Highlights 2020

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CONTENTS FEUP HIGHLIGHTS 2020 Publisher Communication Unit of the Faculty of Engineering - U.Porto dci@fe.up.pt Editorial board Carlos Oliveira and Raquel Pires Redaction Raquel Pires, Helena Peixoto, Liliana Carvalho and Sara Miguel Gonçalves noticias@fe.up.pt Design and layout César Sanches design@fe.up.pt Photography Egídio Santos, Jennifer Jacquemart, Manuel Fontes and Susana Neves Translation Isabel Saldanha Teixeira Property Faculty of Engineering - University of Porto Head Office Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal Tel: +351 22 508 1400 e-mail: dci@fe.up.pt | url: www.fe.up.pt Print & Production Empresa Diário do Porto, Lda. Porto 08 - 2020 Publication frequency Annual Circulation 1500 copies


ABOUT FEUP 4 . FEUP in brief 5

.U .Porto: an international player


. A comprehensive education


. Research and innovation for the real world


. Alumni commitment


. Social responsibility

INNOVATION AND FUTURE 10 . FEUP and CINTESIS are to create an app capable of natural voice reconstruction umanitarian Engineering: technology applied 11 . H to emergency shelters EUP participates in European project to minimize 12 . F

-----Cover photo ©Production Perig - Adobe Stock

04 12 14

damage in the event of earthquakes EUP coordinates European project to revive 13 . F “shrinking cities”


14 . I nterview to Ana Luísa Gonçalves: FEUP researcher wins L’Oréal Medal of Honor

ISSN 2182-9411 Legal deposit 360125/13

. Engineering in times of the Pandemic



Engineering effectiveness in times of pandemic: the importance of serving the community

22 . Mobility in the time of Covid-19


edro Camanho is the University of Porto’s 23 . P


Researcher of the Year

24 . Guest Professor at FEUP receives Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2019


aculty of Engineering: another step on the path 25 . F to Sustainability


day with... 27 . A António Segadães, FEUP Career Award 2019


he future engineer who promises to give her best 30 . T at the 2021 Olympics



32 . 2 019 in review


38 . Facts & figures 2019


Photo: Egídio Santos

Engineering in times of the Pandemic

The world is again facing a global challenge, now from the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and we are all once more adapting to a new way of life. Most engineering activities at FEUP have moved to distance modes, and work in laboratories has been replaced with computersimulated problems or videos of experiments. The main exceptions have been for activities that directly deal with supporting the effort to design and build products to help the effort in controlling the spread of COVID-19, such as producing new 3D frames for goggles, or new pandemic ventilators. Considering that engineers must be equipped to deal with real life problems, this situation of home confinement must be temporary, even if it is possible for various activities to remain in distance mode after the current crisis is largely over. In many situations, distance interaction in FEUP’s engineering activities is less efficient and effec-

tive, and we are becoming more aware of all the benefits provided by the on-Campus experience. Understanding practical considerations and resource constraints is as fundamental in any engineering activity as underlying theoretical knowledge of mathematical and scientific subjects. Of course, inferiorly designed products and services, as well as over-engineered ones, are in no way acceptable. Naturally, every professional wants to answer the demand for the “right stuff”. Engineers, present and future, have their own responsibilities because they have the capacity to use and develop scientific knowledge in various fields, and to apply it to obtain useful solutions, making decisions involving multidisciplinary groups. Ongoing projects highlight the need for engineers to work together in their various specialties, and to combine with other professionals, with common goals. It is necessary to face a challenge with creativity, and, likewise, common sense in order to respect other specialists’ know-how as well as social and legal norms. For example, it is possible to build personal monitoring systems using georeferencing, but solutions must be socially acceptable, in particular by ensuring respect for privacy. Such a balance is expected in the activity of all professionals, including FEUP staff and Alumni. In addition to technical skills and knowledge, innovation capacity, and respect for ethical principles are essential.

I have no doubt that this new experience of large-scale distance working and e-learning will change the way we have become accustomed to living. And I believe that we will end up being better off through what we have learned and experienced, very much out of necessity. We will also be much more appreciative of many aspects of this unique world we have. Whenever there is a new challenge, we must observe what is happening critically, but also creatively, looking for the most appropriate and sustainable solutions. We can always learn from past mistakes, and technology enables us to engineer alternative solutions, more innovative solutions, better adapted to new needs. It is, however, fundamental that we understand our own limits and involve other professionals. By all working together, we will find effective and efficient answers to problems and thus will be able to help improve people’s quality of life, so that, hopefully, we can all enjoy a more balanced and happier society. «Because I was making an incorrect mathematical calculation about love: I thought that, in adding up everything I understand, I loved. I didn’t know that adding up everything you don’t understand is the way to truly love. Because I, just from having felt affection, thought that loving is easy.»

Clarice Lispector (1920-77): «Complete Stories», Penguin Modern Classics, 2015.

* FEUP Dean




ntil the 20th century technical education essentially involved being accepted and working in a professional guild. Such an education process ensured that apprentices understood the practice very well. In environments with a more formal engineering education, mathematics and scientific subjects were required, but the element of training was still required.


João Falcão e Cunha*




FEUP’s claim to be an international School of Engineering is not simply due to the ever-increasing number of foreign students who choose it as their destination every year; nor is it merely a result of the many foreign researchers who enrich the scientific work carried out by the Faculty and bring a multicultural atmosphere to the campus. Important though this international community is, the main thrust of internationalization at FEUP comes from the cooperative relations that it maintains with businesses and prestigious higher education institutions in Europe and the rest of the world, with special emphasis on the USA and Brazil. This collaboration covers aspects as diverse as the establishment of joint degrees, applied research, professional training and mobility programmes for students and staff. FEUP has come to expand its basis of cooperation, also participating in major international networks and prestigious engineering associations such as CESAER - Conference of European Schools for Advanced Engineering Education and Research. Global recognition of FEUP’s quality can also be seen in the high position it occupies in the most respected international Engineering rankings. This, along with the excellent comprehensive education it offers, provides its students with outstanding advantages in both the national and worldwide labor markets. For the past 183 years FEUP has played a leading institutional role in the economic development of the city, the region and the country, both in terms of the quality of its education, producing engineers of world-class standard,

and the scientific and technological breakthroughs that it has made, which have contributed to global scientific development, industrial progress and social well-being.

A DYNAMIC ATMOSPHERE FEUP is located in the Asprela Pole of the University of Porto, an area designated as the Porto Innovation District. Concentrated within one square kilometre, this area is constituted not only by several faculties of the University of Porto and schools of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, but also by private universities, a central teaching hospital, an institute of oncology and various national and international research institutes. With 50,000 talented people working here, it is primarily a technology hub, where the strong presence of engineering technologies, health sciences and entrepreneurship lend considerable impetus to the process of innovation. The Porto Innovation District is also where the core of the University of Porto’s Science and Technology Park (UPTEC) is located. UPTEC is a structure which brings together over two hundred projects, including startups, innovation centres, anchor companies and entrepreneurial projects. In 2013, UPTEC was recognized with the Regio Stars Award in the category “Smart Growth”, organized by the European Commission - the first time a Portuguese university had received an award for regional development projects at European level. All in all, the Porto Innovation District is brimming with the entrepreneurial spirit and multidisciplinary research that have allowed FEUP to break new ground in which to operate and thus broaden its expertise. Today, FEUP houses the facilities of the Institute of Science and Innovation in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (INEGI) and the Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering, Technology and Science (INESC TEC).

Photo: Luís Ferraz


Founded in 1926, the Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto (FEUP) is the largest of the 14 faculties that constitute the University of Porto. With its origins in the Polytechnic Academy, created in 1837, FEUP is a leading institution of international repute, whose achievements in research and teaching have led to its current position at the forefront of engineering schools.

Photo: Egídio Santos

Texts: Liliana Carvalho

International recruitment has, indeed, been given a new framework following national approval of the International Student Statute, which enables foreign undergraduate students to be admitted in Portuguese Higher Education Institutions. When it comes to international students, there has been a significant increase in enrollments at all levels of education, together with the number of mobility partnerships with top-rated higher education institutions. In Portugal, U.Porto is the preferred choice for those applying to enter higher education establishments, which means that every year the number of applicants is greater than the number of available places. U.Porto is a comprehensive institution, with a large number of faculties and schools providing a diverse range of knowledge, continually interacting and offering opportunities for training at all stages of life. As the university’s main aim is the all-round education of its students, it also offers numerous extra-curricular activities in such diverse areas as sports, the arts, entrepreneurship and volunteer service.

Recognition of U.Porto as an institution of excellence is reflected in the high place that it occupies in international rankings. U.Porto is a key academic institution in the Portuguese-speaking and IberoAmerican worlds and its leading international role is reinforced by the prestigious ties of cooperation that it has with countries which share linguistic or historical kinship.

THE CITY OF PORTO Whoever visits Porto for the first time immediately feels the pulse of a city that is not just the regional capital of northern Portugal, but also the main trading centre in the north-west of the Iberian Peninsula. Traditionally known for its Port Wine trade, the region is home to a large cross-section of Portuguese industry, in particular the sectors of timber, furniture-making, textiles, garment manufacturing, footwear, metal-working and various engineering industries. Its commercial activity is facilitated by the cargo terminal at the port of Leixões, which handles 25% of Portugal’s international maritime trade, and also by Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport, consistently voted as one of the best in Europe for the last 13 years. The historic centre is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site and its charm and beauty cast a special spell on the city of Porto. But no less enchanting are the modern buildings designed by acclaimed names in architecture such as Siza Vieira, Souto Moura and Rem Koolhaas. The pleasant atmosphere, excellent cuisine, and range of cultural and leisure activities at competitive prices have earned it praise from such international publications as the New York Times and Lonely Planet. In 2017 Porto was for the third time elected Best European Destination and more recently, among other nominations, it was considered by Culture Trip the most interesting city for investment in 2020.


U.Porto is also aware of the crucial role it plays in socioeconomic development, both at regional and national level, through its interaction with wider society and the productive base in particular. It is, therefore, placing increasing emphasis on raising the value of its research activity by means of transferring knowledge and technologies to industry, together with genuine human talent, and creating partnerships with businesses, which have resulted in innovations with proven success in both national and international markets. In 2015, together with the University of Minho and the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, the University of Porto created UNorte.pt, the first consortium of higher education institutions in Portugal: this cooperation brings the Northern region to a strong position not only in terms of joint applications to the EU Framework Programme 2020, but also facilitates collaboration in other fields of expertise as well as in attracting international students to the region.

