Alameda Campus, Tecnico University of Lisbon
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Tecnico University of Lisbon: Excellency in Civil Engineering Education

The University of Lisbon (ULisboa) is the largest and most prestigious university in Portugal and is one of Europe’s leading universities. Instituto Superior Técnico (Técnico) is the School of Engineering of the University of Lisbon. Created 11 decades ago, Técnico has approximately 12,000 students of more than 60 different nationalities.

Civil engineering is of paramount importance in shaping the world we live in. It encompasses the planning, design, construction, maintenance, and management of essential infrastructure, including buildings, roads, bridges, dams, and water supply and sewerage systems.

Civil engineers also play a crucial role in enhancing the quality of life for communities by providing safe and efficient transportation networks, sustainable water resources management, and the progressive adaptation of existing infrastructure to climate change challenges and increasingly demanding safety requirements from modern societies. Those keen on becoming one of them must seek a comprehensive, advanced education that nurtures crucial skills for both today and tomorrow.

DECivil Laboratory facilities, Source: DECivil Técnico, University of Lisbon

DECivil Laboratory facilities, Source: DECivil Técnico, University of Lisbon

The Department of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Environment (DECivil) at Técnico has solidified its reputation as the ideal place for such training. Ranked among the top eight civil engineering schools in Europe, the division has effortlessly produced elite students with similar accolades. In fact, together, they have secured 74 awards and distinctions, attesting to the relevance of their work at both international and national levels.

DECivil promotes the relationship between the university, business, and society, encouraging innovation, entrepreneurship, job creation, and knowledge. It offers bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and lifelong training programs in civil engineering and develops Research, Development, and Innovation (RD&I) activities at CERIS– Civil Engineering Research and Innovation for Sustainability. CERIS houses several essential facilities for civil engineering research, including seven laboratories: Construction, Structures and Strength of Materials, Geotechnics, Hydraulics, Water Resources and Environment, Transport Infrastructures, Computational Mechanics, and Information Technology. These laboratories play a crucial role in the education of students, providing both training and hands-on laboratory experiences directly carried out by students.

The civil engineering program that has developed these powerhouses is ranked third in Europe in the National Taiwan University Ranking 2022 and fifth in Europe by the 2022 Global Ranking of Academic Subjects – Shanghai. Such numbers are a testament to the program’s ability to produce outstanding graduates who successfully pursue their dream careers.

Margarida Sousa, Director at HCI Construções, the first civil engineering company to join Técnico Partner Network. , is one of them. She says, “Técnico has equipped me with the skills to successfully solve real problems in construction and rehabilitation projects, giving me the confidence to take on new challenges.”

José Colen, a graduate and current Principal Structural Engineer at Technodyne International Limited in the UK, says, “Técnico provided me with the necessary tools to develop skills in the area of structural design and reach a prominent position in a UK company. I am currently designing cryogenic tanks worldwide and have been professionally recognized as a Chartered Engineer by one of the most prestigious institutions in the world, which is ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers), and hold the title of EUR ING by Feani.”

Source: Técnico, University of Lisbon

Source: Técnico, University of Lisbon

Marco Pedroso, PhD in Civil Engineering, currently serves as the Head of Sustainability at BUITL CoLAB – The Collaborative Laboratory for the Built Environment of the Future in Portugal. He says, “The time spent at Técnico improved my technical knowledge at various levels, but it also helped me acquire different capabilities that support their real-world application, such as resilience, critical thinking, and organizational skills that are essential in my current job position. DECivil is the right place to develop your studies at different academic levels since it has all the equipment, infrastructure, and, above all, the right people who can support you in achieving your objectives while preparing you for all the challenges that lie ahead.”

João Pedro Tavares, a civil engineering graduate who worked in management and financial consulting and currently serves as a non-executive director of Banco Santander, says, “[IST] is a school that has had a significant impact on me and has challenged me a lot. It was a time of intense study and hard work that provided me with the foundation for who I am today. Additionally, I had the opportunity to meet incredible people who were my colleagues and are now friends for life. I realized that being from Técnico is something highly valued.”

After all, the two-year, four-semester MSc in Civil Engineering program was designed to impress various employers, which is why 96% of MSc graduates are employed one year after graduation. They have pursued careers in structural, hydraulics and geotechnical design, construction, land modeling, water supply, waste recycling and management, transportation, urban planning, project management, logistics, consultancy, training, and much more. The program responds to current and future societal challenges, interconnecting with other fields in digital transition, sustainability, and climate change. Students will find a challenging environment with excellent teachers, a flexible master’s program (EURACE), close contact with the industry, and opportunities to apply for mobility and double degree courses in Europe or outside Europe.

 “Tuna Feminina do Instituto Superior Técnico” (female student musical group); Source: Técnico, University of Lisbon

“Tuna Feminina do Instituto Superior Técnico” (female student musical group); Source: Técnico, University of Lisbon

Several civil engineers have held relevant positions in society. For example, Carlos Manuel Félix Moedas is currently the Mayor of Lisbon since 2021 and was previously the European Commissioner for Research, Science, and Innovation.

“Técnico goes beyond being a university where you acquire knowledge: it pushes you beyond what you thought was your limit; it teaches you to harmonize life in all aspects; it shows you that you are more capable than you think. Técnico prepares you to become a great professional,” says Katherine Cozer von Staa, MSc in Civil Engineering graduate.

The university’s location in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, in the extreme southwest of Europe, also contributes to its popularity. The metropolitan area of Lisbon has about 3 million inhabitants. With delightful weather and proximity to the sea, Lisbon provides an ideal location with a multicultural, dynamic, and safe environment. Furthermore, its convenient location makes it a gateway to effortless travel across Europe.

City of Lisbon

City of Lisbon, a City of Culture and Diversity, Source: Wikipedia

Técnico’s Alameda Campus, located in the heart of the city, is well-served by an excellent public transportation network, allowing easy access to all parts of the city. The campus offers a wide range of cultural, leisure, and sports activities, providing a uniquely enriching experience for students.

The department further enhances employability and exposure through its industry protocols, which include training, research, consultancy services, student internships, awards for the best students, and technical visits. To learn more about applying as an EU Student – click here or as an International Student – click here.

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