Strategic Long-Term Commitment Between Portugal and Carnegie Mellon University's College of Engineering 

By James H. Garrett, Jr., P.E.* 

 James H. Garrett CIT CMU  Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering sees the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program as an important and strategic partnership that fosters, leverages and strengthens successful collaborations with strong tangible and intangible outcomes in education, research and innovation. We took the first steps to establishing this partnership in 2006, and today are proud of the inspiring work that the program continually produces.

Faculty and students in the program are pushing the boundaries of engineering education and research by engaging in dual degree professional master's and doctoral programs and by participating in innovative research projects. The Carnegie Mellon Portugal program has graduated 200 professional master's students, and has enrolled 68 dual degree Ph.D. students. From both sides of the Atlantic, numerous links have been created through the program and are now thriving.

The overarching objective of the engineering curriculum in the CMU Portugal Program is to provide students with an interdisciplinary education that enables them to develop creative, innovative, and global solutions to the challenging problems that we face every day. They have the opportunity to participate in collaborative research projects and in the Entrepreneurial Research Initiatives and the Early Bird Projects. These initiatives and projects engage faculty members and foster the bridges between academia, companies in Portugal and Carnegie Mellon's College of Engineering. Our Carnegie Mellon colleagues have been involved in numerous research projects, and hosted several faculty members of Portuguese institutions through the Faculty Exchange Program. 

One of the most recent outcomes of the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program was the launch of an international and self-sustained MS/MBA in Electrical and Computer Engineering, which was a partnership between Carnegie Mellon's College of Engineering and the Porto Business School (PBS). This program allows professionals to receive training in engineering and in business while experiencing two different education and business cultures by studying in Portugal and in the U.S.

At Carnegie Mellon, we feel that Portugal has been an important and effective partner in pursuing our mission, which is to produce creative and technically strong engineers and to research pioneering solutions to global challenges. The partnership has been challenging and demanding, but at the same time very rewarding to our faculty members and students. In the Carnegie Mellon Portugal program, we are building a culture of excellence in ICT.  

*Dean, College of Engineering
Thomas Lord Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

September, 2014

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The Op-Ed is an essay written by a member of the CMU Portugal Program Community. It is a new area/section of the CMU Portugal Program Newsletter.