Campus and Community

CERENA’s PhD students and Técnico alumni awarded at International Forum

CERENA‘s PhD students and researchers Ana Sousa and João Neves, and former MSc students Ana Filipa Duarte and André Pinto were considered best speakers on their breakout sessions at the 16th International Forum-Contest of Students and Young Researchers “Topical Issues of Rational Use of Natural Resources”.

The event took place from 17 to 19 of June and was organised by the St. Petersburg University and the International Competence Centre for Mining-Engineering Education under the auspices of UNESCO. The event brought together more than 1000 participants. The winners were awarded at the closing ceremony held on 23rd June.

André Pinto presented the work “New approaches to resolving oil & gas sector-specific issues”. “This study comprises the extensive investigation of two samples of limestone in terms of porosity and permeability, which is very important for energy and natural resources companies. The work presents an effective way of combining two methods of analysis, with different scales for a precise rock mass characterization”, he says.

According to André Pinto, “this experience is valuable for all speakers and audiences. It is possible to share the ongoing research activities at several universities worldwide”. According to the alumnus the interaction with researchers is extremely enriching and important and it is one of the main advantages of participating in these events.

Filipa Duarte was invited to compete with her master’s thesis project in the panel of “Geological Mapping, Exploration, and Prospecting of Mineral Resources. “My project consists of analysing the impact of the early cretaceous igneous intrusion in the Falkland Plateau Basin”, shares the alumna. “The skills I developed throughout my academic career at Técnico were essential and prepared me for moments like this”, she adds.

Filipa Duarte is fascinated by Geosciences and she intends to continue exploring this area throughout her career. “This is a topic that has been highlighted very considerably in public debate. It will play a very important role for the energy transition, namely find new resources, not only energy or minerals, but also water”, she stresses.

“Presentations were very good, and the Q&A focused on all topics presented. This is an event worth watching even if you are not going to give a presentation”, says João Neves. The student is finishing his PhD and his presentation focused on the work he is carrying out. “This work is being developed in cooperation with the largest mining company operating in Portugal (Somincor), at Neves-Corvo Mine, which is one of the largest and most modern underground mines in Europe”, he says. “I presented a new methodology for calculating resources and reserves and their integration in the mining planning routines, which allows taking into account multiple factors of uncertainty”, shares the PhD student.

“The short format of presentations makes us think very carefully about the information we want to pass and the way of passing it, which challenges us to find more intelligent and dynamic ways of communicating”, he says. According to João Neves, “it was very rewarding to have the opportunity to answer very interesting questions posed by the panel”.

“This international forum is sponsored by UNESCO and involves speakers, moderators and members of the jury from 50 countries and 180 universities, which allows very constructive discussions on the issues related to the rational use of natural resources”, says Ana Sousa, who has been awarded several times.

According to the PhD student, “It was very good to have had the possibility of presenting my work and to disseminate the work developed at Técnico. I am also very pleased to have had the opportunity to debate pressing issues with international experts in this area”. “Being recognised at this event motivates me to continue pursuing my research”, she adds.