Eduardo Nuno Almeida and André Coelho (CTM), Paula Rodrigues (HASLab), Eduardo Campos (C-BER) and Paula Castro (CPES)

Eduardo Nuno Almeida and André Coelho (CTM)

“The CTM coordinators would like to nominate researchers Eduardo Nuno Almeida and André Coelho. This nomination stems from the exemplary work developed by Eduardo Nuno and André in the European ResponDrone project, particularly in the development of aerial network management software, hardware selection and integration, field test planning and preparation of the final demonstration of the communications solution. The level of excellence of their work, also acknowledged by the project partners and evaluators, translated into a decisive contribution to the success of the final demonstration of the project. This fact reaffirms INESC TEC’s position as a relevant international partner in aerial wireless communications networks, defined as strategic for CTM since 2011 – which will allow the strengthening and establishment of new relevant international partnerships”.

– CTM coordinators

This nomination is associated with the work developed within the scope of the ResponDrone project. What were the main challenges during the execution of this project?

The European ResponDrone project consists of a large consortium involving different countries. Since the project took place during the COVID-19 pandemic, the restrictions imposed by the various countries prevented the development and integration of the experimental components of each partner into the ResponDrone platform, as well as the preparation and execution of the final demonstration of the project. In addition, the limited availability of electronic components on the market, aggravated since 2020, required a particularly timely and thorough development, in order to minimise the margin of error, prevent unforeseen events and ensure compliance with project deadlines and requirements.

How do you assess the impact of the project’s results? And what is the main innovative factor of the activities developed?

The ResponDrone project developed a platform for rescue teams, based on unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), which makes it possible to speed up the assessment of the operational situation in disaster scenarios, reduce the complexity of information sharing between rescue teams and command centres, and support decision-making and management of emergency operations, based on data collected in real time and represented intuitively on a platform accessible through the Internet.

INESC TEC was responsible for the development of ResponDrone’s communications solution, which allows the establishment, re-establishment, and reinforcement of broadband wireless network coverage, taking advantage of Wi-Fi and 4G communications nodes carried on board the drones. The drones are positioned and configured according to the requirements of the rescue teams on the field, in order to maximise network performance. This private aerial wireless network ensures the operation of the ResponDrone platform, autonomously and independently, regardless of the conditions of field communications infrastructures, which are likely to collapse and provide insufficient performance, as well as of physical obstacles like hills, valleys and buildings. In addition to the rescue teams, the victims will also be able to benefit from this network to call for help or assistance during rescue operations. 

Which aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?

As researchers and PhD students in telecommunications, we are particularly motivated to be able to contribute, through the solutions we’ve developed, to improving the quality of the experience of the users of communications networks and services, with realistic and relevant applications for society. Moreover, the possibility of developing experimental prototypes of the solutions designed and integrating them with other solutions existing in the market, or developed by partners, allows us to materialise the vision idealised during our PhD, while improving our skills in these technological areas.

How do you comment on this nomination?

We would like to thank the CTM coordinators for this acknowledgment and share it with the INESC TEC team that participated in the ResponDrone project, namely Hélder Fontes, José Ruela, Manuel Ricardo and Rui Campos. The commitment and contribution of each team member was decisive in meeting the objectives set for the project.

Paula Rodrigues (HASLab)

“This month, we would like to nominate Paula Rodrigues. Paula has been consolidating the dissemination and presence of HASLab, both among the INESC TEC community and other communities in which we are involved, ensuring the dissemination of our activities. Paula’s communication skills, team spirit, dedication, kindness, and availability are crucial to HASLab’s cohesion, and they go beyond the communication activities assigned to her. Her attention to every detail usually earns high praise, as the recent MUG organisation and the RISC2 review prove. It seems to me that these are enough reasons to support Paula’s nomination as ‘Incredible’.”

– HASLab coordinators

You were involved in the organisation of the MUG 2022 event, which brought together dozens of participants involved in the HPC area. What were the main challenges throughout the organisation of the event?

The 2022 edition of the MUG, which took place on July 7 and 8, in Porto, was truly a challenge. In 2021, the MUG edition targeted mainly MACC users, and favoured a much more technical approach on several HPC-related topics. This edition, on the other hand, was designed with a different approach from the outset, towards favouring a direct contact between users and potential users of MACC, while promoting networking between different stakeholders within the HPC community in Portugal and Europe.

As a result, the definition of the agenda and speakers was one of the most difficult phases, as it depended on many factors out of our control. Still, the fact that this approach was successful, allowing us to meet the goals of the event, feels super good.