U.Porto is one of five major research universities which have created a European Alliance for Global Health (EUGLOH) committed to higher education in this area and to meeting the well-being challenges at the heart of European values. This joint effort aimed at building the European universities of tomorrow in response to the pressing issues facing the future of global health is led by University Paris-Saclay (France), and also includes Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich (Germany), Lund University (Sweden) and Szeged University (Hungary).



The University of Porto (U.Porto), located in the north of Portugal, is increasingly becoming a major contributor to global networks of academic and scientific excellence, helping to promote the worldwide transfer of its research results. As a research university, it contributes significantly to the country’s scientific output.

Photo: reserved rights






In accordance with the Bologna principles, greater pedagogical emphasis is placed on “learning” than “teaching”, which allows the student to play a more active role. To enable this, FEUP provides its students with high quality facilities and equipment and services that can keep pace with recent trends and students’ requirements. These include study rooms and computer labs open round the clock every day of the year. FEUP has high quality standards and therefore seeks the best candidates from Portugal and abroad to accomplish its mission of producing competitive engineering graduates for the global labour market and key change agents for industry. The high quality of the education offered is reflected in the success achieved by FEUP’s alumni in many highly reputable organizations around the world. To prepare students for the ’real world’, they are encouraged to participate in interdisciplinary assignments, as well as to take part in research, innovation and entrepre-

neurship projects from the undergraduate level. FEUP also promotes the participation of students in companyproposed projects as part of their Masters dissertations as well as Summer internship programmes. Besides all the regular curricular activities, FEUP offers a great array of extra-curricular options, including theatre, music and painting. Cultural events play a central role at the institution, including such diverse initiatives as film cycles, exhibitions, seminars, literature sessions, and conferences on many different topics. FEUP’s classical orchestra is one of the University of Porto’s most emblematic and successful cultural projects. When it comes to sports, a wide range of activities are offered, covering all types of sports, with FEUP athletes being distinguished with medals in several national and international competitions. Students also have the opportunity to develop their soft skills when, for instance, they engage in activities related to intercultural diversity, participate in groups dedicated to certain subject areas or join international or local associations such as BEST (Board of European Students of Technology), i-ESN (International Exchange Erasmus Student Network) or InterUp (Youth Association for International Students).

Photo: Egídio Santos

Studying at FEUP means joining a community of around 8,000 promising students at the biggest faculty of the University of Porto, one of the largest universities in Portugal, with more than 30,000 students.


The establishment of partnerships with external entities enables FEUP not only to enrich its research activities by sharing ideas and experiences, but also to seek appropriate solutions to current global challenges. The Horizon 2020 Office at FEUP seeks to open new doors to our presence in European knowledge networks and to leverage the participation in and funding by European R&I framework programmes. It is a very important source of support to researchers, strengthened by another structure: the Industry Liaison Office (ILO). The ILO promotes close cooperation between FEUP researchers and the national and international industry, thus fostering competitive collaboration and access to external funding. Countless projects demonstrate FEUP’s capacity to bring about innovation through its R&D units in conjunction with its affiliated institutes, together forming a support platform for Faculty research. Moreover, research is also boosted by the Centres of Competence, specializing in such diverse areas as Sustainable Energy, Smart Cities, Product and Service Design, Railways, Advanced Manufacturing, as well as Oceanic Research, Health Innovation and Ambient Assisted Living. FEUP’s considerable technical-scientific potential has been applied in numerous technology transfer projects. The knowledge of university teachers and researchers has also contributed to the training and consultancy services provided to the business and public sectors, as well as to the establishment of standardized procedures that guarantee the quality and safety of products and services. Promotion of entrepreneurship is undertaken through advanced training in innovation and technological enterprise, publicizing of

Photo: reserved rights

FEUP’s central position on the map of Research and Innovation (R&I) is certainly reinforced by its privileged location – the Porto Innovation District – and the international networks of which it is part. The Innovation Centre at the Science and Technology Park of the University of Porto (UPTEC) is located nearby. This centre is a clear example of the cooperation between the academic and business worlds: several innovation teams from national and international companies are established here, involved in the development of new technologies geared towards the global market. incentive programmes, organization of counselling initiatives and contacts made with available companies and investors. A significant number of entrepreneurial projects, instigated by teachers, researchers and students, have given rise to start-ups and spin-offs. FEUP also leads the field in the Business and Innovation Network (BIN@) initiative. This network, created in 2010, is a joint effort of academic and industry partners engaged in a sustainable platform for sharing best practices and opportunities in innovation. BIN@ has currently around 4,000 delegates worldwide (+60 countries) and has so far organised events in Portugal, UK, Brazil, Romania and Poland. FEUP encourages application of the academic knowledge it generates to solving real-world problems. This is achieved by establishing strong links with business and industry, thereby opening the way to building long-lasting relationships of trust. In 2018, a new initiative was launched to bring companies closer to the academy: PRIME is the name of a corporate membership programme that provides companies with real value and competitive advantages, establishing a direct connection with the sources of talent and knowledge that provide the ability to stay ahead and deliver key innovations to the market. This is especially achieved through Doctoral Research Projects with Enterprises (DoRPE), which aim to offer companies a standard procedure to initiate a research project with FEUP involving a doctoral candidate and appropriate funding. BA Glass and Advanced Cyclone Systems have joined Efacec, Kaizen Institute, Natixis, Sonae IM and Vodafone as FEUP Prime Partners and there are currently several PhD students undertaking research projects proposed by some of these companies within the scope of DoRPE.


ALUMNI COMMITMENT The alumni community is an important connection between FEUP and the world beyond its campus boundaries: our alumni represent both a valuable source of expertise as well as a bridge to hundreds of organisations and companies, many of which are strategic potential partners in the field of education and research.

FEUP is very glad to have an alumni community keen on staying in touch with their alma mater: from the beginning the commitment shown by our alumni has been very clear. They are willing to support FEUP in all fields of activity and participate eagerly in alumni reunions as well as in other social activities including networking and volunteering.

As alma mater, FEUP continues to invest in alumni development, offering a broad choice of lifelong learning opportunities, as well as a range of significant benefits, from access to our lavish library resources to involvement in numerous conferences, concerts and other cultural and entertainment activities.

According to Joana Donas, Alumna Ambassador in The Netherlands: Very recently I accepted this challenge of representing FEUP as an Alumni Ambassador in the Netherlands. This allows me to welcome newcomers, provide them information and support about living in the Netherlands and about the good opportunities they can find over here, and also to future expats thinking about coming. To my colleagues already here, the idea is to improve our network, share experiences and get people involved. I would also like to let Dutch companies know about the high-quality Engineering that FEUP Alumni can provide, and improve partnerships for professionals and students. The alumni community is growing day by day: more than 30,000 alumni have been identified on LinkedIn and close to 10,000 of them have joined the FEUPLink closed groups on LinkedIn and Facebook, thus now being directly linked to FEUP.

The alumni network is not only of interest for catching up with old classmates but is also useful for conveying information related to job openings or collaboration opportunities, as well as building a strong network and sharing relevant experiences. FEUP’s Alumni Ambassador Programme is a keystone in the network project FEUPLink, which serves as a launchpad for a diverse range of initiatives, bringing our alumni from around the world closer to each other and closer to FEUP. In 2019/2020 FEUP has 33 active Alumni Ambassadors in 21 countries: Angola, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Ghana, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Qatar, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America and the Republic of Vanuatu/Fiji Islands. Lisbon, in Portugal, also has an official representation since its community is of such a significant size.

If you are a FEUP alumnus, we’d be glad if you could join the alumni community FEUPLink on LinkedIn and, who knows, become our Alumni Ambassador to help make the community even bigger - more information available on www.fe.up.pt/alumni.

Photo: Egídio Santos




At FEUP, students have the opportunity to participate in volunteer projects at national and international level, such as GASPORTO, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to aid and human development in Portugal and the developing world. Headquartered at the Faculty of Engineering, GASPORTO has been undertaking very important volunteer work not only in the city of Porto, but also in Timor and Mozambique - its main goal being to instill in students an understanding of cultures and to help make the world a better place to live in. FEUP also supports institutions located in the surrounding area, including, among others: IPO Porto (the Portuguese Institute of Oncology - Porto); Hospital do Joãozinho (Pediatric Hospital); Loja Social de Paranhos (Paranhos Community Store), that provides poor families with food, clothing and hygiene products, to which FEUP contributes monthly; Centro Social da Paróquia da Areosa (Areosa Parish Health Centre), which provides support and activities for care of the elderly in its neighbourhood; AJUDARIS – a local association that fights against hunger, poverty and social exclusion; and “Teach for Portugal”, a project which involves young graduates with secondary school students. Moreover, it has supported, and will support, specific actions to overcome critical situations such as housing reconstruction following large-scale forest fires. In order to promote inclusive education and ensure equal access and success for minority groups, such as people with disabilities, FEUP also has at its disposal a specialized office offering support to students with special educational needs, with the aim of improving their conditions of learning and helping them on their academic path. In addition, the “Student Support Project” has been set up with the main aim of contributing towards providing aid to students in financial difficulties who cannot afford to pay their tuition fees.

The existence of a Commission dedicated to Social Responsibility and a Commission for Sustainability reinforces FEUP’s commitment to this matter. Currently, corporate responsibility also extends to the promotion of sustainable development practices in the management of the campus. At the end of 2019 FEUP gathered all the leading Portuguese Higher Education Institutions at the first Conference on Sustainable Campus, under the title of “Sustainable Development: Higher Education Institutions as Agents of Change”, where a charter of commitment was signed. The report on sustainability issued every year gives a good overview of the institution’s performance in various areas of sustainability. As a public institution that practices transparent and accountable management of its resources, FEUP produces an annual financial report revealing all Faculty expenditure and revenue in detail. Positive effects of ecological and environmental policy are likely to arise not only from energy saving gained from intelligent management of buildings, but also from increased use of non-polluting means of transport, and the recycling of waste products. FEUP’s concerns regarding sustainable development are, moreover, not merely confined to its premises. Engineering projects geared to the outside world have a markedly ecological aspect, and the role they play in urban renewal and the construction of future cities makes FEUP a force of benign intervention in society. This same society can freely benefit from the many debates, concerts, theatrical events and film showings organized at FEUP. Music and painting courses are also available with the aim of awakening the artistic talents of our students. After all, FEUP does not just train engineers, but also educates world citizens. More recently, several initiatives have been carried out by FEUP to deal with the Covid-19 crisis, collected together on FEUP’s Voluntary Engineering Platform. This platform aims not only to respond in a timely manner with technological solutions that minimize the impact of the virus on populations, but its objective is also to extend beyond this period of crisis, to provide support and innovation in order to resolve and anticipate future situations. All events taking place in the FEUP community are published in the weekly newsletter FEUPWorld, currently only in the Portuguese language – fe.up.pt/feupworld

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FEUP engages in its core functions of teaching, research, innovation and community outreach in a responsible and principled manner that promotes certain key values. It is our belief that only conscious choices lead to bright students following bright careers. The information programme carried out with high school students and educators does much more than simply fulfil recruitment ambitions. Its main purpose is to better inform people about the different fields of engineering and to make students aware of the environmental and social impacts of the engineering profession.

