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Innovative Ink Allows to Print Flexible, Stretchable and Multi-Layer Circuits

This technology can be widely applied in health monitoring, to produce artificial skin, flexible solar panels, LCDs, or wearable devices

A recent article from the “Soft and Printed Microelectronic” Laboratory (SPM-UC) at Universidade de Coimbra, led by Mahmoud Tavakoli – a CMU Portugal Faculty member and WOW PI – was selected as the Cover Page of the ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces Journal. This research work introduces a unique printable ink that allowed, for the first time, digital printing of multi-layer stretchable circuits, e-skins and adhesive medical patches for electrophysiological monitoring. The ink formulation is patented jointly by the University of Coimbra and Carnegie Mellon University.

This paper introduces the first report on materials and methods that allow scalable fabrication of stretchable circuits, using simple extrusion printers. These electrical circuits can be printed on a medical adhesive, for patient biomonitoring, over an elastic polymer to make  artificial skin for robotics application or even to be printed over the textile for wearable computing.

Mahmoud Tavakoli explains that “to integrate electronics into textile for wearables or on polymers for biomonitoring patches, it is necessary that these electronics are stretchable, and elastic. In the last decade, many researchers have worked on stretchable electronics. However, it has been difficult to produce these circuits in a scalable fashion”. But now, with this new invention “these circuits can be easily printed using low-cost printers. This work presents an enabling technology, that will allow companies to produce billions of these patches quickly and cost-effectively. As everything is performed at the room temperature, the ink is compatible with heat resistant substrates, such as medical adhesives for wound dressing and this is something that is being used now in the WoW project for making on-skin patches.”

The research presented under this article is being partially funded by the Large Scale project WoW of the CMU Portugal Program headed at Universidade de Coimbra by Mahmoud Tavakoli, in a consortium led by the company GLINTT in collaboration with ISR Institute from Universidade de Coimbra, Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra and the Department of Mechanical Engineering at CMU.

The study also demonstrates that this new ink has a high conductivity and extreme extensibility, allowing to print ultrathin circuits, with several layers and highly flexible. “Unlike other substances such as ordinary metal liquids, this ink is easy to print, does not stain and is easily applied to a wide variety of materials. Additionally, it is now possible to print elastic circuits with a simple extrusion printer, which makes it accessible for universities and industries to make their devices rapidly, and is a significant step toward scalable fabrication at a reduced cost”, adds the researcher. In fact, the cost reduction and scalability will enable the application of this technology to other fields of research and other uses such as stretchable batteries, stretchable super capacitors, flexible displays, and solar panels.

Currently the research team is showcasing different applications of this enabling technology, and at the same time they are working with the technology transfer offices at the University of Coimbra (UC Business), for licensing the technology for different applications, such as health, printed electronics, and e-textile.

CMU version of this News in the Mechanical Engineering website.

More about the WoW Project

Electronic skin (e-skin) patches with biomonitoring sensors that adhere to the human epidermis are highly transformative in patient monitoring. These devices can collect and classify physiological and behavioral data, including heart, muscle, brain activities, respiration rate, body temperature, and blood oxygen.  WoW proposes a novel architecture focused on untethered, simple, and low-cost printed biomonitoring stickers, not only to be used in patients but also in patients’ beds, that are equipped with a smart IoT unit. The bed-sticker connection allows for data acquisition and transmission and enables energy transmission to the stickers.

Link to the article here.
Link to the Cover page here.


CMU Portugal Inside Story: Zita Marinho

Zita Marinho is a CMU Portugal program Alumnus in Computer Science/Robotics who graduated in 2018. Her research areas have a focus on machine learning and optimization with applications on Robotics and Natural Language Processing. She was jointly advised by André Martins, Geoffrey Gordon and Siddhartha Srinivasa and her thesis was centered on spectral methods for prediction and planning tasks. Zita is currently a researcher at Priberam Labs and is affiliated with the Institute for Robotics and Systems, at University of Lisbon, Portugal.

When you decided to pursue a PhD, why did you choose the CMU Portugal Program?

I decided to pursue a PhD two years after my Masters graduation, I was doing an internship at ESA in the Advanced Mission Concepts team and wanted to learn more about Machine Learning and Robotics. The CMU Portugal Program provided an extraordinary opportunity for me to do a PhD in one of the best Universities in the field.

How would you describe your experience under the CMU Portugal program? 

