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UMinho is a research university engaged in the establishment of the chain Knowledge-Research, Development and Innovation - as evidenced by a series of indicators. The ratio between PhD students and academic staff is over the unity while the fraction of postgraduate students in the total student population is over 20%. Furthermore, the ratio between research projects and PhD students is over 0.5 and more than 150 PhD’s are awarded every year. It is also important to highlight that the average yearly production of refereed papers in scientific journals is impressive: above 2/FTE/year and the citations are also strongly increasing every year. Moreover, 250 R&D contracts are signed yearly with industry while, within the framework of FP7 programme, two ERC advanced grants have been awarded by UMinho. It is interesting to see that amongst the 28 UMinho Research units evaluated by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) in 2014, one was considered Exceptional while ten and eleven of them were ranked as Excellent and Very Good respectively. In terms of the Times Higher Education (THE) 100 under 50 ranking for 2014, UMinho was on the 75th position and according to the 2014 THE World University Rankings, UMinho was ranked in the range 350-400. Finally, based on the CWTS Leiden Ranking for 2014, UMinho is the best Portuguese university. 

UMinho co-hosts (with the University of Coimbra) the Institute for Sustainability and Innovation in Structural Engineering (ISISE), which is a multidisciplinary research unit funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). In the last Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008-2013), ISISE was rated as Excellent. ISISE is an example of interaction and knowledge transfer between academic institutions and industry market stakeholders both in national and international environment. This institute has 47 PhD members, 102 PhD students, €8.5 millions of competitive funding granted, two European Master Courses while its international leadership has been already recognized. Regarding the structural configuration of ISISE, it is organized in three Research Groups, addressing the topics of construction technologies in historical materials and masonry, steel and mixed materials, and concrete. Presently, ISISE has employed several researchers with background on inspection and monitoring of existing structures with special emphasis to historical heritage buildings and sites. Along these lines, the research conducted by the institute aims mainly to: 

  • develop an integrated life-time structural approach and tools for monitoring of existing structures and infrastructures, and 
  • assess and manage new and existing building stock, on both micro and macro scale in order to propose innovative methods and create useful guidelines, 

The knowledge of ISISE teamwork on the areas of structural safety assessment, robustness and degradation models are proved by several international publications while the interaction with researchers, with renowned experience, from other institutions is more than frequent.


Dr. José António Campos e Matos (Male) works as Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Engineering o​f UMinho while he is associated with the International Federation for Structural Concrete (fib), since he is Convener of two different Task Groups: (a) T.G.3.3 - assessment/evaluation and decision-making procedures for the lifetime management of existing concrete structures, and (b) T.G.8.4 – Life Cycle Cost - Design life and/or replacement cycle, and with IABSE, being Convener of W.G.11 – Bridges and Structures Management. In 2013, he obtained his PhD degree from the Faculty of Engineering of UMinho and his research portfolio mainly focuses on the probabilistic-based assessment of existing structures. He is also specialized in soft computing techniques used to predict the structure behaviour with the development of a data fusion algorithm. Furthermore, he is strongly related to the infrastructure asset management, being coordinator of research project SUSTIMS which aims to develop an integrated highway infrastructure asset management framework. Finally, he is actively participating in several EU-funded research projects, such as in COST Action TU 1406 – Quality Specifications for Roadway Bridges ( as a Chairman.

Dr. Paulo B. Lourenço (Male) is full Professor at the Faculty of Engineering of UMinho and he is leading the Structural Group of the faculty. He is also the co-head of the Institute for Sustainability and Innovation in Structural Engineering (ISISE) while he coordinates the European Erasmus Mundus Master Course on "Structural Analysis of Monuments and Historical Constructions". His research focuses on: 

  • non-destructive testing methods (NDT) of structural members, 
  • advanced experimental and numerical methods as well as innovative strengthening techniques, 
  • product development for the industry, 
  • earthquake and blast engineering, and 
  • vulnerability and risk assessment of structures and infrastructures exposed to different hazards as well as reliability analysis. 

He is the editor of International Journal of Architectural Heritage: Conservation, Analysis and Restoration while he is the coordinator of several national and international research projects. He is author or co-author of more than 1,000 technical and scientific publications in the fields of masonry, timber and concrete structures, with an h-index of 28. Finally, his expertise is also highlighted by the numerous (more than 100) consultancy projects he has coordinated mainly focused on the inspection, diagnosis, repair and strengthening of cultural heritage buildings.

Dr. Daniel V. Oliveira (Male) works as Associate Professor at the Faculty of Engineering of UMinho and his research activities are focused on earthquake engineering, structural strengthening based on composite materials as well as risk management and reliability analysis. More specifically, he has been working in the seismic assessment of existing structures including experimental and numerical approaches about the rehabilitation and assessment of historic masonry structures. Ha has a strong profile in the scientific publications (i.e., 41 ISI journal papers) and he is actively participating in several research projects (i.e., EU-FP7: NIKER).

Dr. Luís F. Ramos (Male) Luís F. Ramos, graduated in Civil Engineer by University of Minho in 1999, made his doctorate thesis in 2007, also in University of Minho, about Damage Identification on Masonry Structures based on Vibration Signatures. His current research interests include non-destructive tests for damage detection, structural health monitoring of ancient constructions, dynamic tests, finite element analysis, non-linear analysis of masonry constructions, and earth constructions, being author of several publications, in both conferences and in specialized journals, on those topics. He has been involved in several specialized consultancy projects in monuments and in several research projects.

Dr. Jorge M. Branco (Male) is Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minho, Portugal, where he has been developing research in the field of timber constructions. Jorge Branco is experienced in the fields of timber structures, from wood characterization, design of connections, to the diagnosis and strengthening of timber elements and joints. The robustness of timber structures, in particular, the ones located in seismic regions, are one of his research topic. Chair of the RILEM Technical Committee RTE - Reinforcement of Timber Elements in Existing Structures, National delegate to COST Action FP1402: Basis of structural timber design - from research to standards and member of the standardization committee CT14.

Dr. Hélder S. Sousa (Male), graduated in Civil Engineer by University of Minho in 2009, made his doctorate thesis in 2013, also in University of Minho, about methodologies for safety evaluation of existing timber elements. His research domains include safety assessment of timber structures through non-destructive methods, with special emphasis in visual inspection, and through reliability analysis by probabilistic methods, being author of several publications, in both conferences and in specialized journals, on those topics. He also develops research in timber engineering regarding the structural design with innovative wood based materials.

Dr. João Pereira (Male) works as a postdoctoral researcher at ISISE – Institute for Sustainability and Innovation in Structural Engineering. He graduated in 2008 from University of Minho as a Civil Engineer and obtained his PhD in 2014 from University of Minho in Structural Engineering. His research domains include material behavior at high strain rates, structures and structural elements behavior to extreme loading (impact and blast), risk assessment due to terrorist actions and structural safety evaluation due to explosions.

Dr. Tiago M. Ferreira (Male) works as Postdoc Researcher at University of Minho. In 2015, he earned his PhD at University of Aveiro with a thesis focused on the seismic risk assessment of ancient masonry structures. His current research interests include multi-hazard risk assessment and mitigation, with particular focus on earthquake, fire and hydrological hazards. Currently, he coordinates a study dedicated to assessing fire risk in the old city centre of Guimarães, classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, and participates as a research team member of several EU-funded research projects, namely in GREEN INSTRUCT and in COST Action TD1406 - Innovation in Intelligent Management of Heritage Buildings (i2MHB).


Dr. Belén Riveiro
University of Vigo
School of Industrial Engineering, Universidade de Vigo
CP36310, Vigo, Spain
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