Science and Technology

Técnico alumnus wins Young Geotechnical Award in English Language

João Miguel Sequeira's master's thesis was recognised by the Portuguese Geotechnical Society (SPG).

The Técnico alumnus João Miguel Sequeira won the Young Geotechnical Award in English language, for his master’s thesis “Energy Efficiency Evaluation in Thermo-active Structures”. João Miguel Sequeira joins Francisco Centeno Dias, who had already won the same award in Portuguese language.

“I am deeply honoured to receive this award. I think that the topic of my master’s thesis deserves recognition”, says the Técnico alumnus (integrated MSc in Civil engineering – Geotechnics field). “Basically, I study the heat exchanges between the foundations of a building equipped with heat exchangers and the surrounding foundation ground, in what we call Surface Geothermal Systems”, explains João Miguel Sequeira. “We concluded that the foundation ground may or may not function as a source / deposit of renewable and sustainable thermal energy in the long term, strongly depending on the hydrological conditions, the mineralogical composition of the soil and the way we use thermal energy in that same building” , adds the alumnus.

“Knowledge already exists, technology already exists, it has been proven to work”, said João Miguel Sequeira, about harnessing geothermal energy (shallow Geothermal Energy). All that’s missing now is to reach customers and companies, “considering real cases and clear information, so that technology can be implemented on a large scale”. The Técnico alumnus feels that his Master’s thesis was a valuable contribution to this end.

João Miguel Sequeira currently works at Mota-Engil and he is involved in the construction of a viaduct located in Mexico City. “This city is extremely challenging from a geotechnical point of view. I feel lucky to be able to work in this field of engineering”, he shares. In the future, João Miguel Sequeira hopes to “be able to combine my professional duties with harnessing surface geothermal energy”.