Imperial College London

Portugal President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa visits Imperial to see top research

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Portugal President

The President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa visited Imperial to meet the College's Portuguese students and staff to celebrate Day of Portugal.

The President spent time visiting some of Imperial's laboratories, discussing research with the College's scientists and finding out about the innovative ideas and projects led by the many Portuguese students at Imperial.

Portugal delegation
The Portuguese delegation were welcomed to the College by Imperial's leaders

The Portuguese leader was joined on the visit by João Gomes Cravinho, the Foreign Secretary, Paulo Cafôfo, Secretary of State for the Portuguese Communities, Nuno Brito, the Ambassador of Portugal to the United Kingdom, and Nadhim Zahawi, the UK's Secretary of State for Education.

Speaking to the College's students and researchers, the President praised the longstanding collaborations between the UK and Portugal and urged Imperial's Portuguese community to help build the future of Portugal.

Portugal President
Portugal's President speaks to Imperial students, researchers, alumni and friends.
"Portugal has sent several hundreds of Christiano Ronaldos to the UK's scientific community, they are the best of our best" Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa President of Portugal

The President said: "Portugal and the UK is not just an alliance of the past but of the future, here we have the future of our alliance, you are building the future of our alliance. 

The younger generations are building our future. 

"Whatever you do in research, whatever your plans are for your life, wherever you build the future you will be building Portugal's future outside the physical territory, but inside the spiritual territory the same story, you will build Portugal, that’s why we celebrate."

The President also joked that Portugal had sent 'several hundreds of Christiano Ronaldos to the UK's scientific community, they are the best of our best'."

Portugal President
Imperial College Business School's Cláudia Custódio shows her research to the President

Imperial was recently named top university in the UK for world-leading research by the government's Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Imperial is one of our great universities and is doing incredible work." Nadhim Zahawi MP Secretary of State for Education

The UK's Education Secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, spoke highly of the research being carried out at Imperial: "Imperial is one of our great universities and is doing incredible work. As Education secretary it fills me with great pride when I get the opportunity to see first hand the excellent work and inspiring research collaboration from people from all corners of the world and are here under the Imperial family, who are supported and backed to deliver for the whole world. 

"International students bring fresh ideas and new perspectives to a country like ours and here want to encourage as many people as possible to enjoy the benefits of our higher education."

Zahawi
The Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi praised Imperial's research
"We’re especially proud of our extraordinary Portuguese community here at Imperial and the contributions that they make with us to a better world." Professor Maggie Dallman Vice President (International)

Imperial's President Alice Gast, Vice President (International) Maggie Dallman, and the Dean of the Imperial College Business School Francisco Veloso welcomed the Portuguese delegation to the College.

Professor Dallman said: "The UK needs its international and European partners. We’re especially proud of our extraordinary Portuguese community here at Imperial and the contributions that they make with us to a better world."

Portugal President
The President spent lots of time discussing research with Imperial's students and staff. Here, Dr Ana Luisa Neves showcases her work.

Professor Veloso added: "London and the UK is an amazingly open community for science. Here at Imperial and beyond, it's such as vibrant community and the Portuguese are a really integral contributing part of that community. Science is an international endeavour that only advances if we work together."

Data observatory
The delegation visited the Data Observatory where they saw imaging from the Mars Rover

The delegation visited Imperial's Data Science Institute where they saw presentations in the Data Observatory from Professor Sanjeev Gupta on Mars Rover data, and social media and pandemic correlations from Dr Ovidiu Serban and Andrianirina Rakotoharisoa. The institute's co-Director Dr Mark Kennedy welcomed the group and gave an overview of the DSI. 

Wave basin
The group toured the Hydrodynamics laboratory where they saw a demonstration of the wave basin

They then toured the Hydrodynamics laboratory where they saw a demonstration of the ocean wave basin, the largest research only facility in the UK.

The research team, which included Professor Graham Hughes, Dr Ioannis Karmpadakis, Dr Li Ma and Dr David Taborda explained the facility's uses such as studying the impacts of waves on ocean structures such as wind turbines, patterns of coastal erosion, and the spread of microplastics and other pollutants in the oceans.

The President and the delegation were in London to celebrate Day of Portugal, which took place on June 10th. 

Imperial and Portugal

Imperial has collaborated with colleagues and institutions in Portugal for decades. Imperial and partners in Portugal publish more than 170 joint research papers every year.

Imperial also has a strong Portuguese community with 155 students, more than 100 staff and more than 1,200 alumni.

Catia Fortunato, a third-year student in bioengineering, presented some of her research into neuroscience to the President. Catia said: "It was a great honour to share my work with the President, he was quite fascinated by the project, which is trying to better understand the ways our brains control movement, and he found ways it could be applied day-to-day.

"I joined Imperial because I was put in touch with a researcher here who was doing work that was super cutting edge and I knew Imperial was one of the best places in the world to study."

Reporter

Stephen Johns

Stephen Johns
Communications Division

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Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 9531
Email: s.johns@imperial.ac.uk

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