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p.12 p.28



3 FEUP Commitment 2020 - Building Trust


4 FEUP in short 5 Studying at FEUP 7 U.Porto, a driving force of the Northern region, an international player 8 Looking beyond the borders 9 Research and Innovation 11 Business links 12 Social Responsibility 13 Management and organisation




14 FEUP researcher distinguished with an Advanced Research Grant 17 Tecla Colorida: new technology explained to kids 20 “3D in an Engineering manner”


22 Engineering at the service of preventing aneurysms 23 FEUP creates computer bugs tracking system 24 FEUP Teacher honoured with the award of a Starting Grant in Engineering 26 FEUP Biomechanical study aims to revolutionize hockey skates


28 Violin and thermal imagers: music and science in a unique concert


30 Interview to João Falcão e Cunha: “The Erasmus program is one of the European Union’s greatest successes” 32 Researchers from around the world discuss innovation and technology


34 Turning Porto into a future city by 2015

ANNUAL REPORT 2012 36 2012 in review



Publisher Communication Division of the Faculty of Engineering - University of Porto

Photography Álvaro Martino, Ana Pereira, Anabela Trindade, Egidio Santos, Filipe Paiva, Francisco Piqueiro, João Pádua, Luís Ferraz, Manuel Fontes, Rui Rocha and Susana Neves

Print & Production Empresa Diário do Porto, Lda. Porto 05 - 2013

Editorial board Carlos Oliveira, Paulo Jesus and Raquel Pires

Translation Alan Dawber and Jonathan Lewis

Redaction Raquel Pires, Marina Bertoncello and Liliana Carvalho

Property Faculty of Engineering - University of Porto

27 Grünenthal Prize for study of pain

42 Facts & figures 2012


Design and layout César Sanches

Head Office  Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200-465 Porto Tel: +351 22 508 1400 e-mail: | url:

Publication frequency Annual Circulation 1000 copies ISSN 2182-9411 Legal deposit xxx xxx/xx

Cover photo - Violinist performing by thermal imagers (pag. 28)



FEUP Commitment 2020 - Building Trust Sebastião Feyo de Azevedo*

The Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, known to all by its acronym FEUP, with this first issue commences the publication of its annual FEUP Highlights, a firm sign of our commitment to the future. FEUP is the heir of the Polytechnic Academy of Porto, set up on January 13th, 1837, as the first College in Portugal whose mission was to train ‘civil’ engineers, rather than ´military´ engineers. Today, 176 years after the establishment of the Academy, FEUP plays a leading institutional role in the economic development of the city, the region and the country, and is a recognized partner at international level for its service to education, producing engineers of worldclass standard, and for its scientific and technological activity, publishing and producing advances that have contributed to global scientific development, industrial progress and the quality of people’s lives. About 420 faculty staff, supported by circa 350 technical staff, today serve more than 8,500 thousand students and young researchers, 800 of them working for their Ph.Ds, covering all classical branches of engineering and many of the emerging areas such as Bioengineering, Management, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Services Engineering, Information Systems and Multimedia.

preferences at national level, as measured by indicators of ‘demand satisfaction’ published by the General Directorate for Higher Education. In addition to this, we have a relevant selection of study programmes that attracts hundreds of international students. International rankings make it clear that in a large number of our work domains our research is of the highest international standards. Culturally, whether at FEUP, at the university or in the city, students can find an exciting environment full of opportunities for action and socializing. FEUP is the perfect choice for enthusiastic people with enquiring minds to come and study or develop research in the field of engineering. *FEUP Dean

In the open and global world in which we live, driven by an open economy, where cooperation and competition walk side by side, our capacity for development depends primarily on one requisite - building and gaining the trust of stakeholders and society. Trust is built with only one recipe based on three main concepts: quality in line with international standards; internationalization; cooperation with society. Never in its long history has FEUP had so much to offer young people from all over the world in terms of education, research and innovation, and cultural activities.

Photo: Ana Pereira

Our message of quality is supported by quality assurance indicators accepted and understood by all stakeholders - in terms of what we can offer with regard to education, to research, to human resources, to facilities (laboratories and equipment), and to solid cultural activity. In the field of education, for several years now we have been continuously at the top of students’ list of


Photo: Francisco Piqueiro


FEUP in short Founded in 1926, the Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto (FEUP) is the largest of the 14 faculties which constitute the university. 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 faculties. In September 2000, FEUP moved from its former site in the city centre to brand new premises at the university campus in Asprela, which represented a considerable qualitative leap in terms of available resources. It now comprises a total area of more than 90,000 m2, with 23,000 m2 of green spaces, 9 departments, 8 support services, 24 R&D and Innovation structures and 60 teaching laboratories. For the past 175 years it 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 educational contribution, producing engineers of world-class standard, and the scientific and technological advances that have contributed to global scientific development, industrial progress and people’s well-being. As established in its statutes, FEUP’s aims are to create, convey and propagate knowledge, technology and culture in the field of engineering, for the service of humanity, with respect for all its rights.


The main aspects of its mission are the academic training of professionals in the areas of engineering and related services, research activities, and development and innovation in conjunction with the third cycle teaching programmes, as well as the activities of the University’s third mission, namely the transfer of knowledge and technology, the provision of services and continuing vocational training, participation in national political debate and involvement in the economic, cultural and social life of the region and the nation. To these should be added the cultural and humanistic training of the FEUP Community, respect for heritage and the environment and preservation of the memory of the institution.

DEPARTMENTS Chemical Engineering Civil Engineering Electrical and Computer Engineering Industrial Engineering and Management Informatics Engineering Mechanical Engineering Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Mining Engineering Physics Engineering

Studying at FEUP Studying at FEUP means joining a community of more than 7,000 promising students at the biggest faculty at University of Porto, one of the largest universities in Portugal, with more than 30,000 students. In 2012/2013, an average of 2 applicants per available place chose FEUP as their first option institution for an Integrated Masters degree (1st + 2nd Cycle). FEUP was also the only faculty in Portugal which managed to fill all places available at the end of the 1st phase of the state examination for access to higher education, as a result of its excellent results and reputation. FEUP has high standards of quality and therefore seeks the best candidates in Portugal and abroad to accomplish its mission of producing competitive engineering graduates for the global job market and key change agents for the industry. To prepare students for the ’real world’, we also encourage them to work on interdisciplinary projects involving other Engineering areas or other fields of knowledge. We also afford them the possibility of participating in research, innovation and entrepreneurship projects from the pre-graduation stage. Moreover, counselling initiatives are organized in order to proffer advice regarding business ideas or the creation of innovative companies with a technological base. Following the Bologna principles, educational emphasis is placed on “learning” more than “teaching”, which allows the student to play a more active role. Proactivity, responsibility and entrepreneurship are features that FEUP instills in its students from the very beginning. Being aware that the development of these skills requires an atmosphere conducive to learning, FEUP provides its students with infrastructures and equipment of high quality and services that can keep pace with recent trends and students’ requirements. Student facilities include all-campus wireless Internet access and 30 computer labs open 365/24 hrs. Besides all regular services and facilities, FEUP offers a more selective range of extra-curricular activities, including theatre, music and painting, as well as a rich set of cultural events throughout the year, among them concerts of classical music, film cycles, exhibitions,

Photo: Anabela Trindade

seminars, literature sessions, and conferences on the most varied topics. A wide range of sports activities is also available for all community members. FEUP invests in an integral education, with an emphasis on academic knowledge and R&D skills, and a strong focus on cultural awareness. This combination guarantees that students can conceive, design and implement advanced and complex engineering solutions and generate added value. The high quality of the education we offer is translated into a high postgraduate employment rate, and into the success achieved by our alumni in the most reputed organizations worldwide.




Photo: Anabela Trindade

EUR-ACE ACCREDITATION FEUP is proud to be the Portuguese higher education institution with the highest number of programmes accredited by ENAEE (European Network for Accreditation of Engineering Education) through the EUR-ACE Quality Label. These programmes are the Integrated Masters in Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Informatics and Computing Engineering. The number of study cycles accredited is expected to grow, as five other programmes are still under evaluation. This recognition proves that the competences acquired by our students meet the needs of industry and that they can work as chartered professional engineers throughout Europe. Read our students’ testimonials on:

TUITION FEES AND ADMISSION Admission to 1st cycle degree programmes is essentially designed for Portuguese students, since it requires them to take a state examination provided by the Ministry of Education. 2nd and 3rd cycle programmes are all suitable for international students. A considerable number of these programmes are taught in English, but it is always advisable to learn the Portuguese language for use in daily life. We offer an intensive Portuguese language course in the summer and an annual course throughout the year. Tuition fees for a Masters are between 999 EUR and 1250 EUR and for a PhD 2750 EUR. These amounts apply to all nationalities, with no distinction between Portuguese, European and Non-European citizens. For more information on admissions:




The University of Porto, in the north of Portugal, makes a contribution of growing importance to the global networks of academic and scientific excellence, which helps to promote the transfer of its research results worldwide. Affirming its position as a research university, it contributes significantly to the country’s scientific output. U.Porto is also aware of the crucial role it plays in the socioeconomic development of its region and of the country through interaction with society in general and the productive fabric in particular. In this sense, it places its emphasis more and more on raising the value of its research activities by means of the transfer of knowledge and technologies to industry and the creation of partnerships with businesses, partnerships which have resulted in innovations which have proved successful in both national and international markets. U.Porto participates in various European education programmes that have contributed to its growing attractiveness. The number of foreign mobility programmes has increased significantly, and with them the number of mobility partnerships celebrated with the most highlyreputed 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 diverse domains of knowledge in constant interaction, and offering opportunities for training at all stages of life. Its mission being the all-round education of its students, it offers numerous extra-curricular activities in such diverse areas as sport, the arts, entrepreneurship and voluntary service. The recognition of U.Porto as an institution of excellence is reflected in the place that it occupies in the international rankings. U.Porto thus emerges as a key-playing institution in the Portuguese-speaking and Iberian-American worlds, maintaining prestigious ties of cooperation with countries with which it shares linguistic or historical kinship, which reinforces its leading international role.

