The 7th edition of MecanIST – Mechanical Engineering Seminar Series – started this Monday, March 12. The event is organised by Fórum Mecânica and has been attracting hundreds of students from Técnico and abroad. The organising team is composed of more than 60 students who wear multi coloured sweaters. Each colour has a meaning: yellow symbolises energy, green represents production, blue means systems and pink means multidisciplinarity.
“Today we have brilliant speakers”, says one of the boys in a green sweater. “Companies showcase their products, offer ice creams and other product samples to visitors. It is also an opportunity to find an internship and possibly a job”. According to Filipa Pinto, vice-coordinator of the event, “we approach people and show them all that we have prepared, that’s our strategy, that’s how we have been captivating them”.
“This year we also tried to innovate the concept of the fair and the way that companies showcase their products”, stressed João Araújo, president of Fórum Mecânica. “Several companies will attend MecanIST until Wednesday. Some of the startups that are part of IST Spin-off community will also participate in the event, as well as the projects developed by Técnico student groups”, explains the president of Fórum Mecânica.
The boy in a green sweater continues to say “besides the lectures we will have round tables where you can talk with the guest speakers”. Other surprising activities will take place, such as a McLaren test drive.
A panel dedicated to Women in Tech was held on Tuesday morning, March 13. The student Joana Antunes moderated a debate between Anabela Peixoto, Head of Insulating Materials Department at EDP Labelec and Sandra Augusto, Head of the Logistic Department at Autoeuropa Automóveis. Also Paula Panarra, General Manager of Microsoft Portugal, shared her career paths, her stories and the motivations that guided her choices. “I chose chemical engineering because I wanted a comprehensive course that allowed me to choose exactly what I wanted to do”, she stressed. “During an event like this one, I was challenged to work at Procter&Gamble and I accepted. I kept my PhD scholarship on hold and I decided to take the risk”, she said. After 15 years at Procter&Gamble she decided to take the risk once again and started to work at Microsoft. “I am passionate about my job and about Microsoft’s motto”, says the Técnico alumna.
Paula Panarra also spoke about the importance of Técnico in her life, stressing that “the most important thing is to wake up every day knowing that we love what we do”.
Paulo Vidal, a Técnico alumnus and Vehicle Safety Manager at McLaren, and J. N. Reddy, professor of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University and one of the most renowned researchers in the area of Applied Mechanics, also delivered a lecture. “We are very proud of having professor J.N. Reddy at MecanIST. We know that we will have a lot of students and professors in the audience”, foresaw João Araújo.
According to the organising team about 800 people attend MecanIST every day. This number may increase on Thursday and Friday since the event will focus on entrepreneurship.