My PhD experience was very enriching, I had the chance of meeting and collaborating with other students and great researchers at CMU. It was very motivating and inspiring to be a part of my research lab, and the campus provides a very intense and thriving student life.

In what ways do you think this PhD impacted your current career?

It was a crucial step to me as a researcher, since your PhD university will let you bridge very important connections with other students and faculty for your future. It also puts you in a very privileged position to pursue you dreams in a vast range of cutting-edge research topics.

What are you doing at the moment?

At the moment I am leading the research team at Priberam labs, a company that provides on Natural Language Processing applications, such as recommendation systems, summarization, etc.

For other students that are thinking about doing a CMU Portugal Dual Degree PhD, what would your advice be?

Be prepared to work very hard, and be very motivated, a PhD is a long journey but definitely a rewarding one. Your PhD will open your career path to a new set of opportunities and it will shape the very core of your abstract and structural thinking and prepare you for your academic or entrepreneurialship endeavours.


FEP Jorge Coelho is published twice on Polymer Chemistry journal

Faculty Exchange Program :: Jorge Coelho
FEP Jorge Coelho is published twice on Polymer Chemistry journal

Jorge Coelho Paper_JorgeCoelho

CMU Portugal Faculty Exchange Program Professor Jorge Coelho co-authored two articles published on Polymer Chemistry, one of the best in its field.

The Faculty Exchange Program Professor Jorge Coelho has co-authored two papers with a Carnegie Mellon University research team and both made Cover and Inside Cover of different issues of the Polymer Chemistry journal, in January and November, 2017. This collaboration among researchers of the two institutions came as a result of Professor Coelho’s participation in the Faculty Exchange Program (FEP).

Jorge Coelho was one of the 2016 participants in FEP, from April to August 2016, and was hosted by Professor Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, a J.C. Warner University Professor of Natural Sciences at the Carnegie Mellon University’s Department of Chemistry.

The paper “Aqueous SARA ATRP using inorganic sulphites” was selected for the journal’s Cover of the January 14, 2017 edition and the paper “Mechanism of supplemental activator and reducing agent atom transfer radical polymerization mediated by inorganic sulphites: experimental measurements and kinetic simulations” is featured in the Inside Cover page of November 14, 2017.

The Polymer Chemistry journal is one of the most reputable publications in the field of Polymer Sciences. When contacted by CMU Portugal on these achievements, Professor Coelho mentions the strong collaborative component of his FEP participation and shares the distinction with the research team. On the selection for the journal’s cover, he comments on the relevance of the work for his area of study: “The highlight of our work in the cover of the journal of Polymer Chemistry could be related to the importance of the described method to afford well-defined protein-polymer hybrids.”

When asked to comment on the technical advancements described in the papers, Jorge Coelho explains that, “this contribution describes a very efficient method that allows the synthesis of well-defined protein-polymer hybrids in aqueous media under biologically relevant conditions.” The scholar highlights how having access to specific resources facilitated these research results: “The work done at CMU was very important for quality and organization of the data presented in this paper that resulted from very fruitful scientific discussions, which have strengthened even more the on-going collaborations with the host laboratory.”

The Faculty Exchange Program supports the exchange of academics from both Portuguese universities and CMU, so they can spend at least one term working in research and education and to experience the culture of a different institution. As part of his participation in the program, Professor Jorge Coelho submitted a report that details his immersion period and his integration in Professor Matyjaszewski’s research group, where he spares no compliments to the initiative: “I can easily state that my biggest expectations were completely exceeded. During this 4-month experience in a so enriching, dynamic and vibrant environment, I developed very important skills that certainly will be extremely useful for my future activities.”

January 2018

International partnerships have created Portuguese companies already worth hundreds of millions of euros

International partnerships have created Portuguese companies already worth hundreds of millions of euros
The international partnerships programs established a decade ago between the Portuguese government and US Universities such as Carnegie Mellon, have helped to create companies that are now worth more than many listed in PSI 20. This information was released by Diário Notícias Newspaper, in a piece published a week after the renewal up to 2030 of the collaboration agreements between Portugal and some leading international institutions including Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) and Fraunhofer Society (FhG), among others. Some companies, such as Veniam and Feedzai, are here to showcase the success of the collaboration with CMU.

Veniam – a software company founded in Portugal that develops technologies for network communication between vehicles – is already working with large constructers for autonomous cars to be able to leave the manufacturers with their software already integrated.

