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Spaceward Bound Expedition: Australia 2009

photo of Paulo de Souza

Paulo de Souza
Research Director
Tasmanian ICT Centre, CSIRO
Hobart, TAS

Who I am and what I do
I received my Ph.D. in Natural Sciences from the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany, in 2004 and have been a collaborating scientist with the NASA Mars Exploration Rover Project since 2002. Currently I am Research Director of the Tasmanian Information and Communication Technologies, Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization (CSIRO).  My current research focuses on the near real-time data & information systems and on Martian geochemistry.

I'm also actively involved in adapting and applying sensors developed for Martian exploration on different outdoor applications, including archaeology and atmospheric and marine environmental monitoring.

What helped me prepare for this job
As an undergrad I studied physics, electrical and mechanical engineering. I think this was a good combination for me since it was a good foundation for all the broad research approaches needed for my current research challenges. Being involved in research since my early years of my undergrad was important to learn the basics of the scientific method and starting publishing the results of my research soon in my career.

Career Path
When I was in school I studied electrical engineering. Then I moved to physics and later I did my M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering. In 200 I started my Ph.D. with Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Guetlich in Mainz. There I had the privilege to work with Dr. Klingelhofer, head of the MIMOS team that developed miniaturised Mossbauer spectrometers. These instruments were sent to Mars on ESA's Mars Express (Beagle II) and on MER. The project of producing miniaturised spectrometers started many years before with Prof. Dr. Kankaleit from Uni-Darmstadt where Dr. Klingelhoefer did his grad studies and continued his ambitions project.

I started working for a mining company called Vale in Brazil in 2002 waiting for the spectrometers to be sent to Mars and have some data from Mars in my Thesis. Meanwhile I started exploring some industrial applications of MIMOS II. I am now working at CSIRO in Hobart Tasmania applied some miniaturised sensors in Marine environmental studies. My feets are on Earth (or See), and my mind on Mars...

What I like most about my job
I like to explore the unknown. Working with other scientists and delivering on great projects in Hobart is fantastic. I like the intellectual work around scientific publications and to present the results of years of study.

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Editor: Linda Conrad
NASA Official: Liza Coe
Last Updated: April 2007
Teachers Contact: Liza Coe
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