Campus and Community

Graduation Day: “Thank you Técnico for showing us that we can make a difference”

These are the words of Francisca Simões, one of the graduate students who received a diploma this Saturday, March 5.

The 13th Graduation Day took place this Saturday, March 5, at Universidade de Lisboa (ULisboa), Aula Magna. The solemn ceremony brought together 259 MSc graduates, 15 PhD graduates, their families and friends.

The ceremony was attended by the Vice-rector of ULisboa, professor Luís Castro, the President of Técnico, professor Rogério Colaço, the President of the Scientific Council, professor Rodrigo Miragaia Rodrigues, the President of the Pedagogical Council, professor Teresa Peña, the Vice president for Academic Affairs, professor Alexandre Francisco, Course Coordinators and Heads of Departments.

“Finally, it seems that our day has come”, said engineer Francisca Simões, Mechanical Engineering alumna and project manager at InovLabs Portugal. “There is a before and an after for each of us because the years we spent at Técnico were full of learning, discovery and, without a doubt, of human, civic and intellectual training”. “There is a before and after for Técnico itself because the school is not the same as that of a few years ago, when we enrolled. It’s a more vibrant and innovative school,” she added.

“Even though it is difficult to foresee the role that each of us will play in the future, we must not resign ourselves”. “We must question the observed reality and Técnico taught us to do that, because most of the time there are no right answers, but right questions”, she stressed.

I sincerely hope that we will meet again in the future”. “Thank you Técnico for showing us that we can make a difference. In my case, for inspiring me to dedicate myself to the cause of education and teaching, reinforcing my belief that together, with Science and Technology, we can build a developed, fairer and more equitable society”.

Engineer Fábio Cruz, PhD graduate in Engineering Physics and researcher at Inductiva Research Labs, shared with the audience what it means “to be a PhD student at Técnico”. “It means doing research in some of the most difficult and challenging fields of Science and Technology, in topics as fascinating as quantum computing, artificial intelligence or the design of the next generation of materials”, he said. “To answer these very ambitious questions, we must first learn about our area of study and then do some research. At Técnico, we have the privilege of being able to learn and work with professors and research teams that compete with the best teams in the world”, he highlighted.

Fábio Cruz recalled that Técnico PhD students have the opportunity to collaborate “with colleagues from other universities or national/international companies. The skills we develop at Técnico are at the same level as those of students from prestigious universities. The active role of PhD students in teaching, their increasing involvement in student groups, and in other academic and sporting activities were also highlighted by Fábio Cruz. “I am very proud to be part of such a resilient community”.

Isabel Vaz: “Congratulations on this special day, but tomorrow it’s time to decide how you will start serving humanity and make magic”

“I always wanted to be an engineer”, said engineer Isabel Vaz, Técnico alumna and President of the Executive Committee of the Luz Saúde Group, who also shared the different stages of her career development and how she applied the knowledge acquired at Técnico in her career at Luz Saúde Group. “You will see throughout your lives that the years spent at Técnico were worth it and that what you learnt here will make a difference in your lives”.

According to Isabel Vaz “we have to work hard and do our best because we have the obligation to reach our full potential”. “Congratulations on this special day, but tomorrow it’s time to decide how you will start serving humanity and make magic. Dear new colleagues, it is essential that you really know what are your career goals. Liking your job will help you succeed. And if you still don’t know or haven’t found it yet, please keep looking”, she said.

“Portugal needs people capable of facing dogmas, living new ideas, but also combining the known elements in a different way, inspired by a new reality, people capable of proposing a vision and turn that vision into action”, said the alumna. “Through an extraordinary combination of talent, solid academic foundations and resilience, I firmly believe that Técnico engineers are well prepared and positioned to influence in their areas of knowledge and to become the leaders of a brave new world. It depends on each of us the decision of how we are going to use that power and influence”, she stressed.

Professor Rogério Colaço: “Técnico has always been your home and it always will be”

The President of Técnico called on those present to observe a moment of silence for all victims in Ukraine. “I am very happy to see this room full of students who graduated, accompanied by their professors and families”, said professor Rogério Colaço.

“This is the beginning of a new path, in which you have different tools that allow you to follow this path with more confidence, safety and better prepared”. “Técnico has always been your home and it always will be. Come back to Técnico campuses and visit your professors, meet the younger generations, learn new skills”, he said.

“The main purpose of a university is its students. It is always a joy to witness a moment like this and to see a group of talented young people who, after years of work and commitment, reach the end of a stage”, said the Vice-rector of Universidade de Lisboa and Técnico alumnus, professor Luis Castro.

“The years spent at Técnico are difficult, hard, but very important”, said professor Luís Castro. “You made friends for life and soon you will remember these times as perhaps the best of your life, full of unforgettable experiences”.

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