According to João Barros, CEO of Veniam, the company is valued at about 118 million euros and is easily spotted as one of the many success cases of the international partnerships program. With more than 100 registered patents, Veniam was founded within the framework of the international partnerships launched in 2007 by then-Minister Mariano Gago between CMU and FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia). Last year, Veniam was considered the 34th most innovative company in the world, ahead of brands like Spotify and Dropbox.

Feedzai is another success story worth following. Considered the first start-up founded by the CMU Portugal Program, it also operates in the Internet of Things (IoT), using artificial intelligence, and has developed resources that allow financial institutions to fight fraud in payments. Feedzai is already valued around 508.5 million euros, above four PSI 20 quotations and on an equal basis with CTT, making it the most valuable company created from these partnerships.

According to Nuno Nunes from the CMU Portugal program, the country has now “a new generation of people who create companies, not by necessity but by opportunity. They detect a gap and start building companies that compete from their foundation into the global market,” and adds “this is a major difference from what the status quo was.”

Full article

CMU Portugal Program renewed until 2030 at the “GoPortugal: Global Science and Technology Partnerships Portugal” Conference in Porto

CMU Portugal Program renewed until 2030 at the “GoPortugal: Global Science and Technology Partnerships Portugal” Conference in Porto
The CMU Portugal Program was renewed for another decade in an agreement signed between Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), represented by its Interim President, Professor Farnam Jahanian, and the Portuguese Government through the President of FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia), Professor Paulo Ferrão. The new agreement was officially launched on February 15 th at a ceremony entitled “GoPortugal Global Science and Technology Partnerships Portugal,” which took place at CEiiA in Porto. This marked the beginning of the Portuguese Government initiative “Go Portugal” to promote innovation through international Partnerships between 2018 and 2030.

The official Ceremony was preceded in the morning by a Council of Ministers held at CEiiA that defined an innovation strategy for Portugal in three key areas: strengthening the country´s R&D capacity; knowledge transfer into the economy; and promoting highly qualified jobs. The GoPortugal Program is one of the pillars of this strategy that is focused on new collaboration agreements up to 2030 between Portugal and leading international institutions including Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) and Fraunhofer Society (FhG) among others.

After the Council, Ministers joined a networking lunch with the participants of the Conference “GoPortugal: Global Science and Technology Partnerships Portugal” that included the Presidents, Directors, faculty and researchers from Universities and Politécnicos, as well as collaborators from many of the companies involved in the international partnerships.

The first part of the Ceremony “GoPORTUGAL: Promoting innovation through international partnerships” was dedicated to the renewal of the international partnerships, including the CMU Portugal Program. The Opening Session was hosted by Professor Manuel Heitor, the Portuguese Minister for Science, Technology, and Higher Education, who referred to the contributions that international partnerships have brought and can bring to Portuguese higher education and research institutions, emphasizing that innovation in science and technology is enhanced by global relationships with strategic partners that can strengthen Portugal´s position in the World. Mr. Rodrigo Costa, CEO of REN, the concession holder of the country’s two main energy infrastructure networks, the National Electricity Transmission Grid and the National Natural Gas Transportation Grid, referred the importance of global science and international partnerships to the Portuguese scientific community, in particular, by increasing joint participation of companies with universities in research and development activities, and through the growing number of start-ups and entrepreneurial activities in Portugal.

The Ceremony continued with the signing of the cooperation agreement with each international partner, including agreements with multiple “Industrial affiliates.” The agreement was signed by FCT President Paulo Ferrão and by CMU Interim President Farnam Jahanian, officially launching a new phase of the CMU Portugal Program.

“This next chapter of the CMU-Portugal program will create a dynamic and productive ecosystem in Portugal, fueled by a relentless drive to innovate and enabled by the tools and resources to turn entrepreneurial ideas into tangible social and economic impact,” said Jahanian.


The agreement will extend the cooperation between CMU and FCT through 2030.

The ceremony also included agreements with twelve new Industrial Affiliate Companies of the CMU-Portugal Program: Altice represented by Alcino Lavrador (General Manager Altice Labs); Accenture by Pedro Pombo Rodrigues (Managing Director); CEiiA by José Rui Felizardo (President); Farfetch by Cipriano Sousa (CTO); Feedzai by Paulo Marques (CTO); NOS by Jorge Graça (CTO); Talkdesk by Pedro Torres (Managing Director); Tekever by Pedro Sinogas (CEO); Thales by João António da Costa Araújo (CEO); Unbabel by Marcelo Lebre (VP of Engineering); Uniplaces by Miguel Santo Amaro (Co-Founder) and Veniam by Maria João Souto (COO).


