Much of the vitality that the University of Minho, created in 1974, gives evidence today, goes exactly by turning to the outside and wanting to be a pole of development in a vast northern area. It is therefore necessary to refer in more detail to some aspects of Biotechnology research at the University of Minho, its degree in Biological Engineering. In 1991 will leave the first graduates in this area, who have as coordinator prof. Engº Luis Melo.
The degree in Biological Engineering at the University of Minho
prepares engineers for industries where biological and chemical
processes predominate: food industries, fermentative or not, chemical
and related industries, pharmaceutical industry, waste treatment
5-year course started in October 1986 with the Chemical and Biological
Technologies and Processes Branch, and the Industrial-Microbiology
Branch is scheduled to be launched in 1991. The two branches provide an
essentially similar engineering training, although the First
be more directed to the design and control of the manufacturing
equipment and the second to the laboratory studies and analyzes. The "numerus clausus" is currently 30.
In the structure of the course, after the first year in which the
fundamental basic sciences (Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry)
predominate, the two great supports of Biotechnology training -
Biological Sciences and Chemical Engineering - emerge in the 2nd and 3rd
in the 4th and 5th years results from the convergence of these two
vectors, through the development of topics such as Fermentation
Technologies and Biological Product Purification, and Enzymatic
Engineering, Water and Industrial Effluents Treatments, Genetic
Engineering and Control Automatic Manufacturing Processes. Students
can also choose from a range of optional subjects focusing on the Food
Industry (Oenology, Dairy, Food Quality Control, etc.), Energy
Management and Pollution. In the last semester of the course, students undertook an industrial
internship, guided by University professors and by industry technicians.
Biotechnology: external link
the field of research in Biotechnology, without prejudice to other
projects, already under development, the objective, at this early stage -
Eng. Luis Melo - "was to concentrate efforts on sectors of recognized
importance in the development of the region where the University is
located. Inserted ".
research and development programs which have been in place since 1984
now have two major strengths: problems relating to vine and green wine
and environmental issues, in particular the treatment and recovery of
industrial and domestic sewage by road Biological.
There is also a project of interest for the identification of elements
that cause diseases in plants (including the vine), entitled
"Biochemical characterization of nematodes.
The other group of projects is concerned with the environmental
problems resulting from the productive activity in different industrial
sectors (textiles, food, pulp, etc.), also involving the recovery of
products of interest contained in the effluents.
Cooperation with the outside world
The cooperation with the outside, in the UM, is processed in the teaching, research, and specific bodies of the University. In the first one, reference is made to the collaboration, in
specialization disciplines, of professors of the Departments of Chemical
Engineering of the Faculty of Engineering of Porto, Instituto Superior
Técnico de Lisboa, Campinas, S. Paulo, Brazil.
Technicians and business managers will give their contribution in
seminars dedicated to issues of interest in companies in which future
graduates will work.
The direct participation of companies in the training of these
engineers, through internships, is another important point of
the research level, the collaboration of researchers from the Faculty
of Sciences of Lisbon, the Gulbenkian Institute of Science, the
Cooperative Winery of Ponte de Lima and the Of effluents) of DG Quality and Environment, LNETI, Stuttgart University and the company "Dupermo". There is also cooperation with researchers from the UK, JNICT and INIC.
the "ad hoc" commission for Biotechnology, created by the UM Senate,
includes elements from the Universities of Porto, Católica and the
Regional Directorate of Agriculture.