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LUCIAN GRUIA

In a nutshell.

About me

I am an AI Technology Lead and a seasoned Software Architect, graduated as an engineer of the Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunication and Information Technology in Bucharest, Romania.

I am equally passionate about physics and sociology and all my projects are related to understanding the world: how the Universe and human thinking work.

Throughout my entire life, I have been working on developing both sides: the leader & the expert.

In order to achieve my goals, I use the software as a tool. This is why I love learning and teaching technology in general, particularly programming - because technology is providing us with a lot of frameworks to question, answer and shape the world. Software helps us make things happen.

This website is a detailed version of my CV, it keeps the place of a portfolio, and it is also a great tool to keep track of my own activities on the long term. It is the exhibition wing of my mind palace. This helps me have a better understanding of myself and in addition to this, it helps my partners or my potential partners to discover my activities and interests.

Quite often you can find me involved in interdisciplinary projects, always trying to develop new skills.

I like to

  • create frameworks
  • develop long-term self-sustainable projects and traditions
  • create automation on processes and organisations and monitor them 
  • use and develop time management tools
  • store, organize and backup data
  • research

Summary

  • Name Lucian Gruia
  • Occupation Principal Technology Lead for AI, BI & Data
  • Software skills Java, Python, Js, Shell, PL/SQL
  • Main Domains Programming, AI, Aerospace, Telecom, Blockchain, Fintech
  • Main expertise Electronics, Telecommunications & Information Technology
  • Degree Engineer, MSc
  • Residence Romania, Europe
  • Primary languages Romanian, English
  • Secondary languages French, Spanish, Italian
  • Motto Making things happen
  • My timeline URL
  • Resume PDF
  • LinkedIn URL
  • GitHub URL
  • Substack URL
  • Chatbot URL

About me

I am an AI Technology Lead and a seasoned Software Architect, graduated as an engineer of the Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunication and Information Technology in Bucharest, Romania.

I am equally passionate about physics and sociology and all my projects are related to understanding the world: how the Universe and human thinking work.

Throughout my entire life, I have been working on developing both sides: the leader & the expert.

In order to achieve my goals, I use the software as a tool. This is why I love learning and teaching technology in general, particularly programming - because technology is providing us with a lot of frameworks to question, answer and shape the world. Software helps us make things happen.

This website is a detailed version of my CV, it keeps the place of a portfolio, and it is also a great tool to keep track of my own activities on the long term. It is the exhibition wing of my mind palace. This helps me have a better understanding of myself and in addition to this, it helps my partners or my potential partners to discover my activities and interests.

Quite often you can find me involved in interdisciplinary projects, always trying to develop new skills.

I like to

  • create frameworks
  • develop long-term self-sustainable projects and traditions
  • create automation on processes and organisations and monitor them 
  • use and develop time management tools
  • store, organize and backup data
  • research

Summary

  • Name Lucian Gruia
  • Occupation Principal Technology Lead for AI, BI & Data
  • Software skills Java, Python, Js, Shell, PL/SQL
  • Main Domains Programming, AI, Aerospace, Telecom, Blockchain, Fintech
  • Main expertise Electronics, Telecommunications & Information Technology
  • Degree Engineer, MSc
  • Residence Romania, Europe
  • Primary languages Romanian, English
  • Secondary languages French, Spanish, Italian
  • Motto Making things happen
  • My timeline URL
  • Resume PDF
  • LinkedIn URL
  • GitHub URL
  • Substack URL
  • Chatbot URL

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My Interests

I believe nowadays the real world is truly a software-based world. Everything we do, from daily home activities and talking to family and friends, to work and travel, or even evolving medicine and sciences, relies on electronic devices and upper, to software technology.

In each project I am involved I come up with software solutions and I use programming as a tool to build automation. I think programming is like organizing events in the real world, but with fewer unknowns. 

I am passionate about software and it is definitely the passion of my life. I also like maths and physics and I use them to help me be a better software developer.

Starting from 2012 I have been working as a developer and I am grateful that I can do what I love every day.

“Everything in life is about databases” has been my motto ever since I was a student.

When it comes to software, I am particularly interested in databases because of their really strong connection with set theory, relational algebra and statistics.

For me, databases represent many things:

  • a representation of reality
  • a way to record moments in time and to organize the knowledge
  • a way to archive data, not letting them get lost in the ether
  • a way to monitor and understand things and processes
  • a backup solution to everything

Databases are also heavily related to human brain behaviour which is the subject of my future PhD thesis.

