Campus and Community

“Promoting equal opportunities is a fundamental principle at Técnico”

Professor Maria da Graça Carvalho and engineer Inês Godet were the winners of the first edition of Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo Award.

The first edition of Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo award took place this Thursday and is intended to recognise and reward two women graduated at Técnico, as a way to promote Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo outstanding contribution as an engineer, alumna and national leader with a decisive role and impact on Portuguese society.

The winners of this edition were professor Maria da Graça Carvalho, for her academic contributions, scientific leadership and decisive role on EU research policies, and engineer Inês Godet, for her outstanding academic performance and remarkable scientific progress.

Professor Arlindo Oliveira, president of Técnico, noted that “promoting equal opportunities is a fundamental principle at Técnico”. “That is why we established Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo Award, one of the initiatives of a broader action plan to promote equal opportunities at Técnico.”

Professor Helena Geirinhas Ramos, member of the jury, presented the initiative and said that “the two awarded women represent two generations and the diversity of academic journeys, as well as an impact on the engineering society and in our current female students”.

Professor Tiago Farias, former student of professor Graça Carvalho, left some words of appraisal “for her commitment” to dozens of Técnico students. Professor Graça Carvalho noted that her career “wouldn’t have been possible without the contributions from many people” and that Técnico, like other schools she passed through, promoted “an education of excellence”. “This award holds a huge symbolism, because we are here today to celebrate Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo legacy.”

Engineer Inês Godet, currently PhD student at John Hopkins University (USA), thanked “Técnico for this opportunity” and said that both Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo and Graça Carvalho are Técnico alumnae who she “will always have in her mind”. “I hope to come back here in a few years to see the importance of this award for my career, which is now starting”, she said.

The last speeches were delivered by the European Commissioner, engineer Carlos Moedas, by the Minister of the Sea, engineer Ana Paula Vitorino and by the Deputy Minister, Dr. Eduardo Cabrita, who spoke about the importance of abolishing discrimination. According to the European commissioner “it’s about time to recognise our female scientists”.

The Minister of the Sea noted that this initiative is not only an “act of justice” but also symbolic: “The symbolism of this award is fundamental for the next generations, but it’s also important to generate media attention because the equal opportunies issue still has a long way to go”.

The Minister Deputy closed the session and congratulated Técnico: “This is the first university that establishes such award (…) and it has a special role once it traditionally addresses males”. “Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo Award brings together the best of our civic participation.”

Baía do Tejo co-funds a €5000 award, which will be granted to the winning recently graduated.