Luis Fernando Peluso Silva- MEng in Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

Name: Luis Fernando Peluso Silva

Course studied: MEng in Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

Current job title: Sr. Software Controls Engineer at Tesla Netherlands

Can you share your career path to date? 

I graduated from electronics technical school in 2008, and then I started my career in test and automation as an electronic technician back in Brazil in 2009. At the time, I worked for an airspace research institute where I was part of the instrumentation and calibration team responsible for rocket engine systems development. One year later, in 2010, I decided that I would like to continue in this field, so I started college in electrical engineering, working, and studying simultaneously. 

Among many other skills, I started getting specialized in digital instrumentation and LabVIEW software development. In 2014 I was granted a scholarship to a “sandwich program” for a year, which led me to study in the United States of America, where I attended Stony Brook University (SBU) in New York. In 2015, on my return, I concluded my graduation and I continued working as an instrumentation engineer, furthering my knowledge in software development and instrumentation for electronic products testing. In 2017 I got my Certification in LabVIEW Development (CLD). In the same year, I moved to the Republic of Ireland to join an automotive company, working as a test engineer for automotive camera manufacturing. I became even more passionate about manufacturing tests and process automation, which guided me through many specialization courses, allowing me to obtain the top Certification in LabVIEW Architect (CLA). In 2019 I enrolled in the Meng. In Connected and Autonomous Vehicles at ATU Sligo. At ATU, I immersed myself in the system design, development, and test of modern vehicles. In 2020 I switched to a Lead Test Software Engineer role, driving standardization and efficiency of production test machines for a significant Irish fire alarm and IoT system manufacturer. In 2022 I had to return to the exciting automotive industry, so I received a proposal to move to The Netherlands to join Tesla motors as a Sr. Software Controls Engineer. Here I am part of a team responsible for developing and maintaining the battery and electrical powertrain manufacturing test and automation software controls. 

 What does your current role involve? 

My current role as Software Controls Engineer consists of receiving test specifications from R&D and transforming them into test steps that validate 100% of the products in the manufacturing line. It is done after a deep understanding of the Device Under Test (DUT), which could be a small Printed Circuit Board or a large battery cell array. The design of the instrumentation of the test system, which will “measure” the DUT, goes hand-in-hand with the software solutions architecture, which automates the whole process, bringing safety, reliability, and speed to the process. Post-processing of results and data analysis are also a big part of the job, helping feedback to the R&D team with insightful trends and defects in the product. 

 What motivated you to start studying?  

I wanted to understand the deep concepts of the products I was helping to develop and the context of some components in the vehicles’ embedded systems. Also, achieving a master’s degree would enable me to approach engineering problems through proper research and robust methodology. 

 Why did you choose this course from ATU Sligo? 

I did extensive research about online learning options in Ireland, and I wanted an option that allowed me to work and study simultaneously, although not compromising quality and offering a robust learning experience. The best fit for me was ATU Sligo. Given the well-qualified and industry-experienced faculty, live lectures every week – never pre-recorded – were always offered after 5 PM, which I could attend after work with no problem. I also need to mention how they facilitate the payment of fees in instalments, which helped. 

 How did you find the process of studying online? What elements did you find helpful? Were there elements you found challenging?  

Studying online was my only option at the time, and I was a bit sceptical about the quality in the beginning. Therefore, after the first weeks of the course, I felt immersed in this experience, and the quality of the content was high. Meeting the lecturers every week and getting questions answered live was excellent. Engaging with colleagues for group projects and attending to the industry’s guest lecturers was good for diversifying my perspective on multiple topics. The workload can sometimes be challenging, but that is because the quality of the course was not diminished compared to a regular presential program. 

 How did you balance work and study? 

Participating in the live lectures every week and studying the content on the same evening helped me focus and absorb the content well. Reviewing the recorded lectures and asking questions as soon as possible enabled me to study for exams and unblock any project difficulties quicker. 

 In terms of your employer, were they supportive of your decision to study? Were there elements of the course that were particularly relevant to your current employer?  

Yes, I felt very well incentivised to continue studying and further my career. Some colleagues in the company were also attending ATU Sligo, and they gave me top recommendations before I started. I had multiple chances to bring my knowledge instantaneously at work, enhancing my problem-solving skills just after the first semester. Understanding some system design fundaments and the theoretical principles for product design helped me to talk to the right stakeholders and deliver my work with better quality. 

What advice would you have for anyone considering studying online? 

Discipline needs to be observed here. It is crucial to reserve the number of extra hours in the evenings during the week for lectures and assignments. Leaving too much work for the weekend is sometimes unbearable, so some rest is essential. Always do some extra work in advance. Leaving too much for the last week can be tricky since some issues at work can arise anytime, and you get caught short in time for both deliveries. 

In what way has studying online with ATU Sligo benefitted your career? 

Studying for the Meng in CAV helped me be in touch with a vast network of professionals and brilliant students in the automotive field. The lecturers are very well connected to experienced professionals in the area, so it helps to be up to date on the latest trends and demands. Doing a proper literature review and going to the source of knowledge through academic papers and relevant books was a great skill learned. 

Did this course provide any unexpected benefits to your career? 

Surprisingly, it helped me improve my organizational skills and focus on the high priority deliveries, managing a long list of deliveries while receiving valuable feedback to keep improving. While attending ATU Sligo, I became a software team leader, which definitely was the fruit of some of my new skills, like work share and collaboration. 

Did you find that the elements you were studying had practical relevance in your day-to-day role?  

Yes, I did. Many of the mathematical concepts and algorithms I learned were directly applied to my work as a software developer. Also, multiple projects had a practical implementation of software and hardware that I enjoyed a lot. The CAV program is vast, and it touches on many other topics inside the automotive industry. Some of the lectures were delivered via theoretical demonstration, and I did not have a chance to see their implementation by myself. Still, knowing about them connected the dots for other disciplines I was more interested in and could put into practice. 

What were the key skills you took away from your time studying at ATU Sligo? 

Planning your workload ahead of the week was critical. Breaking the big tasks into pieces and completing them as soon as possible was essential to keep learning all the time. Forming a broad network of influential professionals and academics in the area, even studying remotely, helped me connect to the latest news and discoveries in the fast-growing Connected and Autonomous Vehicles industry.  

Find out more about the Master of Engineering in Connected and Autonomous Vehicles