Creating and sharing knowledge for telecommunications
Thoughts from the President...

Now that the current pandemic is apparently (very) slowly regressing, thanks to vaccines and lockdown, it is possible to think that summer will bring some relief to research life.
The call for research projects is back again, which is good, but the available funding is too low. So low, in fact, that in spite of the submission restrictions, a low success rate (around 5 %) is likely. It is a pity that a small percentage of the so-called "bazuca" funds could not be used to improve the success rate to a more reasonable 15%. Simultaneously, a call for scientific employment, expecting to benefit around 400 researchers, opened. 
To me, this is a recipe for disaster. More researchers (which is good) but too few projects (which is bad). For the institutional point of view, it would be much better to increase the call for projects budget. Institutions with more money would naturally need to contract more researchers. Researchers job market would be naturally balanced and research output would increase. Additionally, FCT auditing job would be much easier (and efficient), since it is easier and more effective to audit a funded project than a researcher in an institution struggling for funds to keep him active and productive.
Carlos Salema
Our highlights this month
ConfTELE, IT's flagship conference, returned this year with its first-ever virtual edition, gathering more than 160 researchers, engineers and students to discuss the latest trends in Telecommunications. 
find out more >>
Space Surveillance and Tracking: how IT is minimizing the threat of space debris

"Our main challenge is to create the first prototype of a space surveillance and tracking station in Portugal”, reveals lead researcher Domingos Barbosa.
A pilot study led by IT researchers tested a "transformative approach" to project-based teaching, together with biomedical engineering students at IST.

The project aims to deploy a network of low-cost sensors on public buses and trams in Lisbon, to raise awareness on the city's air quality.
IT students win MIT Quantum Hackathon Challenge

A group of PhD students from IT's Physics of Information and Quantum Technologies Group were distinguished at MIT's iQuHACK 2021, which featured 49 teams from 29 countries. 
Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other dementias, are affecting an increasing number of people in the world, paralleling the increase of human lifespan. No cure is yet available, though drugs and medical procedures are able to alleviate symptoms. Stem cells are the current holy grail of regenerative medicine, as they have the ability to differentiate in various functional cells. If proper environment/stimuli are used they can be harnessed to fully regenerate full organs or engineer artificial ones. 

Stem cells can be obtained from different sources including the umbilical cord of babies, specific niches found in the human adult body or even through reprogramming of adult matured cells using specific chemical cocktails. In particular, neural stem cells can be used to obtain matured neurons that could replace “faulty” ones in the brain or in the spinal cord. However, the direct transplantation of neural stem cells into faulty central nervous system tissues has been found ineffective. Different approaches are therefore required to achieve fully neural regeneration and tissue integration.
Neurons are electrically active cells, they communicate between themselves via electrical signals, forming an electrical neural network. Because of this, neurons are particularly sensitive to electrical stimulation. NEURON — a project that joins researchers from IT's Organic Electronics group and the Institute of Bioengineering and Biosciences (iBB) — aims to develop a platform to electrically induce the preferential formation of neurons from neural stem cells. These ultimately can be used to produce in vitro platforms for drug screening or for direct implantation in the brain to improve the formation of new and functional neuronal networks.
keep reading >>
Don't miss our upcoming events...
Ethics and Inclusiveness for Telecommunications Engineers
2 - 4 March, 2021
In the frame of the European project TeamUp5G, this workshop will touch on topics regarding ethics, commitment and responsibility. It will be held online, featuring presentations and round-table discussions with invited speakers from Portugal, Spain, France and Cyprus. Registration is free!
Aveiro 5G Challenges - 2nd Edition
Apply until - 14 March, 2021
In partnership with the City of Aveiro, Altice Labs and the University of Aveiro, this initiative will award new solutions and products using 5G technology. In Aveiro testbed, startups, scaleups and R&D centres will be able to develop and work innovative solutions, with technical support and mentoring sessions.
Aveiro Urban Challenges - 2nd Edition
Apply until - 14 March, 2021
Another initiative launched by the City of Aveiro to promote innovation, addressing five different challenges. IT will deploy its infrastructure for Challenge #4 - On Edge Computing for LIDAR Sensors - which invites you to develop software embedded in edge computing units to detect data on urban mobility.
more events >>
Pedro Tomé
Characterization, Modeling and Compensation of Long-Term Memory Effects in GaN HEMT-Based Radio-Frequency Power Amplifiers

PhD in Telecommunications by the University of Aveiro within the MAP-tele Doctoral Program, November 2020, supervised by Telmo Cunha (IT/UA) and Filipe Barradas (IT). The thesis proposed novel methods for the characterization, behavioral modeling, and analog linearization of the dynamic self-biasing behavior of GaN HEMT-based PAs for 5G communications and radar applications.
Pedro is currently a Silicon Validation Engineer at Apple in Munich, Germany.


Jessica Sanson
Waveforms and Algorithms Design for Use in Dual Communication/Radar Systems
PhD in Telecommunications by the University of Aveiro within the MAP-tele Doctoral Program, December 2020, supervised by Atílio Gameiro (IT/UA) and Daniel Castanheira (IT). The thesis proposed algorithms for high-resolution radar based on communications signals to allow the use of communications networks as sensing tools for autonomous driving systems. Jessica is currently a Senior Radar Engineer at Cruise in Munich, Germany.
Jorge Proença 

I joined the signal processing lab of IT in Coimbra, in 2011, to work as a research scholar on speech recognition and speech processing technologies, transitioning to a PhD in 2013 under the supervision of Dr. Fernando Perdigão. 

After concluding my PhD in 2018, I joined ELSA Corp., a startup in language learning applications based in San Francisco, CA, with with engineering office in Lisbon. Their main product is a smartphone app – ELSA Speak – that allows users to practice their English pronunciation and get real-time automated feedback on how to improve.

As a Speech Scientist/Engineer, I research and develop state-of-the-art technology in this area to improve the core of our system, and 
a lot of my work is also about deploying new speech-related features that can be quickly implemented in the app and be used by hundreds of thousands of people around the globe.

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