FEUP and CINTESIS are to create an app capable of natural voice reconstruction


This research project seeks to provide a solution for patients suffering from temporary or permanent aphonia. The system will serve as a “modified amplifier, but using smart technology,” capable of projecting and correcting voice, and restoring its natural sound.




eing voiceless can be a nightmare. It affects communication and self-esteem, causes frustration and can trigger depression. To assist millions of people who are affected by a lack of voice - or dysphonic voice - a group of Portuguese researchers is developing a project that aims to develop an innovative system for natural voice reconstruction. The project, designated DyNaVoiceR, brings together engineers, medical specialists in otorhinolaryngology and speech therapists, from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP), CINTESIS - Center for Health Technology and Services Research, and the University of Aveiro, respectively. Aníbal Ferreira, leading researcher and FEUP professor, affirms that “the objective is to create an advanced technological assistant that converts whispered speech signals into natural speech signals”, pointing out that “no effective system is known that provides a convincing solution to the problem of oral communication for patients with dysphonic voice”. In fact, the project aims to create an app that can serve as a solution for all those patients suffering from a particular type of dysphonic voice: (temporary or permanent) aphonia, which can result from oncological diseases (such as thyroid or laryngeal cancer), neurological disorders (such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s) or psychological disorders (such as anxiety), among other causes. Jorge Spratley is an ENT physician and researcher at CINTESIS, responsible for the clinical area of the project. As he explains, “voice is produced by the vibration of air expelled from the lungs by the diaphragm and which passes through the vocal folds and is later modified by the tongue, palate and lips. The emission of a healthy voice is called euphonia, while a ‘sick’ voice, that is to say, when certain characteristics are changed,

Text: Raquel Pires Photo: reserved rights

is called dysphonia.” Speaking very hoarsely or in a whisper, those suffering from chronic aphonia find that their ability to communicate is greatly reduced and natural interaction becomes limited, since a dysphonic voice cannot convey emotions or the speaker’s identity. The system to be developed should serve as a “modified amplifier, but using smart technology”, which will not only project the voice by enhancing the linguistic message, but also correct it, restoring its natural sound and even the speaker’s sound signature. Technically, the voice can be deconstructed and those aspects requiring correction can then be reconstructed, while any missing elements can also be inserted. In this regard, it will be the job of CINTESIS to collect samples of voice at the place and time that it is generated by the vocal folds. “It’s like fetching water directly from the source, before it has passed through any streams or pollution that alter it,” explains Jorge Spratley. To do this, the researchers will use a sample of healthy volunteer speakers. The non-invasive examination will take place at the São João Hospital Centre and will serve to help collect this individual “voice print”. This data will then be processed by the engineering specialists, who will be tasked with developing techniques and tools for the precise synthesis and control of the different elements of the voice signal, fundamental in the reconstruction of natural voice from dysphonic voice. In short, the intention is to “preserve and highlight linguistic information, convey distinctive elements of an individual’s voice, in addition to improving vocal projection”, explain the researchers. Financed by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), the project also involves the participation of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Porto (FMUP) and the Institute of Electronics and Informatics Engineering of Aveiro (IEETA).

It is a proven concept. Essentially, the idea is to create an emergency shelter using innovative technologies such as 4D printing. The key benefits? To enable such structures to be self-assembling, multifunctional and even self-repairing. Patent registration has already been submitted.


Humanitarian Engineering: technology applied to emergency shelters

Text: Raquel Pires Photo: reserved rights

Besides the shocking statistics, time is also a crucial factor and always in short supply in a serious emergency: in moments of crisis when practically everything fails, it is necessary to create structural solutions that can be more effective than canvas tents and makeshift structures erected by the locals. In what may well be the first attempt to solve this issue, student Alice Costa is leading a research project set up within the Master’s degree in Industrial and Product Design run by the Faculties of Engineering (FEUP) and Fine Arts at the University of Porto. As Alice explains, the initiative is essentially based on “innovative technologies such as 4D printing, where it is possible to develop 3D structures using

materials with memory that can later react to environmental stimuli such as water, light and heat”. She underlines that fact that “unlike 3D printing, which is static, the time factor adds a 4D dimension, with the result that structures can be self-assembling, multifunctional or even self-repairing”. A demonstration of this process, at an appropriate scale, was undertaken by means of printing with filaments, namely polylactic acid (PLA) and shape-memory polymers (SMP), successfully validating the concept of potentially applying 4D printing using SMP filaments in the development of structures that are easy to transport and set up in emergency situations. Alice Costa’s research has been guided by Jorge Lino, deputy director of the Master’s in Industrial and Product Design in collaboration with António Torres Marques and Bárbara Rangel, both researchers and professors working at FEUP’s Design Studio. Alice’s work has validated an innovative concept with regard to the assembly of emergency kits in a humanitarian crisis situation and, at the same time, makes suggestions for improving the properties “of specific rigidity and strength that can be obtained with the use of composite materials”.




he large number of people displaced due to conflicts or natural disasters continues to increase exponentially. According to a recent report by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the number of people affected by war, persecution and conflict exceeded the 70 million mark in 2018. “What we are seeing in these figures is further confirmation of a longer-term rising trend in the number of people needing safety,” says the report.

FEUP participates in European project to minimize damage in the event of earthquakes


With 5 million euros of funding, the LIQUEFACT project has enabled the development of innovative solutions to deal with soil liquefaction induced by seismic activity.



Text: Raquel Pires Photo: reserved rights


he shocking figures do not deceive: in the last decade alone, earthquakes have been the deadliest of all European disasters, causing almost 19,000 deaths and direct economic losses of approximately 29 billion euros. Soil liquefaction induced by seismic activity results in the loss of rigidity and resistance of the massive blocks that support the foundations of buildings and transport infrastructures, protective dikes, bridge abutments, and pipes carrying water, hydrocarbons, sewage, and so on. This in turn has a dramatic effect on the resumption of activity for the populations affected by such disasters, that is, loss of resilience. The Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP), under the leadership of António Viana da Fonseca, Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, formed a consortium with five other European partner countries - Slovenia, the UK, Italy, Norway and Turkey - and set up the LIQUEFACT project, which met with the highest approval rating. The project has received over five million euros in funding (of which 500 thousand were distributed to FEUP) through the European program Horizon 2020. Research began in May 2016 and was conducted over 42 months, with a systematic macro-level analysis of the European territory in danger of seismic liquefaction as well as detailed micro-zoning studies of four critical regions in Slovenia, Italy,

Turkey and Portugal. Here, the test case selected was the left-bank region of the River Tagus in the Municipalities of Benavente and Vila Franca de Xira, as they were both heavily affected in the 1909 earthquake. This project has seen the development of innovative procedures to be able to identify clearly and efficiently the vulnerability (fragility) of built structures and infrastructures and to suggest advanced engineering solutions, with an optimized cost-benefit ratio, to maintain their activity, as well as assess the viability of new investments, taking this risk into account. A digital platform tool was created to apply these procedures. The more holistic and general approach taken by LIQUEFACT allows for a more comprehensive understanding of EILDs (“Earthquake Induced Liquefaction Damages”) adapted to each specific scenario, with regard both to Europe and the rest of the world. Reaching completion at the end of October 2019, the project was considered to have been extremely positive. The project team and its assessors believe that effective application of the tools developed, both in Europe and abroad, can improve societal resilience in an upcoming earthquake-induced liquefaction event. This will be the case as long as the public bodies responsible and companies involved in public safety and welfare fully digest these findings. liquefact.eu

Text: Raquel Pires Photo: reserved rights


he increasing urbanization of populations around the world has not prevented a significant number of cities, in a wide range of contexts, from experiencing persistent processes of population loss, often associated with the decline of their economic base. Known as shrinking cities, recent studies report that this phenomenon affects between 20 and 30% of European cities. It is in this context that the RE-CITY project has emerged. Receiving 6 million euros of funding from Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions within the Horizon 2020 Program, the project is part of the Research Centre for Territory, Transport and Environment (CITTA) at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto, bringing together teams from 16 universities , research centres, foundations and companies from Europe, the United States, Mexico and Japan, with extensive experience in understanding this phenomenon. The aim is to study innovative solutions for reviving shrinking cities and to develop an advanced training program for a new generation of planners who can intervene in developing these solutions. From a comparative and international perspective, combining contributions from different disciplines, the RE-CITY researchers study the way cities deal with the processes of decline and change. They

analyse, for example, development concepts, trajectories and alternatives; planning strategies and methodologies, ways of learning, mobilizing different social actors and responding to urban inequalities; modes of infrastructure provision, use of alternative energies, creative transformation of empty spaces; and development strategies integrating culture or migration. They also study the role of other levels regional, national or transnational - in the configuration and evolution of urban contraction processes. The intended result of the interaction between these different research topics is a set of concepts, methods and intervention tools, to be applied to planning strategies for shrinking cities. From an educational point of view, RE-CITY integrates 13 doctoral projects and an extensive program of joint activities and student interaction with the project’s academic and non-academic partners. Expected to end in 2022, RE-CITY has two researchers at FEUP, within the scope of the Doctoral Program in Territory Planning: Olivia Lewis, with a project on green infrastructure and citizen participation in the construction of new perspectives for empty spaces, and Fanny Augis, who studies the management of technical and social infrastructure in shrinking cities. www.uni-kl.de/re-city/about-re-city-itn



Urban contraction has multiple causes and dimensions and poses important challenges, with regard to life quality, social cohesion and innovation, economic transformation, housing management, infrastructure and public services, reorganization of physical space city and environmental sustainability.


FEUP participates in European project to revive “shrinking cities”

FEUP researcher wins L’Oréal Medal of Honor Interview: Raquel Pires Photos: reserved rights

Ana Luísa Gonçalves, researcher at the Laboratory for Process Engineering, Environment, Biotechnology and Energy (LEPABE) in the Faculty of Engineering of the Porto University (FEUP), was one of four young Portuguese scientists distinguished with the prestigious L’Oréal Portugal Medal of Honor for Women in Science, awarded by the multinational cosmetics giant. The award-winning project aims to assess the potential of microalgae to treat industrial effluents more efficiently and sustainably, which, even after primary and secondary treatment, continue to show high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus.