Photo: Egidio Santos

U.Porto, a driving force for the Northern region, an international player

THE CITY OF PORTO Oporto is the second largest city in Portugal, after its capital Lisbon. 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 dealings are facilitated by such installations as the cargo terminal at the port of Leixões, which handles 25% of the country’s international trade, and Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport, recognized as one of the best in the world in the category of airports handling up to 5 million passengers a year; its numerous low cost connections to European destinations have brought growing dynamism to the city. The beauty of the historic centre, nominated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, in combination with the modern buildings designed by acclaimed names in architecture such as Siza Vieira, Souto Moura and Rem Koolhaas, confers special enchantment on the city of Porto. The agreeable atmosphere, excellent cuisine, and range of cultural and leisure activities at competitive prices make it one of Europe’s preferred destinations and recipient of praise from such international publications as the Lonely Planet guide and the New York Times.



Looking beyond the borders

Important though these visitors are, 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 research applied to industry, professional training and mobility programmes for students and staff, and the establishment of joint degrees. FEUP has come to enlarge its basis of cooperation, also participating in the main international networks and in prestigious engineering associations such as CESAER -Conference of European Schools for Advanced Engineering Education and Research. With 52 European institutions constituting CESAER membership, in October 2011 FEUP was selected to be one of the few institutions integrated into CESAER’S Board of Directors. FEUP’s vast network of contacts stimulates the organization of numerous international conferences on the campus, providing its community with the opportunity of attending presentations of topics of general interest debated by the world’s top specialists.


Photo: Ana Pereira

FEUP’s claim to be an International School of Engineering cannot simply be put down to the everincreasing number of foreign students who choose it as their destination every year, and for whom specific programmes of soft-landing and integration are developed; nor can it be merely due to the many foreign researchers who enrich the scientific work of the Faculty and bring a multicultural atmosphere to the campus.

International recognition of FEUP’s quality is also noticeable in the high position it occupies amongst the most respected international Engineering rankings. This, along with the excellent integrated training it offers students, furnishes them with outstanding advantages in the national and worldwide labour markets.

CLOSE TIES WITH LATIN AMERICA Language similarities make cooperation with Latin America stronger. The ties that connect us with this region of the world are not limited to the accords in various fields of study and research. FEUP is also a study destination for many degree-seeking students. Indeed, 35% of our regular international students come from Latin America, and particularly from Brazil. At the mobility level, there are also specific programmes, such as the wellestablished Erasmus Mundus, which encourages student exchanges with Latin American countries. In 2012/2013, the new Brazilian programme Ciência sem Fronteiras (CsF) brought 230 students to FEUP, making FEUP the Portuguese institution with the largest number of CsF students within the Engineering area.

Research and Innovation FEUP sees itself as a true innovation hub. This central position on the map of Research, Development and Innovation (R&D+I) is reinforced not only by the international networks of which it forms a part but also by its surroundings, the Asprela Campus. Science and Technology Park of the University of Porto (UPTEC) is to be found here; UPTEC is a structure which brings together more than a hun-dred budding businesses in incubation. Besides other Porto University faculties, other universities and polytechnics, the Asprela Campus is also home to a central teaching hospital and a cancer institute, as well as recognized Portuguese and foreign research institutes. It is primarily a technological campus, in which the strong presence of engineering technologies, health sciences and entrepreneurship lend considerable impetus to the process of innovation.

Photo: Ana Pereira

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 satisfactory solutions to current global challenges. There are countless projects that demonstrate FEUP’s capacity to bring about innovation in conjunction with the interface institutes that form a platform of support for Faculty research. Moreover, research is also strengthened by the Centres of Competence on the Asprela Campus, specializing in areas as diverse as Sustainable Energy, Smart Cities and Advanced Manufacturing, as well as Robotics, Health Innovation and Ambient Assisted Living. This latter is developed at the Research Centre for Communication and Assisted Information Solutions (AICOS), which the Fraunhofer Institute created on the Asprela Campus.


Photo: Rui Rocha


CENTRES OF COMPETENCE FEUP has promoted the creation of multidisciplinary Centres of Competence according to the logic of complementarity of the various competencies, knowledge and skills available at the faculty and in its Interface Institutes and research units. For the latter, cooperation with the business and industrial world is also a determining factor in obtaining the best research results. The liaison with IBM is a good example of cooperation, the company having opted to install at FEUP its only Center for Advanced Studies (CAS) in Portugal, geared to applied research in Engineering, Management and Service Sciences - Solutions for Smart Cities. The Centres of Competence promote the development of innovative technological solutions that may be of particular relevance to society and economic development, thus contributing to the positioning of FEUP as a national and international reference in R&D and Innovation.

CENTRES OF COMPETENCE for Energy for Future Cities for Innovation in Products and Services


Photo: Filipe Paiva



Business links The bridge that links FEUP to the business world is built via partnerships that consolidate the relations of trust established between the academic and business spheres. The considerable technical-scientific potential of FEUP has come to be applied in countless technology transfer projects. The knowledge of university teachers and researchers has also contributed to the training and consultancy services rendered 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. The Innovation Centre at the Science and Technology Park of the University of Porto (UPTEC), located on the Asprela Campus, is a clear example of the cooperation between the academic and business worlds. Several innovation centres of national and international companies are established here, concerned with the development of new technologies directed towards the global market. The promotion of entrepreneurship is realized through advanced training in innovation and technological enterprise, the publicizing of incentive programmes, organization of counselling initiatives and making contacts with companies and investors

available. A significant part of the entrepreneurial projects of teachers, researchers and students has given rise to start-ups and spin-offs. Currently, UPTEC is hatching 50 entrepreneurial projects in the area of engineering, in its 4 Centres (Technology, Biotechnology, Sea and Creative Industries), which corresponds to about 46% of the total number of companies in incubation. The Faculty also leads the field in the Business and Innovation Network initiative – BIN@TM. This network includes partners from the University of Sheffield and the USP – University of São Paulo, and held its last meeting in Porto in 2012; the next one will take place in Brazil, in November 2013. FEUP promotes the application of the academic knowledge it generates to solving problems in the outside world. This is possible through strong links to the business and industrial fabric of society, opening doors to the establishment of relationships of long-lasting confidence.



Social Responsibility FEUP considers itself responsible for advocating and practising a set of principles and values through its core functions of teaching, research and community engagement and institutional management. We believe that only conscious choices lead to bright students following bright careers. The information programme carried out with high school students and educators goes far beyond any recruitment ambitions. Its main purpose is to better inform people about the different engineering areas and to make students aware of the environmental and social impacts of the engineering profession. At FEUP students have the possibility of participating in voluntary projects of a national or international character, such as EpDAH - Engineering for Development and Humanitarian Assistance. The main objective is to instill in students an understanding of cultures and to help make the world a better place to live in. In order to ensure equity of access and success for minority groups such as the physically challenged, FEUP also has at its disposal a specialized office offering support to disabled students or others with special educational needs. Given the present economic crisis, there is also the “Project for support to students”, whose main goal is to help students in financial difficulties who cannot afford to pay their tuition fees. FEUP’s commitment to social responsibility also extends to the promotion of sustainable development practices in the management of the campus. The report on sustainability issued every year gives a good overview of the institution’s performance in the several dimensions of sustainability. As a public institution which practises transparent and accountable management of its resources, FEUP produces an annual financial report which shows all Faculty expenditures and revenues in detail. Positive ecological and environmental effects are likely to result, not only at the level of energy saving obtained by the intelligent management of buildings, but also from the stimulus to non-polluting means of transport, or the


Photo: Anabela Trindade

recycling of waste products, not to mention initiatives such as the transplanting of 36 olive trees condemned to disappear below the waters of the Alqueva dam, but which now enrich the approximately 23,000 m2 of green space at FEUP. Concerns regarding sustainable development are indeed not confined within the boundaries of the Faculty. The engineering projects that are geared to the outside world have a markedly ecological aspect, and the role they play in urban renewal and in the construction of the cities of the future makes FEUP a force of benign intervention in society. This same society can freely benefit from the several debates, concerts, theatre and cinema 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; it educates citizens for the world.


Photo: João Pádua


Management and organization The University of Porto (U.Porto) is the central governance and representation entity of its 14 Organic Units. As one of the Organic Units of U.Porto, FEUP participates in the decision-making process of the university and retains its management, scientific and pedagogical autonomy. FEUP’s Dean is elected by the Board of Representatives and his/her appointment is subject to the Rector’s approval. The Dean becomes chair of the Executive, Scientific and Pedagogical Boards. The other members of the Executive Board are assigned by the Dean to specific responsibilities in areas such as financial management, research coordination, pedagogical affairs, internationalization and facilities management. In line with staff organization, the managers of the several departments, services and research units that constitute FEUP retain the corresponding personal management responsibility.

From left to right: Fernando Jorge Monteiro (vice-president of the scientific board), Luís Andrade Ferreira (vice-dean), Sebastião Feyo de Azevedo (FEUP’s dean), José Martins Ferreira (vice-president for pedagogical affairs), Jorge Moreira da Costa (member of the executive board for facilities management).




This award marks “the re-start of my professional life” Text: Raquel Pires Photos: Álvaro Martino



Adélio Mendes, professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto (FEUP), has been distinguished with an Advanced Research Grant worth EUR 2 million awarded by the European Research Council (ERC). The project consists in the creation and development of innovative technology for the production of electricity through photovoltaic cells sensitized with dyes that could revolutionize the electricity market.

