About me

Work experience

I am currently a lecturer at the University of Kent, in the School of Physics and Astronomy, where I’m also researching in novel optical imaging configurations as part of the Applied Optics Group. Previously, I have worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the same place, in several funded collaborative projects where optical systems and devices were developed for medical robotics, embryology and biosciences.

During my PhD, due to the conditions of my funding I also worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the School of Physical Sciences, University of Kent. For three years I was a lab demonstrator for the Year 1 PS370 module, Skills for Physicists, where I have also done some marking and improved some of the existing module material, under the supervision of Dr George Dobre.

During my undergraduate degree at Universidade do Porto I was involved in a number of different projects and part-time jobs. I started in my faculty’s computer centre, monitoring and supporting the computer labs; later I was hired by my former Statistics professor to provide support on the usage of statistical software for Bio-statistics students.

Afterwards, I applied for an undergraduate grant to work with the Optoelectronics branch of INESC-Porto (now INESC TEC), and started working in white light interferometry and OCT, mainly in the software front. During that time I also worked in a number of smaller projects, such as supervising high school students in the Summer School in Physics hosted each year by our Physics department, a collaboration I’ve been maintaining for the past 5 years.

Feel free to check out my institutional profile, here.

Hobbies and interests

Asides from work, I have several different interests which I pursue more or less actively, and range from collecting old Apple Macintosh computers to  rowing.

In my scarce free time, you could find me with a good book (unfortunately, that rarely happens in times other than when I’m on vacations!). I also love to travel, as shown above (especially when that involves long road trips, as I really enjoy driving!) and meet new realities and cultures… and also while I’m at it I also enjoy taking good photos – and yes, I’m one of those who likes tinkering with the camera settings and different angles, which makes me a pain to travel with, since I often lag behind the rest of the group while doing so! 😁😁

My musical tastes are quite eclectic (or, at least, I think they are!). I do have a last.fm account, and I’ve been scrobbling to it for the past four years or so, with a respectable 100000+ scrobbles already submitted.

Contrary to what people might think (especially non-Portuguese people), by being Portuguese doesn’t mean that I have an innate talent for soccer. In fact, nothing could be any further from reality: put me with a football and I’ll be completely lost!

Causing a bit of chaos at the finish line here! (photo by J Dinning)

Anyway, in the matter of sports I prefer those water-related ones: rowing, canoeing, swimming, sailing (mostly by this order). I rowed a couple of times per week at my local rowing club, Sport Club do Porto , although when I moved to England I have found my rowing fix elsewhere – my now “surrogate” rowing clubs are Herne Bay Amateur Rowing Club and Spitfire Boat Club (and, previously, the University of Kent Rowing Club), and it’s a nice, relaxing, all year round activity to clear out my head after some difficult days at the university! During summer months if I’m in Portugal I often go for some nice river exploring with my trusty Coleman canoe I got a few years ago.

I also enjoy long runs (I want to run a full Marathon, some day, at least once in my life!) and nice bicycle rides, especially now that I’ve moved to a more bike-friendly country and the short distances involved mean that commuting by bike is possible, something that wouldn’t happen back home in Porto. As some of my posts show, I’m also very passionate about bikes, especially the road ones! Started to do some nice longer rides this last year with the road bike and I’m loving it!

When I was an innocent undergraduate student I used to play some video games, mainly simulation ones like Rigs of Rods, EuroTruck Simulator, OpenTTD, Train Simulator and Flight Simulator. Wished I still had some time now to do it!… šŸ™‚

The geek and nerdy stuff

The oldest item I have in my collection. An original 1984 128k Macintosh, which was upgraded at some point to a newer 512k board, but still retains the original casing (later models had “Macintosh” or “Macintosh 512k” written in the front face).

A while ago I started collecting old computers, mainly Apple Macintoshes (I have a pair of old PIII’s that still work, but they don’t count!). Starting my family’s old 1989 Macintosh SE/30 (which was bought new), I now have a collection of a couple dozen machines, ranging from an original Macintosh (which was upgraded to a 512k but still retains the original “Macintosh” labeling) to a fairly recent (but already old by most people’s standards) 2006 iMac Core Duo. A list of all my classic Apple machines can be found here.

Despite collecting old Macs, I’m really not an Apple “fan-boy”, quite the opposite, actually! 😉 I have experience in working in all operating systems, and in fact I have fully migrated to Linux (Fedora) in my main machines (ThinkPad X250 and a custom AMD-based PC build).

I do a little bit of coding every now and then (mainly for scientific and engineering applications), mainly in Python, LabVIEW, C (by that order) and some web-oriented “programming” languages like HTML, CSS and PHP. I am no developer, I’m more of a “power-user-who-uses-Google-to-address-most-of-his-questions”. 😁

Last updated on February 10th, 2019. (minor edits 5th Feb 2023)


  1. Panagiotis

    March 11, 2014 13:29

    Hello, my name is Panagiotis, and I recently bought a crivit sports watch from lidl. Your website was the only one with proper information-review about the watch. However I have some troubles with the calibration of the device. Are you available for some quick questions/advices on how to do it ? Thank you in advance, Panagiotis
  2. May 12, 2014 18:58

    Greetings, Manuel!! You may probably remember me, your friend from Caracas, Venezuela. We exchanged mail and friendship several years ago, mainly regarding old Apple computers. Just checking out your website, I am happy things are working well for you!. Have my very best regards, and best wishes from this side of the big pond!.
    1. manuel

      June 17, 2014 09:19

      Cheers Juan! Yeah, I do remember you - how is your Mac collection going? :) (mine had a few additions, even the section I have devoted to it is a bit out of date as I got a few G4s quite recently... unfortunately I'm not having a lot of free time to fiddle with them!)

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