions between police and people in Bukavu, a provincial capital in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo. We spoke to the Luxembourg national about insatiable curiosity being a virtue for researchers; the experiences gained during his PhD; and why his research subject is important.

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: Lisa Hefele

When Lisa Hefele was a child, she wanted to study archaeology because she thought her days would look like an Indiana Jones movie. The realisation that this would not be the case, combined with an inquisitive nature and growing passion for biology, led Lisa to pursue the path of a biology and public health researcher. Now in the first year of her PhD at the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH), Lisa is working on an international project that has taken her all the way to Laos for her field work on low immunologic responses to vaccines.

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Svenja Bourone

Svenja Bourone is a chemist who has always had a fascination for natural sciences. During her master studies at RWTH Aachen, she became captivated by functional nanomaterials and as chance would have it, a doctoral position opened up in just that field. During her AFR PhD, Svenja developed a new protocol to help with the synthesisation of gold nanoparticles, which she is now putting to use in her work as a Postdoc. The Luxembourg national has a strong desire to return home to the Grand Duchy to continue her work on nanomaterials.

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Hameeda Jagalur Basheer

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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).

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Spotlight on Young Researchers: Empowering critical digital humanities practice

Digitisation has had a significant impact on humanities research: not only has it changed how many scholars conduct their research, it has also led to completely new fields of research, such as digital humanities, a highly interdisciplinary science. Linguist Lorella Viola is interested in how software can enable critical digital humanities practice.

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