Some compare these awards ]to Nobel Prizes, because the amounts allocated are of the same order of magnitude. For researchers, to receive an Advanced Grant signifies admittance to the restricted group of people who witness their work - sometimes a lifetime’s work recognized by the scientific community. At 48, Adélio Mendes has just joined “the group.” He considers this prize “a re-start of my professional life” and “a tool to help achieve a greater goal, which is to be able to contribute to revolutionizing the electricity market in Portugal, especially because” - he says - “my dream was that our country, with so many resources in terms of solar energy, could become a world leader in this technology.” The idea of commencing research into photovoltaic technologies resulted from a challenge laid down in 2005 by Carlos Costa, director of FEUP at the time. On the pretext of compiling a report on the most promising technology in the field of photovoltaic energy, Adélio Mendes came to an important conclusion: the solution resided in the development of dye-sensitized solar cells. The first steps taken in this research began in 2006, after Adélio Mendes had taken on the supervision of a student who had finished his PhD and was preparing to undertake study financed by a research grant. A year later, in conversation with one of the EFACEC directors, the FEUP professor realized there was considerable interest on the part of the leading company in the technology and electrical systems market in supporting this project. The die was cast, and it was time to invest everything in research into photovoltaic cells. Adélio Mendes wasted no time. In 2008 he had a meeting with Michael Grätzel, a professor at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland) and inventor of dye-sensitized cells. He told him of an innovative process for sealing the cells with glass, by means of a laser assisted process. “He encouraged me to pursue the idea, and following this conversation I submitted a patent describing this whole new process of sealing the cells,” explains Adélio Mendes. During the next two years some difficulties were encountered, resulting in deadlock. The outcome of the results was delayed, and

WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH WHICH HAS GAINED AN AWARD COMPRISE? Mimicking the operation of plant chlorophyll (pigments that allow photosynthesis), the technology in question, known as dye-sensitized cells (DSC - Dyesensitized Solar Cells), uses dyes to absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity . The technological solution developed by the research team led by Adélio Mendes is presented as an alternative that is cheaper, safer and even more aesthetic than the traditional silicon solar cells, and in building applications they are also more efficient. The ultimate goal is to build photovoltaic modules capable of operating as facings for buildings (similar to glazed tiles) or even as replacement facades, allowing sunlight to be transformed into electricity and thus significantly reducing the energy bill. Until recently, this technology had no commercial viability. Nevertheless, with the collaboration of EFACEC, the FEUP researcher developed a sealing process of DCS cells using glass paste, thus ensuring the stability of photovoltaic modules over the long term. Therefore, the financing of € 2 million will be used in the scientific and technological development of these photovoltaic cells with the ultimate aim of producing cells with at least 13% energy efficiency and a stability of 25 years’ duration. Besides the development of sealing with laser–assisted glass, transparent substrates will be developed with an electrical conductivity much higher than at present, a counter electrode of nanostructured carbon replacing the current platinum film, and a photo electrode optimized to receive a nanostructured carbon pigment. The challenge now is to put this technology on the market by the beginning of 2014, with the assistance of EFACEC.




DID YOU KNOW… Adélio Mendes joins Rui L. Reis (Universidade do Minho), both honoured with an Advanced Research Grant, who thus become part of the select group of 1200 researchers who were awarded an ERC research grant in 2012, which shows the difficulty of achieving this feat and the competitive excellence of these awards. The Ministry of Education and Science has already congratulated the researchers who now join seven Portuguese who this year were honoured with ERC Grants, even stating in an official announcement that these awards are “a clear proof of the excellence and vitality of the national scientific community, represented by Portuguese scientific institutions which are internationally recognized”.

the strategy and development of the project had to be changed. Three weeks after this reformulation, the first signs appeared that the project was definitely on the right course. Several other patents followed, describing these and other inventions in more detail. And from then on positive results followed from the research. It was Michael Grätzel himself who confirmed this, during a visit to FEUP in 2011, by considering “the results exceptional”, given that it is possible, for the first time since the invention of dye-sensitized cells in 1991, to guarantee the stability of cells for the next 25 years, thanks to the innovative sealing process (see box).

A CONNECTION BETWEEN UNIVERSITY AND BUSINESS One of Adélio Mendes’s big commitments has been to collaborate with industry as a way of giving value to projects. Paralab, CIN SA, Sonae, CUF-QI, EFACEC, Amorim, Siemens, Continental, Unicer, NASA (USA), AirProducts (USA), Sysadvance, Serenergy (DK) are some examples of companies with whom the FEUP researcher maintains links and partnerships. But it is not always easy to get to this point. In the opinion of Adélio Mendes: “the teacher sometimes tends to see research exclusively as a form of progressing up the academic career ladder. To publish a scientific article, perhaps in an area which is fashionable, and without commitments relative to the social value of the underlying research, is perhaps simpler and very tempting. Interaction with the national industrial network is difficult, sometimes even complicated, but it is a necessary way of remunerating the investment that society makes in research, a form of commitment to those who fund the university in all its different facets. “On the other hand” - the FEUP professor continues - “there are still those on company boards who consider that they don’t have to pay the universities for the R&D services required, since those institutions are co-financed by the state”. To Adélio Mendes, “the solution is


necessarily to be found in the very important task of raising the awareness of universities and companies as to how both parties can enter into fruitful collaboration, bearing in mind the needs of society; but it is also necessary for academia to do its homework and promote a responsible attitude amongst those who have the courage to cooperate with the national economic network.” No wonder that the recent opening of the UPTEC Campus is therefore seen as a breath of fresh air when it comes to building partnerships with the business world. The new center, designed in two phases, is considered a dream project, in which the director of UPTEC, Professor Novais Barbosa, is involved. And Adélio Mendes said that he was “deeply moved when, during the inauguration, Professor Novais Barbosa quoted my words regarding the location requirements of the new center: it must be situated at a distance, not by car, not by bicycle, but within walking distance of FEUP “. According to Adélio Mendes, “This innovation center aims to be an incubator of mature companies which maintain a relationship with academia relationship with academia. I am committed to doing everything possible to make this project a stimulus of development for our business network and our academic institutions (….). Companies that have set themselves up there have all my gratitude and appreciation. “ Critical of those who only invest if they have State support, the FEUP Professor recalled the words of John F. Kennedy, former U.S. President, when he said: “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; rather ask what you can do for your country.” And he ended by saying: “We live in a culture that constantly tells us that we cannot do whatever it is without the support of the state. We have to exchange this culture for one of personal responsibility for the common good, for a culture of dedication and competence, for a culture of excellence.“



Tecla Colorida: new technology explained to kids Text: Raquel Pires Photos: Joรฃo Pรกdua



TO UNDERTAKE Tecla Colorida (which means Coloured Key - as in a key on a computer keyboard) is already an example of success and innovation. The company launched a social network for elementary school students, teachers and parents and has been focusing on the international market. It is part of the University of Porto’s incubator for creative industries and does not cease to grow or amaze. Let’s find out the secret of its success.

There are events that change the course of our lives. That is what happened to Ademar Aguiar, professor in the Department of Informatics Engineering at FEUP, when in 2005 he participated in the open day at his eldest daughter’s primary school, EB1 in Cedro. The activities that marked the end of the school year included the presentation of some projects that the class had done during lesson time but which had never left the classroom. One that Ademar most liked involved a compilation of grandparents’ stories presented via computer. As he explains, “I was so impressed by the initiative and everyone sharing their projects that I started to work out how I could make it much easier to share this kind of work, using basic computer tools, which would be educational and appropriate for primary school children.” An enthusiast of wikis and IT tools that promote collaboration and socialization, the FEUP professor began the process of developing a very simple and intuitive web application that allowed schools to become more open spaces, able to involve parents, teachers, students and the whole school community, yet with the constant assurance that rules of privacy would be identical to those in real school. So it was that the platform began life. After a period of sketches and prototypes, with contributions from assorted friends, parents and teachers, the platform began to take shape and received a small but very significant incentive from the Porto Digital project. Later on this was to lead to Porto City Council’s interest in making the platform available to all 54 of its 1st cycle primary schools, totalling some 20,000 users. But in the initial phase and without sufficient financial resources to respond immediately to the challenge of producing the platform, Ademar Aguiar together with two partners, saw that there was a niche in the global market for such collaborative social platforms suitable for schools and students up to 12 years old. Once investment partners”Duet” had jumped on board, conditions were set for the launch of Tecla Colorida, a startup which by mid 2009 had successfully been installed on the primary education school network in the city of Porto. In September the platform was extended nationwide. Two years later, in January 2011, the process of globalizing the project began: in June they arrived in Chile to launch the first pilots outside Portugal, integrated within the Start-Up Chile initiative, promoted by the Chilean government.


DID YOU KNOW THAT… is an online community of schools. Each school in is an official representation of a real school on the Internet. As with real schools, each school can only be accessed by students, teachers and parents or guardians authorized by it, so as to create a safe and closed space. By making use of the same concepts and organization found in schools, schoooools. com has a natural simplicity that appeals to everyone. Thus it is an easy place to work, play, collaborate and communicate with everyone. is available to any educational institution, private or public, for children aged from 6 to 12 years old. More information at:

THE TEAM Tecla Colorida consists of five young people whose average age is around 24 years old. The facilities at the Creative Industries Pole at the University of Porto’s Science and Technology Park (UPTEC), reflect the entrepreneurial spirit that inhabits the place. For a start, there is no rigid schedule, the atmosphere is informal and there is a communal kitchen and even a games console to dispel any creative block that may arise in the middle of the day. Something else that stands out is the fact that they all speak fluent English, since some of them have come from other countries in Europe. And there are special days when the team live and share different activities: it is common on everyone’s birthdays to get the chance to have surfing lessons, experience a sushi workshop or even attend a concert. The atmosphere is informal but the commitment of the team is always great and very professional. Everyone there has a common goal: to further develop the platform, rapidly yet in a sustainable way, and spread its success as widely as possible by forging strategic partnerships in various markets.


IMPLEMENTING THE PROJECT The early stage of the project was tricky. “We thought initially that the fact that Portugal is a global pioneer in the adoption of universal access to ICT in primary education could result in an excellent practical example and boost the project to other markets. In fact, however, the platform was not adopted in Portugal as swiftly as expected,” admits Ademar Aguiar. The reasons for the difficulty in implementing the project can be linked directly to the fact that the Portuguese schools market is of a very specific and particular nature and “although technological infrastructures exist, schools require traditional approaches and close proximity, something that from the outset we did not want to do unless through partners”, explains the FEUP professor. Yet the same cannot be said about the reaction of people when they came into close contact with the platform: as a rule everyone adopted a consensus opinion about the huge significance of the project and its educational qualities as regards using social software, collaborating, creating and sharing content. And that meant that the project has progressed at different speeds, with some groups of schools joining the project immediately and becoming “superusers”, and others unable to mobilize themselves internally to take advantage of the platform for different reasons: whether technological or didactic. For Ademar Aguiar, who has always believed in the huge potential of the platform, it was all a matter of timing until the project actually began to prove itself and be set up in schools: “still a prototype, the feedback from the solution was already very positive, so we soon realized that there was a business opportunity, both in Portugal and in the global marketplace. The decision to move to a spin-off was boosted by the challenge from Porto


City Hall to launch the platform very quickly and make it available as soon as the academic year 2008/09 for the city’s entire school system.”

