About me



Ruben has a background in Mechatronics and Mechanical Engineering and has turned to Artificial Intelligence (AI) where his main interest lies in Machine Learning (ML) research, particular in Reinforcement Learning (RL) with a focus on human-inspired learning approaches that rely on reuse of previously acquired knowledge. His long-term research interest lies in successfully applying RL techniques to real-world challenges to accelerate and improve decision-making, autonomously or as a support tool for humans, preferably for applications in the energy and smart mobility domain.
Ruben is very pro-active and pushes himself to reach ambitious goals. To this effect, he highly values teamwork and cooperation and welcomes constructive discussion and exchange. His most valuable contributions to the workplace include his high energy, the drive to get results, and the ability to inspire others. Ruben loves to support the research community and routinely takes on leadership roles to accept responsibilities and create forward momentum for a group or cause. More...
He holds a master degree in Mechanical Engineering in the area of controlling mechanical systems from the São Paulo State University (UNESP), Brazil, and a Diplom-Ingenieur degree in Mechatronics in the area of sensors and robotics from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany. Eventually, Ruben received his Ph.D. in Computer Engineering in the area of ML at the Escola Politécnica of the University of São Paulo (USP), Brazil, one of the leading universities in Latin America.
During his Ph.D., Ruben’s efforts were recognized through various prestigious awards, like the Google Research Award for Latin-America, the Upsilon Pi Epsilon Honor Society Award for academic excellence, an invitation to the Heidelberg Laureate Forum as Outstanding Young Researcher, various travel grants to conferences and other events, as well as best paper, best student poster, and distinguished work awards for his contributions at international events.
Apart from his academic experiences, Ruben has acquired years of professional experiences before and during his studies while working in the technology and energy sector, as well as in the organization of international ML conferences. Most notably, he was invited to for a highly competitive summer internship at Microsoft where he worked on the interface between ML and software development and build an RL agent that would learn to navigate Microsoft apps and perform simple tasks. He was also able to build a great international network in the applied ML community as the Lead Organizer of the Predictive APIs (PAPIs) conference series which he organized in London (UK), Boston (USA), and São Paulo (Brazil) with increassing success.
More recently, Ruben was appointed to a Postdoctoral Researcher position at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) (USA) where he also acted as the Chair of the Lawrence Livermore Postdoc Association (LLPA) and represented the Lab’s postdocs in the Institutional Postdoc Program Board (IPPB). After converting to a full Staff position at LLNL, he is now working as a Staff Researcher ML, continuing research on a variety of RL projects to develop methods for collaborative autonomy in multi-agent systems, interpretable RL, and real-world applications for ML approaches.
In the past, Ruben also has actively build the ML community in São Paulo by organizing meetups and workshops with a strong emphasis on diversity and inclusion. He is now continuing his community engagement efforts as elected Vice-Chair of the IEEE Computer Society Oakland/Eastbay/San Francisco chapter and a voting member on the IEEE Computer Society Artificial Intelligence Standards Committee (C/AISC).

Research Interests

Autonomous Agents Artificial Intelligence Reinforcement Learning Deep Learning Transfer Learning Multiagent Learning
Practical Experience

Practical Experience

  • Staff Researcher MLLawrence Livermore National Laboratory

    Jul, 2021 - presentcounting

    Research projects: Basic research and application of general Machine Learning methods to a variety of challenging problems.

    • Symbolic Optimization: Developing new methods for regression and control problems combining Reinforcement Learning and Symbolic Optimization. Applications in sepsis and cancer treatment as well as antibody development for vaccine development.

    • Power electronics: Task Lead Machine Learning for autonomous generation of power converter topologies in collaboration with University of Michigan, Dearborn.

    • Collaborative Autonomy: RL in multi-agent systems to autonomously learn in collaborative and competitive settings.

    • Future of Work: Senior management nominated member of a task force to improve employee satisfaction and mission capabilities.

