Meet our new colleague – Marcia Baptista

Who are you?

Hi there! My name is Marcia Baptista and I am an Assistant Professor at TU Delft. I lecture the course of Maintenance Modeling and Analysis at the Aerospace Engineering faculty. Me and my research team seek to understand how Artificial Intelligence can shape the future of Aeronautics and Astronautics based on Prognostics and Health Management technologies. Reach out to to connect!

Can you describe your career in brief?

Since 2020, I have been working as an Assistant Professor at the Aerospace Engineering faculty of TU Delft in the Group of Air Transport and Operations (ATO). I am enthusiastic about the future of education and its importance to society.  I lecture the Master course of Maintenance Modeling and Analysis at TU Delf, a topic that I find fascinating and ever-changing. In my first year, the most valuable learning lesson was that  students want to be engaged in the learning process by active participation rather than just listening to the teacher. It is quite tricky to think of new ways to trigger curiosity and promote learning on a daily basis but that challenge is what makes me enjoy teaching. I believe the methodologies and the tools of education are heading in the direction of a more digital yet human learning experience.

Ten years ago I would have never thought of recording videos to teach to a large online audience. Even if intimidating, digital connection could help accelerate and bring together the teacher and the student in a virtual environment or in the physical classroom.  

Talking a little about my background, I have completed my Computer Science degree at the University of Lisbon and have received a PhD degree in Engineering Design and Advanced Manufacturing from MIT Portugal.

I enjoy working to solve concrete real-world problems of maintenance in the Aviation industry. I was lucky to have worked with different companies, such as Embraer, Portugalia, Azur, Rolls Royce and KLM in some of their most intriguing and complex problems. As a result of my Applied Research, I have authored several Quarter 1 journal papers. I was also the lucky winner of several best paper awards at distinct international conferences.

One of the things I appreciate the most is travelling and meeting new cultures. I have been an invited researcher at several established labs which allowed me to explore Research in my field of interest while meeting new people. For example, I worked at NASA Prognostics Center of Excellence at Research Ames with Shankar Sankararaman and Kai Goebel, I was also at the GAIPS Lab of Ana Paiva in Portugal, at the Intelligent Machines Lab of Prof. Cairo Nascimento in Brazil, and at the Laboratory of Helmut Prendinger in the National Institute of Informatics in Japan. I have also participated in several Research Projects such as INVITE, CICLOPE, MARISA, PERSONA, and REMAP. One of my favorite projects outside the scope of Aerospace was CICLOPE because we tried to develop sustainable fire detection techniques using advanced algorithms from Computer Vision.

My field of passion is Prognostics. This discipline can be generally defined as the art and science of developing prediction and forecast models to support performance and mission readiness. Currently, my research interests include Prognostics and Health Management (PHM), Machine Learning (ML), eXplainable Artificial Intelligence (xAI) and Sustainable Predictive Maintenance (SPM). I hope I can contribute to make maintenance in aerospace smarter, more useful and easy.

Why Delft?

I believe in  TU Delft’s Educational and Research vision. I see Education as a fun way of developing skills for both the teacher and the student, so my approach is people-driven. In accord with Rogers’ theory, learning can unfold itself best in a climate that is characterized by authenticity, respect and a deep understanding of the meanings of the other. I always try to remind myself that a teacher is one who makes his/her presence progressively unnecessary by creating space for individual growth.

Your greatest research challenge at the moment?

I am a strong advocate for system reliability and safety and the importance of bringing Artificial Intelligence methodologies into Aerospace Prognostics analytics.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I am curious about art, writing, music, and sports. A cup of hot chocolate will make my day.