Fábio Coelho (HASLab), Tatiana Pinho (CRIIIS), Hélder Oliveira (CTM) and David Rua (CPES)

Fábio Coelho (HASLab)

“The HASLab coordinators would like to nominate the researcher Fábio Coelho for his dedication and professionalism, towards raising funds for the Centre, and the production of science. This year alone, Fábio was involved in two European projects that got accepted: ENERSHARE and BeFlex, both in partnership with CPES. These projects stem from the collaboration between these communities, led by the researcher. In addition to said projects, Fábio is remarkably dedicated to managing the projects he leads at HASLab, as well as to the scientific production of papers in the field. Fábio deserves this acknowledgment for his commitment and thoroughness, which he demonstrates, quite exemplary, in his activities. These projects are just examples of the recognition he deserves for the value he adds to the Centre’s activities”.

– HASLab coordinators

How do you describe your professional path at INESC TEC?

I joined INESC TEC in 2014, the year I started writing my master’s thesis. Since then, my career at INESC TEC has allowed me to improve professionally, to complete a master’s and a PhD, and to face several types of challenges: science-related, participation in large projects, and dealing with different teams and people.

You’re the HASLab researcher responsible for the strong collaboration with the Centre for Power and Energy Systems (CPES). What value do you bring to this collaboration between HASLab and CPES?

The partnership between HASLab and CPES is not recent, but it’s been improving both by the joint involvement in projects and by the number of projects in which the Centres collaborate. In my opinion, this collaboration is natural and quite relevant. The competences in terms of cloud systems, data management, and interoperability, among others, are intrinsic and crucial to the digitalisation of the electricity sector, in which we’re collaborating – more recently focusing on the interoperability dimension, within the scope of the H2020 project InterConnect, led by INESC TEC.

Two new European projects – ENERSHARE and BeFlex – have recently been approved because of this collaboration. What are the expectations regarding said projects?

These projects will consolidate the previous work developed by both centres; BeFlex, developed within the scope of the H2020 project InteGrid, will take the Grid and Market Hub platform to a high TRL level, favouring its interoperability component and enabling the creation of an integrated value-chain, towards creating new services to all energy stakeholders. Enershare will make it possible to enter the field of Data Spaces and the European Commission’s initiative GAIA-X, thus allowing HASLab to consolidate this position in data management with a cross-sector vision.

Which aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?

In recent times, the possibility to apply the “natural” development of high-assurance software in real scenarios, namely the demonstrations of the projects we develop in partnership with CPES. This gives a sense of real impact of the science-based work we carry out.

How do you comment on this nomination?

The investment in these proposals has been demanding, but it’s been rewarded with the approval of the projects. This nomination acknowledges said efforts and is also a positive recognition of the work developed thus far.

Tatiana Pinho (CRIIS)

“Tatiana Pinho joined the CRIIS Agro team in 2021, where she has participated very actively in the elaboration of proposals while supporting the management of ongoing projects. Tatiana has demonstrated significant ability, proactivity, autonomy, and assertiveness, as well as excellent communication skills, thus contributing to improve the Agro dimension at CRIIS”.

– CRIIS coordinators

What are the main results of the projects/initiative in which you’re involved?

As part of the CRIIS Agro team, I can work on very interesting and diverse projects. It’s worth highlighting SCORPION, a European project coordinated by INESC TEC (Filipe Santos), whose main objective is the development of efficient robotic solutions for precision spraying – focusing on steep slope vineyards. The results of this project could have an impact on other permanent crops, like olive groves or fruit farming. At the national level, we also have several relevant projects ranging from the development of robotic platforms for protected crops (ROBOCARE), integration of intelligent traps for the prevention of pests and diseases in olive groves (InOlive), identification of vine varieties through leaves’ analysis (INCAFO), development of smart precision spraying solutions (SPIN), and application of robotic solutions in the drying of sewage sludge (SMARTDRYING), among others.

Which aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?

I believe that one of the (many) positive points of this work is the contact with different teams, encompassing not only diverse scientific areas, but also geographical regions and cultures, which allows us to develop solutions that reconcile experience and knowledge and address many interesting challenges.

How do you comment on this nomination?

It was certainly a great surprise, and I would like to thank the coordinators of CRIIS for these rewarding and motivating words. However, I believe that I should share this nomination, and emphasise the excellence of the entire INESC TEC team, in particular CRIIS, with whom I have the opportunity to work, and which contributes to the success of the proposals and projects.

Hélder Oliveira (CTM)

“The CTM coordinators would like to nominate the researcher Hélder Oliveira for the coordination and exceptional results of the FCT LuCaS project. The remarkable amount of scientific publications (13 in high impact factor journals and 11 at top international conferences), as well as the number of news published in the media and the selection of the project for the official newsletter of COMPETE 2020, demonstrate the great scientific and media impact of the project. The excellence of Hélder’s leadership was crucial to these results; he’s also capable of combining these efforts with the execution of other projects, the publication of a very relevant number of scientific works, the submission of several project proposals (national and European) and the promotion of the Visual Computing and Machine Intelligence dimension of CTM, with equally remarkable results. With this nomination, we also hope to motivate other researchers to achieve the same level of excellence”.