The closing speech by the Portuguese Prime Minister focused on the importance of these Partnerships as part of the Government´s increasing investment in innovation and development with a goal to reach, by 2030, 3% of the Gross Domestic Product, one third public funds and two thirds private investment.

The second part of the event “GoPORTUGAL: collaborative laboratories, Atlantic interactions and the AIR Centre” focused on the new Atlantic interactions through the The Atlantic International Research Center (AIR) in collaboration with North American universities. The CMU Portugal Program, with its focus on a data economy, artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics, robotics, and autonomy, will contribute research to the AIR Center of common interest to academia and regional partners integrating space, climate, and oceans data of interest to North-South, South-North countries interactions and cooperate with the “INCoDe2030 – National Initiative on Digital Skills e2030” to further promote digital skills in Portugal.
Carnegie Mellon Portugal Technical Workshops
The signing ceremony was followed on February 16 th by a series of technical workshops at UPTEC in Porto, open to the scientific community. The event hosted more than 140 participants, distributed by six workshops, which were held simultaneously during the morning, bringing together not only faculty from Carnegie Mellon University and Portuguese universities, but also researchers and engineers from the many companies that are committed to participating in the third phase of the program.

The workshops were organized jointly by CMU and Portuguese Faculty to address research topics of interest to these different communities, starting the process of establishing fruitful collaborations for the future.

For more information about the workshops please visit the event´s website.

Workshop 1 – Cloud Computing and Big Data, by Justine Sherry (CMU) and Paolo Romano (IST, University of Lisbon /INESC-ID)

Workshop 2 – Deployable Robotics, by Pedro Lima (IST, University of Lisbon / ISR) and Rodrigo Ventura (IST, University of Lisbon / ISR)

Workshop 3 – Human Centered Design by Nuno Nunes (CMU Portugal) and Valentina Nisi (Univ. Madeira / M-ITI).

Workshop 4 – Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing by Manuela Veloso (CMU), Francisco S. Melo (IST, University of Lisbon /INESC-ID) and Isabel Trancoso (IST, University of Lisbon / INESC-ID).

Workshop 5 – Public Policy by Joana Mendonça (IST, University of Lisbon / IN+) and Granger Morgan (CMU)

Workshop 6 – Software Engineering by Bruno Cabral (University of Coimbra / CISUC) and Manuel “Mel” Rosso-Llopart (CMU)


In the afternoon the participants joined in a Plenary Session, hosted by Nuno Nunes and Rodrigo Rodrigues, Directors of the CMU|Portugal Program in Portugal that included a series of short interventions by the workshop organizers with a summary of the results from each workshop, followed by open discussion.


A brief look into the past and a glimpse into the future of the CMU Portugal Program
Ten years after the beginning of CMU Portugal Program, its success is revealed by its numbers: the CMU Portugal Program has involved 42 Portuguese academic institutions, Carnegie Mellon University, and more than 120 industry affiliates; it has reached more than 900 students, researchers and faculty from both sides of the Atlantic; supported around 50 collaborative research projects; supported the projects of 15 Portuguese entrepreneurial teams in the United States, and boosted the creation of 11 startups, which have attracted more than $ 118 million in venture capital investment, mostly international, and created more than 400 skilled jobs.

Now, the overarching mission of Phase III is to foster industry-science relationships as agents of change on a data driven economy with research for social and economic impact.

This requires a robust collaboration with cities/regions and companies strongly invested in the program. As such, within ICT, the program will emphasize research missions that are of common interest between academia and their regional ecosystems in the context of the initiative recently launched by the Portuguese Government to further promote digital skills, “INCoDe2030 – National Initiative on Digital Skills e2030”. Addressing these mission statements will require interdisciplinary efforts, both within data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, autonomy, and robotics areas and across different contributing disciplines such as energy, bioengineering, design, social sciences, public policy and entrepreneurship. These missions will continuously be identified through a close connection to the industrial partners of the program.

