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Contributing and participating in the development of sustainable solutions to current and emerging social, economic and environmental challenges.

The Interdisciplinary Studies
Research Center

The Interdisciplinary Studies Research Center, replies to the challenges emerging from current global social, political, financial and ecological contexts. These problems ask for solutions based on research that transcends academic disciplines and can respond to real complex problems.

ISRC is organized in 2 research thematic lines. Such strategic directions based on the assumption that research approaches are interdisciplinary involving expertise in different profiles: Engineering Education Research; and Smart and Integrated Optimization Networks. ISRC competences and resources encompassing a wide spectrum of research areas have been pooled together to promote its mission that consists in contributing and participating in the development of sustainable solutions to current and emerging challenges.

The ISRC will promote scientific responses to the imperative of transforming engineering education, understood as a complex system, to increase its usefulness from the perspective of employers, HEI, students, faculty and the society in general.

The launch of the ISRC, focusing in the integration of scientific and applied research and education in engineering, will fill a gap in national R&D&I system, taking advantage of the interdisciplinary synergies existing in the institution. This is of capital importance considering society's widespread acceptance that traditional research and teaching is becoming increasingly inadequate to prepare the future professionals to address the challenges of the 21st century. In a scenario of a fast evolution, in which technological/industrial acceleration and global competition generate more incentives than ever to innovate.

Advances in transport and communications networks (smart cities, mobility and 5G) which foster an increasingly high level of flow of goods, services, capital, knowledge and individuals - mean that countries and people of the world are increasingly integrated into a global society, that becomes a multicultural world, a social phenomenon that research and education cannot ignore. The most valuable professional in future may be not be the best engineer or programmer - but the polymath - to bridge builders among knowledge.

Facing the emergence of these technological and social paradigms-the knowledge or learning society-it is necessary to reconsider how research or the innovation promotion are developed, so that they become the pillar to face the complex social, economic and technological problems. At the ISRC, we associate research with the production of innovative knowledge with an entrepreneurial spirit. This can be accomplished by means of an interdisciplinary approach of social and organizational practices that allow stakeholders involved in the knowledge triangle (engineering education, research and innovation) to contribute to economic development, employment and prosperity.

ISRC will function as a collaborative network of researchers with a background in the multidisciplinary approach of complex systems for solving societal problems, engineering management and education, social sciences, industrial organization and management, logistics, optimization, e-, data science, and others.


as main objectives, the following can be outlined but are not restricted to:

Establish itself as a gathering center for PhD not included in research structures;

Improve the interconnection between the HE system and society

Apply the concepts and methodologies about the study of complex systems, to give a theoretical, computational and methodological approach

Establish itself as a center that interconnects specialists in several disciplines, allowing the creation of innovative knowledge

Narrow the gaps between the training of engineering students and the needs of the business and industrial organizations to improve their employability


The Scientific Coordinator represents internally and externally the ISRC and is responsible for the efficient and appropriate conduct of the center's activities. The ISRC Scientific Coordinators are  Ana Maria Madureira, Maria Fátima Rodrigues and José Carlos Quadrado, and coordinate the development of the Strategic and Operational Plans as well as the allocation of financial resources. The Coordinator is advised by a Management Council(MC) and a Scientific Council(SC)

Human Resources

ISRC has 21 Integrated Researchers and 1 collaborator, 16 hold a PhD degree and 6 are PhD students, on the areas of Informatics, Electrotechnics, Mathematics and Management