Adelaide Carvalho

Country of origin: Portugal

Lecturer, Instituto Superior Miguel Torga (Portugal)

After lecturing in Computer Science as part of Management degrees for some considerable time, I was certain that more research should be carried out to blur the artificial borders between both sciences and thus promote the benefit of the one from the advances of the other. This brought me to Lancaster where I enjoyed my PhD in Management Science.

Here, I had several great opportunities. I combined my two disciplines – Computer Science and Management Science – in the innovative research area of computer simulation. I was supervised by a world-renowned expert, Professor Michael Pidd, whose research interests go far beyond academia. And I shared the sense of a scientific community involved in intense international co-operation.

I could not have found a programme that better fits my vision for the future and my multidisciplinary background – first degree in Economics (University of Porto, Portugal), then MSc degrees in Computing Science (University of London, UK) and in Management Science (University of Kent at Canterbury, UK).

I explored an alternative approach to the development of simulation software for Discrete Event Simulation. The existing simulation packages, built as monolithic core applications with add-ons, are increasingly difficult to customise, hence they may be reaching their limit to respond to the rising commercial demand for customised solutions. An alternative approach is to compose simulation packages from prefabricated components that the users may select, modify and assemble so to acquire the functionality to suit each simulation model. We developed the DotNetSim prototype, based on Microsoft.Net integration philosophy, to investigate how different software components developed within distinct packages can be linked into a single simulation application and deployed as web services.

It has been challenging to beat a path that leads, eventually, to an open market in simulation components, based on the Internet.

I gladly presented the abstract of this research in the PhD Colloquium of 2005 Winter Simulation Conference which was held in Orlando (USA), 4-7 December.

As a pleasant bonus, I enjoyed the very friendly cross-cultural and cross-generational atmosphere both in the Management School and in Graduate College where I lived within the University. And, last, but absolutely vital for me, was the wonderful spiritual support I received from the Chaplaincy Ecumenical Centre.