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UT Austin Portugal 2020 Annual Conference – Innovation at the Intersection of Academia and Industry

October 7, 2020 | October 8, 2020

We are going digital! 

We are bringing to you two top-rated speakers, who will take you on a captivating journey to show you how bold science is shaping disruptive solutions for some of our societies’ most pressing challenges.

Maria Helena Braga is an Associate Professor and Head of the Engineering Physics Department at Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto. She has a degree on Solid State Physics and Materials Science and a PhD on Materials and Metallurgy Engineering. From 2008 to 2011, she worked as a Research Scholar and Long-Term Staff Member at Los Alamos National Laboratory, US, where she firstly started working on crystalline solid-state electrolytes. In 2014, she discovered a Li- and Na- based glass-electrolyte that would lead her to work on new energy storage devices and to collaborate with Prof. John B. Goodenough (Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2019) from 2016 to 2019 as a Senior Research Fellow at The University of Texas at Austin. Presently, she collaborates with colleagues across the world and was invited to give more than 30 talks in countries such as Japan, South Korea, Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, US, and Germany, among others. She has more than 55 peered reviewed papers some in high very impact journals, 13 families of patents and more than 130 talks.


Luis Sentis, Associate Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin and General Dynamics Endowed Faculty Fellow, received his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University where he was also a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Computer Science Department. He was a La Caixa Foundation Fellow while at Stanford. He holds a B.S. degree in Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. Before Stanford, he worked in Silicon Valley as a Control Systems Engineer. In Austin, he leads the Human Centered Robotics Laboratory, a laboratory focusing on control and experimentation with walking robots and exoskeletons, design of high performance ground systems, and algorithms for active sensing in human environments. He is also a founding member of the UT Robotics Portfolio Program and the UT Robotics Center of Excellence. He was the UT Austin’s Lead for DARPA’s Robotics Challenge with NASA Johnson Space Center, where he helped to design and test the Valkyrie humanoid robot. His research has been funded by NASA, the Office of Naval Research, Army Futures Command, NSF, DARPA, and private companies. He has been awarded the NASA Elite Team Award for his contributions to NASA’s Johnson Space Center Software Robotics and Simulation Division. He is also a founding member and scientific advisor for Apptronik Systems, a company focusing on human-centered robotic products and R&D in human-augmentation exoskeletons and humanoids.



October 7, 2020

2 p.m. (Lisbon time) | 8 a.m. (Austin time)
Opening Remarks 
Message from the Host and the Program’s Leadership and Sponsor (FCT)

2.20 p.m. | 8.20 a.m.
Keynote Speech I | Maria Helena Braga (FEUP)
“The future of batteries as we know them today: possible entanglements leading to a transformation

3 p.m. | 9 a.m.
Moderated discussion with Keynote Speaker Maria Helena Braga
Discussants: Andrew Murchison (UT Austin) and Paulo Ferreira (INL and IST)
Moderator: Rui Oliveira, National Co-Director of UT Austin Portugal

3.25 p.m. | 9.25 a.m. 
Short break

3.40 p.m. | 9.40 a.m. 
Keynote Speech II | Luis Sentis (UT Austin)
“Invention and commercialization of human-centered robots through academic-industry collaborations with NASA”

4.20 p.m. | 10.20 a.m.
Moderated discussion with Keynote Speaker Luis Sentis
Discussants: Pedro Camanho (FEUP, INEGI and LAETA) and Ricardo Conde (Portugal Space)
Moderator: Rui Oliveira, National Co-Director of UT Austin Portugal

4.45 p.m. | 10.45 a.m.
Innovation at the Intersection of Academia and Industry:
UT Austin Portugal’s elite of industry-driven research projects

4.50 p.m. | 10.50 a.m. 
Closing Remarks
Message from Manuel Heitor, Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education

October 8, 2020

2 p.m. (Lisbon time) | 8 a.m. (Austin time)
Thematic Masterclasses



Thematic and highly-specialized masterclasses remain a central part of our Annual Conference agenda. In this edition, we have doubled the number of Masterclasses, covering the following knowledge areas – Advanced Computing, Nanotechnologies, Medical Physics, and Space-Earth Interactions and featuring renowned experts. Framed by the Conference’s underlying theme – Innovation at the Intersection of Academia and Industry – Masterclasses will give participants the chance to find out more about the latest research and innovation trends and interact with world-class experts, peers and potential partners.


Masterclass I: Innovation in Biomimetic Materials (Nanotechnologies) 
Masterclass II: Platforms for global monitoring – Emerging capabilities and challenges (Space-Earth Interactions)
Masterclass III: Emerging HPC Technologies (Advanced Computing)
Masterclass IV: The Challenges of Proton Therapy in Cancer Treatment – Research and Clinical Perspectives (Medical Physics) 


E-Poster Gallery

Participants will be able to navigate through a portfolio of e-posters submitted by members of our community.


Networking and Cooperation Opportunities

We wanted this Conference to also serve as an opportunity to reinforce networking and cooperation opportunities among our participants. Although we are no longer organizing this networking session as we shifted to a digital platform, we are still committed to bringing our community at UT Austin and Portugal closer together. For the last few months, we have been receiving and collecting an online catalog with cooperation profiles of participants attending this annual event and wishing to find potential partners with complementary expertise among the event’s audience. 

The online catalog with networking and cooperation profiles is now disabled.



Registration is now closed.


If you have any questions about this event, email us at events@utaustinportugal.org