Creating and sharing knowledge for telecommunications

Fernando Silva

on 31-05-2020

... In May 2019, I joined Novo Banco Digital as lead data scientist and deputy director.

I joined Instituto de Telecomunicações in 2011 to work on my master thesis under the supervision of Anders Lyhne Christensen (ISCTE-IUL).

After successfully completing the MSc in 2012, I obtained an IT-hosted PhD scholarship from FCT. In 2013, I started working on a PhD under the joint supervision of Anders and Luis Correia (FC/UL).

My PhD research focused on studying new ways to enable efficient online learning in groups of autonomous robots. We developed novel evolutionary computation-based techniques for automatic behavior synthesis, and successfully demonstrated real-robot online learning and adaptation in a timely manner.

For example, robots were able to learn new tasks, adapt to changing environments, and overcome faults in the sensors and/or actuators in one hour or less, thus bringing online learning through evolution closer to widespread adoption.

The opportunity to work at IT allowed me to learn from high-caliber researchers and high-potential students. After concluding the PhD in 2017, I decided to take on new challenges and transition from academia to industry.

Since starting in the private sector, I have held multiple positions at the intersection of data, artificial intelligence, and engineering. I have worked at the Portuguese unicorn Talkdesk, and in blue chip companies such as Vodafone Portugal and China’s state-owned Cofco International.

In May 2019, I joined Novo Banco Digital as lead data scientist and deputy director. At Novo Banco Digital, which is a central department in Novo Banco, I focus on shaping and scaling up a talented team of data scientists and data engineers, provide technical and scientific guidance, and identify potential partnerships with academia at multiple levels.

My role is to fuel digital disruption through data science, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence. At Novo Banco, we are committed to reinventing services and products in banking, and to bringing a brighter, more digital future to our customers.