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Publications

Publications by Manuel Santos Silva

2016

Educating Global Engineers with EPS@ISEP The "Pet Tracker" Project Experience

Authors
Borzecka, A; Fagerstroem, A; Costa, A; Gasull, MD; Malheiro, B; Ribeiro, C; Silva, MF; Caetano, N; Ferreira, P; Guedes, P;

Publication
2016 2ND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE PORTUGUESE SOCIETY FOR ENGINEERING EDUCATION (CISPEE)

Abstract
The European Project Semester (EPS) is a one-semester capstone project/internship programme offered to engineering, product design and business undergraduates by 18 European engineering schools. EPS aims to prepare future engineers to think and act globally, by adopting project-based learning and teamwork methodologies, fostering the development of complementary skills and addressing sustainability and multiculturalism. Since 2011, the EPS@ISEP programme offers a set of multidisciplinary projects to multicultural teams of students, so that each team element can bring to the project its previous knowledge and background experience. In the spring of 2013, a team choose to develop a pet tracker to provide pet owners with information regarding the whereabouts of their pets and, above all, to reduce the number of pets lost. After analysing related products, the team decided to add extra features for product differentiation. Combining a triple-axis accelerometer, a low cost GPS receiver and the GSM/GPRS communication technology, the team designed a system providing pet location, tracking, map display and activity monitoring services. This paper describes the development process of the Pet Tracker system, comprising a wearable device for pets and a website for pet owners.

2015

Learning sustainability by developing a solar dryer for microalgae retrieval

Authors
Malheiro, B; Ribeiro, C; Silva, MF; Caetano, N; Ferreira, P; Guedes, P;

Publication
Journal of Technology and Science Education

Abstract
The development of nations depends on energy consumption, which is generally based on fossil fuels. This dependency produces irreversible and dramatic effects on the environment, e.g. large greenhouse gas emissions, which in turn cause global warming and climate changes, responsible for the rise of the sea level, floods, and other extreme weather events. Transportation is one of the main uses of energy, and its excessive fossil fuel dependency is driving the search for alternative and sustainable sources of energy such as microalgae, from which biodiesel, among other useful compounds, can be obtained. The process includes harvesting and drying, two energy consuming steps, which are, therefore, expensive and unsustainable. The goal of this EPS@ISEP Spring 2013 project was to develop a solar microalgae dryer for the microalgae laboratory of ISEP. A multinational team of five students from distinct fields of study was responsible for designing and building the solar microalgae dryer prototype. The prototype includes a control system to ensure that the microalgae are not destroyed during the drying process. The solar microalgae dryer works as a distiller, extracting the excess water from the microalgae suspension. This paper details the design steps, the building technologies, the ethical and sustainable concerns and compares the prototype with existing solutions. The proposed sustainable microalgae drying process is competitive as far as energy usage is concerned. Finally, the project contributed to increase the deontological ethics, social compromise skills and sustainable development awareness of the students.

2017

Didactic robotic fish – An EPS@ISEP 2016 project

Authors
Reinhardt, A; Esteban, AC; Urbanska, J; McPhee, M; Greene, T; Duarte, A; Malheiro, B; Ribeiro, C; Ferreira, F; Silva, MF; Ferreira, P; Guedes, P;

Publication
Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing

Abstract
This paper presents the development of Bubbles, a didactic robotic fish created within the scope of the European Project Semester offered by the School of Engineering of the Polytechnic of Porto. The robotic toy is intended to provide children with an appropriate set up to learn programming and become acquainted with technology. Consequently, Bubbles needs to appeal to young children and successfully blend fun with learning. The developer team, composed of five engineering students from different fields and nationalities, conducted multiple research and discussions to design Bubbles, while keeping the fish movements and programming simple. The fish body was created with a colourful appearance, ensuring floatability, waterproofness and including a tail, inspired on real life fish, for locomotion and to retain a fish-like appearance. Finally, the team designed a website where they share, in different languages, the blue-prints of the structure, the schematics of the control system, the list of material, including electronic components, the user assembly and operation manual as well as propose exploring activities. © Springer International Publishing AG 2017.

2017

The European Project Semester at ISEP (EPS@ISEP) programme: Implementation results and ideas for improvement

Authors
Silva, MF; Malheiro, B; Guedes, PB; Ferreira, PD; Duarte, A;

Publication
Proceedings of the 45th SEFI Annual Conference 2017 - Education Excellence for Sustainability, SEFI 2017

Abstract
EPS is a one semester student-centred capstone programme designed by Arvid Andersen in Denmark, being currently offered by several European engineering schools. Its goal is to promote the development of scientific, technical and soft skills in students through multicultural teamwork and open, multidisciplinary project based learning. EPS, while an active learning framework, is focussed on problem-solving, communication, creativity, leadership, entrepreneurship, ethical reasoning and global contextual analysis. The School of Engineering of the Porto Polytechnic is an EPS provider since 2011, offering a 30 ECTU package with two-thirds assigned to the project module and one-third to project supportive complementary modules. A total of 138 students from 18 countries participated in the EPS@ISEP, while developing 28 multidisciplinary projects. Based on this experience, this paper identifies strengths, weaknesses and proposes ideas for the improvement of the programme.

2014

Smart object for 3D interaction

Authors
Harms, H; Juht, T; Janaszkiewicz, A; Valauskaite, J; Silva, A; Malheiro, B; Ribeiro, C; Silva, M; Caetano, N; Ferreira, P; Guedes, P;

Publication
Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering

Abstract
This paper reports on the creation of an interface for 3D virtual environments, computer-aided design applications or computer games. Standard computer interfaces are bound to 2D surfaces, e.g., computer mouses, keyboards, touch pads or touch screens. The Smart Object is intended to provide the user with a 3D interface by using sensors that register movement (inertial measurement unit), touch (touch screen) and voice (microphone). The design and development process as well as the tests and results are presented in this paper. The Smart Object was developed by a team of four third-year engineering students from diverse scientific backgrounds and nationalities during one semester. © 2014 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

2017

Sustainable desalinator - An EPS@ISEP 2016 project

Authors
Augustyns, L; Pogoda, M; Milesi, M; Kang, M; Valls, P; Duarte, A; Malheiro, B; Ferreira, F; Ribeiro, MC; Silva, MF; Ferreira, PD; Guedes, PB;

Publication
Proceedings of the 45th SEFI Annual Conference 2017 - Education Excellence for Sustainability, SEFI 2017

Abstract
The European Project Semester (EPS) is a one semester capstone project/internship framework offered by the EPS providers to engineering, product design and business undergraduates. While a student-centred project-based learning offer, EPS proposes a unique multidisciplinary and multicultural teamwork set up to promote soft, technical and scientific competencies. In the spring of 2016, the EPS at the Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto (ISEP) welcomed a team of engineering students who chose to develop a sustainable water desalinator, the working principle relying on solar energy and natural temperature differences to convert saline water into fresh water. This paper describes the team's journey, including the motivation, the solution design process, considering the technical & scientific state of the art as well as the potential impact in terms of ethics, sustainability and marketing, and the development and testing of the prototype. The results obtained validate the purpose of the developed system since a significant reduction of the salt water conductivity, to values of the same order of magnitude of tap water, were observed. Although improvements can be made, the desalinator prototype produced 70 ml/d of distilled water in late spring and 7 ml/d in midwinter atmospheric conditions.

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