Dear ISR community members,

I hope you are all safe at home and managed to remain active and motivated during these last days.  Protecting ourselves is the best way to protect our friends and family, as well as to support the health professionals in the front line.

To keep in contact and to support each other, we have started some initiatives on our recently created server on the LARSyS Discord platform.

Each and every one of us is important during this global challenge so we invite you to take part even in other small ways:

  • Join the #TecnicoAtHome initiative on social media. Share your workspace environment with the community, pictures of your usual meetings and classes online and moments of productivity at home (remember to tag #ISR-Lisboa). We already have some participants here: https://bit.ly/3a9Bplq
  • If you have seminars, thesis presentations or other events that have migrated online remember to share them with our comms officer so that they can be shared on the ISR-Lisboa social media accounts and with the Técnico communications team, to be showcased on the Events section of the IST website.
  • Anyone needing support (from setting up a zoom call, or figuring out where to get groceries) should not hesitate to contact us. Stay connected and support each other.

To conclude, two good news:

– In addition to shifting several pressing deadlines, FCT has extended by one month, the duration of all scholarship contracts and will review the need for another automatic extension on April 9th.

– Finally, today we celebrate the arrival of spring and the Nowroz, the Iranian New Year!
Warm regards to our friends and colleagues from Iran who are also facing a very tough challenge with the COVID-19. During the week we will organize an e-celebration, with each one of us will bring his/her own food/drinks and good spirit!

Stay home, and keep calm and safe!
José Santos-Victor

 

Other ways to help

European initiative for COVID-19 imaging: https://imagingcovid19ai.eu/

Portuguese platforms for guided action and solution brainstorming:  https://covid.pt/  https://tech4covid19.org/

Project started by a Portuguese for working on medical devices, to have a fast and easy solution that can be reproduced and assembled locally worldwide: https://www.projectopenair.org/

Run simulations of protein dynamics on your personal computer, helping scientists to better understand biology, and providing new opportunities for developing therapeutics: https://foldingathome.org/

 

 

 

 

———————- IST COVID19 information ———

 

To the entire community of Instituto Superior Técnico,

I am reporting to you on the situation since the last information, sent on March 13.

During this last week, as you all know, the National Emergency State was decreed by the President of the Republic on March 18 (Decree of the President of the Republic No. 14-A/2020) and on March 20, the Government proceeded to implement this declaration (Decree No. 2-A/2020).

These decisions of the President of the Republic and the Government ended up without having a relevant impact on the functioning of Tecnico. In fact, on March 9 the classroom teaching activities were suspended and the implementation of videoconference classes began; on March 12, due to the evolution of the situation, all spaces for study, socializing and catering, were closed; from this date on, also all the administrative services began the transition to the teleworking regime, where they are currently operating, in a generalized way.

In this way, it has been possible to ensure the full operability of our school, in financial and administrative terms, including project support and human resources services.

On March 14th, we had the sad news of the first case of contagion among the IST community. The student, who has been contacted periodically since that date by the management board, at the time of confirmation of the contagion was in quarantine, in an asymptomatic situation. Nevertheless, the IST’s contingency plan was executed and all those who contacted her, namely the students and teachers from where she was enrolled, were asked to collect the quarantine. Colleagues who contacted the student more closely had already obtained the results of the analysis and, fortunately, the diagnosis was negative. This is the only case of contagion in the IST community known so far. Nevertheless, I reinforce that the email: COVID19_IST_Informacoes@tecnico.ulisboa.pt, is active, to give or ask for information or any kind of support regarding the present situation and I invite everyone to use it in case of need. No contact will remain unanswered.

From the academic and pedagogical point of view, some notes that seem relevant to me and, as such, to reinforce. Since 18 March, the classes at Técnico are being taught remotely, without any major problems to register in these initial start-up days. At the moment, and according to legal determinations, this teaching regime will be applied until April 9th. But, of course, it is highly likely that this regime will continue until the end of the second half of 2019/2010. Therefore, the most appropriate evaluation methodologies for this regime are being discussed and analyzed. Regarding the examination period, several scenarios and hypotheses are being analyzed by the Pedagogical Council, Departments, and Coordinations, of which the Pedagogical Council will report to the entire community. In addition to the formal communication channels, information on this subject is being made available at
https://tecnico.ulisboa.pt/pt/aulas-por-videoconferencia/
https://conselhopedagogico.tecnico.ulisboa.pt/ensino-remoto/ (information for teachers)
https://conselhopedagogico.tecnico.ulisboa.pt/delegados/covid-19-esclarecimentos//

As far as jury meetings are concerned, the jury meetings, master’s and doctoral examinations (information that has been transmitted by the President of the Scientific Council and the President of the Pedagogic Council), as well as the jury meetings for the recruitment of teachers, researchers, technicians and administrative staff are legally guaranteed. Both the academic board (da@tecnico.ulisboa.pt) and the human resources board (drh@tecnico.ulisboa.pt) may also provide further clarification on these matters.

This regime of operation of the Tecnico will take place in accordance with the decisions issued by the Government. At the moment we do not know (nobody knows) how long it will last, so our normal activity will continue at a distance and preferably teleworking. All face-to-face activities that are strictly essential to the functioning of the school, or of public interest, will have to be expressly authorized, according to the above-mentioned legislation.

Tecnico also has the capacity, and the duty, in what is within his reach, to contribute to the national effort to combat and mitigate the COVID19 pandemic. Thus, the following projects have been launched, with the full support of the Management Board and of the Dean of IST:

— The Ramôa Ribeiro residence, which was closed last March 18 after the resettlement of its occupants, was made available as a support to the isolation of patients or close support to medical personnel.

— Several colleagues from the departments of mathematics, physics and electrical engineering of Tecnico, together with colleagues from the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon (UL), have been working on epidemiological models that help to understand the evolution of the current situation. These models, for now, have been fundamental to alert the population and the public authorities to the problem of COVID19.

— A collection of information on the existence of goods (alcohol, gloves and masks) that are in shortage in the health services and that are in stock in our centers and laboratories and, as such, can be made available to the health services (information on this subject can be sent to our colleague Fátima Montemor of the Management Board) is being carried out.

— A project to produce medical visors (missing in hospitals) by 3D printing was launched by the Technician, in collaboration with the Faculty of Medicine at UL. The centers and laboratories that have 3D printers available should contact our colleagues Paulo Peças and Marco Leite, of the Mechanical Engineering Department, so that we can assemble a network production line of this equipment. At this moment the first prototypes are produced and in conditions to be tested by the medical community.

I also appeal to all those who have ideas about other forms of participation of the Technician in the national effort to combat COVID19, or who want to join the ongoing initiatives, or simply have ideas or suggestions to send me an e-mail to cg@tecnico.ulisboa.pt.

I conclude by asking everyone to follow IST’s activities through the Técnico’s official social networks: Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/tecnico.ulisboa.pt/), Linkedin (https://pt.linkedin.com/school/ist/), Twitter (twitter.com/istecnico) and Instagram tecnico_lisboa, which are updated daily.

As President of Instituto Superior Técnico, I have the duty to finish leaving to all of you, teachers, researchers, technicians, administrative, scholarship holders, and students, a word of thanks for the professional, competent, fast and efficient way in which we made the transition to this new situation.

Moreover, as a member, for several decades, of this great community that is Tecnico, I still have to express the enormous pride that I feel, every day, to be a part of it!

Keep yourselves safe and have an excellent week’s work.

Rogério Colaço

President of IST