How did the opportunity to do research at LEPABE come about? The opportunity arose during my academic career. At the time, I chose one of the research topics proposed by the laboratory (microalgae culture for CO2 capture) to carry out my Master’s thesis and, as the work progressed, I realized that it was an area of great interest for research and with great potential application for different industries. At the end of this period, I began my PhD in the same area and I’ve gone on conducting studies in this area of research until today. Right now, I’m focused not only on remediation applications associated with microalgae, but also on potential ways of enhancing the biomass produced, in order to obtain more efficient, profitable and sustainable processes.

What impact could this work have on the lives of ordinary people? The development of an effective method of removing nitrogen and phosphorus from industrial effluents such as those produced by the paper and textile industries will allow industries to observe the limits established by national and European legislation for the discharge of such effluents, thus contributing to a reduction in the concentration of these nutrients in aquatic ecosystems. The use of microalgae cultures for this purpose is an advantage over the physical-chemical and biological methods currently applied. This is because physicalchemical methods involve the precipitation using iron and/or aluminium salts, which results in the production of large amounts of waste contaminated with these chemical compounds. On the other hand, biological methods


Generally speaking, what does your research work involve? This project aims to assess the potential of microalgae in the treatment of industrial effluent from two important national economic sectors: the paper/cellulose industry and the textile industry. In addition, due to the very rich composition of microalgae biomass in terms of photosynthetic pigments, proteins, carbohydrates and lipids, among other elements, this project also aims to study possible applications for biomass produced during the treatment stage, in order to generate value for these industries and, therefore, make their production process more efficient and sustainable. One of the possible applications envisaged is the extraction of pigments so that they can be used as dyes in the textile industry; the extraction of lipids and subsequent conversion to biodiesel and the production of biofertilizers from biomass resulting from the aforementioned extraction processes.




ow did you end up choosing biological engineering? What attracted you to this area? The choice was essentially due to the fact that the field covered by the Bioengineering degree draws together two aspects that I consider very important: the research area and its development within the industrial area. This allows students’ training to be based on the curiosity and critical thinking characteristic of each research area, while also strongly linked to the application and management of resources, which are key elements in any industry. In addition, the Biological Engineering branch is one of the most comprehensive in that it allows knowledge and tools to be combined in ways that can be applied in different industries: chemical-biological processes (pharmaceutical, food, cosmetics, aromas), enhancement of natural materials (wood, leather, materials and products of marine origin) and environment and environmental health (treatment of contaminated waste, environmental quality in hospitals and health care companies).


require an additional carbon source as well as oxygenation, leading to dramatic rises in operating and energy costs and carbon dioxide emissions. With the use of microalgae to remove nutrients from industrial wastewater, we are able to obtain an effective treatment, without the use of additional chemical agents. As photosynthetic microorganisms, microalgae use light as an energy source and carbon dioxide (CO2) as a carbon source. This means that when incorporated into the tertiary treatment of a wastewater treatment plant, microalgae can contribute to the reduction in carbon emissions typically associated with wastewater treatment.



Besides all these advantages, this project also seeks to enhance biomass (whether for the production of pigments, biofuels or biofertilizers), thus contributing to the development of a circular economy, since the biomass produced in the treatment will later be used and integrated into the value chain of the two industries proposed in the project. Concerned with the concept of circular economy, the project will also contribute to increasing the sustainability of wastewater treatment processes in the paper and textile industries. What did this award from L’Oreal mean to you? This award represents an important recognition of the work that I have been carrying out and will certainly play a key role in furthering my research career in the area of microalgae. As well as helping me to develop and enrich my research in this area, this award is an important milestone in establishing my scientific independence. This new generation of young Portuguese researchers has shown that there is new talent in this country. How do you view investment science in Portugal? The scientific research paradigm has made some advances and the truth is that in recent years, the policies applied have led to a significant increase in the number of doctoral contracts, which is an important development for researchers (who until now had only research grants). The only issue is that most of these contracts are still fixed-term contracts, so there is always some associated instability. Accessing project finance more often and through less time-consuming processes would also be an asset.

Awarding women in innovation In addition to Ana Luísa Gonçalves, the 16th edition of the L’Oréal Awards also recognised the researchers Ana Rita Carlos, from the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, Cristina Godinho Silva, from the Champalimaud Foundation and Diana Priscila Pires, from the University of Minho. Selected from over 80 candidates, by a scientific jury chaired by Alexandre Quintanilha, the four young researchers will receive an individual prize of 15 thousand euros, which aims to support their research in the areas of health and the environment, as well as inspire a way of doing science and, indeed, a society that is fairer and more inclusive. It was, moreover, to promote this change in Portuguese science that, in 2004, L’Oréal launched the L’Oréal Medal of Honor. The initiative is the result of a partnership with the National Commission of UNESCO and the Foundation for Science and Technology and is part of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science program. The awards ceremony for the 16th edition of the L’Oréal Portugal Medal of Honor for Women in Science took place on February 19, 2020, at the Pavillion of Knowledge, in Lisbon.

... this award is an important milestone in establishing my scientific independence.

In the middle of March 2020, the threat of the Corona virus came knocking on Europe’s door with a bang. Nobody was prepared for the demanding times imposed by Covid-19: mandatory lockdown and a complete readjustment to our way of living. For many, life was suspended and the imprint of the lockdown is only now beginning to lift. Others, meanwhile, decided to channel their energies and to go on investing in technology and innovation in response to the pandemic. The Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto has been one such example as I will now go on to explain.


Engineering effectiveness in times of pandemic: the importance of serving the community

Text: Raquel Pires Photo: reserved rights

So far, over 8,400 visors have been produced, which have been distributed for use in the Hospitals of S. António and S. João (Porto), the Hospital of Gaia-Espinho and IPO-Porto. They were also delivered to ARS-Norte, which distributed them to Health Centres in the North region.

According to Pedro Rodrigues, Vice-Rector of the University of Porto, who is responsible for the Research department and one of the main drivers of the initiative, “it is very gratifying to confirm the mobilization capacity of academia to provide essential protective equipment for healthcare professionals who are at the frontline in the fight against Covid-19”. Especially since “the model produced was de-veloped in a way responding directly to the specific needs of doctors, nurses and assistants who will use these visors daily”, he explains. Overall coordination of visor production on the ground was led by Pedro Camacho, professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at FEUP, who was also involved in a project to print frames for goggles for healthcare professionals designed by VivaLab and ESAD, with the support of Porto City Council. In his view, the mobilization work achieved “in such a short time” was “impressive”. The INEGI researcher admits that “the design, approval and production of such a high number of visors was only possible thanks to the excellent coordination of efforts between the University of Porto and its organisational units together with a large number of students as well as businesses who, in a demonstration of great generosity, made their 3D printers and material available to produce the visors.”




fforts to combat Covid-19 have multiplied and the University of Porto has heeded the calls to assist healthcare professionals working on the frontline. In an unprecedented initiative to mobilize the community, the University of Porto, in partnership with the Polytechnic Institute of Porto (IPP), gathered over 20,000 acetate sheets in the space of a week. The sole objective was to use this material in the development and manufacture - by 3D printing - of visors for the protection of professional health workers. Largescale production - over a thousand pieces a day - began in late March and included two models of visors: one for health centre professionals and another for distribution in hospital units. This whole endeavour was coordinated and duly endorsed by health professionals from ARS-Norte in a collective effort led by researchers from FEUP, from the INEGI/LAETA and INESC-TEC research centres, and also from the Instituto Superior de Engenharia Porto (ISEP), together with assistance from students and businesses.

Photos: U.Porto

Visors caption: Once completed, the visors produced - using elastic and acetate sheets - were distributed to Hospitals and Health Centres in the North region

PROVIDING A “DIRECT RESPONSE” TO NEEDS ON THE GROUND A very worthwhile project in the fight against the pandemic has also emerged straight from Process, Environment, Biotechnology and Energy Engineering Laboratory (LEPABE) in FEUP’s Chemical Engineering department; namely, a low-cost oxygen concentrator aimed at delaying the need for patients to use a ventilator. The technology was developed by a team led by the researcher Adélio Mendes. Oxygen concentrators are devices that purify oxygen from atmospheric air, providing oxygen with a purity of up to 95%. They are devices that can play an important role in places where there is no access to the hospital gas network (as in the case of field hospitals) or for patients who require respiratory care at home. The prototype has been developed by Adélio Mendes’ team in partnership with the company Paralab and supported by Lígia Lopes, who as a researcher at FEUP’s Design Studio has provided industrial design expertise. It is already in the testing phase and will then go on for certification and expert approval. The idea will be to produce these concentrators locally, whenever requested, in a low-cost version.

Rui Soares, CEO of Paralab, states that from the outset, commitment to achieving a low-cost version of the concentrator has always been on the table: “A commercial unit of 5 L/min costs on average 1,200 euros, but one of our goals is also to make a low-cost version, whose design will be available on an online platform so that it can be replicated in other countries.” Frederico Relvas, a PhD student in Chemical Engineering at FEUP, has been working closely on this project with Adélio Mendes. He affirms the high feasibility of this oxygen concentrator, since the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends its use as a first-stage alternative to ventilators. The researcher further explains that “an oxygen concentrator purifies oxygen from atmospheric air by up to 95% and can be used in oxygen therapy, which is applied in treatments for respiratory diseases to maintain oxygen levels in the blood. In the case of Covid-19, oxygen therapy is recommended for all severe and critically ill patients, being administered through a nasal cannula or a Venturi mask. In other words, a concentrator can be used both in a “pre-ventilator” stage and can also be coupled to a ventilator”. This, therefore, reinforces the importance of this piece of equipment in the context of a pandemic like the one we are experiencing.

This alternative ventilator, created with the purpose of enabling conventional ventilators to be released for more serious cases of Covid-19 (and beyond), offers support in second and third-line hospitals to patients awaiting transfer to central hospitals. In practice, it works as an alternative in emergency situations, for example in ambulances or back-up hospitals. The technology can also be used for transient invasive ventilation, in patients with respiratory failure that requires control of volume and respiratory rate. In the event of an extreme lack of ventilators, PNEUMA is also a solid alternative. Inspired by original research conducted at Rice University (USA), the device involves a system whereby a self-inflating balloon (Bag Valve Masks - BVM, e.g. AMBU®) is automatically compressed and decompressed, mimicking the manual use of such a balloon. It resembles an emergency transport ventilator and can be used without being plugged in to the mains power supply. “PNEUMA enables control of volume, respiratory rate and inspiration/expiration ratio, including stop detection alarms and a HEPA filter to mitigate risk of infections, among other features. It is based on an approved medical device that is part of the medical routine (self-inflating balloon) and is quickly replicable; that is, it is easier, faster and cheaper to produce solutions like this than new ventilators”, acknowledges Nuno Cruz, professor at FEUP and researcher at INESC TEC. According to the project coordinator “the prototype has already been tested in pre-clinical trials and will now enter the stage of manufacture, production and assembly, in response to the chal-

Together with FEUP and INESC TEC, the project also includes the Faculty of Medicine (FMUP), the Abel Salazar Institute of Biomedical Sciences (ICBAS) and the Institute of Science and Innovation in Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Engineering (INEGI). In addition, they are joined by ARS Norte, the Centro Hospitalar Universitário de São João (CHUSJ), the Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Porto - Hospital de Santo António, the Instituto Electrotécnico Português (IEP), as well as various companies and individual doctors and engineers.



