MPP Annual Conference Wrap-Up
On Monday 30 September 2019, the MIT Portugal Program held its annual conference at the University of the Azores. The conference had over 150 participants from MIT and Portuguese universities! This year’s theme was, “The Atlantic as a platform for science and technological impact.” The 2019 MPP Annual Conference sets a special milestone because our initiative is the first international partnership to hold an event of this nature in the islands, and also because the Azores represent a strategic element in the 2030 vision of the MIT Portugal Program.
The Welcome Session included remarks by Manuel Heitor, Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education; João Luís Gaspar, Rector of University of Azores; Pedro Arezes, Director MIT Portugal Program, Portugal; Prof. Dava Newman, Director MIT Portugal Program, MIT; and Helena Pereira, President of the Foundation for Science and Technology.
The Keynote Speaker was Professor Jim Anderson, Philip S. Weld Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry, Harvard University. His talk addressed rapid, irreversible climate change with new strategic developments in climate research. Professor Anderson is best known for his work linking chlorofluorocarbons to the Ozone Hole.
Fifteen researchers and scientists from MIT and Portugal spoke about their work and how it related to MPP’s four strategic areas: Climate Science & Climate Change, Earth Systems: Oceans to Near Space, Digital Transformation in Manufacturing, and Sustainable Cities—all of which include data science intensive approaches and methodologies. The MIT presenters at the conference were Prof. Edward Boyle, Audun Botterud, Prof. Jessika Trancik, Alvar Saenz-Otero, Prof. Paul Sclavounos, Prof. Stefanie Mueller, and Haden Quinlan.
On display at the conference were over forty-five posters created by both student and faculty researchers from MIT and Portuguese universities. The conference was concluded by Elsa Henriques, Member of the Executive Council, FLAD and Zita Martins, Co-Director MIT Portugal Program, Portugal presenting three awards for the best student posters. In third place: Jose Simoes, “Digital Transformation in Riflescope Manufacturing.” In second place: Fabiola Pereira, “Offshore Wind Energy Resource Assessment from Satellite Data Observations and WRF over Porto Santo Island.” And in first place: Luis Angel Espinosa, “Seasonal rainfall trends and a North Atlantic Oscillation Index teleconnection over a small island (1937/38-2016/17).” Congratulations to the winners!
A big thank you to the University of the Azores for hosting the event. And thank you to all the speakers, presenters, moderators, and participants! The MIT Portugal Team hopes to see you again next year.