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I Came to SnT to Create Something from Scratch

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Published on Thursday, 03 October 2019

Professor Paulo Esteves-Veríssimo joined SnT in 2014. He previously led a research unit at the University of Lisbon and came to Luxembourg to build a new group focused on tackling extreme threats to critical infrastructures. We sat down with him to find out what keeps him looking for new challenges.

Why did you join SnT?

A lot of people work on security and dependability, but not that many people focus on achieving resilience to cyberattacks on critical infrastructures, like power stations or hospitals. The Luxembourg National Research Fund’s PEARL grant gave me the chance to create such a lab from scratch. And SnT’s unique combination of top-level scholarly research and a culture of collaborating with industry provided the right environment.

Can you describe SnT?

SnT is a centre where people focus on a very high level of research, and at the same time, they always try to keep the big picture in mind: What is this research for? How can we collaborate with companies? How do we promote an effective technology transfer to the economy? I think SnT has a great balance that I don’t see in many other places.

What is your most memorable moment at SnT?

I’ve had five fantastic years, and several memorable moments. Most recently, in February 2019 there was a meeting of the International Advisory Board for my PEARL grant. They told me that within four years we had practically secured all of the objectives of the 5-year programme. Now, we’ll take the next five years to make sure our success is sustainable!

What are the biggest changes that happened while you were here?

SnT has been experiencing phenomenal growth, both qualitatively and quantitatively, but it hasn’t been a case of abrupt changes – there is continuity in our growth strategy.

Do you have any advice for someone who would like to build a career in research?

For me, such a career has to be about top-level research, like what we do at SnT – I tell my team that this means we need to be like a high-performance sports team. My advice is to try to be the best you can be today and tomorrow try to be better than you were yesterday.

SnT is turning 10! We’ve come a long way since launching our activities in 2009. Stay tuned for a year full of celebrations, cutting-edge research, and new milestones.