When it comes to technological innovation, much of its success lies in the partnerships that have been established. FEUP and the Institute of Systems and Computers Engineering, Technology and Science (INESC TEC) joined forces to develop PNEUMA: a pandemic ventilator with a low-cost, easy-to-assemble self-inflating balloon, to support Portuguese hospitals within the overall effort to combat the new coronavirus.

lenges posed by ARS Norte. He concludes that “as well as being a technological challenge, it has also been a logistical challenge to make ventilators available to our health units in good time and in sufficient numbers.”

With repeated requests from Portuguese health organizations at the frontline in fighting the pandemic, the need was soon felt to create a taskforce at the Faculty of Engineering in order to facilitate contact between researchers and the outside world. Named “FEUP – Voluntary Engineering”, the movement has also extended to heeding the requests for social and humanitarian aid that have arisen following the pandemic. The taskforce is led by Renato Natal, professor in the Mechanical Engineering department, which has enabled him to be in contact with people from the faculty who he would not normally deal with, thus making him enthusiastic about the collaborative spirit of the FEUP community in the midst of the lockdown. He recognizes that “the term ‘learning’ has adopted an even more transversal meaning because we have all had to learn to work and collaborate in a way that we were not used to, at least with this intensity. One stand-out example of the spirit of mutual assistance can clearly be seen in the acts of solidarity from all members of the faculty to aid and support the health services”. He affirms that “generally speaking, everyone has been able to adapt appropriately to the current situation, including teachers and students in distance learning and




Photo: reserved rights


PNEUMA: similar to an emergency transport ventilator, the device can be used without being plugged in to the mains power grid



teaching activities, non-teaching staff in the support they have continued to provide in the various activities that have not stopped and in other new projects that have arisen through teleworking.” Renato is used to working closely with doctors and other health professionals in the scope of the research projects he leads at FEUP. Given the threat to public health, he highlights the importance, of developing new equipment and therapies, supported by a truly multidisciplinary skills set, in which engineering plays a very significant role. As he explains, “currently, especially in Western society, it is difficult to conceive the relationship of citizens with the various health providers without the intervention of some form of equipment, both in diagnosis and therapy.” At the diagnostic level, he mentions, for example, the thermometer, essential for measuring temperature, adding, however, that “in the case of mass analysis of body temperature measurements, reference should be made to the use of thermographic chambers, which in recent years have been used in many other contexts, such as physical and rehabilitation medicine, dental medicine, stomatology, otolaryngology, orthopaedics and plastic surgery, among others, and which are currently used on a large scale (in airports, businesses, and so on).” He further explains how “in the area of pulmonology, where respiratory failure is generally a serious health problem, and which in the case of Covid 19 can play a crucial role in patients’ lives, the use of assisted ventilation is particularly

important. This procedure is performed by using a ventilation device, enabling induction of positive pressure applied to patients’ airways.” He goes on to highlight how “the development of these devices involves skills not only in the health field, but also in several areas of engineering, especially the field of materials (a material in contact with humans must be biocompatible), the field of mechanics, both at the level of materials (the components must withstand the applied pressures without breaking) and also at the level of fluids (the respiratory tract is an excellent example for the application of fluid mechanics), as well as the field of control engineering (procedures are controlled using electronic components).” “Another area of engineering that has been shown to be very significant involves the manufacture of parts. One of the technologies that has evolved most in recent years is additive manufacturing often called 3D printing - which put simply can be seen as a system that encompasses a set of physical modelling technologies, aimed at the rapid manufacture of prototypes based on data from computer-generated 3D models.” In conclusion, Renato Natal emphasizes that FEUP has also been actively participating in the search for solutions and production of parts to be incorporated in various items of personal protection equipment.

Café FEUP Alive: or the need to be together?

“FollowMyHealth” is an app developed by researchers from FEUP in partnership with the Institute of Telecommunications (IT) and two other entities belonging to the University of Porto, namely its Institute of Public Health (ISPUP) and the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences (FPCEUP). The main aims of the app are to improve knowledge about the environmental transmission of the new coronavirus and to confirm the effectiveness of using a list of locations of potential infection as an indicator of self-surveillance. Development of the app was inspired in part by a scientific paper in the prestigious Science magazine read by FEUP researcher Ana Aguiar. The article in question focused on various models of Covid-19 propagation and how technology could help to more clearly understand propagation mechanisms and help health services to better guide their efforts. Ana thus decided to channel the know-how gained from the SenseMyCity platform and the team who had for some years been working on this project, in order to develop an app capable of tracking the environmental transmission of Covid-19. Ana Aguiar is a researcher in FEUP’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Coordinator of the Telecommunications Institute in Porto. As she explains, “since my work involves extracting information from GPS data, I thought that our platform, ready to go on the ground, and our know-how in real data processing and information extraction would be very useful.”

More information at feupcomvida.fe.up.pt

She further explains how “in this project we intend to improve knowledge about environmental transmission and to be able to parameterize virus transmission models with more granularity, providing the user with a kind of self-surveillance indicator, through detailed evaluation and analysis of the specificities of each location (type of activity, its size, the amount of time people are in that locality, etc.) which will then allow aggregated statistics on risky behaviour to be obtained.”



that would function as a meeting point similar to what you find when you are at FEUP physically during breaks from work and thereby a way of sustaining the relationships that have been built beyond the professional routine. Designated “FEUP Alive” (FEUP Com Vida), on Thursdays, from 5 pm, there is always a guest and a topic that is openly discussed in real time for an hour.

In practice, the app - already available on the Google Play Store - allows users to be warned if they have been in places of potential contagion. On the other hand, it also serves to track people suspected or confirmed of carrying infection and those in prophylactic isolation. In addition, “FollowMyHealth” also aims to understand the emotional state of people at different stages of the pandemic, which will enable the study of different types of mobility within the group of citizens using the application. To achieve this, it will be necessary to collect data on hygiene and risk behaviours.


In conclusion, let it be said that the response to the pandemic first began in science and research, before then becoming multilateral and appealing to the sense of solidarity that each of us feels. FEUP has always been very active in this fight, on several fronts, in an effort involving the community as a whole: researchers in the search for solutions, teachers supporting classes and adapting to a new system of distance evaluation, students committed to continuing to follow their course materials in a great effort to complete the academic year, and FEUP staff members who reinvented themselves from home, showing that they can still be productive in circumstances that no one had ever experienced.


With FEUP’s facilities closed during the critical period of the critical phase of the pandemic, it was also necessary to strengthen the sense of belonging to the community and ensure that nobody was completely isolated. Given such high levels of potential infection, leading to a mandatory lockdown, a new project was rapidly launched at FEUP, which was nothing more or less than a virtual coffee room, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The idea was to provide a digital platform

Mobility in the time of Covid-19 Text: João Pedro Pêgo* Photo: reserved rights


e are living through historic times that will change the world and remain in everyone’s memory, most likely for generations. Recent months have evoked very old memories of past pandemics and rekindled fears that we long thought had been overcome. These are frightening times, and yet they are at the same time fascinating, forcing us to take an evolutionary leap forward in many aspects of our lives.



The challenges facing universities have forced them to alter procedures and attitudes that academic tradition had long taken for granted. The most obvious is undoubtedly the fact that we are prevented from gathering and working together in person, one of the strong pillars of academia. How many times have we heard of projects that were devised at the cafeteria table, or how a common room is essential for keeping teams together, promoting creativity and the exchange of ideas? We often ask ourselves what brings a student to the classroom, when most learning materials are made available by teachers or are available online. The answer, invariably, is because it is much more interesting and motivating when we learn together than when we have to do so alone. The Covid-19 crisis has pushed universities into remote teaching and online classes. This change began in January, when China and Australia saw this way of teaching as a response to the restrictions on movement of people that had been imposed in that part of the world. As a consequence, there was an intensification in the use of MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) platforms and changes in teaching-learning methods, which allowed their normal teaching activities to continue. Meanwhile, however, the wave that began in Asia reached Europe. Today, almost all European universities have chosen to close their facilities and create conditions for their teachers to be able to lecture from home, in order to contribute to the effort to reduce the number of infections in the population. European universities are making every effort to ensure that incoming mobility students feel protected and welcomed at their host institution, despite all the restrictive measures that Covid-19 has imposed. Those who have decided to return to their own country are being assured that they will

be able to continue their mobility, from home, through online classes. It is a remarkable achievement, and a source of pride, to realize that Europe knew how to convey to those who had chosen its mobility programs as a means to carry out their studies, that their hopes would not be dashed. Nevertheless, in light of the obvious facts, many universities have recommended that their outgoing mobility students return to their country of origin, anticipating that the closing of borders could complicate their return. Some international students who have chosen to interrupt their mobility at FEUP also cite financial issues as a reason to justify their return. After all, since classes will be given online, is it not more logical to attend them from home, without paying any more rent? All of these questions compel us to reflect on what the future of mobility will be. While the movement of people will increase again, there will be behavioural changes. Next time, mobility will be more considered and in reduced numbers. Now that many teachers have discovered the new educational technologies that permit remote teaching, which have enabled them to be filmed giving a lesson for the first time, there are reasons to rethink higher education and reconsider what our stage and who our target audience are. Most likely there will be more virtual mobility students, with the teacher in one room and the students in another room, which may be on the other side of the world. In addition, there will be more international project meetings held by video conference. The experience and involvement will be different and will not replace face-to-face contact, but will be a good complement to the traditional way of doing things. It is still too early to know what the future of mobility will be like. For now, I am pleased to note that, despite everything, students interested in mobility are already continuing to seek out FEUP for the next academic year. And this is a source of comfort, reminding me that after the storm comes the calm. Let’s hope it passes quickly so we can see each other again soon! * FEUP ERASMUS Coordinator

Pedro Ponces Camanho is the University of Porto’s Researcher of the Year

Text: Raquel Pires Photo: reserved rights

I am very honoured to receive the Scientific Excellence Award of the University of Porto. The University of Porto was where I took my first steps in scientific research, and it also provided the necessary conditions to perform the research that culminated in this award. It is a recognition that extends to my PhD students and colleagues who have inspired me over the years,” affirms the researcher. With a degree in Mechanical Engineering from FEUP (1995), Pedro Ponces Camanho received his PhD in 1999 from the Department of Aeronautics at the prestigious Imperial College London (United Kingdom). That same year he returned to Portugal to join FEUP’s Mechanical Engineering Department. assuming the position of director of the Structural Integrity Unit at INEGI. Full Profes-sor at the Faculty of Engineering since 2014, he is president of the Associated Laboratory of Energy, Transport and Aeronautics (LAETA) and vice presi-dent of INEGI. Pedro Camanho’s main research interests focus on the study and simulation, at various temporal and spatial scales, of the deformation and fracture mechanisms of advanced composite materials. He is also a recognized expert in the study and development of non-

-conventional composite materials, such as hybrid, nano-structured composite materials with functional gradient properties and multifunctional composites.