Most of the software projects I have been working on as a developer have at least one DB component. I have experience in designing frameworks, data models, and fine-tuning with the most common SQL and NoSQL DBMSs and with Blockchain architecture.

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Arthur C. Clarke

This is the reason why I loved the curricula studied in my faculty; because it felt like Hogwarts. 

It is also there that I discovered the fascination of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics and even to this day I am continuously doing research on these subjects. 

During this time, after years of reading papers and watching interviews with top scientists, I had many revelations and realized that physics, biology, psychology, maths, and theology are much more interconnected than I imagined. 

Whether you talk about the Big Bang, space-time, multiverse, gravity, speed of light, diffraction, group theory, prime numbers, Riemann hypothesis, entropy, osmosis or free will, consciousness, the meaning of life, objectivity/subjectivity, nature of reality, aliens, creationism/evolutionism, angels or God, it is like you are discussing the same thing, and that is the “Theory of everything”.

I am always open to discussions or debates on this topic, looking forward to giving or receiving recommendations about good literature in the domain.

I have also started my own journey to find answers from top researchers.

Follow my project Fundamental for more details.

Although the word “hi-tech” is quite often associated with advancements in electronics & telecommunications, there is much more to this concept. Space travel, bioengineering, energy field, sustainability, nanotechnologies, biohacking, neuroaugmentation are all going cutting edge these days. 

I am trained only in E,T & IT, but I still have a great interest in other areas. Therefore, I am currently managing 2 tech communities and an online publication platform where I meet people sharing the same interest. You can visit them here:

Artificial Intelligence is more and more present in our lives. It is also one of the most important tools nowadays that we use to create applications that help society progress.

AI is a complex domain that includes Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Natural Language Processing, Reasoning, and much more. 

I have started using AI concepts while I was working in Orange, for fraud prevention purposes and to design a framework that handles and monitors network traffic.

Since I became more and more interested in this topic, I have started learning more formally by enrolling myself in a private academy (Global Tech Council) where I obtained an AI developer certification.

In order to practice my AI skills more, I have co-founded together with a friend who is a physician (specialized in geriatrics), Neuroaugmentare.ro – the first publication platform in Romania that simultaneously explores topics in neuroscience and AI. You can read my articles on AI here.

Also, in order to get more hands-on programming expertise with AI models and algorithms, I am now working on building a startup that helps people organize group travel. The project is called Voyah and I have started it with another 2 friends: a frontend developer and a UX/UI designer.

Despite my huge interest in software, I am also passionate about human relations. Even if they are sometimes considered completely different disciplines, I think they are actually studying the same thing.

If I hadn’t been an engineer, I would have probably been a sociologist. But since I am not, I just practice sociology as a hobby, by getting involved in different NGOs and contributing to the long-term organizational culture development, participating in international exchanges, or creating and managing communities.

This is one of the reasons why I am a very resilient member of the organizations and companies I am getting involved in. In most cases I am acting as a leader, dedicating a lot of energy to create and connect projects and traditions inside these organizations, to manage teams, to help people grow, study groups’ behaviour, and to understand new cultures. 

I know I am not yet a specialist in this area, but I am looking forward to continuing to learn new things and constantly improving my knowledge. 

I am always open to feedback and recommendations.

My Hobbies

When it comes to travelling, one of the aspects I always care about is discovering the culture of that place. Of course, I love the beautiful landscapes on this planet, the amazing urban development we achieved today, but these do not come first. 

I like to discover new experiences and create memories by: 

  • understanding how people live there, what their routines, traditions and preferences are (in terms of food, music etc.)
  • living like a local – sometimes I just go to another country for a few weeks, work from there remotely and experience the local’s lifestyle
  • learning local history
  • making local friends – in some cases, I made friends for life and we are still in touch, meet at events that are part of our personal life or even develop projects together (for example, see my project Layag Grand Tour, developed with a friend in Philipines)
  • learning new concepts to bring them into my country

It’s hard to say if travelling is only a hobby. I like to think about this more as a lifestyle. People around me know that I am always organizing group travels. I think this is my favourite free time activity – to plan the next trip.

