UT Austin Portugal 2019 Annual Conference – Create Knowledge. Foster Change: Towards a New Decade of Joint Achievements

The UT Austin Portugal Program has been establishing, for more than a decade, long-term relationships between Portugal and The University of Texas at Austin, which build scientific research capacity and pave the way for impactful transatlantic R&D projects while tackling some of the most relevant global challenges.

Having entered a new phase in 2018 towards 2030, the Program addresses a number of groundbreaking scientific areas where Portuguese researchers and industry professionals in Portugal deeply engage with their counterparts at UT Austin.

In our 2019 Annual Conference, we embarked on a journey with Robert A. Peterson (UT Austin) through the ups and downs of technology and innovation commercialization; got to learn about the latest research topics and innovation trends in the areas of Quantum Computing and Wearables and Advanced Textiles, in two Masterclasses led by top-notch speakers, and, finally, gave researchers and faculty from all over the country a stage to showcase their work and network with peers.

Keynote Speaker

Robert A. Peterson, the renowned UT Austin Professor whose name was given to Portugal’s first supercomputer “Bob”, was our Keynote Speaker at the Conference’s Opening Session, in the morning. Invited by the Area of Technology Innovation & Entrepreneurship, the former Principal Investigator of the UT Austin Portugal Program, had brought to the fore key issues related to technology commercialization and entrepreneurship.


10 – 10.30 a.m. (Lisbon time) | 4 – 4.30 p.m. (Austin time)
Check-in | Welcome Coffee
Location: School of Economics and Management, Atrium, University of Minho

10.30 – 11 a.m. (Lisbon time) | 4.30 – 5 p.m. (Austin time)
Opening Video & Welcome Remarks
Location: School of Economics and Management, Auditorium 0.03, University of Minho

  • Rector of the University of Minho, Rui Vieira de Castro
  • National Director of the UT Austin Portugal Program, José Manuel Mendonça
  • Principal Investigator of the UT Austin Portugal Program at Austin, John Ekerdt
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation, Nuno Feixa Rodrigues
  • Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor

11 a.m. – 12 p.m. (Lisbon time) | 5 – 6 p.m. (Austin time)
Keynote Speech by Robert A. Peterson – 
“Ruminations on Innovation Commercialization”
Tribute to Robert A. Peterson
Location: School of Economics and Management, Auditorium 0.03, University of Minho

12 – 1 p.m. (Lisbon time) | 6 – 7 p.m. (Austin time)
Poster Exhibition & Networking Lunch

Location: Panorâmico Restaurant, University of Minho

1.30 – 5.30 p.m. (Lisbon time) | 7.30 – 11.30 p.m. (Austin time)
Masterclass I: Quantum Computing and Masterclass II: Wearables and Advanced Textile
Location: IB-S Building, University of Minho

Masterclass I: Quantum Computing – Principles, algorithms and applications


Arguably quantum computing is coming of age. With the race for quantum rising between major IT players and the public availability of the first prototype, proof-of-concept machines, the area is on the verge of a real shift. For the first time, the viability of quantum computing may be demonstrated in a number of real problems extremely difficult or even thought to be impossible to handle, and its utility discussed across industries. In a sense, Feynman’s dream of letting Nature, suitably engineered, compute for us through its own natural quantum behaviour, seems to be closer, even if the project of a universal quantum computer has still a long way to go.

In this context, the masterclass aimed at introducing the principles of quantum computing and its engineering. Following a tutorial on quantum algorithms, particular emphasis was placed on applications for simulation of complex systems and cryptography. A demo session with IBM’s Quantum Experience completed the program.


Registration is now closed.




1.30 p.m. (Lisbon time) | 7.30 a.m. (Austin time)
Introduction: “What Quantum Computing can do for you”
by Luís Soares Barbosa (UMinho & INL)

1.45 p.m. (Lisbon time) | 7.45 a.m. (Austin time)
Lecture 1: “Grover’s algorithm: an example of the use of quantum superposition and interference principles”
by Mikhail Vasilevskiy (UMinho & INL)

2.30 p.m. (Lisbon time) | 8.30 a.m. (Austin time)
Lecture 2: “Application: Using quantum computing to model matter”
by Joaquín Fernandez-Rossier (INL)

3.15 p.m. (Lisbon time) | 9.15 a.m. (Austin time)
Lecture 3: “Application: Quantum Information and Cryptography”
by Paulo Mateus (IST)

4.00 p.m. (Lisbon time) | 10.00 a.m. (Austin time)
Coffee Break & Networking

4.15 p.m. (Lisbon time) | 10.15 a.m. (Austin time)
Lecture 4: “Algorithms: Quantum Monte Carlo integration”
by Luís Paulo Santos (UMinho & INL)

5.00 p.m. (Lisbon time) | 11 a.m. (Austin time)
Demo: “Quantum Computing with QISKIT”
by Afonso Rodrigues and Ana Neri (UMinho & INL)

5.30 p.m. (Lisbon time) | 11.30 a.m. (Austin time)
End of Session

Target Audience

Researchers in Computer Science, Physics and Mathematics, as well as Engineers of different backgrounds, preferably, but not necessarily, with some previous contact with Quantum Computing.

