IT was a key part of my development as a researcher.
I joined the Optical Communication Group of IT, at the time led by José Ferreira da Rocha, in 1994, still at an early stage of the institution. Since then, IT has provided me with a very stimulating environment.
Since 2005, we started working on quantum communications. We began to explore the quantum nature of light to implement systems that do things that classical systems cannot do or that can do the same things more efficiently.
Our first quantum work was published in 2006 at a conference on Oporto.
In 2006, we were able to generate and detect single photons. In 2011, we implemented a quantum communication system with polarization coding in IT Aveiro laboratories.
In 2012, we were able to generate entangled photon pairs using spontaneous four waves mixing in a highly nonlinear optical fiber.
Since then, we have been using single and entangled photon pairs to implement new quantum protocols. We have also established a very fruitful collaboration with the theoretical group of Paulo Mateus, from IT Lisbon, who has been developing new quantum protocols and some of which we have been implementing in our laboratory and outside of it.
Indeed, in 2021, we installed a secure quantum link between the Air Force Command and the General Headquarters of the Armed Forces, in collaboration with the Portuguese Defense.
In 2022, we implemented in the Quantum Madrid Network a secure quantum multiparty computing service to support genomic medicine. This has indeed been quite a long journey, but it has not been a solitary journey, I have been accompanied by some very talented students, by several brilliant colleagues from IT and from other national and international research institutions.
There are so many colleagues that deserve credits that I cannot list all of them here. However, in this journey, there are two talented researchers who built with me the IT Quantum Optical Communication Group and to whom I have to thank, Nelson Muga and Nuno Silva. They certainly deserve as much credit as I do for all of our successes over the years.
To finalize, I would like to thank all of you that make IT every day and would like to celebrate the 30 years of IT!
Let’s make the next 30 years even more remarkable because communicating is as crucial now as it was 30 years ago!
Armando Pinto (IT Aveiro)
I am driven by purposeful research with the potential to create a real impact and improve people's lives!
My path at IT started in 2004 while pursuing an MSc, and continued ever since, integrated into a world-renowned multidisciplinary research team with a highly stimulating institutional culture, geared towards technical and scientific excellence. However, as Carlos Salema once referred, IT is also an environment where researchers have “a lot of freedom to do their own choices and to progress their own way provided that they are going in the right direction”, comparable almost to a Jazz orchestra in the sense that “not all the musicians have the music written in front of them”.
Such environment and culture foster remarkable achievements, with clear evidence of how the science made in IT generates effective value for industry and addresses real-world problems at a global level. At the Pattern and Image Analysis group, in which I am integrated, pioneering work is developed in biomedical instrumentation, signal acquisition, and data science, with a special interest in the nascent field of “invisibles” for health.
Representative outputs are the patented technology for biometric recognition based on Electrocardiography (ECG) signals collected with sensors integrated into everyday use objects (already licensed and sub-licensed to industry), or the multi-award-winning BITalino biomedical development platform that has reached tens of thousands of people worldwide over the past 10 years.
The experience thus far leads me to believe that I’m one of the few lucky people that can state to have worked very few days throughout life... not because of lack of a job (fortunately), but because by doing things I love and am passionate about almost every single day, there's no clear boundary between what's work and what's just pure fun. It is safe to say that at IT I have received perhaps one of the greatest gifts… freedom to become a “musician”, without a score, but with far-reaching compositions.
This is shown by the 200+ publications in peer-reviewed journals and conferences, or by the independent recognition from external institutions including the Olympic Committee of Portugal/Millennium BCP Foundation, the European Commission DG-CONNECT, Ordem dos Engenheiros, or the IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, just to name a few..
Hugo Silva (IT Lisboa)