This nomination also stems from the review of the RISC2 project, in which INESC TEC leads the communication and dissemination activities. Can you tell us a little bit more about the project and the type of work you do?

The European RISC2 project is one of HASLab projects in which I am responsible for the communication and dissemination of R&D results; however, it is the first project of the Coordination and Support Action typology in which I collaborate and lead communication activities. RISC2 is a project that essentially aims to promote international cooperation in HPC between academia and industry, in Europe and Latin America.

As a project with a different objective from the previous ones, the communication and dissemination activities also require following different paths. Therefore, knowing that the evaluation of the European Commission’s experts – which took place on July 11 – was very positive, is quite important. Above all, it means that the project communication actions are having the expected impact.

Regarding the work I develop in terms of results communication and dissemination, we had the possibility to explore various communication tools, namely, planning and executing communication actions framed in digital marketing, advertising, public relations, and direct marketing.

Which aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?

The absence of routines. The different communication tools and actions help make each day different from the previous one. I think this is the aspect I appreciate the most.

How do you comment on this nomination?

I’m very proud, with a deep sense of “mission accomplished”. However, none of this would have been possible without the collaboration and support of several teams. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues from HASLab, Mafalda Souto, Fábia Pereira, and Catarina Fernandes, as well as the teams from the Communication Service and UT Austin Portugal. It was a true team effort! I’d also like to thank the entire MACC team (without them, it would have been impossible to carry out this event) and the HASLab coordinators for the nomination.

Eduardo Campos (C-BER)

“While working on his master’s thesis, Eduardo showed exceptional dedication and development capacity, as well a great ability to communicate his progress among the different partners with whom we are working. His work is part of the improvement of a web&mobile system for our InSignals Neurotech start-up, in partnership with the Centro Hospitalar Universitário de São João, in the field of Parkinson’s disease monitoring. His work contributed to the advancement of decision-support systems and clinical follow-up, as well as to a better positioning of C-BER at the forefront of these technologies, in partnership with said start-up. This nomination is well deserved, due to his effort and dedication; and it seems that Eduardo will keep working at INESC TEC, with a strong connection to InSignals Neurotech, in order to develop new features and support the multicentre clinical tests that the company will carry out”.

– C-BER coordinators

The research work you’ve been developing focuses on the improvement of a system for monitoring patients with Parkinson’s disease. What are the most challenging aspects of your work?

Since my background is Software Engineering, my biggest challenge in this process was the clinical dimension. During the development process, I had to adapt and familiarise myself with various concepts, methodologies, and the technical jargon of this area. Challenging? Absolutely; but it was also an amazing learning opportunity that provided me insight into a world I would otherwise never know.

The results of this study will contribute to the advancement of decision-support systems and clinical follow-up of this disease. How does it feel to know that the work you do has an impact on people’s lives – especially people suffering from a neurodegenerative disease?

It feels amazing. In fact, that’s the whole reason I wanted to become an engineer in the first place. The idea of solving real problems, helping people, and improving their lives with technology has always motivated throughout my academic career, and as a researcher. I feel a deep sense of gratefulness and fulfilment knowing that my work contributes to this. 

Which aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?

The answer is always the same: the act of creating. Creating something new out of nothing. Transforming an idea that’s inside my mind into something real, tangible, and useful – which could potentially improve and facilitate people’s daily lives. It’s a very exciting and rewarding feeling.

How do you comment on this nomination?

I am, of course, very grateful. C-BER has always provided me with all the help and support I needed; I’ve always felt that my work and efforts were valued and acknowledged by everyone. This nomination confirms this, and I am, as I said, very grateful. Moreover, it’s something that encourages me to keep working, because there’s clearly more room to improve the system we’ve been developing. And this is a great incentive.

Paula Castro (CPES)

“After the pandemic and the kick-off phase, the INESC Brussels Hub organised the first week of events in June, which the team expects to organise each year. It included an ambitious agenda, with various events that brought together several speakers and participants in Brussels (plus many others who attended online); they took place during a period characterised by uncertainty, with a small team, which required the support of several INESC hubs to ensure the resources necessary to the organisation of said events. After INESC TEC’s request to strengthen the local organising committee, Paula Casto accepted the challenge and travelled to Brussels, where she stayed for two weeks. Her availability, dedication and professionalims were truly INCREDIBLE and crucial to the sucess of the events.”

– CPES coordinators

The BIP team would like to congratulate Paula Castro for her nomination as “Incredible”!

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