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.

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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.

Pavnext, a MIT Portugal PhD student project, is the BIG smart cities winner

The project Pavnext developed by Francisco Duarte, a MIT Portugal Program Transportation Systems student at Universidade de Coimbra was recognized with a 10.000€ prize at the Big Smart Cities 2017 contest. The prize awarding ceremony took place on July 11 at the Centro Cultural de Cascais.

The student competed with the PAVNEXT project (Pavement Energy Efficient Extractor), which presents a speed reduction system that induces the deceleration of vehicles without causing damage, noise or any discomfort to the passengers. The equipment acts as in a similar fashion to a carpet that when placed on the floor actively reduces the speed of the vehicles by extracting kinetic energy, with a minimal impact on the automobile. Contrary to existing systems, this one absorbs the vehicles’ energy and makes it slow down safely, without any action of the driver and even without being perceptible since it causes no discomfort. By acting directly on the vehicles, this solution can be effective in different places such as crossings, intersections, roundabouts, residential areas, schools and hospital areas, among others where it is crucial to control the speed limits. Drivers who move within the legal velocity limits will not be penalized, and the energy will just be withdrawn according to the necessity of each place.

By winning this national entrepreneurship competition, Francisco Duarte received a 10,000 euros prize, a work space and a 6-month acceleration period, a trip to Ericsson's innovation centre in Europe and access to the experimental city of Cascais to test the pilot of the technological solution he developed in the scope of his nearly finished doctoral thesis.

This is the third prize won by Pavnext since December 2016 when he was honored with the first prize at the Road Safety Innovation Award by  ACP. Since then he already won the Coimbra semifinal of the Big Smart Cities Competition and in June was selected to represent Portugal at the European Final of the ClimateLaunchpad competition in October

The laboratory tests already took place at the University of Coimbra and the project pilot will soon be implemented.

In the Media: Jornal Económico, Motor 24, Press Vodafone, Dinheiro Vivo,, Notícias ao minuto.

Francisco Duarte Big Smart CitiesFrancisco Duarte at the Big Smart Cities Final