Our Analytics and Application team got a new member in autumn 2022. Meet Arthur Vandenhoeke, a Belgian passionate about driving good causes with deep- and machine-learning models. And, Arthur loves running.
What is your background, and what are your aspirations in this field?
I have a physics engineering degree and care deeply about using my skills for meaningful causes. One high-impact program that I was involved in was the particle accelerator world. For those wondering what a particle accelerator is, it is a machine that uses electromagnetic fields to propel charged particles to very high speeds and energies and to contain them in well-defined beams. I had the opportunity to study novel particle therapy systems as part of my medical radiophysics major. This diverse field utilizes the knowledge gained in other areas of physics and applies it to heal people.
In 2019, right about when the Covid pandemia started and shocked the world order, I got intrigued by another fascinating world, the realm of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Deep Learning (DL). I decided to combine a postgraduate degree in applied AI with a research position at the AI Lab of Brussels.
The universality of the Applied AI field is fascinating. Computers are data-agnostic machines; when given proper data, they can be taught to execute any well-defined task. Equipping machines and programs with such knowledge is a key challenge, especially when there are many factors to consider, as is the case in Earth Observation. Translating this contextual knowledge into a computer-understandable representation will be crucial in developing robust AI and DL models. Robustness and transparency will allow us to gain new insights into tackling food security, security intelligence, and climate change.
Why Kuva Space, and what are your expectations for this role?
When I first heard of Kuva Space, I was surprised by its dynamism and service mindset. Kuva Space is excellent for those keen to learn and test new approaches when developing Earth Observation (EO) products and services. The work we do is highly motivating. One of the key areas we work on is to provide space-borne insights that will accelerate climate actions.
Each Kuva Space nanosatellite is around 25 kg and delivers unparalleled scientific-level data. Kuva Space’s mission is to build a constellation of 100 satellites that will feed our analytics platform with global, continuous, high-quality hyperspectral EO data. For the Kuva Space analytics team, this unleashes the possibility to develop wide-ranging new services or applications that will help improve life on Earth.
With support from the energetic Kuva Space team and my enthusiasm for translating customer needs into technical requirements, we will continue to push the spaceborne analytics services’ limits and bring tangible impact.
What can you say about Kuva Space culture as a newcomer?
First, hats off to the team for the warm welcome. The hybrid/remote working culture is the norm at Kuva Space. Working from Brussels and going for a consulting position in a foreign country was a big step for me. The Kuva Space team’s flexibility and openness made the decision easier. Two values that became quickly apparent to me in Kuva Space culture are trust and fun. These two values are essential ingredients to form a sustainable workplace. And not forgetting the cultural dimension, Kuva Space, with its roots in Finland, has a straight-to-the-point attitude, which is crucial when building value-adding solutions.
How do you see Kuva Space delivering impact to make the world more sustainable?
I couldn’t agree more with John Naisbitt – “We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge.” Providing knowledge or insights is key; this is where I see Kuva Space making a difference. With its extensive hyperspectral satellite constellation, Kuva Space will acquire rich and consistent data all around the globe, thereby feeding the latest analytics tools with high-quality data.
At the same time, the focus on transparency and explainability of its data models will make Kuva Space products more credible. Our commitment to data model quality will help explain decisions, mitigate risks or even understand forecasts related to hyperspectral data. In that sense, Kuva Space’s space-borne data solution is unique. We will change how we view our world and help make it a more sustainable place to live.
Arthur’s passion for a purposeful data analytics mission perfectly matches Kuva Space’s ambition. Together we aspire to enrich the world with meaningful insights. Welcome to the team, Arthur!
If you are interested in joining our growing team of experts, visit our career page to learn more.