VENTURING WORLDWIDE After the national market, the next step was the internationalization of the final product. The chance to venture further afield arose right at the outset, in 2009, through long-held links that the team at Tecla Colorida had with international experts. Implementation began in Texas/USA and in Chile, at more or less the same time. Today the social platform “escolinhas” (little schools) has pilot projects in Texas, as an integral part of US Connect, an initiative of IC² and the University of Texas, in Austin. Yet Ademar Aguiar believes it will not stop there: “Little by little we are expanding the platform to more countries, such as Poland, Brazil and Mozambique. Through partners, we will soon be very close to reaching all Portuguese speakers worldwide.” Contacts come naturally. The most recent case of Poland shows well the process: “It all started with an invitation to attend a conference on the importance of design in education, from content to software. The interest generated was so good that we were immediately invited to other events related to education policy in Poland and two weeks later we had the platform up and running in Polish”, Ademar explains. In his view, the venture is already a sure bet and the reason for its cross-border success is simple: “The main goal of our project is to facilitate access to the best of the web (multimedia editors, wikis, blogs, social networking, messaging, etc) in a very simplified format and integrated into a single platform, specially adapted for use by children aged 6 to 12 years, at school or with the family.”




“3D in an Engineering manner” Text: Marina Bertoncello Photos: Álvaro Martino

The 3Decide is a spin-off which was born two years ago as part of a project developed at FEUP. Heading the company are four young people with entrepreneurial ideas and plenty of dynamism, who combine the Engineering tools that are best suited to the field of 3D. This results in innovative products which are more interactive and closer to people. ”3D” is one of the biggest trends in the entertainment market, playing a role in our daily lives through video games, cartoon and fiction films that we can see in the cinema or even watch at home on TV using special glasses. “3D” means ‘three dimensions’ and makes it possible to represent the imaginary and virtual as if these constituted a part of our real world. The plan of 3Decide is to bring about an innovative fusion between 3D and engineering, in order to combine the best computer engineering tools that 3D has to offer: the ability to communicate in a natural and intuitive manner, its attractive and appealing aspect and the ability to help understand remote locations and even to design futuristic scenarios. “As a joke we sometimes say that we are doing ‘3D in an Engineering manner, ‘ says the team formed by young entrepreneurs who believe that 3D has assumed “a more interactive and immersive role, and one closer to the knowledge and decisions of customers.” The process of creating the spin-off took two years, involving the raising of the necessary private investment and the formation of a multidisciplinary and experienced team. Today there are two teams, one consisting of collaborators and trainees, and the other ‘in residence’, comprising three software engineers, all of whom are FEUP graduates trained at FEUP: Carlos Rebelo (aged 31, Executive Director of 3Decide), André Cardoso and André Pinto (both aged 26 and Software Engineers), and an economist: Pedro Gonçalves (aged 29, Director of Operations).


Equipa 3D

Using innovative DNA technology, they develop interactive and dynamic multiplatform solutions in 3D, which means that they function on websites, mobile devices and interactive kiosks, and that, unlike existing solutions on the market, allow customers to manage all the information in a simple and autonomous form, via administration systems on the Internet, such as any blog or content website. Besides this, they have not forgotten the social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare) and other characteristic Web 2.0 services, such as Google Maps and the production of statistics relating to the audience and use of solutions in real time. “In today’s market it is very important for a company to direct its commercial offer towards products that are easily communicated and that can be sold internationally”, they emphasize. The company specializes in technical areas such as Computer Graphics, Software Engineering, Serious Games/ Simulations and Geographic Information Systems. It stands out worldwide in the utilization of the CityEngine, which enables the creation of realistic 3D urban settings and develops customized solutions in Augmented Reality, already having created two innovative products: the 3DPlace (3D models of indoor and outdoor urban spaces, shared directly on websites or interactive totems, with dynamic information available on online maps and suitable infographics), and aLIVEPanoramics (virtual visits based on 360 interactive photographs that can be directly configured by customers and that can capture information from visitors and can explore visits with augmented reality



Augmented Reality 3D applied to the sustainable architecture project Casas em Movimento (Houses in Motion)

when it is physically in situ). The products fit into sectors at right-angles to the area of Marketing, Communications and the Digital Narrative, embracing the wider public and (taking in) different physical spaces. The main customers have businesses geared to tourism, cultural heritage and property, as is the case with museums, holiday resorts, theme parks, historical sites, business and conference centres, and theatres, among others. Carlos Rebelo, who currently assumes the executive leadership of the company (CEO), already had the technical leadership in his hands and was responsible for the analysis and selection of technologies, developing the “state of the art” of the sector, the technical idealization of products and recruitment of new collaborators. Today, the challenge they face is to think about the strategic vision of 3Decide, of orientation of products to markets and clients, of participation in events and international promotion of the company and creation of technical and commercial partnerships. “Being CEO of a young company that seeks to assert itself nationally and internationally, in a dynamic and competitive sector such as that of Interactive 3D & Real Time, is tantamount to scaling Everest. It requires a great deal of training, resistance, resilience, sacrifice and passion”, he states. The 3Decide has already made a notable appearance at FITUR in Madrid, considered the second largest tourism fair in the world, has made a business trip to the Netherlands and has recently participated in the “Power to thePixelMarket” in London, [acting] as specialists in interactive 3D and in real time. It won an honourable mention in the National Award for Creative Industries, from among more than 400 nominations, with the SafeCity3D initiative, a digital educational game that aims to teach good Security, Tolerance and Prevention practices to children from the ages of 6 to 12, through a combination of teaching methods and entertainment components.

Contacts were also initiated with the British Embassy and they have a network of personal contacts ranging from the Oresund region of Northern Europe to New Zealand. One of the medium term objectives outlined is the possibility of elevating the company’s two main products (3DPlace and aLIVEPanoramics) to worldwide status, consolidating them as a new means of producing and using 3D in business terms. For the team, the strategy involves the “ability to link models of 3D environments to current information systems, which are the basis of the entire digital universe around us, and to the social platforms that are used by millions of people on a permanent basis.” Upbeat and with a good sense of humour, the 3Decide team believes in the evolution of 3D and that “the future will be made up of systems based on real-time information and digital environments that give users all the freedom they want to explore in 2D, 3D, 4D... We want to help write this future! ‘3D Interactivity... done right!’“.

HISTORY OF 3DECIDE It all started in 2007 when António Coelho, professor in the Department of Informatics Engineering at FEUP, began to develop, in partnership with Digital Porto, a project concerned with the 3D modelling of parts of Porto’s historic city centre, which also included Carlos Rebelo. On completion of this project, the assembled team decided to continue working in the area of Urban Interactive 3D and of Serious Games. Thus, in 2008 the company Reality Stages was created, and currently retains the 3Decide trademark. FEUP forms part of the company’s share capital through researchers of great significance in the area of computer graphics in Portugal. The collaboration also involves Masters students, who have the opportunity to develop dissertations in partnership with the company.




A sensor allows aneurysms to be monitored through an electronic wireless monitoring system. This innovative project, which is in the process of being implemented, has the advantage of not resorting to traditional invasive methods such as examinations and surgery.

Text: Marina Bertoncello Photo: D.R.

Engineering at the service of preventing aneurysms (This is) a much simpler and cheaper process, convenient for the patient and easy for professionals to use. The design of a new sensor which allows aneurysms to be monitored began in 2009, the result of a partnership between the University of Porto Faculty of Engineering (FEUP), the University of Minho (U.Minho) and Instituto Superior Técnico (IST). The main objective of the project was the “development of a system for monitoring the pressure in coronary stents, to avoid traditional invasive procedures”. According to the researchers involved in the project, “the aim is to instal a pressure sensor in the actual stent and obtain a reading of the signal using an inductive coupling, i.e. without wires”. As the authors of the research explain, a “stentgraft” is a tubular structure made from material biologically compatible with the human body, which is inserted into


the coronary artery so as to avoid excessive dilatation of the artery which could cause internal bleeding. With the inclusion of one or more sensors in the stent it becomes possible to monitor any eventual displacement in the stent’s position, blood leakages or progression of aneurysms, without the need to resort to testing, for example X-rays, or even surgery. In developing the project, each partner institution has a specific mission: the U.Minho is the coordinator and is responsible for the fitting of the pressure sensor in the “stentgraft”, the IST undertakes research with new materials and FEUP heads the development of the electronic wireless monitoring system and conducts feasibility analysis of the product’s commercial viability. Led by José Machado da Silva (Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering), the FEUP team also consists of Joaquim Gabriel Mendes and João Manuel Tavares, both professors in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, two PhD students - Cristina Oliveira (Doctoral Course in Bioengineering) and Isa Santos (Doctoral Course in Leaders for Technological Industries) and a scholarship holder - Nuno Almeida (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering). At the present time, the first prototypes of the pressure sensor are under evaluation and the final prototype readout system developed at the Faculty of Engineering is in the implementation phase. According to the researchers, the launching of the sensor on the market can only take place after medical certification resulting from tests on mechanical models and animal experiments. The next steps also point to the implementation of self-test methodologies and diagnosis of the electronic system.



FEUP creates computer bugs tracking system Known as “bugs”, errors are common in computer software development. The GZoltar toolset, created by researchers at FEUP, helps reduce the time required to test and pinpoint the root cause of failures.

Text: Raquel Pires Photo: João Pádua

In the current globalized world everything functions by means of software: from the international monetary system to nuclear power stations or even to our own daily lives. This dependence on software means that attention is focused on the need to minimize the impact of the type of flaws and faults which are often associated with computer systems. A FEUP research team has developed a tool that aims to help reduce the time required to test and find bugs in software projects. The idea took root more than five years ago, as part of Rui Maranhão’s doctoral thesis, at the time he was working on a research project with Philips, coordinated by the Embedded Systems Institute in the Netherlands - the project Trader. On his return to Portugal, Rui Maranhão continued with his research into the testing and automatic location of software faults, having decided to invest in the creation of a new tool, faster and more effective, which would be capable of assisting software developers. Working with André Riboira (a student on the PhD Informatics Engineering Program) and José Carlos Campos (research fellow at the Department of Informatics Engineering), he has developed GZoltar, a tool that has enabled them to attract the interest of some industrial partners.