For a period of two and a half years, I was even involved as Co-Founder & CTO in a startup (see my project Questo) the purpose of which is to help people avoid tourist traps and explore as locals. From 2018 I parted ways with that startup (see here the story) and I am now working to build a new startup that helps people travel in groups (see my project Voyah). Our goal is that one day we will eventually handle/organize all worldwide travel.

My favourites ways to travel are:

  • international youth exchanges – I have been part of 7 projects such as this, meeting people from over 20 countries 
  • organized group trips, or events abroad, with the support of some local friends
  • travel & work remotely

Every time I go to a new destination I do not lose the chance to add some coins to my collection (see my project coin collection since ’94).

Until now I have visited 26 countries, most of them in Europe, but I also touched the continents of Asia and Africa several times. My ultimate destination is Rapa Nui.

2011 Netherlands, Belgium
2012 Hungary
2013 Portugal, Turkey, Azerbaidjan
2014 France
2015 Portugal, Italy
2016 Bulgaria, Greece, Moldova, Morocco
2017 Portugal
2018 Turkey, Azerbaidjan, Dubai, Philippines, Abu Dhabi, Italy, Vatican
2019 Bulgaria, Greece, Czech Republic
2020 Qatar, Thailand, Singapore
2021 Spain, Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Poland, Portugal
2022 Portugal, Spain, Malta, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic
2023 Poland, Austria, Czech Republic, Turkey

I recently co-founded a social club in Romania with a program called Travel & Think. A different vacation experience from where you come back as a better version of yourself. Check my project iConnect Club for further details.  

Of course, my excitement about travelling is related to my passion for Geography & Astronomy; and further than that to my interest in the physical Space itself.


Since I was a child, I was always interested in maps and cartography. Geography was my first love. I think this and the chess board, were among the first things that fueled my interest in geometry and further in physics. I believe that the sense of space and geo-orientation is one of the most important ingredients for us to understand life and the baffling concept of time. Understanding the topology around you is also a very important ingredient in understanding society, nature and even yourself. At the limit, we can say that everything in the world can be reduced to the study of Geography. There is a thin line between biology, maths, physics (and even history) and geography. All of these are actually the same story, but from a different perspective – and this throws us back to the Theory of Everything

I started my study of Geography first by playing with the Earth Globe in my primary school and further by asking my parents to buy me the Earth + Sky Atlas. This was by far my favourite book in primary school. As I child I was particularly interested in flowing waters and their relation with the planet’s relief. Further, I started reproducing maps by hand and redrawing them on my imaginary political events and timeline. In my 4th grade, I even decided to make a career in Geography, as an explorer, or archaeologist, but later I discovered my greatest passion for programming, so Geography fell in 2nd place.

There is no doubt I started also asking myself, as any child, what is the thing with the stars, the Moon and Sun – why are they there and how can we see them? And I had many attempts at observing them directly until I quickly realised this is impossible. Fortunately, I had the chance to attend my first astronomy course in 7th grade; it was presented by my Math teacher which was very passionate about astronomy and maps. He greatly organized the course for beginners that took 2 years, where I learned and understood a lot about stars, our real position in the Universe,  the constellations and their historical role. That period stunned me from many perspectives – it opened my interest in most of the things that I am even studying today, or that I am today: that was the first period I was seriously interacting and spending much time on thinking about the concept of Infinity, from a scientifically perspective. Until then I only had the theological view, which satisfied me for more than 6 years (from 1st grade to the 7th), but the scientific approach baffled me a lot and kept my interest awake to this day.

Later on, I continued to extend my passion for “traditional” Geography that we learn in schools, to my love for Physics and Astronomy. In this regard, I even graduated from a private Astronomy course organised under the supervision of the Romanian Academy. By graduating as an engineer in Electronics & Telecommunications where I deeply studied Phisics, I started to see the Universe from a whole new perspective, so Geography became to me just another perspective of the same story

As you never forget the first love, this domain is something I still think about on daily basis and I even involved details from Cosmos theme on our (my family’s) personal life (home, wedding etc.).

Organizing events is a complex activity that can stimulate an unlimited number of skills. It is like programming, but in the real world; you have to reorder things in the Universe and make them happen. This takes patience, attention to detail, anticipation, creativity and preparation for the unknown. It educates your time management skills and patience and brings a lot of satisfaction when things are happening. I think organizing events is part of everyone’s life. We cannot escape that, we can only choose whether it becomes either circumstance or opportunity.