AN AWARD-WINING CAREER Throughout his career, Pedro Camanho has coordi -nated a variety of different research projects funded by the European Space Agency, Airbus, NASA, Embraer, Daimler, Aernnova, the European Union, FCT and the US Air Force. Between 2000 and 2011, he was a visiting scientist at NASA’s Langley Research Center, in 2006 receiving NASA’s H.J.E. Reid Award for Outstanding Scientific Paper. He was Royal Society Visiting Professor at Imperial College, London (2005) and visiting professor at Laboratoire de Mécanique et Technologie, École Normale Supérieure de Cachan, Université Paris-Saclay (2014). He has published around 130 scientific papers, which have received over 11,300 independent citations. More recently, he has developed a model – known as the Camanho Method or Camanho Model – which has now been incorporated into the latest version of Digimat, a reference software used by engineers around the world.

Pedro Ponces Camanho was elected a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a professional and multidisciplinary British institution dedicated to the global aerospace community. This title corresponds to the highest degree awarded by what is the oldest aeronautical society in the world. In the group of elected fellows there are only professionals with notable contributions to the advancement of aeronautics. Founded in 1866, the Royal Aeronautical Society is the oldest aeronautical society in the world.




edro Ponces Camanho, full Professor at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP) and researcher at the Institute of Science and Innovation in Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Engineering (INEGI), is the winner of this year’s edition of the University of Porto Scientific Excellence Award, a prize instituted by the University with the aim of recognizing those among its professors and scientists who stand out in the field of scientific research.


Pedro Ponces Camanho was unanimously declared the winner of this year’s edition of the U.Porto Scientific Excellence Award. At the age of 51, he created analysis models for advanced materials that are used by engineers worldwide – known as the Camanho Model – and has excelled in the development of new techniques for the experimental characterization of composite materials, currently used by the automotive and aeronautical industries.

Guest Professor at FEUP receives Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2019

Text: Raquel Pires Photo: Susana Neves




he Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2019 was awarded at 8th January of 2020 to the American physicist John B. Goodenough, professor at the University of Texas (Austin, USA), and guest lecturer at the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Porto (FEUP), for the development of lithium batteries – work that started almost half a century ago, but which has changed society forever. Goodenough, 96, is considered the father of lithium-ion batteries – the invention of the early 90s that revolutionized the world of technology and today’s world, with gadgets and electronic equipment everywhere now working wirelessly using rechargeable batteries. This breakthrough discovery has earned him several international awards and commendations, including the National Medal of Science, awarded in 2013, by then US President Barack Obama. Speaking to the Público newspaper, Helena Braga, head of the Physics Engineering Department at FEUP, who has been working with Professor Goodenough for the past four years, affirms that “this is a well-deserved recognition. Lithium batteries have become all present in our lives and are now even found in cars. He was the odds-on favourite and his winning was both deserved and expected.” Helena Braga’s scientific research, often published in high-impact journals and the subject of several patents, caught the attention of John Goodenough, who invited her to collaborate with his research group at the University of Texas, USA.

Around the world, the academic community has followed the developments achieved by Helena Braga’s team with particular interest and it is not difficult to see why. We are talking about the possibility of having a less polluting battery, which is lighter and will very soon be able to multiply the capacity of traditional lithium-ion batteries, which could mean a huge revolution in the way we store energy. In order to boost the work that has been carried out and, above all, convince industry of the real revolution that may be imminent, John Goodenough recently awarded a donation of 500,000 dollars to the research group led by Helena Braga. For the researcher, this “represents an honour while, at the same time, renewing our responsibility to do better work every day and potentially enabling us to acquire equipment and finance students so as to achieve this objective.” Maria Helena Braga, 47, published for the first time on glass electrolyte technology in 2014. The main innovation of these new batteries is to make energy storage capacity depend not only on electrochemical reactions, as in a traditional battery, but also on electrostatic storage, as in a condenser, thus leading to a safe battery, in which no “dendrites” are formed. In addition to John B. Goodenough, this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry was also awarded to M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino, also for their work in developing lithium-ion batteries.

Photo: reserved rights


The American John B. Goodenough, considered the father of lithium batteries, was one of three researchers distinguished this year by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

John Goodenough has supported the work of Helena Braga, professor at FEUP who has been noted for creating a new generation of solid batteries

Another step on the path to Sustainability


Text: Helena Peixoto Photo: reserved rights




ver since its early days, the Faculty of Engineering has been sensitive to contribute for sustainable development balance – indeed, being the first higher education institution in the country to produce its own Sustainability Report. It has now made another commitment towards a more sustainable world and is among a group of pioneering institutions who have together formed “a Governmentsupported collaborative innovation platform” to encourage the creation of a circular economy for plastics.



In February 2020, a total of 55 organizations undertook to join this government-signed commitment to set up “a collaborative innovation platform, united by a common vision of a circular economy for plastics in Portugal, whereby they never become waste.” The various signatories included agents in the plastics value chain and NGOs together with several academic associations and institutions, including the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP). Openly collaborative, the Portuguese Plastics Pact aims to lead by example and serve as an inspiration in the transitional movement from plastics to a circular economy. To this end, the signatory bodies pledge to undertake actions that by 2025 will enable all newly manufactured plastic to incorporate, on average, 30% recycled plastic in new packaging and guarantee that 70% of used packaging is effectively recycled, through increased recycling and collection.

A further aim is to ensure that, by 2025, all plastics used in packaging are reusable, recyclable or compostable – an undertaking that involves “the entire industry, from production to distribution”. Another highlight is the commitment to draw up a list of all unnecessary singleuse plastics and a plan for their disposal, promoting redesign, reuse and new ways of delivering products. The Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto, under its Commission for Sustainability, is thus a signatory to the Pact and one of the five pioneering higher education institutions who are jointly committed to this initiative, which will strengthen continuous efforts to promote the values of sustainability and circularity promoted by FEUP. Coordinated by the Smart Waste Portugal Association, the Portuguese Plastics Pact has the support of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Action, the Ministry of the Economy and Digital Transition, and the Ministry of the Sea, as well as being under the High Patronage of the Presidency of the Republic, and part of the global Plastics Pact Network endorsed by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Benefits of joining the initiative include access to an exclusive platform for exchanging knowledge, learning and best practices with other Plastic Pacts worldwide.

Charter for sustainability In accordance with the continuous effort towards promoting the values of circularity and sustainability, at the end of October 2019, FEUP hosted the 1st Sustainable Campus Conference (CCS 2019). Held in its Auditorium, the event involved more than 250 participants – including over 25 rectors/presidents – from Portugal’s leading Higher Education institutions. Under the slogan “Sustainable Development: Higher Education Institutions as Agents of Change”, the proceedings culminated in 28 public education institutions signing a declaration of commitment from Higher Education Institutions to sustainable development.

This event, promoted by the Sustainable Campus Network and organized by FEUP’s Sustainability Commission, was also an opportunity to reflect and exchange experiences on initiatives and projects that can bring about real change in terms of campus sustainability and the adoption of new practices in people’s daily lives. According to Ana Carla Madeira, responsible for FEUP’s Sustainability Commission, “Higher Education Institutions should inspire a ‘culture of sustainability’, seeking to function as models by incorporating the pillars of sustainability at all levels of decision making”.


A day with... António Segadães, FEUP Career Award 2019

Text: Helena Peixoto Photos: reserved rights


he Belém Cultural Centre, the Camões Theatre, the Expo’98 precinct, the Vasco da Gama Shopping Centre, the Algarve Shopping Centre, the Vilamoura Marina Hot – all these emblematic works share a common thread: they were designed by António Segadães Madeira Tavares. His multifaceted experience and remarkable achievements, including invaluable contributions to Portuguese Engi-

neering have all led to him winning the 2nd edition of the FEUP Career Award. This prize is presented annually in recognition of those outstanding FEUP graduates who have distinguished themselves throughout their career, and who are professionally revered by their peers and within the engineering community, having helped to consolidate FEUP’s image as a leading institution in the field of Engineering.



A preeminent figure in Civil Engineering. It is almost impossible to compile a list of the top Portuguese Engineering projects without selecting one from António Segadães, the second graduate from the Faculty of Engineering to see his career distinguished with the FEUP Career Award.

We went to meet António Segadães, who shared with FEUP what a ‘typical day’ involves for him:

renowned projects and the location of one of the bookstores he often visits on Saturdays.

The day begins with a calm breakfast, in one of his favourite Lisbon cafés.

Leaving the Vasco da Gama Centre and on the way to the station car park where he had left his car, he could see the buildings surrounding the old Olivais Dock, from the Camões Theatre to the Dockside Restaurants and Amphitheatre, passing by the “Olympic Building” and the Portugal Pavilion with its Canopy. It is a source of pride that only the Oceanário was not a STA project. These grand public spaces remind him of another civic space, the Belém Cultural Centre, where he is will attend a stage show based on Wagner’s “Valkyrie”. This, in turn, reminds him of the meetings he once had with the great architect Vittorio Gregotti (who recently passed away at the age of 92) when he talked about Show Modules - a real privilege!

08.45 am

9.30 am

1.30 pm

3.00 pm

5.00 pm

António Segadães arrives at Largo de Santos (Lisbon), where his company office is located, operating under the name – ‘STA - Segadães Tavares & Associados, Engenheiros e Arquitetos Consultores, Lda.’ (Segadães Tavares & Associates, Engineers and Consulting Architects, Ltd). The business, which he himself founded and manages, is dedicated to consulting and Civil Engineering projects. The morning is usually spent responding to incoming e-mails, dealing with any pending issues and solving problems that may have arisen.

It’s time for a lunch break. Accompanied by an office colleague, he looks for somewhere he likes, which is no longer an easy decision, since the restaurants he once enjoyed – especially those serving fresh fish, which for the best part of two decades were effectively his ‘canteen’ – have closed or are now adapting to a new type of clientele, more used to fast food.

