MIT Students in Portugal for a summer hands-on internships in some of the country leading companies

In 2017 the MISTI Program brought to Portugal seven students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for a unique internship experience abroad. The success of previous years led to the maintenance of the collaboration between MISTI and the MIT Portugal Program, which started officially in 2014 and already gave the opportunity to 25 MIT undergrads and graduate students to emerge in the Portuguese entrepreneurial sector.

 Last year one of the seven students who came to Portugal ended up by being invited to stay as COO at the company where she interned, a B2B startup specialized in mental fatigue management named Performetric. “I am proud to say I was instrumental in helping the company move from a beta product to an official version” and added “"I will be helping the company's entry and expansion into the United States, shares 2016 MBA graduate and MIT Portugal intern Olaide Olambiwonnu.

This year three students interned at Ceiia, a world class company in the fields of aeronautics, mobility, naval/offshore and automotive; three were received at top Portuguese Universities (IST, University of Lisboa and University of Coimbra); and one at The Museum pf Art, Architecture and Technology ( MAAT) in Lisbon.

MIT student Katie Silva was hosted at the University of Coimbra by Professor João Bigotte, Assistant Professor of Technological Change and Innovation in the MIT Portugal Program, and spoke about her experience: “I’d never seriously considered being an entrepreneur, especially at a place like MIT where some fellow students graduate with start-ups and I never felt like I had an idea. My MISTI experience taught me more about how people became entrepreneurs and innovators and what programs, like the MIT Portugal Program, are doing to encourage innovation within academia”. Shannon Hwang was one of the three students that interned at Ceiia and refered to this experience as an inspiring opportunity and a great way to develop her engineering skills while exploring a beautiful nation on her first trip to Europe. More about MISTI Portugal 2017 students´ experience here.

MISTI is a pioneer in international education, by helping MIT students to develop practical intercultural skills through hands-on opportunities in over 30 countries. MISTI's mission is to  ensure that students have a rich experience that broadens their academic, professional, and personal horizons and prepares them to be global leaders in their field of study.

The MISTI Program with Portugal follows the framework of a traditional MISTI program and it was developed in collaboration with the MIT Portugal Program (MPP).  Seeing the value in connecting more MIT students to Portuguese companies and in connecting Portugal with MIT’s hands-on or mens et manus approach to learning, MPP approached MISTI in 2011. The MIT Portugal Program officially launched MISTI in 2014 and is led by Managing Director Alicia Goldstein Raun.

Before going abroad,  participants are required to complete Portugal-related coursework and attend a series of Prep & Training modules covering topics such as cross-cultural communication, navigating the workplace and safety. By exploring their host country’s culture, its students to experience their host culture as an informed, engaged participants and not just visitors.

At graduation, participants in MISTI student programs report a higher level of self-confidence and an improved ability to adapt to new situations and to communicate effectively with international peers.

If you are Portuguese company, research institute, or university laboratory interested in hosting a student, please contact the MIT-Portugal Managing Director Alicia Goldstein Raun.

MISTI photo Katie at UCMIT Student Katie Silva with a friend at the University of Coimbra

Isabel Rocha, MIT Portugal Faculty, named UNL Pro-Rector

Isabel Rocha, MIT Portugal Program Bioengineering Faculty at the University of Minho was named member of the new Universidade Nova de Lisboa Rectoral team, headed by Professor João Sàágua. 

More about the UNL Rectoral team here.

Isabel Rocha UNLIsabel Rocha at the official Takeover Ceremony

Gareth McKinley from MIT visited the University of Minho

On August 30th and 31st, Professor Gareth McKinley, the director of the non-Newtonian Fluid Dynamic research group from MIT, visited the University of Minho, with the main purpose to meet the computational modelling group coordinated by professors Miguel Nóbrega and Olga Carneiro, from the Institute for Polymers and Composites (IPC), with which he has long standing cooperation projects.

