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FTP24: The new wave of talent bringing innovation to the R&E Community

FTP24 Participants

The GÉANT Future Talent Programme (FTP) returns to nurture students and young professionals to grow and develop their skills through a unique opportunity provided by the GÉANT Learning and Development Team (GLAD). 17 talented individuals took part in the FTP this year, with sponsorship from 10 different NRENs. The programme provides one to one training and coaching from Michael Koenka of Koenka and Partners to support the participants to deliver impactful presentations.

“We have been extremely impressed by the dedication and enthusiasm displayed by FTP24 participants, especially in developing their Lightning Talk concepts. Thanks to their hard work, the quality of submissions was incredibly high, and a record number of FTP participants have been selected to present their ideas at TNC24. The FTP has once again discovered exceptional new talent in our community and given them a chance to showcase their innovative ideas.” – Lisa Melrose, Learning Co-ordinator, GLAD

Nine participants were invited to attend TNC24 to deliver a five-minute Lightning Talk on stage.

Lightning Talks

Ricardo J. M Veiga (Wednesday 12 June, 16:05) | Sponsoring NREN: FCT | FCCN, Portugal | Lightning Talk: STREAMLINING THE UNKNOWN: A DANCE OF CLOUD AND EDGE IN MARINE MONITORING

Billy Holbrook (Wednesday 12 June, 16:25)| Sponsoring organisation: GÉANT | Lightning Talk: THE CRYPTOGRAPHIC KEYS TO A SAFER INTERNET: THE RPKI REVOLUTION

Eliza Gyulgyulyan (Wednesday 12 June, 16:30) | Sponsoring NREN: ASNET-AM | Lightning Talk: QUALITY ALERT SYSTEM IN DATA LAKES

Antoni Klorek (Wednesday 12 June, 16:50) | Sponsoring NREN: PSNC | Lightning Talk: SIMPLIFYING FORMAL DOCUMENTS WITH “SIMPLE WRITING” – THE AI-BASED APPLICATION

Sawsan El Zahr (Wednesday 12 June, 17:15) | Sponsoring NREN: Jisc | Lightning Talk: TOWARDS CARBON-AWARE NETWORKS

Ismael Castell-Uroz (Thursday 13 June, 11:05) | Sponsoring NREN: RedIRIS | Lightning Talk:

Zoë Fischer (Thursday 13 June, 11:45) | Sponsoring organisation: GÉANT | Lightning Talk: FROM CLIMATE CONFUSION TO CYBER CLARITY: USING EVIDENCE-BASED MESSAGE FRAMING


Lorena Gomes Gaviria (Thursday 13 June, 12:10) | Sponsoring NREN: CSC/FUNET | Lightning Talk: UNIVERSITY 4.0: EXPLORING THE TRANSFORMATIVE POTENTIAL OF 5G ON THE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS

All the participants of FTP24

Bram Boeckx | Belnet

Denim Latic | Restena Foundation

Enrico Miotto | GARR
Erison Ballasheni | RASH

Giulio Domina | GARR

Luca Bassi | GARR

Mike Vandersanden | Belnet

Robert Gadukyan | ASNET-AM

Where are the FTP23 participants now?

In 2023, the FTP was a huge success, with 16 talented individuals participating. I spoke to some of the participants to learn about their journey since the programme.

João Brandão
“I finished my master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto with the presentation of my master’s thesis ‘The Value of Renewable Energy Communities for the Energy Transition’. Following this, I started working at Chatron, a company that manufactures and sells Solar Light Tubes for solar lighting. I am part of the company’s sales department, interacting with international distributors and new clients, but also maintaining a creative spirit, collaborating with the innovation and product development team.”

Martina Palmucci
“I am a Cyber Security Engineer at NTT DATA Italia, specialising in the Banking and Automotive sectors. My expertise lies in cryptography, specifically in the application of Attribute-Based Encryption (ABE) which was a theme I also presented at FTP23. I recently presented a cutting-edge ABE project at a prominent conference in San Francisco, California. My work continues to focus on developing and enhancing innovative security solutions using advanced cryptographic techniques to safeguard sensitive information in these critical industries. Additionally, I have a strong passion for international and research environments. I relish building relationships with peers in these circles and staying abreast of the latest innovations. I am committed to presenting projects in significant contexts, continuously learning, and sharing knowledge.”

Thalita Nazaré
“I am currently concluding my second year of a PhD programme focused on sustainable systems. I am a Women in STEM (WISH) Hume Fellow Scholarship recipient and in addition to my academic pursuits, I am actively involved in several representative roles. I serve as an Education in Ireland Student Ambassador meaning I’m responsible for promoting Irish higher education internationally. I am also the Chair of the Women in Engineering (WIE IEEE) Maynooth Student Branch, as well as the Co-lead of the WIE IEEE projects working group for the UK and Ireland section, both of which underscore my commitment to advancing the presence of women in engineering and technology fields.”

Vladislav Válek
“I was a master’s student of Microelectronics at the Brno University of Technology in the Czech Republic and affiliated for a second year as a firmware developer for FPGAs in the Liberouter research group at the Czech NREN CESNET. A wonderful offer came from my boss at CESNET which involved a traineeship within the ERASMUS+ programme at the Heidelberg University, Germany. I accepted the offer and, after a one-year practice of FPGA development at the Institute of Technical informatics (ZITI), I continued the Technical Informatics Master’s study programme there. I am currently in my second semester of this programme and also continue my affiliation at CESNET as well as at ZITI. In my work, I still focus on high-throughput data transfers inside a computer/server, mainly between an FPGA accelerator card and the host operating system.”

How would you describe your FTP experience?

“Michael was very helpful with building my presentation and made me feel much more comfortable presenting it. Tirana was a great week and the beautiful dinner in the mountains are memories which I will never forget.” – João

“The online group sessions were a highlight for me throughout the training. Michael’s mentoring was really special.” – Martina

“It was great to receive a second opinion from someone who doesn’t know my field. Michael explained during my review of my project and abstract that I need to reshape how I write things for people who aren’t necessarily in my field and provide some background information to provide a greater insight.” – Thalita

“The mentoring with Michael was a truly unique experience. It was great meeting the CEO of GÉANT, Erik Huizer, in Tirana at TNC23. I was apprehensive that during the conference I was going to feel slightly stressed, but the street party at the beginning soon made me realise I had no need to worry!” – Vladislav

What piece of advice would you give to FTP24 students?

“Just go for it! You have nothing to lose! If you are selected to talk at TNC, you will have the chance to experience an unforgettable week. From taking part in the FTP, you will benefit immensely from the training sessions with Michael. He creates a stress-free environment to learn and apply this newfound knowledge in your academic and professional career.”– João

“Enjoy every moment and experience. Take the advice that is offered and don’t feel worried about what may happen as it is a great learning environment, and you can really enjoy the good vibes from it!” – Martina

“Whatever you may learn during your time in the FTP, take it away with you! I apply the outcomes from this process on a regular basis, such as during research groups, teaching a class, or presenting a topic.” – Thalita

“Make it simple. My title and abstract were initially too complex, and after some minor changes I found it much easier to be specific even when discussing a complicated topic. Don’t get lost in too many details!” – Vladislav

More information about FTP24 and the participants can be found on our community website:

GÉANT CONNECT Magazine - CONNECT 46 -TNC24This article is featured on CONNECT 46, the latest issue of the GÉANT CONNECT Magazine!

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