After arriving back at the office, António Segadães spends some time working on the book he plans to publish, which deals with an “Introduction to Civil Engineering”, the subject area that he taught at the Department of Civil Engineering at Universidade Nova de Lisboa.

The working day is over, but António Segadães’ day does not end there. From then until dinner time, reading takes up a large part of his time. There are days when his habitual schedule changes - as it did on this particular day. Professional reasons took him to the FIL Pavilions at Parque das Nações, where the International Construction Fair was taking place. After finding out what had been going on and picking up some necessary documentation, he took advantage of being so near to drop in on the Vasco da Gama Centre, one of STA’s

8.00 pm

Whenever the opportunity arises, António Segadães meets friends for dinner and takes the opportunity to explore cuisine from around the world – one of his passions! And while on this topic, it is worth explaining his preferences in more detail: when it comes to national gastronomy, Alentejan cuisine with its miraculous herbs is always a good bet, but so also is a tasty oven-roasted kid. He considers European cuisine essential – Spanish, French or Italian in particular – while Angolan cooking must include a good fish “moamba”, a “muzongué” and a delicious goat stew (the latter made by António himself)! Travelling to Morocco or Tunisia, a good “tagine” is always an excellent option, as well as a “pastilla” of very thin puff pastry (like Tentugal pastries) stuffed with shredded pigeon, couscous, sultanas, cinnamon and honey. Moving on to the Near East, he highlights the excellent salads and “mezzes” of Turkey. Journeying a little further - to China – he remembers the very spicy Sichuan cuisine. And then, before reaching the refinement of Japan, he recommends Vietnamese and Thai cuisine. Jumping to the Americas, he highlights Brazil, with Brazilian “feijoada” (which must include every element), a good “Vatapá” and “Carne de Sol”. And, of course, to Mexico, with one of the richest cuisines in the world, beginning with the starters and snacks, then trying the “tamales” and “guacamoles” with “totopos” and finishing off with minced or roast meat!

António Segadães Madeira Tavares

Among his most outstanding achievements were the Runway Expansion at Funchal Airport, the canopy of the Ceremonial Square attached to the Portugal Pavilion, the Camões Theatre (the latter two being built for Expo 98), and the Reinforcement and Consolidation of the Rossio Railway Tunnel and Emergency Galleries. His works also include the Belém Cultural Centre, several shopping centres such as “Vasco da Gama Shopping”, among many others, while not forgetting his restoration of old buildings, such as the fire-devastated Chiado Area of Lisbon, or the Bank of Portugal, in Évora, to name but two. He was, successively, Director of the Studies and Projects Department of the construction company Teixeira Duarte, Technical Director of TRIEDE and is currently director and managing director of STA - Segadães Tavares & Associados, Engenheiros e Arquitetos Consultores, Lda. He taught at the Instituto Superior Técnico, at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Luanda and at the National

Laboratory of Civil Engineering (between 1969 and 1973), and was Full Professor (guest) at the Department of Civil Engineering at the Faculty of Science and Technology at Universidade Nova de Lisboa (between 1999 and 2013). He is author of the book “Matrix Analysis of Structures”, published in 1972 by the National Laboratory of Civil Engineering. He has published dozens of articles in specialized publications and presented many papers at national and international congresses and conferences. Senior member of the Order of Engineers (specialist in structures), and member of the International Concrete Federation, the American Concrete Institute, the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering and the Portuguese Geotechnical Society. Awarded an honorary doctorate (Doutor Honoris Causa) from Universidade Nova de Lisboa (2012), he has received many prizes, including the “Outstanding Structure Award”, presented by the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering for the airport runway expansion project in Madeira (2004). His distinctions awarded by the Portuguese Republic include “Ordem do Infante D. Henrique” (2006) and “Ordem de Mérito” (2000), the “Gold Medal” from the Order of Engineers (Ordem dos Engenheiros) (2011) and the “SECIL Award” for Civil Engineering (2001).



Born on December 3, 1944, in Luau (Angola), he graduated in Civil Engineering at FEUP and followed a remarkable career in the area of engineering projects, service buildings and special structures as well as the restoration of buildings. In 1969 he joined the National Laboratory of Civil Engineering to begin his professional career.


The canopy of the Ceremonial Square attached to the Portugal Pavilion for Expo’98, Lisbon, is one of his most remarkable projects

The future engineer who promises to give her best at the 2021 Olympics MUCH + THAN ENGINEERING

Text: Sara Miguel Gonçalves Photos: reserved rights

She is one of the most promising swimmers in Portugal. She has participated in dozens of national and international events. At 25, she will make her debut at the biggest sporting competition in the world: the Olympic Games. Meanwhile, Catarina is in the final year of her Bioengineering course at FEUP and she reveals the sacrifices that high competition demands.



na Catarina Monteiro started swimming at the age of three. Her competitive career began when she was seven years old, with the support of Fluvial Vilacondense, the club that saw her develop and where she still trains today. Since then, Catarina been added dozens of titles and medals to her sports CV: National Championships, a Silver Medal in the Mediterranean Games, several European Opens (Belgium, Spain, France, Slovenia) as well as European and World Championship finals. With the University of Porto, Catarina has already lost count of the titles she has won. “There have been dozens”, she affirms. In 2012, she won the Revelation Athlete of the Year award at the University of Porto’s Sports Gala and, in the same year, was nominated athlete of the year by the Academic Federation of University Sport (FADU). She has always dreamed of taking part in the Olympic Games and in 2016 it almost became a reality, but for a shoulder injury which prevented Catarina from chasing her dream. Three years later, on April 4, 2019 – a date that will forever be etched in the athlete’s memory – at the National Swimming Championships, in the pools of the Mário Mexia Complex in Coimbra, the swimmer from the Fluvial Vilacondense Club won her passport to Tokyo 2021,

in Japan, with a time of 2.08.40 in the 200 butterfly, the specialty in which she is the national record holder. “When I hit the wall, I looked at the stopwatch and saw that I had reached the goal and then I heard the whole crowd,” she recalls. “It seemed like a huge number of things flashed through my mind.” Catarina is now enjoying the best phase of her career as an athlete, but she does not deny the difficulties she had to deal with before getting to this point. As she explains, “It’s been a hard journey, and everyone has their own situation. You have your own obstacles and barriers, but you also have your own strengths and assets. My strong point was that I never gave up the dream, even though it was often difficult to believe in.” Despite the inherent demands of high competition, academic study has always remained an integral part of her life. Born in Vila do Conde, she showed an early interest in the areas of Biology and research. Her discovery of Engineering began in 2011, when she entered the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto to follow its degree course in Bioengineering, a joint initiative with ICBAS (Abel Salazar Institute of Biomedical Sciences). “I was always a fan of biology and research,” she recalls. “At the time I didn’t have a well-defined idea, so I chose Bioengineering, because of the breadth of opportunities that the course could give me.”

Now in the 5th year of her Bioengineering degree at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto, Catarina sees balancing sport and a professional career as a matter of organization. However, due to the intensity of her workload and training schedule, she decided to concentrate on sports, but without neglecting her degree course, which she is taking part-time. “I set priorities for each moment. In the last few years my focus has been on swimming. My future in swimming is more immediate, as once I’m past my early 30s it will be over, so now I have to bet everything.” In the rush between training and classes, Catarina finds support and motivation from her family. “I am fortunate to have special people by my side, who never let me give up fighting and making this dream a little bit theirs, too”, she confesses. With a very busy schedule, personal life often ends up being relegated to the background, leaving little time to devote to leisure activities. “I like going to the movies, going out with my boyfriend, hanging out with friends in an open-air café. But most of my free time is spent sleeping,” she admits. “Beating my personal best time – the national record” is Catarina’s goal for Tokyo 2021. Despite being aware of the competition’s demanding level, the athlete is confident, “I am sure that I will be able to fight for a semi-final, and maybe for a final”.

Regarding the future, the swimmer hopes to finish her degree so that, later on, she can pursue the research area that she considers closest to her sport of choice and which will enable her future to be linked continually to sport in general. As she admits, “I would very much like to use the foundations I have gained to direct myself towards research aimed at ways of improving the achievements of high-performance athletes.” Living the dream of any athlete, the future Olympic swimmer promises to give her best in what is the biggest sporting competition in the world. As she declares, “I’ve really wanted this moment. I’ve fought hard for it, so now I want to live it to the fullest and make sure I give my best until the end!”



Photo: reserved rights

Photo: Egídio Santos

11 JAN

01 JAN 11 JAN



14 JAN

Humberto Varum, Full Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at FEUP, was selected to join the Mexican Academy of Engineering (AIM), a non-profit association that brings together professionals and academics from around the world who have excelled in practice and research in different fields of Engineering and who have a deep sense of social responsibility.

The Computer Engineering Department at FEUP was presented with the new Sonae IM LAB@FEUP, an initiative resulting from Sonae IM’s adhesion to the FEUP Prime program. This partnership aims to encourage knowledge co-creation and technology development in the area of computer engineering as well as promoting innovation and competitiveness among companies within the sector, thereby boosting highly-skilled scientific employment.

FEUP alumnus João Pedro Matos Fernandes, Minister for the Environment and Energy Transition, “returned home” to celebrate the 182nd anniversary of the first Engineering School in the country. FEUP Day is an especially important celebration for the Faculty of Engineering community, being an opportunity to publicly recognise the professional and personal success of the teachers, researchers and technicians linked to FEUP.

14 JAN

14 JAN

Rui Paulo Soares Ribeiro, Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at FEUP, became the new President of the National Road Safety Authority (ANSR). Appointed by José Artur Neves, Secretary of State for Civil Protection, Professor Soares Ribeiro succeeded Jorge Jacob, who had held the position since 2013.

15 JAN

Vodafone Portugal signed a protocol with FEUP to install a 5G antenna at the Faculty. The initiative follows the company’s adhesion to the FEUP Prime program, with the aim of helping to develop the fifth-generation mobile network through academic projects carried out in close collaboration between the two organizations.

29 JAN

To mark the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements, as declared by UNESCO, and the 150th anniversary of its creation by Russian physicist Dmitri Mendeleev, the Faculty of Sciences and the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto joined the Porto Institute of Engineering to promote and participate in a series of commemorative activities endorsed by the Portuguese Chemical Society. The first act to mark the official international opening of the celebrations was the “construction” of a “Human Periodic Table”, involving around 1,200 student participants from various schools in the Porto region as well as members of the academic community of the three institutions involved.

