I’m Flaviu 👋 It’s great to have you here.
At core, I am driven by joy, curiosity and a passion for clear thinking. I want to understand the world and use that understanding to improve it.
I thrive at mapping complex problems 🤔 to new technologies ⚡️. Everything is interconnected 🕸 and we can achieve great impact by exploring those connections.
I currently work on one of the most complex problems of them all: climate change 🌎. I lead projects that move us towards a zero carbon society.
In the meantime, I work on upgrading my thinking skills for the 21st century. You can see my thoughts at my newsletter.
At IBM Research Europe, I co-lead an area of research focusing on discovering new materials for carbon capture using accelerated discovery techniques. This means that we combine machine learning, knowledge graphs, computer simulation and experiments to discover new materials, faster.
As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, I co-founded and served as a curator of Global Shapers Manchester. We empower young people who want to improve the state of the world to build small local projects that can then be scaled globally. We are part of the Global Shapers Community, a community of over 10,000 young people committed to improving the state of the world.
Projects we are working on include:
- Happy Benches, where we spark serendipity and joy through conversations between strangers.
- Digital PI, a fundraising campaign for Raspberry PI computers for kids (we made the name as a pun over Christmas and it kindof stuck).
- Climate Generation, a spoken word poem about climate change.
I supervise a PhD student at Oxford University and serve on the advisory board of the Postgraduate Institute for Measurement Science.
To navigate today’s world, we need to upgrade the way that we think. I write about making sense of my experiences at my newsletter and will soon start to host more online spaces for discussions and sharing ideas. Likely on Clubhouse. Maybe Twitter.
My research experience is in the general area of accelerated discovery: using computers to do science better.
I have led a project using Jupyter notebooks to improve collaboration for drug discovery. We built infrastructure to use Jupyter notebooks to do everything related to computational aided drug discovery - from seeing how molecules moved to running simulations on large supercomputers. We used these notebooks to understand how to make cyclic peptides (short proteins looped together) into better drugs.
My training is in physics, with a masters and PhD from the University of Edinburgh.
In my PhD thesis, I created algorithms that can be used to study the movement of atoms and molecules and help us design better medicine. I applied these algorithms to find out new things about the structure of water molecules. I wrote a software that analyses the interactions between molecules using Scala.
During my PhD, I worked at an internship at IBM Research where I designed better piezoelectric transistors through mathematical models in Mathematica.
After my PhD, I worked on discovering new antibiotics. I was part of a team using AI to make new antimicrobial peptides. These are short proteins that kill bacteria. Using similar simulations, I have also designed a small protein that makes fractal holes in the membrane of bacteria (I like to call it a stylish antibiotic).
I really enjoy collaborating with artists in what is loosely know as the SciArt community.
I have written about how we represent information in physics though the lens of dance. I have helped generate new music using Markov chains and collaborated with a glass blower to sculpt my PhD. I have helped edit the podcast of the SciArt party. I spoke at the Royal College of Art's Grand Challenge 2020 on Beyond Tech: Questions to guide the future of design.
I’m also a tango dancer, being part of the UK tango scene for more than 10 years.
And here’s some cool stuff that I have done that doesn’t fit neatly in the other buckets. During my PhD I co-designed an innovative summer school where our ice breaker was tasting with one of the best chocolatiers in the world. At uni, I wrote a simulation of a quantum computer in Scala
At 17 I wrote a raytracer in Haskell that won the programming competition. It actually started a trend where every year since, the winning entries were some kind of raytracer! As early as 16 I was tinkering with solving challenging problems: I discovered anomalous spreading in the mid-Atlantic ridge.
When I was younger I was also a competitive mathematician and physicist!
So yeah - lots of stuff. But I feel they all point to the same thing: being a good navigator in today’s ever-changing, post-everything world.
If any of this resonates, don't be a stranger and let's chat! You can DM me on Twitter or send me an email at (my first name)@hey.com or subscribe below.
✌️ ☀️ Flaviu
my life in one line: why not everything?