Alexandra Mendes wins the Atlantic Security Award 2024

The current international situation has reinforced the importance of excellent scientific research to support good security and defence policies in the Atlantic area.

The Atlantic Security Award, which is the result of a partnership between the Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD), the Atlantic Centre and the National Defence Institute (IDN), is a programme that provides 15,000 euros to two researchers with high-quality research projects that will contribute to the advancement of knowledge on topics related to current challenges in the field of security and defence in the Atlantic area.

Alexandra Mendes, Assistant Professor at DEI/FEUP, was one of the winners of this edition, with the project “Leveraging Large Language Models Trained on Dark Web Data to Support Decision Making for Atlantic Security and Defence“. She sees this achievement as recognition of her professional career and the value of her research project, the aim of which will be to have a model that facilitates the formulation of defence policies, strategies and operations by security forces against cybercrime, illicit trade and other threats facilitated by the dark web in the Atlantic.

Over a period of 8 months in the current year 2024, Alexandra will develop a prototype of a software tool that aims to make use of a Large Language Model (LLM), trained or fine-tuned using large databases with data from the dark web, and from policies relevant to the Atlantic.

“The Award is an important milestone in my career because, besides recognizing my professional journey and the value of my research proposal, it allows me to strengthen my collaboration with colleagues from Carnegie Mellon University,” shares Alexandra Mendes.

This is the third year the prize has been awarded, this year by the following Jury members:

Ana Santos Pinto, Professor at the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences at NOVA University Lisbon;

Luís Miguel Escudeiro da Costa Cabral, Atlantic Centre;

Maria Francisca Saraiva, resident researcher at the National Defence Institute.

+ information about the award and the 2 winning projects, of Alexandra Mendes and Jan Stockbruegger, can be seen here.

Posted in Highlights, News.