Personally, I’ve lately started to be more and more interested in travel events (check the section below, on Travelling).

PHASE I – ceremonies (1997 – 2010)
However, before that at each stage of my life, I found myself organizing different types of events and enjoying that; probably because I was inspired to do that by two of my childhood mentors: my primary school teacher and the priest from my village.

It all started when I was 7 and became a hypo deacon at the church in our village, a “career” I followed for the next 14 years.
In the beginning, I was just organizing part of the weekly ceremony in the church, but in the coming years, as my responsibilities grew, I also started to organize bigger ceremonies at special events (like Christmas), which involved more students, selected from the school choir.
I organized this kind of ceremony for a long time and it took me most of my free time at that time. It was not too complex, but I did that for a very long time and I think I learned a lot about discipline this way.

During middle school and high school I also took care of organizing football tournaments in the village or in middle school and high school. These were the first sports events I have ever organized.

PHASE II – big public sports & professional events (2008 – 2019)

During university, I moved to the next level. Being part of an NGO, I quickly took the lead of the Sports Department and started to organize various types of sports events:

In parallel, still as part of an NGO, I have founded a new department in our organisation (the IT department), and from then on, I started to organize more professional events, oriented to our guild:

  • conferences, workshops and open days – through our program CareerTeam
  • international exchanges – namely RISE and WASAP, as a member of the board of LSE 
  • contests – namely MobilPRO
  • trainings – under the training centres of IT Department, MobilPRO or CareerTeam

And I have spent almost 10 years doing this. You can see more details about my activity in LSE, here.

PHASE III – talks & supporting other events (2014 – )

Later on, I decided to take a step back from the direct organization of these events and to hand over the leadership, while watching the process of how the events become traditions. So I started to practice this hobby by supporting other events, by creating, web platforms booking & online payments for them:

Now, I am the co-founder of a social club that has the purpose to organize recurrent talks and travels (see my project iConnect Club) and a startup that helps people organize group travels (see my project Voyah).

I have also started my own journey to discover more fascinating things standing at the edge between knowledge and ideas about the world we are living in by organizing talks and interviews with top engineers and scientists (see my project Fundamental). 

I like to use my programming skills to make things happen. One of the ways I get involved in a project is to support someone’s idea, someone who needs a technical partner. It is the position in which I am the most prolific as a leader and expert. I always choose to be a partner to people I appreciate for their work, who inspire me or make a difference in our society.

This is one of the main reasons I created my beloved company TC, which has the subtitle “Technical solutions for non-technical businesses”. Some examples of projects of this kind are Cuibul Artistilor, Questo, TEDxUPB, Toastmasters UPB, StoryCraft, Layag Grand Tour, Music is Feelings, Neuroaugmentare.ro.

Ever since I was a child, I have collected anything I could, instinctively and probably induced by my parents. 

To this day I still have my small collection of bumper stickers from Turbo and some old radio collections from my grandparents. Funny thing is that I became a telecommunications engineer, 15 years later. 

But the pièce de résistance is my coin collection (see my project coin collection since ’94). The first object I added to the collection was in 1994 when my father gave me a medal he found on some grounds. It was not even a coin, but at that time I didn’t know the difference and I took his suggestion “to start a money collection with this” seriously.

Nowadays I have more than 1000 unique coins from 45 countries and even extended my collection with bills from over 20 countries. 

Even if the collection grew so much in more than 25 years, a big part of it was gathered passively from friends; just about everyone brought me coins because they knew that I have a collection. Later, I started to exchange doublets and even to buy smaller collections from others, or to bring new coins from my trips abroad.

Collecting money helped me understand history better because while classifying them, I also did a lot of research.

I am currently working on documenting the coins and organizing my first charitable expo. It is a personal project I have been thinking about for a few years now, so I would appreciate any support.

If you share this hobby with me or know someone who does, let’s get in touch please.

I do not consider myself a chess player, but rather a chess enthusiast. I often enjoy watching chess and I sometimes organize tournaments with friends.

When I was a student and a member of our local NGO, LSE (as the Sports Department Coordinator), I organized at university level a very popular chess event with the Romanian Chess Federation.  The event was part of a more complex competition, called “Cupa Electronicii” which is still organized to this date. (You can see some photo albums here: 2009, 2010, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017).

I am always up for a chess game, so you can find me on chess.com.

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