But how does this application work in practice? “During the software development phase, there is also a phase to ascertain whether the system works according to plan. When it is detected that a particular feature is not in accordance with the initial specification, the cause of this problem (the bug) must be found. This phase usually resorts to a set of tests that somehow simulate the interaction of the user with the system. The GZoltar helps automate this process by offering two fundamental features: methods for the efficient execution of tests (reducing the cost and time taken to implement them), and visual and automated methods to assist in debugging (i.e. assist in locating bugs), “explains Rui Maranhão, professor at FEUP. There are several research teams in various parts of the world dedicated to this area of work. In Portugal, this study is unprecedented. According to the FEUP researchers involved in the project, the methods provided by the tool are amongst the best state-of-the-art methods on offer. The tool is available in




Text: Raquel Pires Photos: Ă lvaro Martino

FEUP Teacher honoured with the award of a Starting Grant in Engineering This is the first year that a Starting Grant has been awarded in Portugal in the field of Engineering. Funding of â‚Ź1 million was awarded to Manuel Alves, professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at FEUP, who has devoted himself to the study of complex fluid flows and mechanisms that induce instabilities and elastic turbulence in microscopic flows.

The announcement was made by the European Research Council (Brussels), which in total has awarded 536 research grants, seven of which are for Portuguese researchers. Manuel Alves, Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto (FEUP)), was one of the researchers awarded a research grant. This is the first time a FEUP researcher has received a Starting Grant. This funding will make it possible for the research team led by Manuel Alves to deepen the study of the mechanisms which lead to the onset of instabilities in microscopic flows. Although the elastic properties of complex fluids have been under research for many years, to date the physical mechanisms leading to the onset


of elastic turbulence in these fluids which contain long molecules are still unknown. According to Manuel Alves, in industrial processes attempts are frequently made to prevent the appearance of these instabilities; hence it is crucial to develop computer programs to predict them, in order to determine the ideal operating conditions that will maximize productivity. However, elastic instabilities, particularly the state of elastic turbulence, may also be favourable and desirable, as for example in the development of microdevices for the efficient mixing of reagents, in order to enhance heat and mass transfer rates, or for the production of emulsions with optimized properties.



It is difficult to quantify precisely and conduct a theoretical analysis of the phenomenon of turbulence

THE PHENOMENON OF ELASTIC FLUID TURBULENCE The phenomenon of elastic turbulence is quite common - ever since the formation of galaxies, extending from the release of heat produced by nuclear reactions in the center of the sun, atmospheric and oceanic movements, aerodynamic fluxes around cars and planes, to the water flowing through the pipes in our home, or the air flow in the human respiratory system. This is a key area, one of huge interest for mathematicians, physicists and engineers, and its ramifications extend to the fields of Astrophysics, Meteorology, Engineering and Medicine. It is difficult to quantify precisely and conduct a theoretical analysis of the phenomenon of turbulence. Interest in this field of study emerged in 1998, when Manuel Alves commenced his PhD. Since then, the principal line of research has been directed towards this subject. Despite the flow of complex fluids often causing instabilities (of an elastic nature), current knowledge of the mechanisms involved in these phenomena is scarce, which constitutes “an important and exciting challenge.”

Many mathematicians and physicists have attempted to develop a universal theory of turbulence, but without success, although the basic equations have been known for over a century. Elastic turbulence is an identical phenomenon, but occurs in fluids with complex molecular structures, such as polymer solutions, detergents, paints, blood, etc.

For Manuel Alves, the award of the Starting Grant, following three attempts, reflects international recognition for the work developed over the past few years. It will also enable the creation of a research group focusing on the theoretical and experimental study of complex fluid microscopic flows and the development of computational tools for forecasting them. The main emphasis will be on this, most probably during the next five years of the Starting Grant’s duration.

The microscale fluid flow of “simple” liquids, like water, is usually ordered and deterministic. In the case of complex fluids the flow easily becomes unstable and may eventually become chaotic, in conditions recently described as “elastic turbulence”. Our aim is to conduct a precise study of the mechanisms responsible for the appearance of this chaotic state, by means of experimental and computational methods, with a view to developing computational tools for forecasting it.




FEUP Biomechanical study aims to revolutionize hockey skates Improving the performance of athletes and giving this sport a higher profile is the main objective of the biomechanical study that a group of researchers linked to FEUP began in 2010. This pioneering research, the first of its kind in the world, individual focused on skating rinks, skates and sticks and materials that may result in the improvement of individual athletic performance. Professional players from Barcelona and FC Porto [Porto Football Club] have collaborated in the tests. This is the first time that a team of researchers has devoted itself to a biomechanical study of roller hockey, the sport that “has brought the most titles to our country,” says Mário Vaz, professor at the University of Porto’s Faculty of Engineering (FEUP) and one of the most enthusiastic proponents of the study. The interest has stemmed from the fact that his two children practise the sport at the Infante de Sagres Club, and no biomechanical study on roller hockey yet exists. And this in 2010! “Our intention is to study all the equipment associated with this sport, even the goalkeepers, with their protective equipment (...), and to contribute to the improvement of the performance of athletes at the highest level of play,” explains the researcher. In order to establish a good scientific basis for the study, many tests had to be conducted not only in the rink but also on

Text: Raquel Pires Photo: D.R.

the equipment of the athletes who practise this sport. This required close contact with professional teams that were willing to cooperate in the study: besides FC Porto, the Barcelona team also participated in the tests. At this stage it was also crucial to have the co-operation of Nuno Carrão, assistant coach of the under-20 national squad, who were recently crowned European champions. The players’ performance was analyzed by researchers from the University of Porto Faculty of Sport (FADEUP), who have undertaken a remarkable study with the athlete Naide Gomes, long jumping champion, and Beatriz Gomes, Olympian canoeing athlete. According to Mário Vaz, this biomechanical study will shortly be continued and extended to women’s teams and, if possible, to equipment manufacturers, as is the case with JETROLLER skating.

DID YOU KNOW THAT… ? On 7th December Porto University Biomechanics Laboratory - LABIOMEP, was inaugurated. This is an investment of € 1.7 million that will enable this laboratory to become one of the top three Biomechanics laboratories in Europe in terms of equipment and technology. The main objective of LABIOMEP is the study of biological motion, from the movement of the heartbeat in order to better design prostheses to the movement of athletes leading to improved sports performance. LABIOMEP so far involves 29 researchers from the U.Porto, from six different faculties and two research centres: the Faculties of Science, Sport, Engineering, Medicine, Dental Medicine, and the Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar, along with the Institute of Mechanical Engineering and INEGI - the Institute of Industrial Engineering and Management. In addition to the nearly 30 researchers, the centre also has about 20 research fellows to develop long-term projects.




Text: Marina Bertoncello Photo: D.R.

Grünenthal Prize for study of pain A new objective method to quantify pain was awarded the Prize for Clinical Research into Pain 2011, by the Grünenthal Foundation of Portugal. The project was carried out by Ana Castro in the Doctoral Program in Biomedical Engineering at FEUP.

Is it possible to measure something as subjective as pain? The answer was presented in a project developed by Ana Castro, within the Doctoral Program in Biomedical Engineering at FEUP. The study entitled “Somatosensory evoked potentials can objectively explain nociception/antinociception balance under the action of general anesthetics” was honored in June with the Clinical Research into Pain Prize 2011, by the Grünenthal Foundation of Portugal. The innovative concept presented by this study proposes a new objective method of quantifying pain, which evaluates the use of somatosensory evoked potentials - brain response to painful stimuli, relating to the intensity of the stimulus - as an objective tool in explaining nociception/antinociception balance. The study of this binomial involves, on the one hand, evaluating pain, accompanied by rise in blood pressure, heart rate, sweating, tears, etc, while, on the other hand, measuring the attenuation of pain, through the administration of powerful anesthetics. It was particularly important to study the dose of general anesthetics at the moment of reporting pain, which was achieved with the collaboration of volunteers. The project was carried out under the guidance of Fernando Almeida Gomes (professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at FEUP), Catarina S. Nunes (professor from King’s College, London) and Pedro

Amorim (professor at ICBAS and Porto Hospital Centre - Santo António General Hospital). “Although there is great interest in the objective assessment of pain, especially in individuals who are unable to communicate, there is still no commonly accepted objective measure applied in the clinic, which can be reproduced and compared between individuals. Our work aims to address these issues by proposing an index that expresses the balance between nociception and antinociception provided by anesthetics,” explain the researchers. According to the winning team, “this method could be used to assess this balance in patients unable to communicate pain and thus provide the patient with the best care, through the administration of the appropriate dose of painkiller, especially during general anesthesia.” The researchers consider the distinction “a great honor, since it is the highest award for clinical research into pain, in Portugal.” The Grünenthal Pain awards include a cash value of 15,000 Euros, split equally between the Basic Research Prize and the Prize for Clinical Investigation. Set up by the Grünenthal Foundation in 1999, they are the highest value prizes annually awarded in Portugal, for research into pain.