The Phase III of the program proposes to focus on high-impact science that takes advantage of the important opportunities provided by the data economy as a driver of growth and change. This vision should be followed by an agenda that leverages the strategic geopolitical position of Portugal in the Euro-Atlantic region, while also prioritizing the joint employment of doctorates and the advancement of post-graduate education and research in Portuguese institutions

Stretchtronics Files a Patent for “e-tattoo”: The Health Tracker of the Future

Stretchtronics Files a Patent for “e-tattoo”: The Health Tracker of the Future

Aníbal Almeida Carmel Majidi Mahmoud Tavakoli

The ERI Stretchtronics research group has filed a Joint US Patent for a novel fabrication method for electronic tattoos. As envisioned by the researchers, e-tattoos are flexible and stretchable small circuits, made wearable when embedded on flexible substances, such as rubber. They can monitor biological signals and transmit them to computers wirelessly. This concept is similar to an activity tracker, but one that is “glued” on the skin of the patient, or even, attached to an internal organ and used to track biological functions, such as blood-sugar levels, for example.

“An e-tattoo is a very thin and soft electronic device, that can be attached to the skin or other organs, following the dynamic morphology of the organ”, clarifies Mahmoud Tavakoli, one of the researchers of Stretchtronics. Tavakoli goes on to explain how this invention can be useful: “For instance, an e-tattoo applied over the skin can monitor the heart rate of patients for several days after a heart surgery. Such procedure was not previously possible, because rigid and bulky electronics could not be applied over the soft tissue.”

The provisional patent request was submitted by the Stretchtronics researcher team, hosted between the Institute of Systems and Robotics at University of Coimbra, and the Soft Materials Lab of Carnegie Mellon University.

The Entrepreneurial Research Initiative Stretchtronics, led by Professor Aníbal de Almeida, of University of Coimbra and Professor Carmel Majidi, from CMU, intends to investigate the methods for fabrication of soft and stretchable Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) and at the same time, develop wearable systems with a good market potential. Embedding electronics on low-cost and flexible substrates holds promise for wearable devices such as health monitoring suits, fitness trackers and entertaining industry, as well as other fields such as soft antennas, soft batteries, soft sensors, mobile robotics, grasping mechanisms, and more.

The e-tattoo has many applications and has great potential in many areas, not just the medical field. But that is where this innovation is expected to make the biggest difference: “This invention opens the door for various medical applications. An e-tattoo applied directly over the heart or brain tissue can be used for high resolution measurement of electrical signals. This has a direct application on helping neurological patients to regain some of their abilities, such as walking”, Tavakoli details.

Patents are crucial for technological innovation in the context where they apply. They can be used to generate revenues (from licences), encourage synergistic partnerships, or to create a market advantage and be the basis for productive activities. As such they create strong incentives for innovation in market-based economies. An alternative approach would be to keep inventions confidential, limiting public access to crucial technology advances. However, this would have advantages and disadvantages for both inventors and for society as a whole, which can benefit from the inventions.

December 2017

More information available at:

STRETCHTRONICS: Soft and Stretchable Mechatronics for Wearable Devices: Fabrication, Implementation and Applications

Portuguese startups present the results of their immersion period in the early business accelerator of the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program

Balance of the 4th edition of inRes – Entrepreneurship in Residence
Portuguese Startups Present the Results of their Immersion Period in the Early Business Accelerator of the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program

Investments of €75,000 from the European Space Agency (ESA); funding from the Horizon 2020 program; hundreds of contacts with potential clients and companies; consolidation of business plans; improvements to products under development; contracts signed with clients for testing and numerous doors open to potential investors. These are some of the results achieved by the entrepreneurial teams who participated in the 2016 and 2017 editions of inRes, the early stage business accelerator of the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program, funded by the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia.

The balance of the seven weeks of the inRes program immersion in the American entrepreneurial context of Pittsburgh and Silicon Valley is extremely positive. All participants consider the experience to be decisive for the development of their projects, consolidation of ideas and contacts with top companies in their business areas, thus paving the way for entry into the market.

In 2017, three teams participated in inRes: Connect Robotics, wesenss and Caterpillar Math. The immersion adventure in the United States began in September in Pittsburgh and then moved on to Silicon Valley, where they joined the inRes 2016 teams, All in Surf, Helppier, Soft Bionics and TWEvo. Together, they participated in the immersion’s last experience: “Entrepreneurial week”.

