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The Faculty of Engineering & Natural Sciences Introduces Itself

Marco Da Silva conducts research and teaches at TN's Institute of Measurement Technology.

Professor Da Silva
Professor Da Silva

What is your area of research?
Marco Da Silva: I focus on design, development, and testing measurement and sensor systems. I conduct research along the entire measurement chain, ranging from chemical and physical sensor principles to processing measurement systems, and processing methods to support data measurement. When measuring objects – and whenever completely new, more in-depth, or detailed information is needed (i.e., in medicine, or industry as well) - innovative measurement and sensor technology can shed more light on the problem.

Why did you choose to come to the JKU?
Marco Da Silva: Mechatronics at the JKU has a strong international reputation. Also, I was drawn to the idea of working at the TN Faculty together with other colleagues in the fields of mechanics, electrics, electronics, and computer sciences.

What do you find particularly fascinating about your area of research?
Marco Da Silva: I believe a good measurement engineer is empathetic, meaning having the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Technically, this means having a good, initial understanding of a particular application and the corresponding problems. An ideal measurement solution can subsequently be specified based on this understanding. Measurement and sensor technology is a cross-sectional discipline and while you can work in a wide variety of fields, you also have to be able to work well with other professionals (scientists, engineers, policymakers). You are constantly asked to think outside of the box. I find all of this appealing as an attractive field of research.

Why is this research even necessary, meaning how will it improve our lives?
Marco Da Silva: Measurement technology is a core technology. Advancements in science and technology are based on measurements. Lord Kelvin once stated: "To measure is to know". More recently, measurement and sensor technology has been playing an increasingly important role when it comes to digitalization. Digitally transforming industrial processes is an opportunity to automate more, increasingly complex and costly production processes. In turn, this is a significant step forward to not only save energy and improve product quality, but also improve plant safety.

Measurement and sensor systems serve as a main source of information regarding production conditions and as a result, they play a key role in the digitization process. There are particular challenges in the process industry, such as mass-producing metal products, chemicals and foodstuffs, but also in generating energy and converting processes.

Why should students take your classes?
Marco Da Silva: I believe that the teaching-learning process is a two-way street. I communicate with students and keep the dialogue open. I am also consistently trying to improve my courses by working together with the students and improving my didactic skills.

What are you currently working on?
Marco Da Silva: Together with colleagues in Brazil, I am working on a project to accurately measure carbon-dioxide rich compounds for the oil and gas industry. Another project focuses on tomography technique processes and spectral impedance measurement techniques to support multiphase flow visualization.

What are your hobbies?
Marco Da Silva: I enjoy traveling and learning more about new cultures. I also enjoy reading historical books and science fiction books. I also like to hike. I used to go to the stadium to watch football matches, but I haven't been to a game since the start of the pandemic. I hope to see a good football match here in Upper Austria.

What else do you want to do or achieve in your life?
Marco Da Silva: This winter, I plan to learn how to ski. Over the next few years, I would like to discover more of this beautiful country together with my wife and our three daughters. Professionally, I would like to apply innovative measurement and sensor technology to making industrial processes visible in ever greater detail, in an effort to master the challenges we face in energy, processing, and environmental technology.

About Marco Da Silva

Marco Da Silva studied electrical engineering at both the Dresden University of Technology (TUD), Germany as well as at the Federal University Technology - Paraná (UTFPR), Brazil. He earned his doctorate in engineering at the TUD in 2008. Between 2004 and 2009, he worked as a Research Associate at Helmholtz-Zentrum in Dresden-Rossendorf, Germany. In 2010, he joined the UTFPR in Brazil, holding the positions as Assistant and from 2013 until 2022 as Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Between 2017 and 2022, he also served as Deputy Head of the Multiphase Flow Center (NUEM) at UTFPR. Professor Da Silva has been the Head of the Institute of Measurement Technology at the JKU since October 2022, conducting research and teaching classes at the Department of Mechatronics. His current research interests include sensing technology, sensor data processing, and instrumentation applied to industrial process monitoring. He has authored/co-authored over 200 scientific articles and conference papers and holds five patents. Prof. Da Silva is Associate Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Sensors Journal and also serves on the Editorial Board of Measurement Science and Technology.