Pedro Arezes perspective on the new role as National Director and strategy for the future

Pedro Arezes, Professor of Ergonomics and Human Factors in the Production and Systems Department of the School of Engineering of the University of Minho, is since June the new MIT Portugal Program National Director.

In an interview to Segurança Magazine, he makes a clearly positive review of these last months and considers a privilige being part of the Portuguese Program of a renowned University thas is constantly recognized by the best World rankings such as the first place for the fifth straight year on the QS World University Rankings.

The National Director also adresses the end of the second phase of the program in 2017 and mentions a call for proposals that will take place at the beginning of the year. For the near future the main goal is to conclude the plans for this phase and work on a proposal for a potential third stage.

Full Interview

MIT Portugal PhD student wins the Road Safety Innovation Award by ACP with an alternative solution to road humps

Francisco Duarte, a PhD Student in Transportation Systems of the MIT Portugal Program at University of Coimbra, was honored today with the first prize at the initiative promoted by Automóvel Clube Portugal in a partnership with BP Portugal, National Council of Rectors and National Innovation Agency. The 10 000€ will later be invested in the venture’s prototype is currently under construction and it is expected that the laboratory tests will take place early next year and that the project pilot will be implemented in the second half of 2017. The project entitled VENEX presents a speed reduction system that induces the deceleration of vehicles without causing damage, noise or any discomfort to the passengers.

iTeams 2016 edition enabled students to build a go-to-market strategy and to develop state-of-the-art technologies

The final presentations of the 2016 edition of MIT Portugal Program (MPP) Innovation Teams took place on November 30th in a public session at Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD) in Lisbon. Seven teams from Bioengineering and EDAM MPP Phds at University of Minho, University of Coimbra, FCT - Nova University of Lisbon and Instituto Superior Técnico presented their innovative ideas and explained their market strategies. The Innovation Teams initiative is a unique experience in which PhD students work in teams during one semester with real technologies selected from Portuguese research labs and are asked to engage in a search to evaluate and exploit their market potential.

The Session was opened by two entrepreneurs and founders of Portuguese successful start-up companies, Rui Pereira from Outsystems and José Pereira Leal from both Ophiomics Precision Medicine and Healthcare City who shared their experience and gave useful advises to the iTeams members.

Starting the presentations was CarMo or TBM technology for MMS Sensors, a highly precise low noise sensor to follow up the mechanical movement of the heart that measures, without direct contact, the heart recoil, rate, beat amplitude and beat to beat time. The project was presented by Pedro Marques, Rita Ferreira and André Carvalho (Uminho).

Gonçalo Pereira addresses the impact of Donald Trump election on USA climate change policies

Gonçalo Pereira is a SES Phd Alumni who was invited to work as PostDoc at MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS) from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) after a Research period at the same Institution during his MIT Portugal Program Phd.

The opinion article was written in collaboration with IDSS Professor Jessika E. Trancik and published in Público Newspaper online. The news focuses on the effects of the recent election of the American President, Donald Trump, on the US efforts to reduce emissions, a issue that has brought up uncertainty during the Climate negotiations in Marrakech (COP22).

Online article

Homage to Steve Connors

The MIT Portugal Program celebrates the life of Steve Connors, who passed away in November 2016, after a 3-year-and-7-month battle with cancer. 

Steve, as a senior energy researcher at the MIT Energy Initiative,  was always fascinated by alternative energy technologies and with finding the best energy solution suitable to each particular situation. Steve worked on projects emphasizing the responsible evolution of regional energy infrastructures throughout the world, and has work in close collaboration with MIT Portugal projects related to Sustainable Cities and more specifically with the Green Islands Project. He championed the notion that––beyond new technologies––communities, whether islands or cities, need to develop new methods to identify sustainable energy pathways to meet society’s needs for real solutions to economic and environmental challenges. In the Green Islands Project he put this thinking into real-world practice with Portuguese researchers and students working with him. 

Steve Connors was also very much involved with the Sustainable Energy Systems PhD Program within the MIT Portugal Program and with its students, whether hosting them at his MIT laboratory or co-supervising their PhD thesis. He was also a frequent visitor, coming often to Portugal for thesis discussions and research meetings.

During the last years, Steve and his wife, Alison Sander, assembled a website that serves as a wonderful testimonial to his passion for life that highlights his contributions to the MIT Portugal Program. On this website you can also celebrate Steve’s life by sharing your own “Steve Stories”.

Steve was a dear, beloved colleague who will be greatly missed.

Steve Connors