MIT President Hockfield Talks of Shared Values During Three-Day Visit to Portugal

Monday, 07 December 2009

In an eventful three-day visit to Portugal Nov. 24-26, 2009, MIT President Susan Hockfield had an opportunity to see first-hand the extent of MIT Portugal Program’s research and education efforts, as well as to express her strong support for the Program, to everyone from Portugal’s Prime Minister, José Sócrates, to other Portuguese officials, MIT alumni, company affiliates of the Program, the news media, and MIT Portugal students and faculty.

MIT Portugal – which was launched in October 2006 – is MIT’s largest international collaboration in Europe, and one of the few wide-ranging partnerships to which the Institute has committed its expertise.

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MIT Portugal and Partners Launch Three Leading-Edge Research and Training Networks

Monday, 07 December 2009

The MIT Portugal Program has partnered with industry, academia and government entities to launch three research and training networks that will link key Program efforts already underway with ongoing initiatives in Portugal – and will help to advance new knowledge, and the application of that knowledge, in sustainable energy systems and electric mobility, the greening of cities, and stem cell engineering.

High-level speakers gathered in Lisbon – at City Hall, the Instituto Superior Técnico, and the Portuguese Oncology Institute (IPO) – to explain the goals of the three new networks and the international nature of the partnerships they involve, during forums held on November 24 and 26, 2009. Among the participants were Portugal’s ministers for health, economy, and science, technology and higher education; municipal leaders from Lisbon and Porto; cancer and stem cell scientists; industry and university officials; MIT Portugal faculty and students; and MIT officials, including MIT President Susan Hockfield and Prof. Ernest Moniz, Director of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI). Portugal is a Sustaining Public Member of MITEI, which is a partner in two of the networks.

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MIT Portugal Graduates Awarded First Portuguese National Certificates

Sunday, 06 December 2009

Thirty-five graduates of the MIT Portugal Program’s four executive master’s courses gathered at the Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD) in Lisbon on November 26, 2009 to receive the first-ever national certificates to be awarded by Portuguese universities.

Isabel  Cancela de Abreu, a graduate of the Sustainable Energy Systems Advanced  Studies program, receives congratulations from MIT President Susan  Hockfield

Each graduate conducted their MIT Portugal studies during 2007-08 or 2008-09 – the Program’s first two academic years – in Engineering Design and Advanced Manufacturing, Sustainable Energy Systems, or Transportation Systems. They were among the first students to have access to the four university consortia established by MIT Portugal. In practical terms, these consortia enabled the students to study and conduct research at more than one Portuguese university, and to work in collaboration with MIT faculty and students.

(A total of 59 master’s students have completed the MIT Portugal Program to date, and there currently are 208 PhD students enrolled in MIT Portugal’s four doctoral programs.)

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MIT President Hockfield Receives First Jointly Awarded Honorary Degree in Portugal

Sunday, 06 December 2009

When MIT President Susan Hockfield visited Portugal November 24-26, 2009 on behalf of MIT, the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) and the MIT Portugal Program, she was eager to see that country for the first time. Fittingly, during her visit she was awarded a first-of-its-kind honorary degree for Portugal – a doctorate honoris causa jointly presented by three leading universities: the University of Porto, the Technical University of Lisbon (IST-UTL), and the New University of Lisbon (UNL).

Following the award ceremony, President Hockfield visited Prime Minister José Sócrates at his residence in Lisbon, together with Portugal's Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education, Mariano Gago, and the country's Secretary of State for Science, Technology and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor.

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Critical Challenge Information Sessions in Portugal Through Jan. 12, 2010

Sunday, 06 December 2009

The MIT Portugal Program and Critical Move, S.A. have launched the “Critical Challenge” – a two-and-a-half-year competition for the design and construction of an autonomous electric vehicle for use in cities.

The winning team may receive a prize in excess of 40.000€, in addition to media exposure and a chance to network with other teams and companies. Teams that wish to participate will be able to apply in early 2010. Prior to that time, the main teaching institutions in Portugal that are involved in the competition will offer information sessions.

Each talk is open to the scientific community (students, teachers and investigators), as well as those who are interested such fields as robotics, mechanics, and design. The six sessions are as follows: 

December 4th (14h00)
Universidade de Coimbra – FCTUC (Polo II, block C, 4th floor, room 3)

Speaker: António Cunha
Also present: Prof. Jorge Dias, chair of IEEE’s Robotics and Automation Portugal Chapter (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)

December 9th (14h00)
Instituto Superior Técnico – Universidade Técnica de Lisboa (Pav. Mecânica II, room 0.08)

Speaker: António Cunha
Also present: Prof. Pedro Lima – ISR/IST and Chair of SPR (Sociedade Portuguesa de Robótica); Prof. Carlos Cardeira - IDMEC/IST; and SPR Prof. Luís Sousa - DEM/IST

December 11th (14h00)

Universidade do Minho
Speaker: António Cunha
Also present: Profs. Estela Bicho and Prof. Fernando Ribeiro, U. Minho and SPR

December 14th (14h00)

Universidade do Porto/FEUP
Speaker: António Cunha
Also present: 
Eng. António Saraiva – COTEC Portugal; Prof. A. Paulo Moreira – INESC/FEUP and SPR

January 7th (11h00)
Universidade de Évora
Speaker: Luís Sousa

January 12th (14h00)
Universidade de Aveiro
Speaker: António Cunha

Additional information about the Critical Challenge is available here:

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