Back in Portugal, Connect Robotics, that is already located in the European Space Agency incubation center, comes back with “more strength, enthusiasm and energy to achieve the goals we set ourselves.” This was stated by the Business Director, Raphael Stanzani, who considers the experience in the Carnegie Mellon Program “extremely positive”, since it is thanks to this business accelerator that they now have “a broader vision for the startup and greater clarity on what should be the priorities.” The project is developing a drone delivery service, which includes autonomous air traffic management technology.

wesenss has developed a solution for risk professionals, composed of wearable sensors that allow real-time, automatic vital signs monitoring, and at the same time, checks their degree of exposure to environmental conditions and their geolocation, reducing health risks and increasing operational efficiency. The solution has been tested by the Albergaria-a-Velha Volunteer Firefighters and a pilot with an American corporation is scheduled for 2018.

Rui Rosas, one of the founders, says that “inRes was an excellent opportunity to introduce our technology to the American market,” adding “if we had not participated in this accelerator, we would hardly be at the level of evolution we are in at the moment.”

Caterpillar Math, that is building digital games to help grow children’s mathematical skills, has been able to test its product with more than 100 American children, resulting in a letter of interest from a school, to continue testing games as they are being developed. At the end of the experience, the founder Rita Quintela believes that she has “now a more realistic script for the startup”.

Among the news involving the 2016 teams, the funding acquired by All in Surf and TWEvo stands out. After the inRes experience, All in Surf was contacted by ESA as revealed by Márcio Borgonovo-Santos, founder of the startup.”After this contact, we applied for Space Moves and qualified third in the contest. This enabled us to participate in the main accelerator for sport-related businesses in Berlin.” They were selected for the second phase, from a total of more than 400 teams. At the end of the second phase, 40 teams were chosen for investment and All in Surf was among those elected, initially earning €25,000 and then €50,000 euros from the European Space Agency. ”

TWEVO will also receive European community funding, having ranked fifth among more than 650 applications for the SME Instrument, the Horizon 2020 financial instrument, at the end of 2017. The funding will be directed towards market assessment and product feedback, on its acceptance and potential in Europe.
In a second phase, TWEVO will be able to re-apply the project to SME Instrument to obtain financing for product introduction in the market.

December 2017

Policy needed for additive manufacturing article – published in Nature Materials

EPP Dual Degree Student :: Jaime Bonnín Roca Policy needed for additive manufacturing article – published in Nature Materials
CMU Portugal Dual Degree PhD student Jaime Bonnín Roca co-authored the article published in the August issue of Nature Materials

/uploadedImages/people/students/Jaime bonnin.jpg The dual degree PhD student Jaime Bonnín Roca is co-author of the article “Policy needed for additive manufacturing”, published in the August 2016 issue of Nature Materials, as a result of his part A Qualifier Examination. The exam is part of the mandatory evaluation procedures of the Engineering and Public Policy (EPP) PhD which the student is attending at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and at Instituto Superior Técnico/Universidade de Lisboa (IST/UL). The student had also achieved the Best Part B Qualifier Examination, with a case-study in autonomous vehicles public policy analysis.

Jaime Bonnín Roca believes that the article was well received by the high impact factor journal because “many articles talk about additive manufacturing’s advantages and potential, but few about the limitations”. The author thinks that “it probably was a needed counterpoint, given the rising interest in the technology. Moreover, regulation of new technologies is always a controversial topic and we offer some constructive insights trying to balance the interests from both industry and regulators.”

Also asked about the secret for such a well succeeded examination, Jaime justifies the great results with calm and knowledge.

“The secret was keeping myself calm, and trusting the education I had received at Carnegie Mellon. Some of my (very bright) colleagues panicked and that obviously had a negative influence on their answers. Being in Portugal, away from Pittsburgh’s atmosphere where peer pressure iscontagious, probably helped.”

The article states that “the successful adoption of metallic additive manufacturing in aviation will require investment in basic scientific understanding of the process, defining of standards and adaptive regulation”.

About achieving the Best Part B Jaime Bonnín Roca says, “ It was fun, but I didn’t expect to win. Autonomous vehicles are all over the news but there are still challenges. I think my solution stands out in analysing social implications of technological change”.

The part B exam is an extended take-home examination on an applied problem in policy analysis.

As CMU clarifies, “the Qualifying Examinations are conducted once a year, in January”, and part B is always after part A. The exam “must be taken after students have been in the program for three semesters. The objective is to assess the student’s ability to do interdisciplinary research.”

