Campus and Community

PhD Open Days: sharing knowledge and experience

The 6th PhD Open Days took place from 26th to 28th October, in an online format. Several speakers and hundreds of PhD students participated in the event.

The 6th PhD Open Days was scheduled for March but, due to the pandemic, the event was postponed for October. Researchers, PhD students, professors and alumni shared their knowledge and experiences, and inspired more than one thousand Técnico PhD students.

The Técnico alumnus and professor at the University of Vienna, Nuno Maulide, inspired the audience with his lecture “When Chemistry answers Biological questions”. “If I was told that, ten years after graduating, I would be full professor at an European university, I would look at you and say that you were imagining things”, said the Técnico alumnus, who was elected Scientist of the Year in Austria, in 2019.

Nuno Maulide explained why his research work as mostly focused on organic synthesis: “Organic synthesis studies the formation of molecules, ranging from drugs, complex bioactive natural products to new materials. Every day, organic chemists create new molecules that never existed at all. Because synthesis allows a chemist to build entirely new structures in new and creative ways”.

Recently, professor Nuno Maulide authored a book, which he hopes to reach the broader public. The book will soon be published in Portuguese. The Técnico alumnus was also involved in the development of a video game – Virus Blaster.

Hugo Meinedo, Senior Data Scientist @ Vodafone Portugal, and Francisco dos Santos, Director of Cell Therapies @ Stemlab SA, Crioestaminal, both Técnico alumni, shared their professional experience and challenges.

“I want to tell PhD students that a bright future is waiting for them. They will have different opportunities both in academic and business world. Companies increasingly value PhD candidates”, said Hugo Meinedo. “It’s very important to build a solid network of contacts inside and outside the company because these contacts will be crucial to future success”, said Francisco dos Santos.

On the second day, Francisco Viegas (Portuguese author and journalist) and Carlos Fiolhais (professor at University of Coimbra) participated in the debate “Engineering = f (sciences) + humanities”, moderated by Ana Sousa Dias (journalist).

The event also included a virtual video-poster exhibition with the most recent research developments made by PhD students and a virtual Pitch Competition.

The last day of the event will be dedicated to PhD Workshops, where students will work on different skills and learn more about subjects that will be crucial after PhD.