INESC TEC opens the door to the world and provides internships to foreign researchers

They come from Brazil, Argentina, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Italy for a three-month exchange; during this period, they will be able to work with INESC TEC researchers and explore topics related to their research areas: Energy, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Quantum Computing, among others. The participants of the first edition of INESC TEC Visiting International Research Programme have already landed in Portugal.

Itzel Castro, Thayane Skorupa, Walter Mendonça, Andrea D’Urbano, Beatriz Buss and Ayres Nishio were the first researchers to arrive at INESC TEC under the initiative promoted by the Institute. They come from different countries and develop research in various areas, but they share the expectation of meeting researchers at INESC TEC, thus improving relationships and exchanging knowledge. They also highlight the possibility of getting to know a new culture.

Itzel Castro, a PhD student at the University of Nottingham (UK), joined INESC TEC’s Centre for Telecommunications and Multimedia (CTM), under the supervision of researchers Tânia Pereira and Hélder Oliveira. With a research project aimed at developing ambulatory medical devices based on fibre optics for measuring physiological parameters and implementing artificial intelligence algorithms for processing data related to vital signs, the researcher believes that this opportunity will contribute to his PhD work and favour international partnerships between INESC TEC and the Optics and Photonics Research Group at the University of Nottingham.

The Centre for Power and Energy Systems (CPES) hosts three researchers: Thayane Skorupa, Beatriz Buss and Ayres Nishio. Thayane Skorupa is a PhD student in Electrical Engineering at the Federal University of Santa Catarina, (Brazil), currently developing research in management and planning of transmission systems, within the scope of energy transition processes. Under the supervision of researcher Leonel de Magalhães Carvalho, the researcher hopes to explore the opportunity to participate in an “immersive experience within the INESC TEC ecosystem”, exploring and developing collaborations in the institution’s fields of knowledge.

Also supervised by Leonel de Magalhães Carvalho, Beatriz Buss is a master’s student in Electrical Engineering at the Federal University of Santa Catarina; her research work focuses on optimisation – using the cross-entropy method – and reliability analysis of distribution systems. She perceives this initiative as “an important opportunity to exchange knowledge”, in addition to the possibility of knowing a different culture, which will be of greater relevance to her personal development.

Ayres Nishio develops his research work at the Computing Institute of the Fluminense Federal University, while working as a grant holder at Eletrobrás – Center for Energy Research (Brazil). His research work aims at the development of computational tools for the analysis of power systems; under the supervision of researchers João Correia Pereira and Eric Zanghi, he hopes to explore more opportunities for collaboration and joint research.

From Energy to Computer Science: INESC TEC’s High-Assurance Software Laboratory (HASLab) – located in Braga, at the Campus of the University of Minho – welcomed Walter Mendonça and Andrea D’Urbano. Walter Mendonça is a PhD student in Computer Science at the University of Brasília, and he’s currently exploring different areas like Software Engineering, Code Comprehension, Software Evolution and Program Transformation. Under the supervision of researcher João Saraiva, he hopes to produce relevant scientific results, learn, and exchange knowledge with the INESC TEC team. Andrea D’Urbano, supervised by researcher Luís Soares Barbosa, develops research in quantum computing and is currently a PhD student at the University of Salento, in Italy. He claimed to be “looking forward” to the experience, since he’s sure to find “an international and inspiring environment”.


First edition with all positions filled

Over the next few months, the remaining researchers selected to participate in INESC TEC Visiting International Research Programme will arrive at the Institute: Guilherme Defalque, Laércio Junior, Olga Lavrova and Gerardo Acosta; their internships will end in July this year. Launched in 2022, this initiative proved to be a success, as all available positions were filled.

“Most of the applications we received met not only the eligibility requirements, but also the institution’s criteria of demand and excellence, so the selection of candidates for the 10 positions available was quite fast”, explained Andreia Passos, manager of INESC TEC International Relations Service (SRI). “During the first edition, five INESC TEC Centres will provide scientific supervision to monitor the work plans of visiting researchers in many areas: Energy, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Computing, Marine Robotics or the Agricultural solutions”, she added.

As Andreia Passos explained, these internships allow the establishment of relationships between researchers and institutions. “We hope that they can leverage collaboration opportunities at the highest level, namely institutional”, she concluded.

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