Bioengineering Systems

The Bioengineering program seeks to provide the highest quality graduate education, which is offered jointly by four Portuguese universities with collaboration from MIT, to prepare students to:

  • Master fundamental concepts of physical, chemical and biological engineering, computational systems, and medical technologies;
  • Understand the innovation path to translate academic research to practice;
  • Creatively solve complex problems and demonstrate innovative systems thinking;
  • Provide leadership in academia, industry, and government.

Cutting-edge research plays an important role in providing world-class graduate education. The research program is closely linked to the educational program. The Bioengineering Systems research programs involve both MIT and Portuguese faculty. In addition, several companies are expected to provide internships and research opportuntities at the PhD level.

The Bioengineering System Focus Area is currently developing a program of industrial partners and affiliates within Portugal. The intention is that these partners will eventually have the opportunity to employ graduates of the new educational programs and to acquire new technologies developed through the program’s collaborative research projects.

Engineering Design and Advanced Manufacturing

The goals for the Engineering Design and Advanced Manufacturing (EDAM) focus area are to develop a new paradigm for engineering education that closely links high quality research to curricular programs, and, to promote an entrepreneurial approach to knowledge-based manufacturing and competitive product design.

The educational program offers two degrees that integrate both engineering and management practices. The degree programs involve instructors from both MIT and Portugal.

The EDAM research agenda places a high priority on projects that enhance course delivery in the two degree programs and enable new collaborations between Portuguese and MIT researchers and industrial affiliates.

The EDAM focus area has also developed relationships with companies as part of the Industrial Affiliates program. Through these relationships, companies may sponsor research, offer internships, sponsor employees to enroll in academic programs, send employees to executive seminars or identify other ways to become involved.

The EDAM Ecosystem graphic

Sustainable Energy Systems

Current debates and trends in energy, both within Portugal and the EU, highlight some significant energy systems challenges. The first of these is the need to reverse the energy consumption and emissions trends Portugal and other nations have seen over the past 15 years. Meeting greenhouse gas emissions targets is a challenge that calls for new ideas, tools, technologies, and policies, along with highly educated people to develop and implement them.

Devising strategies to cost-effectively meet these challenges requires new energy systems methodologies that capture the dynamics and drivers of energy demand—including consumer behavior, energy resources (especially renewable resources) and the networks that connect the two. With these challenges in mind, the Sustainable Energy Systems focus area's prime objective is to engage industry and government in innovative research and educational programs to develop standard approaches, methods, and policies for improving the long-term performance of the nation's energy sector while addressing climate change and energy security concerns.

The education program includes a one-year advanced studies course (DEA in FEUP/ Executive Master in IST-ISEG) for working professionals and a multiple-year SES Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) course. The advanced studies and doctoral program both focus on core areas in energy systems within a multidisciplinary engineering systems framework, including engineering and economics, at the level of energy systems analysis and design. Students who successfully complete the DFA may proceed to the PhD program as long as they fulfill the requirements and are approved by the SES Educational Committee.

The research and education programs involve numerous departments and laboratories at MIT, in collaboration with several Portuguese universities, including the University of Lisbon (Técnico Lisboa, IST; Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestão, ISEG; Faculdade de Ciências, FCUL), the University of Porto (Faculdade de Engenharia, FEUP), and the University of Coimbra (Faculdade de Economia, FEUC;  Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, FCTUC).

The activities of the energy systems focus area are coordinated across universities by the following professors:

Luis Moreira (IST)
Manuel Matos (FEUP)
António Gomes Martins (UC)
João Serra (FCUL)
Stephen Connors (MIT)

The Sustainable Energy Systems focus area has also developed an Industrial Affiliates program to support the educational and research programs and enhance relationships between higher education and industry.

Transportation Systems

The overarching focus of the MIT Portugal Program (MPP) Transportation Systems focus area is the design of complex, large-scale systems that have major societal impact and provide opportunities for sustainable economic development.  The mission of the educational program of the Transportation Systems focus area is the development of a cadre of transportation researchers and professionals in Portugal who are trained at the system level in the design and management of a technology-intensive, intermodal transportation system.

In addition, the Transportation Systems focus area aims to establish a collaborative, in-depth research program, building from the comparative advantage of the universities and researchers involved.

Furthermore, the Transportation Systems focus area will pursue research links with the other MIT Portugal Program focus areas and anchor program activities.  In this respect, Transportation Systems has important and logical links to the work of the Sustainable Energy Systems focus area, since transportation is a major energy consuming sector and the single largest consumer of petroleum.  Research links will also be pursued with the Engineering Design and Advanced Manufacturing focus area, due to related areas of interest including, for example, supply-chain management and automotive industry manufacturing.  Finally, research links to anchor program activities will be developed, in areas such as network management and resilience, the "green car," and carbon-efficient supply chains.

Engineering Systems

For future engineers to succeed, they will need to be thoroughly versed in the principles and methodologies of engineering systems. Therefore, engineering systems knowledge is of strategic importance for Portugal, since it will be a fundamental requirement for economic and social development in the 21st century. The aim of our work in Engineering Systems program is to benefit Portuguese engineering education and practice, and to serve as a model for Europe. Portugal and MIT are working together to develop engineering systems as a new field of study.

Goals include the following:

  • directly benefit Portuguese engineering education and practice as it contributes to the development of engineering systems as a new field of study, and serve as a model for all of Europe
  • establish a set of fundamental methodologies and systems concepts that apply to the design and operation of engineering systems
  • establish a portfolio of preeminent engineering systems educational programs in Portugal by integrating new systems-based concepts, methodologies and case studies in the educational initiatives
  • pursue flagship research projects that integrate research being undertaken in every area of the Program