We catch up with researchers featured in Spotlight on Young Researchers 5 years ago to see how their careers have developed.
When we wrote about Chetan Arora in the 2017 edition of Spotlight on Young Researchers, he was a Postdoc working in requirements engineering at the SnT, having just completed his PhD. 5 years later, Chetan is on the other side of the world working as a Senior Lecturer and Academic Director for coursework research. We spoke to Chetan about how he is still a “houfreg Lëtzebuerger”, what he is working on now, and why after working both in industry and academia, he found his heart to be in the world of research.
When you were featured in Spotlight on Young Researchers in 2017, you had completed your PhD in Requirements Engineering at the SnT at the University of Luxembourg and were a postdoc there. Let’s catch up!
In your feature in 2017, you mentioned you always thought you would leave the world of research after your PhD, but at the time you had decided to stay and do a Postdoc. So, 5 years later, are you still active in the world of research? If yes, why did you decide to stay?
“After completing my Postdoc at Prof Lionel Briand’s group, I worked for SES Satellites in Luxembourg for 2 years and 3 months in Innovation Programs. Then, the academia came calling and I decided to take a full-time academic position. The reason I chose academia (the world of research) is because, firstly, I realised through FNR’s initiative of Researchers in School [Chercheurs à l’école] that I have an unexplored talent and passion for teaching our future generation; and, secondly, I am a researcher at heart and the idea of solving real-world problems via research is what keeps me going.”
What have you been up to in the last 5 years, and where are you now?
“I moved to a completely different hemisphere, i.e., Australia in early 2020. I moved here to work as a Senior Lecturer in Software Engineering at Deakin University in Melbourne. In addition to research and teaching, I am also appointed as academic director for coursework research, to manage student research projects and pathway to PhD for next generation, i.e., our Bachelors and Masters students, and lead international collaborations with other universities.”
Has your research focus changed from requirements engineering, or are you still active in this field?
“I am still very active in requirements engineering research, although I have slightly diversified my research interests within the requirements engineering area. In parallel, I am also now exploring the overlap with the field of satellite communications, due to my previous position at SES satellites.”
What have been your highlights in the last 5 years?
“I think the highlights have been, working successfully in many different settings, e.g., in SES satellites on EU and H2020 projects in Luxembourg, and now as an academic in Melbourne with teaching, research and leadership responsibilities. I have successfully received a few competitive research grants in Australia and have published some excellent and impactful papers.”
What impact did your time in Luxembourg have on you?
“Luxembourg as a country had a deep impact on me. First of all, I am a “houfreg Lëtzebuerger” now myself. Luxembourg taught me the real meaning of taking immense pride in oneself & one’s background (Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir sinn) while being open to new experiences and challenges. In my career, Luxembourg (FNR, Prof Briand’s SVV group, SNT and SES) provided me with opportunities in such a short time that are truly unique for an early career researcher like me. Luxembourg provided me with the platform that has propelled me to a successful career in academic today.”
About Spotlight on Young Researchers
Spotlight on Young Researchers is an FNR initiative to highlight early career researchers across the world who have a connection to Luxembourg. This article is the third in a series of around 20 articles, which will be published on a weekly basis. You can see more articles below as and when they are published.