Unlocking "Septic Shock" : An Engineering Systems Approach to Design Better Hospital Practices

Friday, 07 May 2010 09:26

A team of students and researchers at MIT, IST, and two hospitals in Lisbon and Boston are using Engineering Systems approaches to address a life-or-death issue: improved survival rates for critically ill hospital patients.

André Fialho and Federico Cismondi, MPP Bioengineering doctoral students, are visiting MIT for 18 months in order to work with doctors and informatics staff at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BI) to analyze data from the Intensive Care Unit at BI. Their goal is to improve survival rates for intensive care patients by using advanced quantitative analysis techniques to identify aspects of the hospital system that may be linked to worsened health outcomes while in the hospital. In the first instance they are looking at contributing factors to “septic shock,” a syndrome that commonly forces hospital patients into intensive care.

PhD  students André Fialho and Federico Cismondi


Multimillion Dollar Grant for Bus Rapid Transit for MIT, IST and Global Partners

Wednesday, 21 April 2010 07:57

MIT-Portugal Program Transportation Systems collaborators at MIT and IST are partners in a consortium that has been awarded a multimillion dollar, five-year grant from the Volvo Research and Education Foundation (VREF) for a Center of Excellence on Bus Rapid Transit.

The consortium is headed by Juan Carlos Muñoz of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC), who will spend his sabbatical at MIT next year, hosted by the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department.  MIT collaborators will be Nigel Wilson, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Chris Zegras, Assistant Professor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning; and Fred Salvucci, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Another member of the new consortium is the Instituto Superior Técnico of the Technical University of Lisbon, a main partner in Transportation Systems of the MIT-Portugal Program. The IST team is led by Profs. José Viegas and Rosário Macário.


Student Profile: Érica Castanheira

Wednesday, 07 April 2010 12:38

Érica Castanheira, a PhD candidate in MIT-Portugal's Sustainable Energy Systems program, recently earned an FCT grant to study the assessment of biofuels. She will present some of her results at the 25th Mini EURO Conference at the University of Coimbra (April 15-17, 2010) as co-author of a paper titled "GHG Emissions Assessment of Palm Oil: Uncertainty and Scenario Analysis for Increased Production." This interview, conducted by the university's Energy for Sustainability (EfS) initiative, first appeared on the group's website.

EfS: What motivated you to apply for the PhD in Sustainable Energy Systems of the MIT-Portugal Program?

Erica_Castanheira2EC: I have learned about the PhD in Sustainable Energy Systems (SES) in 2008 through Professor Fausto Freire, after applying for a research position in the FCT Project “Biofuel systems for transportation in Portugal: An "well-to-wheels" integrated multi-objective assessment” at ADAI- LAETA, University of Coimbra. During the interview we have also discussed that it could be an excellent opportunity for my future career to apply for the SES doctoral program. At that time, I was finishing my master’s on Energy and Environmental Management at the University of Aveiro. My MSc thesis was about environmental life cycle assessment of agricultural products. A PhD on Sustainable Energy Systems permits to extend my previous research experience towards an emergent field integrating engineering, energy, economics and environmental systems analysis. Furthermore, the Energy for Sustainability (EfS) initiative at the University Coimbra brings together faculty from various teaching and research institutions, and offers an interesting and diversified number of courses.


Bioengineering PhD Candidates Get Expert Feedback on Research

Wednesday, 24 March 2010 07:03

MIT-Portugal Bioengineering Systems faculty leads from both Portugal and MIT were in Cambridge on March 4, 2010, and their presence provided the perfect opportunity for seven third-year candidates in that area’s PhD course to present updates on the leading-edge research they are doing at MIT – to the faculty, as well as to reviewers with expertise on the students’ research topics. 

The result was a series of substantive, practical comments about the students’ work – which the students were glad to receive. According to one presenter, David Braga Malta, who is working in the laboratory of MIT Prof. Sangeeta Bhatia, the event was “a unique opportunity to be able to present and discuss our work with an audience full of experts in our area. This is one of the best ways of improving the quality of the work we are developing, given the excellent feedback such an audience provides.”


Student Researching High-Speed Rail in Portugal Heading to World Bank

Monday, 15 March 2010 05:09

Sevara Melibaeva – an MIT student from Uzbekistan who is completing noteworthy research on the construction of a high-speed rail system between Lisbon and Porto, research funded by the MIT-Portugal Program – has been awarded a position in the World Bank’s prestigious Young Professionals Program.

The program – which Melibaeva will begin in September, after she completes her MIT degree – will provide her with an opportunity to enter a career track at the World Bank and to further develop her skills in development policy and economics. This will be her second stint at the bank’s Washington headquarters; after earning an M.B.A. in Tashkent and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, Melibaeva was a member of a World Bank team working on sustainable development in transportation in Europe and Central Asia.

According to MIT-Portugal Transportation Systems faculty member Prof. Joseph Sussman, Melibaeva’s advisor in MIT’s Master of Science in Transportation program, the selectivity of the Young Professionals Program makes this a “singular honor.”

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