PhD’s and postdocs in SFI Smart Ocean

PhD-student Wiktoria Karolina Szapoczka (UIB), WP1

PhD-student Wiktoria Karolina Szapoczka

My name is Wiktoria and since September 2021 I am a Ph.D. candidate at SFI Smart Ocean. I am under the supervision of Bodil Holst (Department of Physics and Technology), Tore Skodvin (Department of Chemistry), and Peter James Thomas (NORCE). 

The main objective of the project is to develop a compact, stable, and affordable optical pH sensor for use in seawater. This will be done by synthesizing an indicator with pH-dependent fluorescence properties and optimizing its response with different spectral filtering and membrane choices. An additional part of the project is to develop and investigate different anti-biofouling nano-treatments to ensure as smooth and maintenance-free user experience of the pH sensor as possible. 

Before this position, I have been a student in the Department of Chemistry, from where I graduated with masters in analytical chemistry. My master project was a collaboration between UiB and the Institute of Marine Research, where I explored metabolites of crude oil in Atlantic Haddock by using mass spectrometry. I have always been drawn to ocean-oriented research, thus why I chose to study in Bergen, and I am extremely grateful and excited to be a part of the Smart Ocean team. 

In my free time, I like to play board games, go to the cinema and, when the weather allows it, relax in my hammock in the mountains around Bergen. 

PhD-student Keila Lima (HVL), WP3

PhD-student Keila Lima

I have a background in the marine robotics field where I have worked for 4 years in Portugal for different national and european projects. Besides the research work, I also have some experience in field operations in both coastal and open-seas environment. I have a master in Network and Information Systems Engineering and a bachelors’ in computer science.

I have started my PhD Fellowship in January of 2022 and I am going to work in the software architecture for smart monitoring of the ocean (Workpackage 3). And, more especifically, I am very interested in studing how can marine subsystems can be made uniform. The SFI Smart Ocean presents a great opportunity to experiment that, and at the same time bringing together knowledge from partners from different applications within the marine

Furhtermore, I very  interested in marine systems domain and their usage in favor of a deeper understanding of our oceans.

PhD-student Astrid Marie Skålvik (UiB), WP1

PhD-student Astrid Marie Skålvik

I have a bachelor + master in fundamental physics from Université Paul Sabatier (France) and University of Bergen. My master thesis was about Quark-Gluon plasma, supervised by professor Laszlo Csernai. During my studies in Bergen I worked as a science teacher at Bergen Katedralskole, and after my studies I started at Christian Michelsen Research, now part of NORCE. There I have worked (and still work 25 %) as a scientist in the Measurement Technology-group, with focus on how uncertainty propagates through more or less complex measurement systems. On the side I have also taken some courses in pedagogy/didactics (PPU).

My Ph.D. on sensor self-diagnostics and self-validation in subsea networks is part of work package 1.2 in SFI Smart Ocean. I will first focus on self-calibration possibilities internally in a sensor by use of secundary measurement and signal processing techniques. Then I will look at how measurements from several sensors in a metering station can be used. My starting point wil be to get an overview over methods described in the litterature, and an understanding of additional challenges related to subsea sensing, as battery capacity, signal transfer, environmental factors among others. 

Camilla Sætre, Førsteamanuensis UiB, is the main supervisor, whereas Kjell-Eivind Frøysa (HVL) and Ranveig N. Bjørk (NORCE) are co-supervisors. 

PhD-student Amr Abboud (UiB), WP1

My name is Amr Abboud, and I started a Ph.D. position at SFI Smart Ocean in September 2022 and I´m working with Ultrasonic guided waves for non-destructive testing in multilayer media. The focus of the project is to measure the integrity of the wind turbine structure.

My main supervisor is Per Lunde from UiB and Jan Kocbach from NORCE is my co-supervisor.  

I obtained a master’s degree in Sound and Vibration from Chalmers Institute of Technology in Gothenburg Sweden. After my studies, I have worked as a Noise control engineer for different automotive companies including Volvo cars, Geely Auto, and Volvo trucks.   

The SFI project offered a fantastic opportunity to explore other domains and applications in acoustics. Instead of just suppressing noise and improving the comfort in vehicles, we are trying to utilize the sound signal to improve structural health monitoring and make the generation of green energy more accessible.

Associated PhD’s and PostDocs

PhD Ngoc Thanh Nguyen (HVL), WP3

I received my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Computer Science at Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City. My master’s research project focused on developing deep learning-based predictive models using time-series data. It is fascinating to see how the quality of the data used affects the performance of deep learning models.

In my PhD project, I continue with that research topic, focusing on investigating and developing software-based solutions to automate data quality checks for marine data. The data collected in the ocean is often contaminated due to numerous physical impacts of the sea and technical limitations of data networks and sensors. For now, it is a labor-intensive task to ensure marine data is of high quality.

My main supervisor is professor Rogardt Heldal (HVL), and my co-supervisor is professor Patrizio Pelliccione (GSSI, Italy).

Postdoc Daniel Koestner (UiB), WP1

Postdoc Daniel Koestner

I am a postdoctoral researcher in Marine Optics. I am part of the SEAS Fellowship Programme at UiB which focuses on interdisciplinary research within marine sustainability, including collaboration with SFI Smart Ocean.

I received my PhD in Oceanography from the University of California San Diego. My doctoral research focused on understanding the roles of particle composition and size distribution in angle-resolved polarized light scattering by natural seawater samples. This knowledge is essential for the development of underwater optical applications such as optical communication and characterization of particulate matter.

My current research is centered around improving the capabilities of autonomous platforms to measure the concentration of particulate organic carbon (POC) with optical sensors for applications in all ocean environments. A better understanding of the spatial and temporal distributions of POC may prove essential to the advancement of many topics in marine sustainability, such as sustainable fisheries management and the characterization of oceanic carbon sequestration. I’m particularly excited about the expanding networks of gliders, floats, and moored platforms which contain optical instrumentation. 

My work allows me to travel to some incredible places. My favorite trips have been to the Arctic waters of Svalbard and Northern Alaska. In these rapidly changing environments, variability in the optical properties of seawater relate to the complex sourcing of material from glaciers, permafrost, snowmelt, sea ice, and phytoplankton.

When I’m not doing scientific research, I love to explore nature and compose, record, and produce music. I like to experiment with a variety of musical styles and appreciate all types of sounds!

PhD Shea Cheatham (UiB), WP1

I am currently a PhD candidate in the Marine Optics group at UiB, with Dr. Børge Hamre as my primary advisor and Drs. Camilla Sætre, Arne Kristoffersen, and Christian Pedersen as my co-advisors.

My PhD project aims to improve the knowledge of how laser and solar light propagate in Arctic environments. I am accomplishing this through the testing and development of radiative transfer models simulating the light field under various types of sea ice. I am especially interested in how the rapid degradation of sea ice affects light transfer in Arctic environments, and what that might mean for under-ice primary production and ice-albedo feedback.

Before coming to UiB, I received two Master’s degrees from Stanford University (one in Earth Systems Sciences, and the other in Philosophy with a focus on environmental ethics and philosophy of science).

In my free time, I like to knit, read, and play the guitar.