Pedro Aires Montenegro, alumnus of the University of Porto and researcher at FEUP, won the ICCES Outstanding Young Researcher Award for his research in Civil Engineering, in the framework of the International Conference on Computational & Experimental Engineering and Sciences 2020 (ICCES), as regards road safety and the impact of severe weather conditions in the circulation of high-speed trains.
During this second lockdown in the country, Porto. talked to the FEUP researcher, via videoconference, on how he views this and other awards and what he aspires for the future. The list of prizes is already long, as Montenegro is a regular in conferences all over the world. “This is the first time in months that I have not travelled abroad”, he exclaims, while explaining that it was during his Ph.D. that his interests turned to infrastructure, within Engineering.
This was not a first regarding international recognition for Pedro Montenegro, who received a Masters and a Doctorate degree from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP), and is currently a member of the research projects FCT Fiberbridge and H2020 In2Track2 at FEUP.
In 2016, Montenegro won the Young Researcher Best Paper Competition, granted at “Railways 2016 – Third International Conference on Railway Technology: Research, Development and Maintenance”, which was held in Cagliari, Italy; also, in 2017, Pedro Aires Montenegro received the Young Engineer Innovation Award (Prémio Inovação Jovem Engenheiro), granted by the Order of Engineers – Southern Region, regarding his research on the dynamic behaviour of trains in bridges, for the Russian Bridge Design and Engineering Institute Giprostroymostv, regarding circulation safety assessment on the high speed railroad bridge over the Volga river. In 2021, Montenegro conquered the ICCES - Outstanding Young Researcher Award, by his studies in the field of road safety.
Montenegro worked for the private sector for two years, before devoting full time to his Ph.D. and research career. He also claims that “often times, there isn't sufficient support to researchers in our country”, but admits that “there have been improvements as now there are fixed-term contracts”.
The UP alumnus has already traced his journey ahead: “carry out research and studies, and develop methods for making data on railroad construction, as it has become an activity of growing importance at national level, and also regarding public investment”.