Miguel Simões was distinguished by the Associação Ibérica de Sistemas e Tecnologias de Informação – AISTI with the “Best PhD Thesis in Information Systems and Technologies 2018” award, for his thesis “On some aspects of inverse problems in image processing”. This award is attributed every year by the AISTI, to distinguish the best work, developed within the scientific areas of Information Systems and Technologies, with the goal of stimulating scientific innovation and the rigor of research work, as well as the dissemination of high quality scientific works. Miguel Simões received the distinction during the 14th Conferência Ibérica de Sistemas e Tecnologias de Informação – CISTI´2019, held in Coimbra, Portugal between 19-22 June.
Currently working as a Post-Doctoral Researcher at Duke University, USA, Miguel Simões concluded his PhD at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) in October 2017. The doctoral work was developed in IT under the supervision of Luís Borges de Almeida and José Bioucas-Dias (both from IT/IST) and also Jocelyn Chanussot, from the Grenoble University, in France. From this work Miguel has already published several other scientific papers, both in international conferences as well as in high-impact journals.
Photo: Miguel Simões (second from the right) with his winner certificate
The 180 meters between the 9th floor of the north and south towers of Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) were enough for IT to make history in Portuguese telecommunications. This July 8th the Physics of Information and Quantum Technologies (PIQT) group of IT in Lisbon did the first demonstration of quantum distribution of cryptographic key (QKD) via optical free space quantum communications in Portugal.
Quantum communications allow for a higher level of privacy than the currently existing with classical communications, and therefore have implications in the protection of our national sovereignty, the citizens, and the Portuguese companies. Quantum communications delivered through fiber optic cable are limited to about 200 km. Wireless communications via satellite, although incipient, are currently the solution for transmitting encrypted messages over long distances. In particular, it will be the way to establish quantum communications between Portugal´s mainland, Azores and Madeira, as well as the European quantum communications network that the Commission is launching, as well as with the rest of the world.
Present in this first demonstrations were Carole Mundell, Chief Scientific Adviser of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom, Christopher Sainty, British Ambassador in Portugal, Jürgen Mlynek, chair of the Strategic Advisory Board of the Flagship in Quantum Technologies European program, Carlos Salema, president of IT and the Academy of Sciences, Arlindo Oliveira, president of IST, among others.
Two days later, on the July 10th, a second demonstration took place during the closing session of the Ciência2019, at the invitation of Manuel Heitor, Portuguese Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education. This second experiment, on stage, demonstrated the portability of the equipment and the technology outside the laboratory.
Through its coordinator Yasser Omar, PIQT is participating in the European project Quantum Internet Alliance. This project is part of Flagship in Quantum Technologies, a 10-year program with a budget of 1 billion Euro, which the Commission launched in 2018 to make Europe one of the world's leaders in quantum technologies.
Photo: The first experiment was carried out by Manfred Niehus (PIQT - IT/ISEL) and José Jesus, second year student of the MSc in Physics Engineering at IST and a fellow of the Gulbenkian program “New Talents in Quantum Technologies”. Credits: Débora Rodrigues / Técnico