    Python Tensorflow Github Visual Studio Code
  • Postdoc Researcher MLLawrence Livermore National Laboratory

    Jul, 2019 - Jul, 20212 years

    Research projects: Supporting several projects to integrate general Machine Learning approaches with a focus on Reinforcement Learning and Multiagent scenarios.

    • Smart mobility: Principal Investigator on improving driving and charging behavior for electric vehicles in on-demand transportation services to reduce greenhouse gases and increase vehicle profitability.

    • Collaborative Autonomy: RL in multi-agent systems to autonomously learn in collaborative and competitive settings.

    Python Tensorflow Github Visual Studio Code
  • Research InternMicrosoft Research

    Jun, 2018 - Oct, 20183+ month

    Worked at the intersection of Software Engineering and Machine Learning to apply Reinforcement Learning techniques to facilitate software testing.

    • Exploration of UWP apps

    • Learning to solve a given task in an app

    • Learning to navigate an app

    Python Tensorflow WinAppDriver C++
  • Lead OrganizerPAPIs.io

    Feb, 2017 - July, 20192 years 6 months

    Organization of international Machine Learning conferences all over the world.

    • Project management: Planned and organized conferences in London, Boston, & São Paulo.

    • Business Development: Expanded conferences to LATAM, increasing total conferences per year while increasing average attendance by almost 100% in the first 2 years.

    • Partner management: Initiated and negotiated new partnerships.

    • People management: Selected and coordinated team members.

    Slack Notion Eventbrite Google Docs
  • Research AssistantUNESP

    Jan, 2012 - Jan, 20142 years 1 month

    Collaborative project with a Rio Grande do Sul based energy provider to establish condition based maintenance in hydro electric power plants to reduce maintance efforts and costs.

    • Project management: Planned and projected a condition based maintenance system in a hydroelectric power plant using thermal imaging vibration analysis.

    • Hard- & Software Development: Developed low-cost camera system based on open source micro-controller technology for automatic unsupervised monitoring inside power generator and other high voltage environments.

    • Mechanical Design: Designed support structures for static and dynamic camera systems.

    Solidworks Matlab Flir Arduino
  • Datacenter Special Forces1&1 Internet AG

    Sep, 2001 - Nov, 201110 years 3 months

    Technical services and engineering work regarding all datacenter related issues with changing responsibilities.

    • Datacenter monitoring: Developed and administered control and monitoring systems and sensor networks.

    • Datacenter optimization: Supported infrastructure optimization based on statistical analysis of sensor data and evaluation of new technologies.

    • Technical support: Handled all datacenter related issues in a small team including server hardware and datacenter infrastructure equipment maintenance.

    • Coaching: Support and training of staff for new co-locations.

    • Server relocations: Planned and organized server relocations in and between Germany and the US.

    • Server Homing: Technical responsible for serverhoming customers.

  • Project EngineerSanioSolar Gbr

    Jul, 2011 - Nov, 20143 years 5 months

    Engineering services around energy-efficiency for SMBs and private households. Freelance employment.

    • Energy consulting: Planned, installed, and monitored energy monitoring devices to propose energy-saving solutions.

    • Plant installation: Projected, installed, and monitored small photovoltaic plants.

  • Technical and Business InterviewerStrand Writing & Design

    Jul, 2010 - Jul, 20111 year 1 month

    Conducted interviews on behalf of well-known information technology companies to summarize successful projects. Freelance employment.

    • Interviewing: Designed, conducted, and translated interviews for case studies and marketing brochures to point out main advantages achieved or the key factors that led to success.

  • SoldierBundeswehr - Hubschraubergeschwader 64

    Jul, 2000 - April, 200110 month

    Compulsory military service in the German army.

    • Training: Physical education and basic military training.

    • Administration: Scheduled flights and evaluated pilot performance data.

    • Catering: Responsible for tower cafeteria including shift planning, procurement, and logistics.



Volunteer Work

Volunteer Work

  • Squash coach, 1. Squash Club Karlsruhe

    Jun, 1997 - Jun, 2003

    Teaching kids how to play squash while keeping a focus on their general physical education through games and skill exercises as licensed coach.