TO INTERPRET Interview: Marina Bertoncello Photo: João Pádua

Violin and thermal imagers: music and science in a unique concert What unites a group of scientists, a violinist and some thermal imagers? Answer: a groundbreaking scientific experiment enabling diagnosis of muscle injuries through thermography techniques which was presented for the first time in an unprecedented concert at the Rectorate of the University of Porto. The technique was developed by four researchers from the University’s Faculties of Engineering and Dental Medicine, who thus had the opportunity to show the end result of this project ‘in loco’. Thermographic movements of Ianina Khmelik, the Russian violinist invited to this demonstration, were captured through a camera, enabling detection of possible muscle injury during the musical performance. Joaquim Mendes, professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and chief researcher on the project, explains how this auxiliary means of diagnosis works and how it can aid the evaluation of the physical performance of elite athletes and muscular changes in orchestral musicians. But the advantages do not stop here. How does a thermographic camera work? A thermal imager is outwardly similar to a normal film camera, but with a unique feature that makes it different: the fact that it enables measurement of infrared radiation in the area. Since the radiation emitted by a given body is related to body temperature, we can thus indirectly measure its temperature. The temperature at each point is then coded according to a colour table, thereby creating colour images where, for example, white indicates the hottest zone and black the coldest. What are the advantages of this technique? To begin with, measurements are taken without any contact, that is from a distance, without any wires or unnecessary bother. Therefore, in the case, for example, of the violinist who was at the Rectorate, it means we do not have to disturb the activity of the artist, as there is no need to stick any sensors or connecting wires on the body, which


would, of course, end up affecting her performance. The image provides the technician with instant readings of the temperature at all points on the image, which in our case are 76,800. It also allows us to take multiple readings per second, thus being able to follow phenomena much more quickly (in the case of our camera up to 60 times per second). Measurement from afar is also beneficial in industrial applications, keeping potentially dangerous situations at bay. A good example is when measuring the temperature of flames, but without running the risk of being burned. In the case of medicine, the technique has the advantage of not emitting ionizing radiation, which means it poses absolutely no risk to the patient. It is a noninvasive technique which is totally painless and of high resolution (0.068 degrees in our case) enabling temperature to be measured from multiple points at the same time via an instant response. How can the technique of thermography help in the detection and prevention of muscle injuries? Blood circulation allows the body to maintain a constant temperature regardless of the ambient temperature. Thus, by measuring the response of the body to various stimuli such as external variations in temperature or physical exercise, we can see if something is wrong. It is generally assumed that the body is approximately symmetrical and therefore the temperature on both sides should be roughly the same.

The technique has the advantage of not emitting ionizing radiation, which means it poses absolutely no risk to the patient

Since the human body has an absolutely superb temperature control, if a difference of more than 0.5 degrees between the two sides is detected, it is a sure indicator that something is not right. It should, however, be noted that this technique is always complementary to other tests and is always dependent on the direct observation of doctors and other health professionals whom it may under no circumstances replace. Note should also be taken of the limitations. The camera only measures the temperature at skin surface, and can thus only evaluate what happens to a maximum depth of 2.5 mm. Naturally, in order to have any significance, the measurements must be taken in a controlled environment, taking into account the ambient temperature, humidity, distance, and especially any other objects in the vicinity. Since all bodies produce radiation, the camera will measure all information, whether it comes from the body that we want to measure, or is reflected by other objects. Where did the idea of holding this unprecedented concert come from? The idea came up in a conversation with the Director of the Cultural Centre of BelĂŠm during preparation for the 4th edition of Workshops in Medicine and the Performing Arts, held on 29th and 30th October 2010. Are there plans for any more concerts like this? Yes, the concert was very well received by the public which is why we intend to repeat the experiment, both in Portugal and abroad. Can the technique be applied to other areas (other than music)? Yes. In industrial maintenance, analysis of heat insulation in buildings, tests for quality control in industrial process control (for instance, paper production); medicine (especially in breast cancer, tendinitis, swine flu); in the field of veterinary medicine and also botany.



“The Erasmus program is one of the European Union’s greatest successes” Interview: Raquel Pires Photos: Filipe Paiva

João Falcão e Cunha is coordinator of the “Mobile” Program at FEUP, an exchange program for engineering students going to Brazilian universities. With the current academic year having begun with double the number of foreign students, we found out what the faculty was doing to receive them so that they, too, felt members of the FEUP community. The number of foreign students has doubled this year at FEUP. Did this surprise you? It strikes me as an excellent development though not a particularly unexpected one. It is a result of both the growing international prestige of FEUP, especially within academia in Brazil, as well as the new program “Science without Borders” - sponsored by the Brazilian Government, which explains in particular the significant rise in the number of Brazilian students. It is also due to the various programmes - ERASMUS, Science without Borders, Mobile and Erasmus Mundus - with which the University of Porto has been involved. I do think, though, that FEUP and the city of Porto are attractive and welcoming to anyone coming in and that this “information” has been passed on by those who have been here before. The number of Brazilian students was particularly high. Is language a facilitating factor of these exchange programs? I believe that language is one of the determining factors in the case of Brazilian students who come to us. But if


language was the sole reason, you would expect FEUP to have a percentage of Brazilian engineering students in Portugal identical to that found at other high level national schools offering places on the “Science without Borders” program. In reality, of the roughly 700 students on this program in Portugal in the area of engineering, FEUP receives one third, around 250. Thus, although language is a contributory factor, it was not the decisive reason why students chose FEUP in this academic year 2012/13. As coordinator of the Mobile Program at FEUP, what logistical challenges did you have to face in order to accommodate 500 students here? At the beginning of June 2012 we saw that there were over 700 applications, of which about 250 were first option, and it was necessary to match supply to this level of demand. We knew, moreover, that most Brazilian students communicated only in Portuguese unlike most other students. We were, therefore, faced with two challenges: a much higher number of students and mismatches in the language of instruction. Since demand from foreign students is mainly concentrated in the 4th and 5th years of the integrated masters courses, it was necessary to allocate them to curricular subjects, classes and schedules taking account of the language skills of students and teachers, based on proper management of resources - most notably of classrooms and laboratories. In fact, because of the language of communication, the sessions at the reception for students had to be split in two, with one group for Brazilian students and one for the remaining foreign students. In courses with more students the logistical problems are easier to resolve. In courses with smaller numbers the impact of foreign students is greater. In some cases classes have as many foreign students as Portuguese.


Problems arising from this increase in students were also felt especially in experimental subjects, for example, in the case of teaching laboratories already widely used in lessons. In many cases it is the first time that Portuguese students at FEUP have had to do group work with fellow students of other nationalities. It is thus necessary to manage internal logistics processes to ensure student integration. You advocated the strategy of creating partnerships with universities in Brazil, having been a pioneer in the creation of MESG, in 2006, and the dissemination of the course in Brazil. What led to this choice? For many years I have thought that having a good relationship with similar institutions in Brazil is of real strategic interest for FEUP. Such a relationship should be based on principles of equality and reciprocity, even if the level is not always the same in all areas. When I started my PhD in 1985 at Imperial College, the department had just oneBrazilian student embarking on a doctorate. When I finished it, almost four years later, there were 10 Brazilian students, just within my field of computer science. These Brazilian colleagues with whom I had the privilege of working gave me a very positive image of Brazil. Since that time I have been involved in some research projects with Brazilian colleagues and have met them at international congresses. I was thus able to get to know a little better some very prestigious institutions in Brazil. FEUP and similar institutions in Brazil, in particular their students, would only benefit from a close relationship. I was also lucky in that the Dean of FEUP and the Rector of the University of Porto both completely share this view and have always supported all initiatives to strengthen relations with Brazil. The Master in Services Engineering and Management (MESG) is a good example: when it was created it was a pioneering program internationally and widely reported on, most notably in Brazil. The first edition had four Brazilian students (three of whom came from Brazil purposely to attend the course): JosĂŠ Vicente Martins, Guilherme Godoy,


Maria Emilia Cavalcante and Leandro Lopes de Carvalho. They are today excellent professionals in Brazil and keep me informed of their contacts. Just recently I spoke to them seeking help for some former FEUP students looking for employment in Brazil. It was recently reported in the media that, given the situation in Europe, it was very likely that funding for the ERASMUS programs were to be cut. Are you concerned about this scenario? I believe that the Erasmus program is one of the greatest successes of the European Union and that, even with less funding, it will remain an important tool for education for all students in Europe and beyond. Naturally, a reduction in funding will deter many students from going on exchange, and, particularly in a difficult period for many Portuguese families it may hinder or even prevent their children from having this tremendous experience. Yet I believe that the institutions involved will continue to work to ensure that existing resources are channeled in the best way. What advice do you have for any students thinking of undertaking a period of exchange? I would like every Portuguese student at FEUP to have the opportunity of studying at least one semester abroad. This is a very enriching experience for several reasons, including contact with a different culture and city, and the fact that it often allows students their first experience of personal autonomy in an environment outside the family comfort zone. The presence of foreign students at FEUP also plays an invaluable role in the education process of Portuguese students, especially those who unfortunately will not be able to study abroad during their course at FEUP. Daily contact, working together and even the interaction outside of the classroom allows them to have their first international experience. I believe that for future professional careers, no doubt in international environments, it is of significant value to everyone.




Researchers from around the world discuss innovation and technology Text: Marina Bertoncello Photos: LuĂ­s Ferraz

Innovation policy, the role of universities and technology as catalysts for the economy and how all of these interact with the business world were the main themes of BIN@PORTO, an event that brought together over 350 participants from 28 different countries, at FEUP.

From 24th - 26th October, FEUP was the stage for the establishment of global partnerships with a view towards developing R&D consortia, technology transfer and the sharing of experiences in the creation of technology-based companies. Aimed at start-up promoters, researchers and all stakeholders in innovation and technology transfer, this initiative brought together some of the foremost experts in emerging areas such as creative industries, technologies for health, aeronautics, energy sustainability, bioengineering and new materials, mobility and transport, industrial design and future cities. Among the various activities included in the BIN@ PORTO program, what stood out most were the 12 themed Action Tank sessions, which served as excellent networking platforms, together with ten open sessions, including a debate on technological development as an engine of the economy. The event also featured a space dedicated to business workshops and the showcase of technologies, as well as a set of complementary events continuing the structured platform of contacts and networking in the field of technological innovation launched in 2010, at the first edition of BIN@™ events.


The series of BIN@™ events was launched by FEUP in 2010 and the following year was held in the UK, by the University of Sheffield, who organized BIN@SHEFFIELD. The three events together attracted over 1000 registered delegates from more than 30 countries, such that international participation exceeded 25%. The BIN@™ initiative’s main objective is to develop an international network of sustainable innovation involving partners from across industry, academia, science and

BIN@BRAZIL The next edition of BIN will take place in Ribeirão Preto (São Paulo), Brazil, from 12th - 14th November 2013. The event will be organised by the University of São Paulo (USP) and the Foundation Institute Advanced Pole for Health of Ribeirão Preto (FIPASE). Vanderlei Bagnato, USP researcher and in charge of organizing the event in Brazil, says the 2013 edition aims to consolidate the idea of innovation and social responsibility. “We want to hear the views of all participants and have significant examples to show. Solving our most urgent problems using technology developed by the university leads to benefits twice over: helping both the economy and society.”

