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A word from National Director João Claro: “What can you tell us about Phase III of the CMU Portugal Program?”

A word from National Director João Claro:
“What can you tell us about Phase III of the CMU Portugal Program?”

Joao Claro 2 Ed Schlesinger, formerly Head of ECE at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), and now Benjamin T. Rome Dean of the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, gave us a wonderfully insightful overview of the CMU Portugal Program in the last edition of our newsletter. His comments on the challenges of our day-to-day operations got me thinking about another angle of our day-to-day activities – the opportunities that are out there, and our community of dual degree students that are particularly proactive in tapping and pursuing them.

More than anyone, our students have their lives shaped by this collaboration between Portugal and CMU. They live and move between two countries, two institutions, and two cultures, bridging advisors, as well as research and educational teams. Our students have such a unique position in the Program, certainly one of the reasons why they continually bring up new questions, insights, and opportunities of great relevance to our partnership.
Internships in worldwide leading companies and organizations are one of the opportunities in dual degree education that our students have come to highlight. They carry out research with impact, create innovative technological solutions, become patent co-inventors, or contribute with relevant studies to important technology management and policy issues in companies such as Apple, Bosch, Cisco, Google, Intel, or Qualcomm, and in organizations such as the World Bank. These internships help our students develop the understanding, skills and experience that ground their studies in the environment of the real world.(i)

Another area our MSc and PhD students stress is their contribution to new initiatives they launch and lead. Examples include an industry-sponsored research seminar series, an educational accelerator for entrepreneurs, an initiative providing Portuguese innovators early access to new soon-to-be-marketed technology, or an international startup born from an idea developed in a Master’s project. All these initiatives feature an international outlook, bring universities, research institutions and industry together, and strongly contribute to community building in areas of intervention of the Program.(ii)

These examples illustrate what our students are capable of achieving beyond their excellent educational programs. Their merit has also been recognized through awards for best papers and dissertations, teaching contributions, and outstanding doctoral work, or through media coverage in Portugal and in the United States.(iii)

Very importantly, through their active involvement in global networks, our students contribute to creating and strengthening critical linkages with the institutions and the companies that take part in the CMU Portugal Program, and to showcasing the high quality international education that Portuguese universities and CMU are jointly providing. Through their initiative, and leveraging the Program, they fully embody our mission – enhancing our competitiveness through international collaborations in education, research, and innovation.

Our students are in the partnership with a long-term perspective. Those graduating this year will have been with us typically since 2009, and those who enrolled this past year will most likely be with us until 2018. Collectively they span 10 years of very focused Program experience and outlook. This probably explains why, in a meeting with our students at CMU in January 2013, one of them came up with the hardest question I have been faced with so far in the Program: “We have heard from you all about Phase II. What can you tell us about Phase III of the CMU Portugal Program?”

With our students and the broader community that they reflect, I am certain that we are up to the challenges and opportunities ahead, as we successfully implement our roadmap, and strengthen the foundations for the future of our partnership.

April 2014

The Op-Ed is an essay written by a member of the CMU Portugal Program Community. It is a new area/section of the CMU Portugal Program Newsletter.


(i) Internships
Jerónimo Rodrigues: Internships Are Key to Establish a Connection with the Labor Market
Internships in the Summer Holidays: Why Not?
André Martins: “Internships: A Win-Win Process to the University, to the Company, and to the Student”
(ii) Initiatives and Startups
Mambu Startup Obtains Funds to Expand its Microfinance Service
Portuguese Ph.D. Student Launches Priberam Machine Learning Lunch Seminars
(iii) Awards and Media Coverage
Saurabh Shintre Awarded Fellowship at CMU
Google Glass@IST Project
Paper Co-written by Senbo Fu Receives Best Paper Award at the IEEE GreenCom
Paulo Casanova Paper Receives Best Paper Award at the SEAMS 2013
Ivonne Peña Cabra Awarded Scholarship for the Summer Academy on Sustainable Energy Finance
Ricardo Cabral: The Prodigious Azorean
Portuguese Team is Finalist of the Ericsson Application Awards 2013
Gopala Anumanchipalli Receives IEEE Spoken Language Processing Student Grant
André Martins: IBM Scientific Award 2011 Distinguishes Doctorate of the CMU Portugal
Sérgio Pequito Receives Honorable Mention (2nd place) of the 2012 CMU Graduate Student Teaching Award competition
Sérgio Pequito Receives ECE Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award at CMU
Master Student wins Best Poster and Demo Awards at Videojogos 2011
Carla Costa’s Paper Receives an Honorable Mention for Best Paper at the 2011 SMS Conference
Portuguese Students won Carnegie Mellon University’s first Open Innovation Competition
Vikram Gupta received a Best Paper Award at ACM Sensys 2009 – Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems
Alexandre Mateus is the First Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program PhD Graduate

Other stories can be found at