New Research Partnership with Continental, 96 PhD Student Posters Highlight MIT Portugal Presence at Ciência 2010


A new research partnership proposed between MIT Portugal and Continental Mabor and 96 doctoral students’ posters were two highlights of the MIT Portugal Program’s strong presence at this year’s edition of Ciência, an annual conference that offers an “encounter with science and technology.”

The Ciência 2010 conference was held July 4-7, 2010, at the Lisbon Centro de Congressos, organized by the Portuguese Science Foundation (FCT) and the Council of Associated Laboratories (CLA) in association with Ciência Viva.

Luis Rocha (UMinho) presents on his "smart stent" project

This year’s edition was marked by the participation of a record 2500 participants, 150 research units, more than 400 PhD posters, and many university representatives and elected officials. It gathered not only students and faculty but also around 60 companies and research centers, allowing the program to address a wide variety of thematic areas and to foster symbiosis among companies, universities and research centers.


Third edition of BioTeams continues bringing state-of-the-art technologies from lab to market


The final presentations of the third edition of MIT-Portugal Bio-innovation teams (BioTeams) took place July 7, 2010, in a public session within the Ciência 2010 Program in Lisbon. BioTeams is a mandatory course of the advanced program in Bioengineering Systems of the MIT Portugal Program, with very particular characteristics. During a full semester the students are given real technologies, selected from Portuguese labs, and are asked to engage in a search to evaluate and exploit their market potential.

As real projects, the BioTeams ideas and assumptions have to be validated through contacts with worldwide professionals and other stakeholders. This makes the interview process very intense and provides the students with a sound perception of the business reality. These contacts take place globally, and the students have the opportunity to develop their own networks that include Portuguese companies, such as MIT-Portugal Program affiliates and others. During the semester, the students visited several entities, including technological parks such as BioCant, Spinpark, CITEVE and CENTI, and companies such as Biotempo, Stremmaters and GenIBet. At the final presentations, Pedro Pissarra (Biotecnol) and Raquel Fortunato (GenIbet) presented their business experiences and guests from different business fields were invited to discuss the projects with the students.


The projects developed in this edition were diverse including the use of new biomaterials, development of new bioprocesses and state of the art bioinformatics systems. The technologies proposed for the BioTeams were developed at laboratories from University of Minho, Universidade Nova Lisbon (ITQB and FCT) and Instituto Superior Técnico.


MIT Graduate Transportation Researchers Reflect on Work with Portugal


As Master’s graduate Lisa Rayle (advisor: Chris Zegras) and PhD graduates Travis Dunn (advisor: Joe Sussman) and Angelo Guevara (advisor: Moshe Ben-Akiva) leave MIT this year, they share the experience of having dedicated their thesis research to Portuguese transportation and planning issues, and of collaborating in many ways with Portuguese students, faculty and transport stakeholders thanks to their involvement in the MIT-Portugal Program Transportation Systems focus area.

MIT-Portugal’s Director of Education Josh Jacobs sat down with the three new MIT graduates to talk about their experience working with Portuguese colleagues and how they see these collaborations continuing in their future careers.

JJ: Tell me about the ways in which your research built on the connection to Portugal.

AG: I spent a lot of time working in the Transportation Systems program, both as an instructor and as a researcher. I was a teaching assistant on two occasions in Portugal, with the Technology Planning and Performance Assessment and Transport Economics and Project Evaluation modules. I also shared lab space at MIT with visiting MPP students and interacted in research as part of my involvement with the SOTUR project with students and faculty from Portugal. I also worked to integrate Portuguese data into my thesis project model, on “Endogeneity and Sampling of Alternatives in Spatial Choice Models”. My research was mainly concerned with the implementation of a residential location choice model for the city of Lisbon, which was a component of a larger land-use model built, with other researchers, using an UrbanSim platform. Although in the end the dispersed zoning data across different municipalities was not complete enough to build a fully operational UrbanSim model, some valuable results were obtained.


Admitted Students for 2010 Reflect New Records in Applications, Internationalization, and Quality


The students admitted for 2010 to the four MPP doctoral programs and its Master’s in Complex Transportation Infrastructure Systems are the most selectively-admitted cohort in the Program’s history, and continue the Program’s record of strong internationalization with a second consecutive year of over 40% of accepted candidates from outside Portugal.

Out of 388 candidates for the doctoral courses, 101 were accepted to begin their studies in September 2010. This represents a new selectivity record with a 26% acceptance rate. The Master’s in Complex Transportation Infrastructure Systems course received 64 applications and accepted 25 students, an acceptance rate of 39%.

PhD_Selectivity_1The admitted candidates hail from Portugal and 25 other countries. They are graduates of such distinguished institutions as MIT, Imperial College London, the University of Michigan, ETH Zurich, Chalmers University of Technology, the Indian Institute of Technology—Bombay, and KTH Stockholm. And reflecting their strong interest in applying their studies to industrial and social challenges, the candidates had prior work experience  in international organizations including Volvo Sweden, PriceWaterhouse Coopers, the Office of the Prime Minister of France, and the World Resources Institute.

Applications for the Advanced Studies courses in Sustainable Energy Systems and Technology Management Enterprise, closed on July 15,  showed continued strong interest, with a record 45 candidacies to Sustainable Energy Systems and 21 candidates to TME matching last year’s record level.  These courses aim at training mid career professionals of Portuguese and International companies to become leaders in Energy Systems and  Engineering Design. These future leaders come from Portuguese companies such as  Martifer, SECIL, Robbialac, REN, Portugal Telecom, OGMA, Solvay Portugal, Alstom Portugal, Siemens Portugal, Ericsson, and EDP. The candidates are graduates of prestigious universities including Yale, the University of Manchester and Chalmers University of Technology.


MIT Energy Initiative highlights collaborations of MIT and MPP students in improving energy efficiency in Lisbon buildings


A collaboration among two MIT PhD students and an MPP Sustainable Energy Systems doctoral student to improve building efficiency for Lisbon is highlighted in the current edition of the MIT Energy Initiative Newsletter.AGS_AwardWinningPoster_lr

Brought together by MIT Prof. Leon Glicksman to consider how their “separate research interests [could] help the city benefit from energy-saving interventions,” MIT students Carrie Brown and Steve Ray, and Sustainable Energy Systems student Nuno Clímaco Pereira based at IST-Lisbon, are focusing their research in three different domains on the challenges associated with retrofitting the Lisbon housing stock.

Starting with their Best Poster award at the 2009 annual meeting of the Alliance for Global Sustainability in Zurich, the three young researchers have continued to collaborate, taking advantage of Pereira’s research visit to MIT in 2009-10.

To read more about this collaboration, download the Spring 2010 MITEI Energy Futures newsletter.

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