Masterclass II: Nanotechnologies – Wearables and Advanced Textiles


Smart textiles are fabrics that provide the wearer with increased functionality. These textiles have numerous potential applications, such as the ability to communicate with other devices, health monitoring, protection from environmental hazards and promotion of healthy lifestyle due to enhanced properties (e.g. antimicrobial, flame-retardant, easy-cleaning, thermal comfort). Research and development towards wearable and advanced textiles is a fastest growing area, with practical applications into sportswear, automotive and entertainment, healthcare & safety and military products.

In this context, the goal of this Masterclass was to bring together renowned researchers from various disciplines who are at the forefront of wearable and advanced textiles research and are contributing to improve textile properties by adding new functionalities and smartness to fabrics. The class also promoted crosstalk at the intersections of frontiers in electronics, physics, materials science and nanotechnology, by exploring several approaches for the development of advanced textiles.


Registration is now closed.


  • Carla Silva, Chief Technology Officer of the Center for Nanotechnology and SmartMaterials (CeNTI), Portugal (Host)
  • Deji Akinwande, Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, USA
  • André Pereira, Assistant Professor, IFIMUP and IN – Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Porto, Portugal
  • Jonathan Wells, PhD Student, Nanshu Lu Research Group, Electrical and Computer Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, USA
  • Vadim Tenner, ITA Aachen (Member of the Organic Electronics Association), Germany
  • Luís Pereira, CENIMAT/I3N, Department of Materials Science, NOVA School of Science and Technology, University NOVA Lisboa, Portugal


  • Brian Korgel, T. Brockett Hudson Professor of Chemical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, USA
  • Carla Silva, Chief Technology Officer of the Center for Nanotechnology and SmartMaterials (CeNTI), Portugal
  • Paulo Ferreira, Professor at IST, University of Lisbon, and Head of Department of Advanced Electron Microscopy, Imaging and Spectroscopy at the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL), Portugal.


October 8, 2020

1.30 p.m. (Lisbon time) | 7.30 a.m. (Austin time)
by Carla Silva (CeNTI)

1.40 p.m. (Lisbon time) | 7.40 a.m. (Austin time)
Lecture 1: “Wearable tattoo sensors based on graphene/2D materials”
by Deji Akinwande (UT Austin)

2.20 p.m. (Lisbon time) | 8.20 a.m. (Austin time)
Lecture 2: “New Trends to Power the Next Generation of Wearable Gadgets”
by André Pereira (IFIMUP & IN)

3 p.m. (Lisbon time) | 9 a.m. (Austin time)
Lecture 3: “Advancing Applications of Modern Technology with Wireless Electronic Tattoos”
Jonathan Wells (UT Austin)

3.40 p.m. (Lisbon time) | 9.40 a.m. (Austin time)
Coffee Break & Networking

4.10 p.m. (Lisbon time) | 10.10 a.m. (Austin time)
Lecture 4: “Printed, flexible and fiber based electronic and electrochemical devices: possibilities in wearables”
by Luís Pereira (CENIMAT/I3N)

4.50 p.m. (Lisbon time) | 10.50 a.m. (Austin time)
Lecture 5: “Production Technologies for Printed Electronics on Textiles”
by Vadim Tenner (ITA Aachen)

5.30 p.m. (Lisbon time) | 12.30 p.m. (Austin time)
End of Session

Target Audience

Researchers from academia and industry who deal with the development of new products or applications and would like to develop a deeper understanding of wearable and advanced textiles.

Poster Exhibition

Prospective authors were invited to help shape this Conference by presenting their research work, relevant to the areas of the UT Austin Portugal Program, in a Poster Session. During 90 minutes, participants were encouraged to network with peers, experts and potential partners and give or receive constructive feedback on planned, ongoing or concluded R&D projects highlighted in 27 posters.

You can find here a list of the exhibited posters at the 2019 Annual Conference, approved for online publication by the authors.