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: Jose-Luis Sanchez-Lopez

Jose-Luis Sanchez-Lopez works with multirotor aerial robots – drones. Despite being early in his research career, the Spanish national’s research is already taking off, having secured him several awards at international competitions. After completing his PhD in 2017, Jose-Luis set his sights on Luxembourg, where he works as a Postdoc at the SnT at the University of Luxembourg, with the goal of giving drones enough AI that they can safely operate autonomously in a range of environments.

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: Maxime Brami

Archaeologist and trained anthropologist Maxime Brami works on uncovering the origins and spread of agriculture, and has just landed a sought-after Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship. We speak to the Luxembourg national about what it’s like to be an archaeologist in academia, the collaborative nature of the field and why archaeologists have a certain responsibility.

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Nanotechnology – a future big player in health

Divya Balakrishnan, Dipti Rani and Serena Rollo are women in science working in a field that could have a major impact on how health is managed: In the group of FNR ATTRACT Fellow César Pascual García at the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), the team works on developing sensors for biochemical applications focusing on medicine.

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: Thomas Schaubroeck

Thomas Schaubroeck specialises in sustainability assessment of products. We speak to the Belgian national about the research he is undertaking in the framework of an Industrial Fellowship between the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) and company Tarkett; how working with industry differs from academia; and how he hopes his research can help industry steer toward a more sustainable future.

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Miguel Angel Olivares Mendez

Miguel Angel Olivares Mendez works on mobile robots – more specifically: he develops algorithms that enable drones to fly around and perform various tasks autonomously, such as inspecting big structures. The Spanish national came to Luxembourg in 2013 after he came across a Postdoc position that fit like a glove.

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Gil Georges

Gil Georges is driven by the quest for knowledge and strives to have a real impact, beyond publications. The Luxembourg national has just made the jump from early-career researcher to lecturer and group leader at the IET-LAV at ETH Zürich in Switzerland, where the data analyst and modeller gets to use one of Europe’s most powerful super computers when it is time for some serious number crunching.

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Michel Summer

For his AFR PhD at Trinity College Dublin, historian Michel Summer is re-assessing the political activity of medieval Anglo-Saxon missionary Willibrord, who in addition to being a landowner, scholar and ambassador, founded a monastery in Luxembourg. We spoke to the Luxembourg national about how history promotes critical thinking, and why he believes historians are needed more than ever.

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