Visit to the Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD) in July 2018

In July 2018, three colleagues from Biomedical Engineering, one colleague from Renewable Energies as well as one colleague from the international office of UAS Technikum Wien embarked on a journey to our partner institution in Vila Real, the Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD). The collaboration between UTAD and UASTW officially started in 2014 with the first Erasmus+ inter-institutional agreement in the area of Biomedical Engineering and was then further extended to Electrical Engineering in 2015/16. Future cooperation includes the field of Renewable Energies as well as in the field of Healthcare and Rehabilitation. Working topics (and points of the agenda of the visit) between UTAD and UASTW, among others, encompass:

  1. A commonly developed Master’s program for students of Medical Engineering and eHealth, giving students the possibility to spend the first year at their home institution, the second year at the host institution and to complete their Master’s by receiving a diploma by each institution.
  2. The development of a working paper for a PhD collaboration for UASTW students and staff. Three colleagues of Biomedical are about to finalize their PhD papers within October 2018. Both points were discussed during the visit with Artur Cristovão, vice-retor for planning and internationalization.   
  3. The extension of collaboration to the Energy field, which will start with a planned teaching mobility in fall 2018. The trip to Vila Real also included two excursions to energy facilities in close vicinity to UTAD, an EDP’s (EDP is the Portuguese Electrical Company) wind farm (Vila Pouca de Aguiar) and a dam (Baixo Côa).
  4. The Collaboration with the Centro Hospitalar de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (CHTMAD), UTAD and UASTW comprises of the cooperation and exchange of PhD students and Master’s in the development of a lung simulator and a Balcão Unico; the creation of a research group under the UASTW lung simulator and the pulmonology service of CHTMAD; and participation of the CHTMAD in the summer school in Vienna with the presentation of clinical cases of telemedicine in pediatric cardiology (http://healthy-interoperability.at/eHealthSuS). Additionally, a workshop on Electronic Health Records – standards, concepts, and security was given, covering the issues of security and challenges of integration of medical devices into hospital information systems.
  5. Participation in the annual JobShop, both as presenters and jury members for students’ projects. JobShop invites students of Biomedical and Electrical Engineering to present their works in a jury and be evaluated as well as companies and speakers from other fields related to Biomedical and Electrical themes to interact with students. In this year’s event, colleagues of UASTW gave five presentations on their research, the UAS Technikum Wien as well as measures of internationalization between UTAD and UASTW.

The multifaceted tracks as well as inclusion of not only the university but with a direct impact on the hospital and tourism of Vila Real clearly depict that the cooperation between UTAD and UASTW has, by now, developed into a strategic partnership.