UT Austin and Portugal: “Building the Future”

The opportunities and the challenges for the next phase of the UT Austin Portugal Program were the focus of discussion in the first workshop of 2018, held at UPTEC.

The UT Austin Portugal Program hosted its first workshop of 2018 entitled “UT Austin and Portugal — Building the Future” on February 16th at UPTEC. The workshop was also integrated in the “GoPortugal: Global Science and Technology Partnerships Portugal” conference and took place the day after the ceremony for the signature of the new collaboration agreements.

One of the main goals of this workshop was to present and discuss the opportunities and challenges brought by the topics of the third phase of the Program: Advanced Computing, Atlantic Interactions, Medical Physics and Nano Materials.

In a dialogue with the Program’s community, 70 participants attended the workshop that gathered 17 speakers who brought to the stage their inputs and know-how in their field of work. During the day, graduates, researchers, faculty and entrepreneurs discussed the opportunities and challenges in their fields, setting the tone for the forthcoming plans and research agenda.


The workshop was divided into two main sessions – the first addressed the theme “Harnessing Advanced Computing in Science and Business”, and the second focused on “Space and Earth Observation Research”. Between the two sessions, the participants had the opportunity to attend a presentation on Nanotechnology and on how to foster commercialization of these materials.

Rui Oliveira and Marco Bravo opened the session introducing the new leadership of the Program and the main topics for the future. The Program will be headed by José Manuel Mendonça and Rui Oliveira, INESC TEC President and Board Member respectively, and Sara Brandão as the executive director on the Portugal side. John Ekerdt, Associate Rector of Engineering Research and Marco Bravo, Director of IC2 Institute, will both represent the leadership from the University of Texas at Austin.

The role that Advanced Computing infrastructures and services play in advancing the state of the art of a multitude of scientific areas was discussed in the morning session. Dan Stanzione of the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at Austin, remotely talked about how TACC enables domain specific research, while various experts in Atmospheric Modelling, Physics, Biology, Polymers and Astrophysics shared their views on how advanced computing technologies and services, together with emerging data science approaches, allow us to make intelligent and valuable use of the massive amounts of data to which we have access today.

At lunch time, Brian Korgel, Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, remotely joined in for a networking light talk and lunch, discussing the role of the University Technology Enterprise Network (UTEN) as a support to foster commercialization of Nano Materials to global markets. UTEN will focus on transforming science into valuable technologies for businesses and helping Portuguese start-ups to be globally successful.

In the afternoon, the scientific and economic potential of Space and Earth Observation research was discussed by invited speakers in the fields of Climate and Earth System Modelling, Astronomy, Ocean Robotics, Aeronautics and Space Software Systems, addressing some of the most valuable assets in Portugal – sea, climate and energy. Burke Fort, Associate Director at the University of Texas Center for Space and Research, presented some of his work and developing studies about the Atlantic Spaceport Center feasibility assessment.

When closing the session, John Ekerdt reemphasizied that we are about to enter a new chapter in this partnership that will promote a very relevant research work in key areas of international importance.

Find bellow the Presentations made throughout the day at UPTEC and visit our Photo Gallery.


10h00 Reception
11h00 Harnessing advanced computing in Science and Business
Keynote: Dan Stanzione (TACC) — How TACC enables domain specific researchDiscussants from different scientific domains: Physics, Biology, Polymers, Atmospheric Modelling, AstrophysicsAlbano Beja-Pereira (UP) (Download Presentation)
Alfredo Rocha (UA) (Download Presentation)
Anabela Oliveira (LNEC) (Download Presentation)
Carlos Andrade (Galp)
João Miguel Nóbrega (UM)
Lino Santos (FCCN)
Luís Oliveira Silva (IST)
Paulo Silva (UC) (Download Presentation)
13h00 Light lunch talk with: Brian Korgel (UTA) — Foster commercialization of Nano Materials to global markets (Download Presentation)
14h00 Space and Earth Observation Research
Keynote: Burke Fort (UTA-CSR) — Atlantic Spaceport Center feasibility study
(Download Presentation)Discussants from different scientific domains: Climate and Earth system modeling, Astronomy, Ocean Robotics, Aeronautics, Space Software SystemsAndré Guerra (CEIIA) (Download Presentation)
Aníbal Matos (UP)
Luísa Bastos (UP) (Download Presentation)
Nuno Silva (DEIMOS) (Download Presentation)
Pedro Camanho (UP) (Download Presentation)
16H00 Closing remarks: John Ekerdt (UTA)