PhD in Networked Interactive Cyber Physical Systems (NETSyS)


The PhD in Networked Interactive Cyber Physical Systems is the new program four year full-time program about to be launched by IST-UL (Instituto Superior Técnico da Universidade de Lisboa) in a partnership with CMU Portugal (Carnegie Mellon University) and LARSyS



Fast paced technical and theoretical advances in systems engineering are steadily paving the way for the development and operation of large scale, distributed networked systems that interact with humans and physical systems and are at the core of a vast spectrum of applications with far reaching scientific, commercial, and societal impact. We have entered an era where the number of processors embedded in objects have outpaced those in “computers”.  Inevitably, the widespread availability of miniaturized sensors and actuators, embedded processors, communication networks and robotic systems, coupled with increasingly sophisticated methods for information processing, systems optimization, decision making, and control will steadily afford humans the tools needed to dramatically improve the means available for exploring the environment and exploiting its resources in a sustainable manner, safeguarding the operation of critical infrastructures, and affording citizens better quality of life. 

And to meet this challenges, a new breed of researchers is needed with a holistic approach to systems engineering,capable of addressing outstanding theoretical and practical issues that stand at the crossroads of information processing, decision making, controls and robotics, systems optimization, networking, and human-­computer interaction. It is against this backdrop of ideas that the present PhD program advances a multidisciplinary roadmap that will effectively afford students the methods and tools required to tackle challenging problems that emerge out of compelling real-­life problems.

Central to the proposed program is the convergence of computation, sensing, decision making, and control capabilities in small nodes with networking capabilities, acquiring and sharing data, and acting on the environment by controlling the operation of local robotic devices or interacting with human beings. This class of systems, usually known as Cyber Physical Systems, must have the capability to reach consensus on well-­defined objectives or to cooperatively solve complex problems that benefit from the vast spatial diversity of the nodes. This circle of ideas, together with the desire to bring on equal footing the the interaction between computers and humans, motivated the program title Networked Interactive Cyber Physical Systems.


Curricular structure and Dual Degree 

The NETSyS programme integrates contributions from several existent degrees, and as such it affords the students the flexibility needed to take full advantage of their diverse scientific background and skills, having in mind the challenges that they will face in the future. The degrees upon which this program builds its curricular structure are:

a) PhD in Electrical Computer Eng at IST (PDEEC-­IST);;

b) PhD in Informatics at IST (PDEIC-­IST);;

c) CMU doctoral Programs: ECECS and LTI.

Depending on their interests, students will register for one of the two doctoral programs at IST or, in the case of dual degree doctoral students, in one of the CMU existing doctoral degree Programs . This flexibility emphasizes the interdisciplinarity of the program we propose, providing the students with choices that will allow them to tailor their curricular path. The structure of these programs agreed between the several CMU Departments and IST allows students to take courses from any of the partnering Departments; for example, former alum Andre Martins graduated with a Language Technologies Institute doctoral degree from CMU and an Electrical and Computer Engineering doctoral degree from IST. In this PhD program, as mentioned earlier there is the possibility for students to apply for a Double Degree at CMU in Pittsburgh, USA, where students can be co-supervised by professors in Portugal and in Pittsburgh, this including a research fellowship and dividing their time between Portugal and United States of America. Dual degree students may take longer in this program (5 years) since they have extra requirements.


Co-orientation and co-supervision at M-ITI

The program will include the possibility for students to be co-oriented by other research fellows at several others institutes in Portugal and at CMU as well, giving them much more wider possibilities of expertise and chances to improve their skills in several other disciplines in the field of Interactive Cyber Physical Systems. Madeira Interaction Technologies Insitute - is one of LARSyS members, becoming one of the several collaboration institutes, accepting students and co-orienting them through some of the program courses, contributing for their high-qualification in the areas of Human-Computer Interaction and Entertainment Technology.  During the program, students who are interest in these areas, can come to Madeira, for a period of time, to work on their research subjects and they can also do several of their program courses, having the chance to be co-oriented and supervised by our accredited researchers and faculty.



There will be also a possibility for students to win a scholarship from FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia), during that period of time, since FCT has now approved scholarships for this PhD Programs. This possibility can also be considered through several other institutes.



In order to apply you will need to write a research statement and find a supervisor at M-ITI. Please review the list of faculty, select the researcher whose subject is closest to your own, send him/her your research statement, and ask about his/her availability to supervise you.

Applications to the local program with Instituto Superior Técnico will open (probably between July and October 2017) for a period of roughly four weeks. More information about the application process here.

Applications to the dual degree are open until December 15, 2017. Learn more about the dual degree process here.



If you are interested in receiving more information about this program, please send us an email.