UPTEC Center of Innovation Within the BIN@PORTO program, on the 26th October last year the inauguration took place of the new UPTEC Center of Innovation - Science and Technology Park of the University of Porto. This new facility brings together the Development and Innovation units from some of the most important Portuguese companies who, in partnership with researchers and scientists from research centers at the University of Porto, will work on developing new products.


technology parks, incubators, investors, advisors and economic development agencies, among others, in sharing knowledge and best practices, within a rationale of open innovation. The aim is to develop a forum for interdisciplinary discussion that integrates various technological fields in order to create opportunities for collaboration and cooperation and thus support the development of partnerships that result in real value added impact.

According to Vanderlei Bagnato, Brazil “is now deeply committed in using technological innovation as a solution for a growing economy. Using various means of discussion and exchange of experiences in this area is essential to guarantee the continuity of our programs.” In his view, the process of technology transfer from universities and research centers to industries and companies is not an easy task, but it can work when businesses are involved right from the start at the outset of projects and should be an increasingly common cooperation. “Shelving knowledge does not help the economy or social development of the country,” he says.



Turning Porto into a future city by 2015 The University of Porto’s Competence Centre for Future Cities, based at FEUP, has just secured European funding worth 1.6 million Euros for a project whose goal is to transform Porto into a smart city, that is a living laboratory for future cities. It is the official launch of the University of Porto’s Competence Centre for Future Cities and it has got off to a solid start: funding of EUR 1.6 million, awarded through a European competition under the 7th Framework Program, will enable the University and the city of Porto to be provided with experimental platforms, on a city-wide scale, supporting experimental and interdisciplinary research in areas such as sensorizing, throughout the city, the smart transport systems for sustainable mobility, and analysing the impact of technology and social networks on urban behavior and people’s quality of life. The European Commission’s decision to support this project is confirmation of the excellent research being carried out at the University of Porto in fields relevant to future cities. This can be seen through projects such as Vital Responder, which developed sensor networks for firefighters, and Drive IN, which is making Raditáxis one of the most advanced fleets of taxis in the world. The success of these projects, previously funded by the National Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), brings together researchers from the Faculties of Engineering,

Science and Psychology and several research units that are working together and collaborating with national and international partners such as the University of Aveiro, the Institute of Telecommunications, Carnegie Mellon and MIT. With this European funding it will be possible to exploit the synergy among research groups from areas as diverse as telecommunications, transport, psychology, urban studies, biomedical engineering, computer science, and social networks. It will also allow new PhD researchers to be hired, thus widening the sphere of activity of the Competence Centre for Future Cities. The work plan approved by the European Commission involves expanding the existing infrastructure, particularly through partnerships with the City of Porto, Raditáxis, Porto Digital, STCP (the city bus company) and dozens of industrial partners. Based at Porto’s Faculty of Engineering, the Competence Centre for Future Cities is a multidisciplinary project aimed to involve different teams and projects from the various faculties of the University of Porto, with a view to collaborating and networking in the fields of information and communication technology, urban design, construction and management of urban environments, thus contributing to the welfare and quality of life in cities. In the opinion of João Barros, director of the Competence Centre for Future Cities and professor at FEUP, this is an innovative project in Portugal as it “puts end users, for instance families, drivers, doctors and firefighters, at the centre of researchers’ attention, offering new technology platforms and living-labs where scientists can create new cutting-edge knowledge, startups can make essential proofs of concept to be funded and more established companies can develop and test new products and services that can then be exported to future cities around the world.”

Text: Raquel Pires Photo: Álvaro Martino



Photo: Luís Ferraz

Photo: Luís Ferraz


FEUP Day is held annually with the aim of strengthening the DNA of the Faculty of Engineering. Furthered throughout the year by teachers and technicians, the work was recognized through the granting of the Award for Scientific Excellence and the Award for Educational Excellence. The “Engineer António de Almeida Foundation” Prize and the “Professor. Dr. Joaquim Sarmento” Prize were also awarded to the researchers Salomé Soares and Filipe Magalhães respectively.

An outstanding figure in the panorama of civil engineering in Portugal, José Mota Freitas was honored by the Order of Engineers, at a ceremony which took place in the auditorium of the Faculty of Engineering. In a symbolic manner, the tribute marked the culmination of the distinguished career of this professor, awarded the “Nobel Prize” of Structural Engineering, IABSE’s “Outstanding Structure Award (OYSTER)” in 2009, thanks to the design of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Fatima.

It is called Genie ® and represents a more lightweight and ergonomic solution, which has replaced the traditional steel-made high pressure gas cylinders. The project was designed by Carlos Aguiar, teacher at FEUP, who was honoured with the Gold IF Design Award 2012, in a ceremony held at WELT BMW in Munich.

The “Week: Engineering Profession” (SPE) welcomed 1,500 students from 94 Portuguese secondary schools, who had the opportunity to become acquainted at close quarters with projects and laboratories and experience closer contact with the academic world of the Faculty of Engineering by participating in 93 activities.


A project developed between FEUP and Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) was honoured with the “Best Paper Award”. The article “Online Spectrum-based Fault Localization for Health Monitoring and Fault Recovery of SelfAdaptive Systems” was co-authored by Rui Maranhão, professor in the Department of Computer Engineering at FEUP, and Eric Piel, Alberto Gonzalez-Sanchez, Hans-Gerhard Gross and Arjan JC van Gemund, researchers at TU Delft.

FEUP signed a collaboration protocol with Glintt Healthcare Solutions and Glintt - Global Intelligent Technologies, which includes the implementation of research programs; the launching of challenges for students of Computer Engineering and joint activities in the context of entrepreneurship, as well as the award of an annual prize to the best student on the Integrated Masters Course in Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering.

The Institute of Mechanical Engineering (IDMEC), Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, celebrated 20 years [of existence] on April 10, 2012. As part of the celebrations of this 20th anniversary, FEUP hosted a series of conferences with speakers and guests from national and international institutions.

The IFAC Workshop on Navigation, Guidance and Control of Underwater Vehicles (NGCUV’2012) brought together key industrial and academic practitioners to discuss and demonstrate recent advances in navigation, guidance, and control of unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV). The workshop also provided a forum where experienced researchers and postdoctoral students could share experiences and motivate new research agendas.


Projects in the area of energy efficiency and the search for sustainable solutions have again received awards at the 2011 edition of the Galp Program 20-20-20. Jorge Ascension, at the time a student on the Integrated Masters in Mechanical Engineering Course (MIEM) FEUP, came first with a project to assess the energetic and economic potential of a trigeneration unit of the automobile industry.

The “LipoTool” project to create an innovative system based on the operation of a lipo calibrator to assess the percentage of body fat, was awarded a silver medal at the 40th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, in the category “Medicine - Surgery - Orthopaedics Material for the handicapped.“

FEUP was distinguished by the Kaizen Institute with the award of the “Kaizen Lean” prize in the “Excellence in Teaching” category. FEUP’s collaboration with the Institute began in 2009 with the signing of a protocol that covers collaboration in the national and international promotion of the Masters in Industrial Engineering and Management (MIEIG), together with projects and a FEUP student dissertation at Kaizen.

FC Portugal, a joint project between FEUP, the University of Aveiro and the University of Minho, won the European Championship of Robotic Football (Dutch Open 2012), in 3D Simulation mode, held in Eindhoven (Netherlands).

The crisis throughout the European Union and the consequences for the performance of the member states’ economies and the severe social problems resulting therefrom were the main themes of the cycle of debates “New Paradigms”. The session was attended by the MEPs Paulo Rangel (PSD) and Francisco Assis (PS).

Photo: Manuel Fontes

Photo: Ana Pereira

Photo: Manuel Fontes


FEUP was very much in the limelight in the 3rd edition of iUP25k - Business Ideas Contest U.Porto. The project “TerMonitor” won 1st Prize, worth 15,000 euros. The 2nd rd and 3 prizes, both worth 5000 euros, were awarded for “Remote Debugging Service” and “SoundPace” respectively.

The 5th edition of the annual conference of the Research Centre for Land, Transport and Environment (CITTA) adopted as its main theme Planning &Ageing: Think, Act and Share Age-friendly Cities. This conference discussed state of the art research in planning, particularly the development of new approaches centreing on planning and aging.

Some of the most successful Portuguese entrepreneurs came to FEUP to share their success stories and discuss the state of entrepreneurship in Portugal. The main focus of the meeting was Spie UP’12 - The Week for Encouragement of Innovation and Business Enterprise at the University of Porto, one of the biggest national events dedicated to entrepreneurship.

Luis Braga da Cruz, Senior Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering FEUP, gave his last lecture, entitled “My relationship with Engineering and Energy”. He obtained his degree in Civil Engineering at FEUP in 1965 and during his career he has been President of the Steering Committee of the Northern Region, Economics Minister in the XIVth Constitutional Government, and President of the EDP Renewable Energies company. He is currently President of the Serralves Foundation and of the General Council of the University of Minho.


Photo: Susana Neves Photo: Manuel Fontes

FEUP and OCC GmbH celebrated a cooperation agreement regarding research studies for publication of international articles, in the field of foundry practice, image analysis for cast iron, material science and the automotive industry. The agreement also covers the testing of new products for the foundry industry; the possibility of internships for young engineers at OCC, customers in Germany and abroad.

“Agile Portugal 2012” was the third edition of the premier international conference in Portugal, when the agile community got together with invited leading experts. The two-day programme included relevant topics, as well as Agile methods (Scrum, Lean, XP, etc), Collaboration, Culture & Teams, Business & Project Management, Customer Relationships, Development Practices, Testing & Quality Assurance and Agile Adoption & Transformation.

The announcement of the winner was made in Chengdu, China, during the 9th World Congress of Biomaterials. Inês Gonçalves, 30, a researcher at the National Institute of Biomedical Engineering (INEB), is the first author of the article “Platelet and leukocyte adhesion to albumin binding self-assembled monolayers”, accorded the “Best Paper 2011 Award “ by the European Society of Biomaterials, following its publication in the “Journal of Materials Science - Materials in Medicine”.

