The Informatics Engineering Department travelled to Tondela for two days, at the beginning of February, to take part in a workshop of department analysis and strategy definition for the coming years, and to be actively involved with the municipality, offering fire prevention measures and actions.
The first day started with the discussion on the DEI Strategic Plan for 2018-2021, discussed in 3 main areas: Education, Research and Extension. Professor João Paiva Cardoso presented DEI ‘s various ongoing activities, followed by a group dynamic, organized by Professor Ademar Aguiar. Problems were identified and resolution strategies were suggested in 7 strategic purposes- to increase DEI graduates’ capacity to transform the Society; optimize the offer of education and training; reinforce, enhance and capitalize Research and Development; promote external cooperation; promote knowledge transfer; optimize the management of human resources; reinforce internal and external communication – and from the 7 working groups, many ideas emerged as well as the certainty that the opportunities for improvement are also many. The following presentations were made by Professor Eugénio Oliveira, with “Progression in the university career: Reflection”, by Prof. Eugénio Oliveira; Professor Rosaldo Rossetti, who promoted a strategic intervention by each professor in interdisciplinary areas; and Raul Vidal, who spoke about DEI’s relation to companies, a topic addressed from the perspective of Alumni students. To conclude the session, the guest Cristina Videira Lopes, professor at the University of California, presented “A personal vision about Informatics Engineering: teaching, research and collaboration with industry”.
The day ended with a dinner at the restaurant “Os 3 Pipos”, where they were extremely well received by the owner Mr. João Cavaleiro, in the company of his guests, Prof. Cristina Videira Lopes, the President of the Tonda ‘s Parish Council, Carlos Coimbra, his treasurer, Sara Pereira, and secretary, Ventura Sousa.
Saturday, the second day of the workshop, was divided into two activities. A group of professors from the department met with representatives of the Tondela City Council and neighboring Municipalities, to discuss the use of Information and Communication Technologies as a way of preventing and responding to natural disasters. The intention of the DEI’s representatives was to contribute with effective solutions, within the Informatics Engineering, reinforcing the department’s involvement in social issues. The partnership, which started in February, has already started to bear fruit through an LGP project, and it is expected that it will only be the beginning of the execution of ICT projects for the prevention and response to forest fires.
The rest of the group was involved in a voluntary activity organized by Montis – Nature Conservation Association – on one of the lands burnt in the October fires, managed by the association, in Vermilhas, Vouzela. Led by the guides Luís Lopes and Carolina Barbosa, DEI had the opportunity to help plant cork oaks and clean the burnt terrain, opening pedestrian paths so that it becomes easier to give a new life to what was lost four months ago. The initiative, despite being filled with good spirits, allowed a reflection on everything that was lost and a better understanding of the pain of those who helplessly watched the siege by fire.