Meet the Researcher: Dr. Alexandre Oliveira

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Alexandre is a CONFIRM MSCA Smart 4.0 Research Fellow based at Univeristy College Cork

” My main concern has always been to be a good teacher, that is, to open paths and generate opportunities for young people at the beginning of their careers.”

Tell us a bit about your research...

Currently, I am dedicated to many subjects related to decision-making in real operational environments, including research and development of techniques on optimisation, discrete simulation, machine learning, robotic mapping and localisation. Specifically, I intend to develop a framework capable of deciding on a better industrial plant configuration (layouts and workflows), considering an environment shared between humans and robots, for large-scale production under market uncertainties caused by unexpected events such as wars and pandemics.

How could your research be applied in the real world?

I have always had concerns about the sustainability of technological advances. A better place is not simply a community enjoying services and technology platforms. All benefits need to be supported by compelling nature and environment protection mechanisms. Hence, research aimed at decision-making in industrial environments under market uncertainties caused by wars and pandemics may also establish other equally important concerns. Uncertainty can also represent the interaction of the industry with other subsystems that aim to protect the natural resources or to face some aspect of the climate crisis. Thus, the research I intend to develop can be used in the future to face world crises.

What did you study as an Undergraduate?

I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Federal University of Maranhão (UFMA -1992) in Brazil. I have always been dedicated to studying the fundamentals of Computer Science, such as data structure, algorithm complexity, programming languages, and parallel algorithms, since I always aimed to start a teaching career.

What made you decide to go into research?

My main concern has always been to be a good teacher, that is, to open paths and generate opportunities for young people at the beginning of their careers. A good teacher requires lifelong learning. Research is a good way to become always updated. So I have become a professor who coordinates and conducts research, advises and guides students, seeks funding for research projects and tries to disseminate the findings to a vast audience worldwide.

What do you enjoy most about being a Resarch Fellow?

Postdoctoral studies are an incredible opportunity to be immersed in research, especially when you are accepted to a great university such as UCC. I am always looking to improve my skills as a lecturer and researcher. I enjoy getting an exclusive dedication to doing what I love most during the postdoc.

Do you have any advice for someone who is thinking about a career or research in STEM?

I have advised undergraduate and graduate students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses throughout my teaching life, always guiding them to the best opportunities in Brazil and abroad. The best career guidance is one that is surrounded by success stories. So, in my advisements, I always encourage, with examples, students to apply for graduate courses in STEM.

Find out more about Alexandre's research...

In my CV (http://lattes.cnpq.br/5225588855422632), this essay’s bibliographic references can be found. Moreover, Optimisation resources are available at https://www.gurobi.com/resources/ and simulation resources at https://www.anylogic.com/getting-started/

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