André Meireles, Jose Nuno Leitao, Maria Joao Gomes, Mariana Osswald, and Paulina and Sofia Carvalho Santos, students in the 5th year of the Masters in Bioengineering at FEUP, created the “N2FIX”, a project that won the Startup Program 2012 prize. The honour earned them a trip to the city of Skopje, Macedonia, where they had the opportunity to represent Portugal in the JA-YE Europe Enterprise Challenge 2012. The Portuguese participation was accorded the “TTK Responsible Leadership Award”, a Signature Award presented by the TTK Bank of Macedonia.


The first phase of the Health Data Platform was officially “opened” during the international conference on information sharing architectures in [the área of ] healthcare “eHealth Information Sharing Architectures” (eHISA). The project has been developed by FEUP, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, and will improve the health of citizens by giving them more autonomy and supporting health professionals in providing better health care anywhere in the country.

The play “Chronicles of Parallel Universes” is the result of a theatrical project that involved the FEUP community, directed by Ricardo Alves. Part of the programme of activities of the Faculty’s Cultural Committee, this play proves that the daily life of a FEUP student does not merely consist of mathematical calculations and engineering principles.

The cooperation protocol signed between FEUP and PT Communications proposes to award research grants on the part of PT to FEUP Masters and PhD students, for the development of research projects in the Sapo/ University of Porto laboratory, situated in FEUP’s Department of Computer Engineering.

The ICEM15 - 15th International Conference on Experimental Mechanics was organized by the Faculty of Engineering, in partnership with the Portuguese Association of Experimental Stress Analysis (APAET), and brought together experts in the field of Testing and Diagnostics, Surface and Interface Engineering, Civil Engineering Applications, Sensors and Instrumentation, the Teaching of Experimental Mechanics, Failure Modes, Nanotechnologies and Nanomaterials, [and] Biomechanical Applications: Thermo-Fluid Systems, Optical Techniques and Impact and Crashworthiness.


Taylor & Francis, the international publisher, launched a scientific journal entitled “Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering: Imaging & Visualization”. Boasting worldwide distribution, this magazine has as its editor John Manuel Tavares, professor at FEUP, and its editorial team enjoys the collaboration of recognized experts in these scientific areas.

The Startup Pirates @ Porto is an initiative spurred by students and former students of the University of Porto, with the goal of furnishing young entrepreneurs with the skills and tools needed to create a company in order to accelerate the process of transforming an idea into a business .

To mark the start of the academic year 2012/2013 and welcome international students who arrived in the 1st semester, the Faculty of Engineering organized “Orientation Days”, with the aim of providing a warm welcome to some 500 international students who chose FEUP as their 1st choice for a mobility programme under the auspices of the following schemes: ERASMUS, Science without Borders, Erasmus MUNDUS and even some agreements with other foreign universities, especially those in the U.S.

The 12th European Congress on Thermology (EAT 2012) provided a friendly environment that brought together those concerned with thermology technology and applications. The event thus provided a forum for a profitable discussion of the most recent research and technological advances in this subject.

Photo: Susana Neves

Photo: Filipe Paiva


This is the first year that the European Research Council (Brussels) has awarded a Starting Grant in Engineering in Portugal. Funding of €1 million was awarded to Manuel Alves, professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at FEUP, who has devoted himself to the study of complex fluid flows and mechanisms which induce instabilities and elastic turbulence in microscopic flows.

The Cadernos d’Obra (CdO), an international scientific journal dedicated to building construction, won the prize awarded by the Biennial Ibero-americana of Architecture and Urbanism (BIAU) 2012, in the category Periodical Publications, in which 230 candidates were in competition for the prize. Founded in January 2009, the journal is edited by GEQUALTEC, a group belonging to the Civil Construction Section of DEC / FEUP, and which has been developing scientific activities related to the areas of Management, and Quality and Technology, in collaboration with national and international companies.

The concert given by “The Orchestra of the North” marked the FEUP Cultural Committee’s 10th anniversary. The guest soloist was Paulo Oliveira, who played Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor. The concert also included Borodin’s Symphony No. 2 in B minor. The orchestra was conducted by its principal conductor, José Ferreira Lobo.



Photo: Manuel Fontes

Photo: Filipe Paiva







The “ICSEA 2011: Best Paper Award” prize was accorded to the article “Reverse Engineering of Graphical User Interfaces”, written by FEUP researchers. The paper was presented at The Sixth International Conference on Software Engineering Advances (ICSEA 2011), held in Barcelona (Spain).

Innovation policy, the role of universities and technology as a catalyst for the economy and the interaction of all these actors with the business world were the principal themes of BIN @ Porto, an international event that brought together over 350 participants from 28 different countries. For three days, FEUP was the scene for the establishment of international partnerships with a view to the setting up of R&D consortia, technology transfer and the sharing of experiences in the founding of technology-based companies.

For the 5th consecutive year, FEUP’s Cooperation Division promoted “FEUP First Job” (FFJ), the annual Job Fair. Its main objective being the furthering of contact between companies and students, this is a privileged event for national and international companies to make themselves known to the academic community and strengthen relationships and cooperation.


In the “European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations”, the Doctoral Degree Programme in Occupational Safety and Health (DemSSO) and the FEUP body responsible for arranging the Cycle of Debates entitled “New Paradigms”, organized a session on “New Paradigms for the Social Model, Youth, Ageing and Dignified Death“.

This was the first EUR-ACE ® international conference, sponsored by the European Network for Accreditation of Engineering Education (ENAEE), in collaboration with FEUP and the Order of Engineers. For two days, European experts discussed and shared experiences in assigning the seal of quality to European engineering courses and mapped out their future development in order to guarantee higher education in engineering throughout Europe.

Elsa Caetano, FEUP professor and ViBest researcher, is the author of the book “Cable Vibrations in CableStayed Bridges,” which was recently reissued in Chinese, for China Architecture and Building Press (CABP). The original work, written in English, was published by the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE). This book was the second IABSE publication translated for sale in China, the result of a protocol signed between the two bodies with the aim of translating and disseminating a compilation of selected monographs on Chinese soil.


Photo: João Pádua

Photo: Egidio Santos


F. Xavier Malcata, senior professor at FEUP, was the first Portuguese to be honoured at international level in the field of Engineering and Food Technology, through his election as a fellow of the International Academy of Food Science and Technology (IAFoST). The decision reflects international recognition of the research work developed by this professor who has come to be at the centre of pioneering approaches in Science and Food Technology.

The project “Remote Debugging Service”, authored by Andrew Riboira and Rui Maranhão, was one of the winners of the first edition of the Idea for Action Prize, which took place in Madrid, sponsored by RedEmprendia in partnership with Banco Santander. The application was one of three - the only Portuguese one from amongst the twelve finalists in the competition, the successful contender receiving prize money of 3,000 euros and the offer of a training course at Babson College in the USA.

João Falcão e Cunha, senior professor at FEUP, received the Faculty Award prize, conferred by IBM. The researcher’s decisive role in and contribution to IBM’s Center for Advanced Studies (CAS) in the area of Smart Cities was one of the predominant factors meriting this honour. It is the second time that João Falcão e Cunha has received this prize. In 2009 he was honoured by IBM for being one of the main motivators of MESG, in 2007.

Adélio Mendes, professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at FEUP, was honored with an Advanced Research Grant of € 2 million, allocated by the European Research Council (ERC). The FEUP researcher’s project consists in the creation and development of innovative technology for the production of electricity by means of dyesensitized photovoltaic cells.

Tiago Andrade, a FEUP alumnus and researcher at the Institute of Mechanical Engineering (IDMEC - FEUP Campus), was the winner of the “Young Scientist Award”, conferred by the International Society for Engineering Education (IGIP). The award was presented at the conference commemorating the 40th anniversary of this society held in Villach, Austria, in recognition of the [remarkable] career of this young man, from his days as a student to the present time, as a researcher in the Associated Laboratory of Aeronautics, Energy and Transport (LAETA), where he undertakes work in the Systems Integration and Automated Processes Unit (UISPA).




STUDENTS ADMITTED ENROLLED GRADUATING Undergraduate and Integrated Master programmes

Undergraduate Programmes




Master programmes




PhD programmes







Total Integrated Masters

Master Programmes






PhD Programmes



Mobility students OUTGOING

Mobility students* INCOMING


Specialisations and Advanced Studies

306 Degree students*

* International students represent 8,8% of the students enrolled








Chemical Engineering




Civil Engineering



























Mechanical Engineering








Chemical Engineering




CWTS Leiden




Civil Engineering





















R&D units hosted at FEUP


Cooperation agreements with companies

9 21 75%

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

Cooperation agreements with international universities Framework Programme 7 (2007-2012) Nr. projects funded/Budget

165 296 42/17.5M€ 13/62 30/83 37 19

Patent applications filed/cumulative total


Invention disclosures/cumulative total Tech transfer deals - cumulative total

Scientific publications indexed to the ISI Web of Science It represents 20% of the publications of University of Porto (3121 articles), which corresponds to more than 20% of the Portuguese publications (provisional figures)






Teaching and research staff (FTE*)



Holding a PhD


Technical and administrative staff (FTE)

*Full-time equivalent


22.600 30.390 52.990

State Budget (43%) Own income (57%) Total income (thousand €)

11.468 10.024 3.586 4.825 487

R&D projects Tuition fees Sales and services Other Financial

12-14 November, 2013 Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo - Brazil The University of São Paulo and the Institute Foundation Advanced Pole for Health of Ribeirão Preto (FIPASE) are organizing the 4th international BIN@TM event that will be held at the city of Ribeirão Preto, in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. The programme will include open session with keynote speakers, thematic Action Tanks, short Innovation courses, start-up’s presentations and much more. BIN@TM is an international network of academic and industry partners engaged and supporting the creation of a sustainable forum for sharing good practice and opportunities in Innovation. We connect partners from across disciplines and industrial sectors and create opportunities for collaboration. We develop partnerships that deliver value and impact.

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Highlights magazine  

The magazine “FEUP Highlights 2012” offers a glimpse of the most remarkable projects, innovations and events which took place during 2012. I...

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