After less than a year, Técnico hosted the IBM Scientific Award ceremony this Tuesday, December 17th. Afonso Teodoro, Técnico alumnus (Electrical and Computer Engineering), was the winner of this year’s edition, and Manuel Carneiro received an honourable mention. Family, friends and professors attended this ceremony held at Alameda Campus.
“It is with great pleasure that we host again the IBM Scientif Award ceremony”, said the President of Técnico, professor Arlindo Oliveira, who also highlighted that IBM had already delivered 29 scientific awards, of which 15 recognised research works carried out at Técnico. “We are very proud. This is the result of the effort we have been making and it shows the high quality of our students”, he added.
The President of IBM Portugal, António Raposo de Lima, congratulated the President of Técnico “for his leadership and for promoting such a good academic atmosphere that encourages these brilliant minds”, and highlighted “this award is unique in our company, namely in Europe and in the rest of the world”. “The award winners have been and will be the future leaders of our country, business and society. This award recognises the leaders of the future”. The president of IBM Portugal praised the talent and the joviality of the winners. After a brief presentation of the work developed by IBM Research and its strategic areas, António Raposo de Lima pointed out “Portugal has unique conditions to be at the forefront of innovation and technological transformation”.
“We have had the privilege and the honour of choosing very good research works”
Professor Carlos Salema, president of the Jury, recalled the prestige of IBM Scientific Award: “We have had the privilege and the honour of choosing very good research works. And we are convinced of this when we look at the academic journey and career of the award winners”. “There are not many scientific awards in our country. This award stands out because it recognises the best scientific projects”, said professor Carlos Salema.
Manuel Carneiro, winner of the honourable mention, presented his work: a wearable, low cost and reusable electronic device which allows performing electroencephalograms in a much more comfortable way and during longer periods than the currently used technology. “Extremely comfortable, more aesthetic, it can be used daily, it is reusable and washable”, were some of the product characteristics highlighted by the student of University of Coimbra. “It’s a very reliable and low cost method that allows us to create EGG bands according to the needs of each patient”, he said. “This award will certainly have a significant impact on my future career”.
Afonso Teodoro talked about some applications of his work and the motivation that guided him during his research work. “Everyone knows that much of the information that comes to us is visual, however, most of the images don’t have the best quality”. In order to improve these low quality images, the award winner developed a technique “that will inverse imaging problems”.
“A possible application of this methodology is the reconstruction of magnetic resonance imaging, allowing to obtain the desired information through a small number of samples. This methodology is capable of dealing with several distinct problems, it takes advantage of probabilistic models through the image itself or through images of the same class”, said Afonso Teodoro.
“We know that with a great award, such as this one, comes great responsibility, and we know that when we look at the academic and professional journey of the winners”, said the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, who also referred to the current situation in terms of Science and Technology in Portugal, recalled the progress achieved in this area and the enormous ambition to continue to grow. “These awards are also important because they identify potential ideas and people without whom it would not be possible to progress”, he stressed. The Minister also recalled the need to create new qualified jobs in Portugal and that “it must be a collective effort involving public and private institutions”. “Manuel’s research work shows that science heals and Afonso’s research work shows that knowledge has no limits”. Professor Manuel Heitor praised Técnico “for its scientific and technical capacity that we all recognise, at national and European level, which is a contributory factor to a high number of IBM Scientific award winners come from Técnico”.