Photo: Susana Neves

Photo: reserved rights


14 FEB

Tiago Sá, founder of Wisecrop, joined the select group of the 30 most talented Europeans aged 30 or under. The 30 under 30 Europe list, compiled by Forbes magazine, distinguished the Portuguese in the category of social entrepreneurs. Tiago Sá is the founder and CEO of Wisecrop, one of over 180 companies set up at UPTEC – the University of Porto’s Science and Technology Park. The entrepreneur studied Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering, where he was also an assistant professor.

01 MAR

FEUP’s Underwater Systems and Technology Laboratory (LSTS) and the Portuguese Navy signed a cooperation protocol which aims to strengthen and expand the scope of collaboration established between the two institutions since 2006 and boost the development of projects of common interest in the field of robotic systems.

04 MAR 14 MAR 18 MAR

Engineer, university professor, educator, manager and politician. These are some of the roles in which Luís Valente de Oliveira has excelled throughout his life, and in recognition of his professional journey, he was distinguished at the 1st edition of the FEUP Career Award. The Prize was awarded during the 1st edition of the Conferment Ceremony, an event aimed principally at honouring new “PhD engineers”, particularly those who have obtained a PhD cum laude.

André Furtado, PhD student in Civil Engineering at FEUP, won the 2019 Buildings Travel Award, an international prize for the best research work carried out by PhD students in the area of buildings.


01 FEB

FEUP student Miguel Ramalho, in the 4th year of his Integrated Master’s in Informatics and Computing Engineering, was the big winner of the ‘IBM Q Teach Me Quantum’ award, an initiative that challenges participants to create a course in Quantum Computing from scratch, incorporating tools developed by IBM in recent years.

The REXUS 23 rocket was launched into space, an essential event for the SPAN experiment – SPAce Navigation Using Signals of Opportunity – and which involved the participation of a team from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto. The launch took place from the ESRANGE Space Center in northern Sweden and the rocket reached its maximum apogee at 75 kilometers, when it completed its parabolic trajectory, landing approximately 40 kilometers from the space center. Despite suffering some damage, it was possible to recover the rocket’s contents for analysis of the results.



01 MAR

14 MAR


01 03 APR



18 MAR

The Portuguese Mentoring Network | Peer Mentoring in Higher Education was officially set up. It aims to strengthen cooperation, discussion and knowledge sharing so as to help bring new forms of participation, integration and solidarity to the Higher Education experience. The network has five subscribing and founding institutions: FEUP, FPCEUP, the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon, UTAD and UA.

29 MAR

The so-called “Nobel Prize for Bridges” launched by BERD and the Faculty of Engineering was awarded by the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, to a group of researchers at the University of Queensland, Australia. This was the first edition of the BERD-FEUP WIBE 2017 Prize, which aims to help Portuguese Bridge Engineering achieve a leadership position.

01 03 APR

Coming from Aveiro, Cantanhede, Greater Porto and Vila Real, to name but a few places, approximately 2,000 secondary school students “invaded” FEUP to participate in another edition of the “Engineering Profession Week”.

24 MAY

Photo: Jennifer Jacquemart

Photo: Egídio Santos


03 APR 20 APR 30 APR

An international team of scientists, including FEUP researcher Paulo Garcia, managed, for the first time, to directly observe an exoplanet, with the help of the GRAVITY instrument. This first direct observation opens the way to new means of obtaining images of extrasolar planets, the research results being achieved by combining GRAVITY with optical interferometry.

Inês Moreira, 5th-year student at FEUP doing her Master’s in Engineering and Industrial Management (MIEGI), was elected president of the European Students of Industrial Engineering and Management (ESTIEM), the largest association of students of Engineering and Industrial Management in Europe. As president, Inês’s main role is to oversee strategic coordination of the network and coordinate the five members who make up the ESTIEM Board.

Pedro Saleiro, PhD graduate in Computer Engineering from FEUP and post-doc student at the University of Chicago, has developed a tool enabling AI-based decision support systems to be audited and which can detect different types of discrimination, whether by race, gender, age or even religion.

Photo: reserved rights

Photo: reserved rights


22 MAY 24 MAY

The first edition of Repair Café FEUP was held, organized by FEUP’s Commission for Sustainability in collaboration with LIPOR and promoted by the network of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Recovery Centers (CREW). This initiative aims to “give everyday objects a second life by repairing them so as to extend their life span and avoid generating unnecessary waste”.

The European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, was at FEUP to present his proposal for the new Horizon Europe program, which will frame the next budget of the European Commission (EC) for Research and Innovation, and is due to become operational in the next multiannual financial framework from 2021 to 2027.

27 28 JUN 12 JUL 14 JUL


06 MAY

Considered the father of lithium batteries, North American John Goodenough donated 500 thousand dollars to the Faculty of Engineering with the purpose of supporting the work being undertaken by the team led by Maria Helena Braga, FEUP researcher and professor, who has distinguished herself by creating a new generation of solid batteries.

14 JUL After four years spent measuring and analysing data, the New European Wind Atlas (NEWA) was launched. This measurement and analysis work stems from a field experiment carried out in Perdigão, Vila Velha do Ródão, by a team bringing together members from FEUP and INEGI.

Alírio Rodrigues, retired professor at the Faculty of Engineering, was recently awarded the Medal of Excellence in R & D & I – presented at the 3rd International Chemical Engineering Congress (CIBIQ 2019) – in “recognition for an extraordinary research career in the field of Separation and Chemical Reaction Processes”.

Siblings Ana and Pedro Walgode, students, respectively, of the Integrated Master’s in Bioengineering and the PhD Program in Chemical and Biological Engineering at FEUP, became vice-world champions in Senior Dance Couples, during the World Roller Games 2019, which took place in Barcelona (Spain).



12 JUL


Photo: Egídio Santos

30 OCT 01 14 NOV 17 OCT



24 JUL 28 SEP

Fernando Jorge Lino Alves, associate professor at FEUP’s Mechanical Engineering Department, was elected the new President of the Portuguese Materials Society (SPM), taking on the role for the 2019-2021 biennium.

Manuel Heitor, Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, chaired the inaugural ceremony for the establishment of the Engineering Schools Consortium (CEE), a pioneering initiative bringing together FEUP and five other major Portuguese Engineering Schools in a joint strategy looking to the future with a global outlook – focused, for now, on Portuguese-speaking countries.

Maria Teresa Restivo, professor and researcher at FEUP’s Mechanical Engineering Department, was recently distinguished by the International Society of Pedagogy in Engineering (IGIP) with the Adolf Melezinek Prize, in admirable recognition of the long and active cooperation that she has maintained with that international organization.

09 OCT 14 17 OCT 31 OCT

Photo: reserved rights


The 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to the American physicist John B. Goodenough, professor at the University of Texas (Austin, USA), and guest professor at FEUP, for the development of lithium batteries, work that began almost half a century ago but which has changed society forever.

From October 14 to 17, 85 companies were present in the corridors of the Faculty of Engineering seeking new talents and looking to recruit. We are talking here of over 2,500 job offers, in what was the most competitive edition of the FEUP Career Fair ever held.

FEUP hosted the 1st Sustainable Campus Conference (CCS 2019). Under the theme “Sustainable Development: Higher Education Institutions as Agents of Change”, the event brought together top representatives from the majority of Portuguese universities and polytechnic institutes, providing a moment of reflection and an opportunity to exchange experiences about initiatives and modes of implementing Sustainable Development Goals in national Higher Education Institutions.


Photo: reserved rights

30 OCT 01 NOV 02 NOV

The Brazilian city of Ribeirão Preto, in the interior of the state of São Paulo, hosted the 10th edition of the annual BIN@™ event, an international network co-founded in 2010 by the University of Porto, with the aim of supporting the creation of a sustainable platform for sharing good practices and opportunities in innovation with partners from different sectors of activity.

In order to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of the poet and writer Jorge de Sena, FEUP organized a Literary Marathon, challenging all faculty members to lend their voice to the collective reading of one of the most emblematic works of the “House Writer”. Over 60 people participated in the Jorge de Sena Literary Marathon, which focused on the book “The Prodigious Physicist”, a fictional work written by Jorge de Sena in 1964.

07 NOV 09 DEC 20 DEC

Photo: reserved rights

02 NOV

20 DEC Catarina da Silva Lourenço, a master’s graduate in Bioengineering at FEUP, won 1st prize in the Master’s category of the Fraunhofer Portugal Challenge 2019, an initiative that annually honours the best ideas and research projects undertaken within the nation’s academic institutions.

FEUP dominated the 24th edition of the REN Awards, this year collecting four of the six awards given to the authors of the best master’s and doctoral theses in the field of energy undertaken in Portuguese universities.

“TruCheck”, a project for an online app capable of combatting fake news, earned FEUP students Leonor Sá, Álvaro Samagaio and Diogo Malafaya, all in the 5th year of their Integrated Master’s in Bioengineering, first prize in the 4th edition of the international competition Devogame by Devoteam, an initiative that distinguishes the most innovative technological solutions developed by university students from all over the world.







Undergraduate Programmes


Integrated Masters



Master Programmes



Undergraduate and Integrated Master programmes




Master programmes




PhD programmes








PhD Programmes


3 Specialisations and Advanced Studies


EMPLOYMENT RATE on graduation

up to 3 months



up to 6 months





Mobility students OUTGOING

Mobility students* INCOMING

Degree students*

* International students represent 20% of the students enrolled Studied sample: 486 master graduates in engineering in 2018/2019 Response Rate: 58% of all integrated master graduates





Chemical Engineering



Civil Engineering



Mechanical Engineering







QS - Eng.



NTU - Eng.



CWTS Leiden - Eng. *





Civil Engineering





Chemical Engineering



Mechanical Engineering



THE. Best Global - Eng * Ranking using the indicator P - number of publications




R&D units whose host institution is FEUP or interface institutes


H2020 Programmes aproved/coordinated

R&D units whose host institution is external to FEUP FEUP academic staff participating in R&D Structures rated Exceptional, Excellent or Very Good, or Associated Laboratories

(2014 - up to date)

8 12 88%

42/8 67/28

Other Programmes aproved/coordinated

13 41 11 44 21

Priority inventions filed


Patent international extensions Invention disclosures Tech transfer deals

Scientific publications indexed to the ISI Web of Science It represents 19,2% of the publications of University of Porto, which corresponds to more than 23,1% of the Portuguese publications (2018)




58% 42%


Teaching staff (FTE*)

International staff: 7.3%

91% Holding a PhD

*Full-time equivalent


Researchers (FTE*)




Technical and administrative staff (FTE*)

Research fellows

** In addition, 15 employees belong to UPDigital and to the shared services of U.Porto (SPUP).


26,220 28,340 54,560

State Budget (48.0%) Own income (52.0%) Total income (thousand €)

11,650M€ 9,540M€ 4,240M€ 2,910M€

R&D projects Tuition fees Sales and services Other

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