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From Physics to Data Science with Giel Vandierendonck

  • november 04, 2022
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My aptitude for maths and curiosity about “how things work” led me to study physics and astronomy. During my master’s, I had the opportunity to work at CERN – where I researched the production process of quarks and experienced physics in practice.

My PhD focused on a neutrino detector, specifically developing multiple software tools to aid research methods. I built a remote monitoring tool for the detector’s environment and a visualisation tool to help with the data analysis of cosmic particle interactions.

After my technical PhD, I was at a crossroads, going further with physics or transitioning to data science. I opted for the data science path; to go deeper into A.I. and transition from academia to the private sector. With Addestino, they said I could build expertise in the data science arena and learn how to split the end goal into smaller projects, each with valuable impact. It felt like the natural extension of my PhD.

A customer in the retail food business approached Addestino to help them develop a forecasting tool. They needed a more intelligent system that could increase the understanding of previous sales to infer a more accurate sales prediction. The new A.I. needed to handle strange behaviour that you naturally have in your data sets and prevent these data anomalies from affecting production.

The customer had the historical sales data and a user interface designed; my job was to build everything else. I made a new application from the bottom up. I developed the software, scoped different A.I. models, designed the data architecture, and tied the systems together. The customer is using the A.I., and the 13 months of development are paying off.

This was the perfect project for my transition from academia to the private sector. I could use my backbone in AI but in a different setting while building expertise in the business intelligence environment. It provided me with a great platform to learn and develop new competencies. I look forward to my future at Addestino and projects that broaden my perspective.

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