– CTM coordinators

The nomination stems from the coordination of the LuCaS project. What were the main challenges during the execution of this project?

For a multidisciplinary project such as LuCaS, which involved, besides INESC TEC, IPATIMUP and the Hospital São João, one of the great challenges was creating the conditions to fulfil the objectives outlined, considering the different backgrounds and diverse ways of working of the three teams, while combining efforts between them.

How do you describe the feeling of being able to coordinate a project whose results will have a significant impact on society, by facilitating the diagnosis of lung cancer?

I am an engineer by passion, but since my PhD I have decided to carry out research in computer vision and machine learning applied to the medical field, towards helping patients and medical staff through the research in which I am involved. The opportunity to lead the LuCaS project was quite rewarding and beneficial, meeting my goals as a researcher.

You published 13 papers in journals and 11 at top international conferences. How important is it to share the knowledge generated through the development of projects like LuCaS with the scientific community? Can the work developed by INESC TEC lead to/inspire other projects/initiatives?

In my opinion, carrying out research without publishing it and sharing knowledge with our peers makes no sense. It is crucial to share knowledge, so that the scientific community can meet its objectives more quickly. Much of what we do in research, particularly in the medical field, is for the benefit of society, and this is the only way to to positively target patients and healthcare staff.

Which aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?

The opportunity to carry out research with the potential to help society.

How do you comment on this nomination?

First, I’d like to thank the nomination and the words by the CTM coordinators. I do not carry out my research activities in search of any recognition; I do so for my own personal enjoyment, but it is always gratifying to see that my work is acknowledged. Secondly, I’d like to say that, as a coordinator, I am only the “face” of a diverse team of researchers who contributed to the success of the LuCaS project. There were several elements that contributed to successfully meet the goals of the LuCaS project, not only at INESC TEC, but also at IPATIMUP and Hospital São João. Moreover, I would like to emphasize the efforts by Tânia Pereira, who has always been my right hand in this project, with particular focus on the scientific component.

David Rua (CPES)

“The CPES coordinators would like to nominate David Rua, for his exceptional performance within the scope of the Interconnect project. In addition to key technical and scientific contributions and his dedication and competence while managing the project, David played a crucial role overseeing the project at the European Commission level, leading a team that had to take on the responsibility of other partners, in order to advance the project. David carried out this work while contributing to other proposals and carrying out other tasks part of ongoing projects, showing significant effort. This acknowledgment – entirely deserved – is a way to thank all his dedication to the Centre”. *

– CPES coordinators

Interconnect is the largest European project led by a Portuguese institution, and it focuses on the digitalisation of the European energy system. How does it feel to work on the development of solutions for the buildings and energy systems of the future?

There are constant challenges, which in the case of InterConnect require the dedication of a large team at INESC TEC, which deals with different technical and procedural aspects that include the definition of functional and technical requirements, the development of innovative solutions in the fields of energy and ICT, the testing and validation of state-of-the-art technologies, and the integration in real pilots, as well as the human, technical and financial management of an ecosystem with more than 60 entities and more than 300 professionals. What we’ve been developing is now being translated into the practical dimension of the project, in a set of pilots that involve the demonstration of interoperable services and solutions for the management of energy flexibility in buildings and smart grids.

One of the differentiating aspects of the project is the interoperability. What are the main challenges in the development of solutions that allow the connection between devices and systems?

There are multiple challenges, essentially associated to multiple domains – energy, ICT, buildings, power grids, etc.- the strategies to be employed for the ontological representation of different technologies and services, the adoption of semantic adaptation strategies, etc., which allow manufacturers, integrators, operators, and service providers to offer solutions capable of operating in an interoperability scheme. The major contribution of the project is the “Semantic Interoperability Framework”; it encompasses the ontological approach to different components of the energy and buildings systems, providing a set of tools that allow the project’s business partners – and soon, those who participate in the Open Calls – to develop semantic adapters to make their solutions interoperable. This basis enables the end-users’ access to a marketplace of innovative technologies and services (monitoring, automation, forecasting, optimisation, etc.), which can be combined, allowing them to explore different approaches to exploiting flexibility in energy consumption, while fostering their involvement and participation.

Which aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?

The part that thrills me the most is being able to benefit from a constant learning process, stemming from the interaction with fellow partners, from a scientific, technical or even procedural point of view. All this allows me to be part of a dynamic and challenging environment that constantly tests my creativity and professional resilience.

How do you comment on this nomination?

I am grateful for the implicit recognition that goes with it – which I obviously extend to the whole team that I work with daily. This team involves not only members of CPES, but also people from other centres, like HASLab and CTM, the services (Management Control, Legal Support and Technology Licensing Office) and the Board of Directors. They’re all key elements that support and contribute to managing a project this large, and to overcome the different daily challenges. The competencies, dedication, solidarity, and unity of the entire team has made it possible to overcome the different barriers and successfully achieve the proposed objectives. It’s a privilege to be able to work like this.

* this nomination pertains to March, before David Rua was invited to join CPES Coordination

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