Publication date: 22-03-2013 11:54
After completing a methodology-oriented PhD on multi-criteria decision analysis methods in 2001, I set my mind to diversify my research seeking to address real-world application challenges. This was not difficult, since besides my appointment with the Faculty of Economics I also work at INESC Coimbra, a multidisciplinary R&D center that nurtures methodologies and applications in many different areas. At the time I was also part of the managing board of INESC Coimbra together with two prominent colleagues from its Energy Planning and Rational Use of Energy group: António Gomes Martins and Carlos Henggeler Antunes. In an incidental way, this institutional management relation gradually became also a research collaboration.
When António Gomes Martins, Carlos Henggeler Antunes and other colleagues started shaping the University of Coimbra’s Energy for Sustainability (EfS) Initiative, I was one of the first to join them. This allowed me to meet many new friends and research collaborators, first in the University of Coimbra, and later in other Portuguese schools and at the MIT, thanks to our involvement in the MIT Portugal program. In the EfS initiative, I found a set of researchers in a unique position to synergistically develop research and education programs. They were addressing interesting problems, and yes, they did find multi-criteria decision analysis methods were quite welcome.
The EfS initiative is currently a very important part of my work. I am part of the coordination board and I am also part of the Educational Committee that manages the PhD, Masters and Specialization programs we offer. I am teaching the Decision Analysis course and supervising a handful of students. I have been involved in half a dozen research projects that grew out of conversations with EfS colleagues. The areas of Energy and Sustainable Development have never been so important for society. These are exciting waters to navigate and I am thrilled to be on board of this ship (a sailboat, of course).