Updates Announced for Critical Challenge Autonomous Vehicle Competition

Friday, 12 March 2010 10:21

Scheduling changes have been announced for the Critical Challenge – a competition for the design and construction of an autonomous electric vehicle that has been organized by Critical Move, S.A. in partnership with the MIT-Portugal Program.

Applications Accepted in July 2010

According to the new schedule, submission of applications to the competition will occur in July 2010. The names of those teams selected to participate, based on their project descriptions, will be announced in October 2010.

The kick-off meeting for Phase I of the competition – during which the teams that have been chosen will design a “virtual” autonomous vehicle – will occur in November 2010. The 11.000 € award for the best design will be made in October 2011. Phase II will occur from November 2011 until March 2013. During this time, the teams will develop prototypes of their designs and demonstrate them in an urban environment. The winning team will receive an award of 40.000 €.

New competition guidelines are available here, and on the Critical Challenge website.


CTIS Students Get Career Insights from Affiliated Companies and MIT Center

Thursday, 11 March 2010 15:13

MIT-Portugal Master’s students in Complex Transportation Infrastructure Systems (CTIS), like their colleagues in the Program’s other courses, are always receptive to substantive career advice. So several of them recently took advantage of the opportunity to connect with alumni of the course – and with companies that partner with and help support it – in a workshop led by MIT’s head of career development.

Melanie Parker, Executive Director of the MIT Global Education and Career Development Center, visited Lisbon on February 1–3, 2010, to offer a career development workshop for CTIS students, and also for students who are MIT-Portugal PhD candidates in Transportation Systems. It was the second such workshop given by Parker and her team. Also on hand with their input were several CTIS Education Affiliates, companies that provide annual tuition scholarships for the course – in this case, Alstom, BRISA, Mota-Engil, Odebrecht, and Siemens.

Melanie Parker (center) and several workshop participantsParker also facilitated two career development sessions with just the current CTIS students, aided by a Web-based career self-assessment she distributed prior to the sessions.

Proactivity is Key

Among other things, Parker urged the students to take a more proactive approach to creating career development and networking opportunities, by creating student-led career societies and career fairs, as students commonly do at MIT.

“The senior executives who attended our industry session today clearly ‘get it’ that they need to connect more regularly with students and articulate career opportunities within their industries,” she said. “These students have a lot of creative desire to develop their careers in new ways opened up to them by the CTIS program, and I hope to be back here next year to continue helping them create lasting relationships with the companies that support the program.”


Third Annual IdeaSpring Conference Launches Bio-Teams Competition

Thursday, 11 March 2010 10:17

The third annual IdeaSpring conference – held at the Biocant Biotechnology Innovation Center in Cantanhede, Portugal on February 19, 2010 – offered MIT-Portugal Program Bioengineering Systems students the most intensive opportunity to date to interact with academics, industry affiliates of the Program, and representatives of other companies.

Each year, IdeaSpring brings together MIT-Portugal’s “Bio-Teams”: groups of first-year Bioengineering Systems students and their faculty advisors. These teams devise go-to-market strategies for emerging technologies that are in development at Portuguese research labs – strategies that could help launch each innovation in the marketplace. This year's competition for the best strategy will be held in July.


Advanced Studies Students Engage Key Energy Issues During MIT Visit

Tuesday, 09 March 2010 11:51

How have the politics of climate change shifted during the past year? What is the current status of carbon sequestration technology? How could energy concerns affect regional and global security strategies? What are the critical business considerations involving solar energy? And how can MIT’s “culture of entrepreneurship” be replicated elsewhere, in the energy sector?

These were just a few of the questions addressed March 1-5, 2010 during a visit to MIT by 20 students in MIT-Portugal’s year-long Sustainable Energy Systems (SES) Advanced Studies course. It was the second year in which the students in this group – each of whom is a mid-career professional – had an opportunity to engage in in-depth examinations of these and related issues with experts from the MIT faculty and from local industry, as well as with MIT students and MIT-Portugal students who are currently doing research at MIT.


MIT Portugal an Influential Presence at Energia 2020

Saturday, 06 March 2010 09:17

Presentations by MIT Portugal faculty and PhD candidates figured prominently at Energia 2020, a conference held February 8-9, 2010 at the University of Lisbon that was aimed at assessing Portugal’s current energy policies, examining current and potential energy technologies, and identifying energy goals to strive for during the next decade.

The wide-ranging talks included one on urban metabolism from MIT Portugal National Director Professor Paulo Ferrão. Other affiliates of the Program, who offered presentations on such topics as smart grids and photovoltaics, included Prof. Miguel Brito (UL), Prof. Manuel Gameiro da Silva (U Coimbra), Prof. António Luiz Moura Joyce (LNEG), Prof. Eduardo Oliveira Fernandes (FEUP), Prof. Joao Pecas Lopes (FEUP), Prof. António Sarmento (IST), Joel Soares, (SES PhD candidate, FEUP), Prof. António Vallêra (UL), Prof. Jorge Vasoncelos (IST), and Prof. Álvaro Martins.

Challenges and Opportunities

One focus of the conference was to review Portugal’s current energy infrastructure, public policies, economic environment, and entrepreneurship and research and development climates – and to look closely at EU and Portuguese goals related to energy efficiency, including Europe’s agreement to meet 20 percent of its energy needs via renewable energy sources and technologies by 2020.

Another emphasis was on Portugal’s goals to establish a leadership position on energy sustainability in Europe as a result of its own increased use of renewable energy; doubling the country’s capacity to produce electricity and reducing imports; incentivizing the Portuguese population to improve energy efficiency at home; stimulating entrepreneurship, competition and innovation; developing new knowledge and tools in the field, as well as new products and opportunities for innovation; and developing energy technologies that will deliver economic growth while lowering carbon emissions.

MIT Portugal affilate presentations:

icon Paulo Ferrao
icon Manuel Gameiro da Silva
icon Filipe Soares
icon Antonio Joyce
icon Miguel Brito
icon Antonio Sarmento
icon Eduardo Oliveira Fernandes
icon Jorge Vasconcelos
icon Alvaro Martins
icon Antonio Valera
icon Joao Pecas Lopes
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