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: 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: Ernesto Gargiulo

Ernesto Gargiulo has always had a curious and inquisitive disposition, which as a child saw him spending hours outdoors, in a quest to discover. At University, Ernesto’s attention turned to oncology. Set on applying and strengthening his knowledge, the Italian national embarked on a PhD at the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH), where he works on characterising exosomes, small extracellular vesicles, linked to cancer development, progression and chemo-resistance.

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Taking language barriers out of the equation

Luxembourg nationals Max Greisen and Véronique Cornu have many things in common: They are both educated in the field of psychology, they are both PhD researchers at the University of Luxembourg – and they both work with language-free approaches to early mathematical development of multilingual children. Max develops and implements animations that help assess early numerical competencies, while Véronique develops training methods to help overcome language barriers in early math education.

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Guillaume Nataf

“Would matter be perfect, it would be boring” says Guillaume Nataf, who has an oozing passion for physics and teaching fundamental science. The French national did his PhD in the group of FNR PEARL Chair Jens Kreisel at the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), in collaboration with the French Atomic Commission (CEA). We spoke to Guillaume, who has just started a Postdoc at the University of Cambridge, about life as a researcher.

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Understanding how language manifests in the brain

At KU Leuven, Luxembourg national Jill Kries is part of a research team driven by understanding how cognition and brain structure develop over time in language-related disorders and how this knowledge can be applied in a clinical or educational setting. We take a closer look at the work of the young team.

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Remko Nijzink

Climate change affects vegetation and water resources. In order to understand these changes, scientists use models – an abstract, mathematical representation of an ecological system. The challenge: Making accurate predictions under change, without ‘tuning’ models with data. We speak to Dutch national Remko Nijzink, Postdoc in the group of FNR ATTRACT Fellow Dr. Stan Schymanski at the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), about his modelling work and the importance of an open science approach.

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Eric Finn Schaanning

Eric Finn Schaanning was drawn to research by a thirst to understand what mechanisms drove the financial crisis. He has just defended his AFR PhD at Imperial College London, during which he developed an operational ‘stress test’ model that is already being used by two European Central Banks. The half Luxembourg, half Norwegian national is now a Senior Advisor at Norges Bank, where he continues to analyse and help improve understanding of how financial institutions react to economic shocks.

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Steve Dias Da Cruz

While machine learning and deep learning have come a long way, they are not yet at a stage where autonomous vehicles can handle unexpected situations. As part of a public research-industry collaboration, early career researcher Steve Dias Da Cruz investigates possibilities to reduce the amount of data needed to train reliable deep learning models for safety critical applications in the automotive industry.

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Claudio Petucco

Industry and research join forces on many fronts, including the sustainable use of natural resources. As part of his Industrial Fellowship between the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) and land use company Luxplan, Postdoc Claudio Petucco works on developing a decision support system for enhancing and assessing the provision of forest ecosystem services.

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.

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