“I was confident I would pass Part A. After three semesters, there should not be room for surprises regarding research. Part B is trickier because you never know what to expect, and you may simply have a bad week. However, it is also fairer because all the students have the same problem to solve”, explains Jaime Bonnín Roca.

Jaime Bonnín Roca works on the feasibility and impact of additive manufacturing in the aerospace industry and his provisional thesis title is “Challenges and Opportunities in the Introduction of Metal Additive Manufacturing”. His advisors are Joana Mendonça (IST/UL) and Granger Morgan, Erica Fuchs and Parth Vaishnav (CMU) and his expected conclusion date is Spring 2018.

The student is also linked to CMU Portugal Entrepreneurial Research Initiative E4Value. The main objective of this project is to understand how a country such as Portugal can be more effective and proactive on the aeronautics industry.

Jaime Bonnín Roca’s Nature Materials article may be accessed here.

More information available at:

E4VALUE: Innovation Dynamics in Aeronautics and Embraer in Évora

Technology and Policy in Aerospace

Related articles:

CMU: From Pittsburgh to the Silicon Valley Campus

CMU Portugal PhD Student Publishes Paper on 3D Printing on Nature Materials

September 2016

Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program welcomes students to the new academic year with the 2017 Orientation Day


The CMU Portugal Program held its annual Orientation Day event on September 30, to welcome the new students and to allow the community to share experiences and network, while having fun. Almost 20 guests participated in the day-long activities that began close to the Douro river, included a tram car and a 5D Movie experiences and ended at INESC TEC.

The day started, as is the format of the Orientation Day, with a recreational activity, that this year took place at the Museu do Carro Eléctrico, a museum dedicated to Porto’s public electric trams, detailing their history and evolution to the present day. It started with an introduction to the participants, followed by a visit with a knowledgeable museum’s tour guide that ended with a tram ride along the scenic river-side.

Yet another activity was planned, one to give students the “birds’ eye view” of the city: a 5D movie experience, featuring a sightseeing tour of Porto from a bird’s perspective, with dynamic motion seats and sensations like water spray, wind and aromas, accompanying a 10-minute 3D film.

OD2017_museum OD2017_tram_students
OD2017_tram_inside OD2017_Alfandega

The day continued at INESC TEC, located in the campus of the Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto (FEUP), where lunch was served in a casual buffet-style, so that all could network before the afternoon sessions.

Starting the second part of the day, a brief welcoming session by Professor João Claro and Sara Brandão took place with an overview of its history and its instruments, and ended with a presentation on student matters, dedicated to the new members of the community. The session also had a brief introduction of Professor Rodrigo Rodrigues, from Instituto Superior Técnico, as one of those responsible for the Program’s next phase.

To address the experience of the dual degree doctoral students, a panel of two current Ph. D. students, Luís Pinto (ECE) and Manuel Loureiro (EPP), and alumna Carla Costa (TCE) held an interactive session with all participants. They shared their dual program experiences, to give the new students an idea of what a doctoral degree spanning two continents can be like. First, Luís and Manuel talked about their experience so far, and Carla talked about the memories of her doctorate, from a personal point of view. Then, they opened the floor to questions from the audience, where the group talked about their concerns and challenges, in what was an opportunity for sharing and connecting over a common journey.

The last session of the day focused on the Alumni Chapter of the Ph. D. students and the Master students’ programs and was presented by their representatives, Ricardo Marques and Miguel Duarte, respectively. They shared the stories of the communities, groups that offer support in many ways to students and graduates, and keeps the bond among all that have participated in the educational programs.

The achieved goal of the event was to give the opportunity to the students to learn more about the partnership, its education programs, and also about the Alumni Chapter.

The orientation day event has become a tradition of the CMU Portugal Program, perhaps the most informal of the Program’s event calendar but also one of the most valued. The balance of the day with, on one hand, experiencing the recreational activities and sharing moments and on the other hand, being briefed on the program in a light way and in a relaxed environment, is appreciated by all involved.

This day is often the kick-off of activities for dual degree Ph.D. students, that typically spend two years in CMU and three years in Portugal, during their doctorate. This a demanding time for students, with a tight academic schedule and many professional challenges, designed to stimulate growth in all areas. With this welcome, the leadership and staff try to adjust expectations and direct students to the Program’s assets in supporting them in this phase, such as the alumni, both directly and through their chapters.

OD2017_JC OD2017_Alumni_chapter

October 2017