Full Name
Maria João Sousa
Job Title
Executive Director
Climate Change AI
Brief Biography
Maria João Sousa is a PiTech Startup Postdoc at Cornell Tech and Chair and Incoming Executive Director at Climate Change AI, which is a global non-profit that catalyzes impactful work at the intersection of climate change and machine learning. She received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa. Her doctoral thesis focused on cooperative aerial robotics and artificial intelligence for wildfire detection and monitoring systems and was developed as a research fellow at both IDMEC in the Center of Intelligent Systems and at ADAI in the Forest Fire Research Center.

Her research interests are in the areas of computational intelligence, robotics, and networked systems. She was nominated for the UN Environment Young Champions of the Earth 2018 Prize for her project on decentralized intelligent sensor networks for fire detection and monitoring. Her research was funded by a Ph.D. Scholarship by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT), and received seed funding awards from the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Humanitarian Grant (RAS-SIGHT) and from NVIDIA Corporation, through the GPU Grants Program. She also contributes and collaborates on the ITU/WMO/UNEP Focus Group on AI for Natural Disaster Management (FG-AI4NDM), namely in the Topic Group on AI for Wildfire Monitoring and Detection.
Maria João Sousa