Protocol signed yesterday, within the framework of the debate “The future of Civil Engineering in Portugal”
The Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal (IPS) yesterday signed a protocol with construction companies Mota-Engil and Grupo Casais, which establishes the deepening of collaboration actions in domains of mutual interest, namely the realization of internships, studies and research, innovation projects and scholarships.
The document was signed at the end of a debate on “The future of Civil Engineering in Portugal”, which brought together several specialists in the sector at the Barreiro Superior School of Technology (ESTBarreiro/IPS) and where, precisely, the urgency of intervention was highlighted. concerted between higher education, companies and professional associations to dignify and reinforce the attractiveness of the civil engineering career among younger people.
At a time when the sector reappears with new investments planned in large infrastructures and the market is faced with a shortage of qualified professionals, “this permanent interaction between academia, companies and professional representatives to try to find solutions gains greater importance“, he said. the president of IPS, Pedro Dominguinhos, also recalled that the new paradigm of higher education imposes on schools “the ability to find other learning contexts outside the classroom”.
In response to this appeal, Miguel Boavida, director of Mota-Engil, Engenharia e Construção, declared that “we will be happy to welcome students from this school soon, in whatever format”, underlining “the importance of establishing a close connection sooner with our future employees, get feedback on what is happening in schools and how young people see their future in companies”.
From the Casais Group, this “joining of forces” was equally welcomed with “great enthusiasm”. Pedro Andrade, the international coordinating director of the construction company, recognized that “we all have the same objective, to strengthen Civil Engineering in Portugal so that we can respond to the great challenges that lie ahead in a more robust way“.
The debate, framed in the IPS Science and Technology Week program, aimed to discuss the trends in the sector and the current challenges of the profession, as well as the skills needed to meet the demands of the labour market, with regard to quality certified and in terms of maintenance and rehabilitation, environmental sustainability, health, efficiency and energy rehabilitation, among others. The growing digitization and dematerialization of the construction process was also another challenge raised, an example being the Building Information Modeling (BIM – Building Information Modeling), which is transforming Civil Engineering and the civil construction and public works sector.
“It is the new generations of students who will have to respond to these new demands, but the future of Civil Engineering is guaranteed. Everything around us has the intervention of a civil engineer”, noted Fernando Pinho, the coordinator of the Southern Regional College of Civil Engineering of the Ordem dos Engenheiros, warning that it is “a profession of public trust and, therefore, must maintain a very high level of demand in training”.
In her turn, Cristiana Pereira, coordinator of the degree in Civil Engineering taught at ESTBarreiro/IPS, acknowledged that it is “a classic training, but one that is changing, which is truly challenging”. “We have to provide students with fundamental and traditional skills, but also with the most emerging ones, so that we can train capable technicians, but also agents of change in companies”, she concluded.