The visit included a general meeting with all the group researchers, to present the most relevant on-going projects covering different areas of common interest, follow-up meetings for the current cooperation projects between both groups and a tour to the IPC and PIEP premises. During his stay Gareth McKinley was also received at the University of Minho Rectorate, by the Rector, Professor António Cunha, and the Director of the MIT Portugal Program, Professor Pedro Arezes, where he had the chance to perceive the most relevant facts of the University of Minho history, talk about the past and future of the MIT-Portugal Program and know about the very good perspectives concerning the high performance computational facilities that will be installed at the University of Minho in the near future.

The visit ended at one of the well know restaurants located at the Guimarães historical city center, where Gareth McKinley had the chance to taste a few typical dishes from the Minho Region and watch a live fado performance. 

Gareth UminhoFrom left to right: José Miguel Nobrega (IPC, Universidade do Minho), Olga Carneiro (IPC, Universidade do Minho), António Cunha (Rector, Universidade do Minho) and Gareth McKinley (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

MIT Portugal Alumni and Suscity researcher André Pina is one of the ULisboa Awards winners

The researcher at the In+ Center (Instituto Superior Técnico) was granted the Environment and Energy Award, one of the five ULisboa/ Santander Universidades distinctions given in five different scientific areas.

André Alves Pina graduated from the Sustainable Energy Systems PhD in 2012 and since than has been involved in MIT Portugal projects and specifically in the Program´s test bed Suscity. Amongst the winners, four are also researchers from IST: João Ramôa Correia (Civil Engineering), José Bioucas Dias (Electrical and Aerospace Engineering) and Mário Costa ( Mechanical Engineering, Naval and Aerospace Engineering). These awards aim is to reward scientific research and encourage the publication of articles in international high standard journals.

Dr. André Pina concluded his M.Sc. in Technological Physics Engineering in 2007 and his Ph.D. in Sustainable Energy Systems within the MIT Portugal Program in 2012 from Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, Portugal. As a postdoctoral researcher, his main research topics are the development of modelling methodologies to include supply and demand dynamics in the modeling of energy systems, the quantification of the potential for energy efficiency and local energy production at the urban scale and the assessment of material use and resource productivity at the National and urban scales. He has been part of projects involving the assessment of transitions in energy systems towards the high penetration of renewable energy sources, with particular reference to the Green Islands Project in cooperation with MIT, and on the quantification and design of roadmaps for urban areas, namely for European and Asian cities with European Municipalities and the Asian Development Bank, respectively.

More information about ULisboa/ Santander Universidades Awards here.

André Pina brAndré Pina

Leadership Weekend 2017 - How to become a leader

This year´s edition of the Leadership Weekend was the largest ever, with a total of 44 students from the four focus areas of the MIT Portugal Program. This event gathers annually 1st year PhD and Master students at Gerês – Braga, in a weekend dedicated to improve leadership skills, namely through workshops, group dynamics and outdoor activities.

On Saturday morning, the group woke up early and was divided in nine groups after a briefing by the Program Faculty to explain how the weekend would be organized. This first day was dedicated to outdoor activities like slide, rappel, archery or rope climbing. The teams had until 5pm to finish all the tasks so the strategy adopted was a crucial part of the job. In the evening it was time for a new challenge, and all the groups had to participate in a night orientation activity  using  a map to reach some strategic points.

Website day 1 br

The second day started with a Leadership class led by MPP Faculty Isabel Rocha, followed by group activities to test leadership skills but mostly developing skills on how to work in teams to reach common goals. The idea was to test how a good strategy and a cohesive team can help to better achieve objectives, not only in these exercises but also in everyday life.

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Finally, and to close the activities, each group had to prepare an artistic performance related to their life experience and their MIT Portugal Program PhD. Singing, acting or even juggling were part of the demonstrations which showed their creativity and artistic abilities.

Group Leadership weekend br

This year’s Leadership Weekend, organized by professors Lígia Rodrigues and Isabel Rocha with the participation of professors Eugénio Campos Ferreira, Alexandre Ferreira da Silva, Fátima Lopes and João Bigotte, gave students the opportunity to step out of their comfort zone, test their limits, promote teamwork and also allowed to strengthen bonds between students from the four focus areas. At the end of the weekend everyone was clearly happy with the event and certainly more prepared to face new challenges and apply these useful guidelines in their daily lives.