briefing

I’ve received the instructions for the thesis project presentation and discussion, which will take place on December 21th, 2011: 20-minute presentation followed by the discussion. The jury will comprise Professor Luís Picado Santos, from “my” department at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), as chairman; Professor Tiago Santos, member of IST’s Centre for Marine Technology and Engineering (CENTEC); and Professor Alcibíades Paulo Guedes, from University of Porto’s Engineering School (FEUP).

The time is coming.

sub-mission


Sex Pistols, it was 1977

Sub-mission accomplished! I’ve just submitted my thesis project. If everything goes well, I should have my project viva (I think I can call it that: it will be the public presentation and discussion of the thesis project) scheduled still for 2011.

Now it’s time for a not-that-big breath and start preparing the presentation.

feedback & final lap

I’ve got new feedback from my supervisor and things should be approaching its epilogue. Some fine-tuning is needed, but no major changes. The goal is to submit the final version until the end of the month, in order to have everything done (for now…) until the end of the year. I guess I won’t be sleeping that much during this month.

back to school

I had my second supervision appointment yesterday, in a Friday entirely spent at IST. It’s good to be back to the school and being able to spend an entire day there, working for the project. It sure was productive.

The appointment went very well and we discussed many questions, including the draft version I had submitted this week. I got very good tips and ideas from my supervisor, which I’ll try to put in practice while preparing the thesis project. Otherwise, I’ll leave them for the research phase, as my deadline is approaching fast and I’m not sure whether I’ll have time to read & write everything I should.

This means I’ll have a busy weekend and busier times ahead – which means a balanced mix of work and sailing must be in place. And since that the weatherman is kind today, a Laser sailing afternoon is already scheduled.

Fair winds and following seas. Have a nice weekend.

article of the day

“Maritime Transportation: Drivers for the Shipping and Port Industries”
by Jean-Paul Rodrigue
OECD/ITF, International Transport Forum 2010, Forum Papers, 2, 2010

This article was already queueing for same time and that was a mistake. It’s a very good article introducing the main drivers of change in the transport system and, building on that, suggesting some emerging patterns for maritime transport.

version 4.0

After a too long intermission, I finished and submitted today the draft version #4 of my thesis project. It’s very behind schedule and there are still many issues missing, but I’ll try to catch up during September. I need to catch up.

At the same time, it also showed me the importance of keep writing, closing pending issues, submitting versions, etc. It’s the way to feel that I’m moving somewhere and that I must keep moving somewhere. To the right direction, preferably.

tantlinger, the other part of the equation


Keith Tantlinger, 1919-2011

Malcolm McLean is many times quoted as the inventor of the container, without any credit given to Keith Tantlinger. But it was Tantlinger who fine-tuned McLean’s vision and engineered essential concepts that allowed the box to be used in a standardized way, kick-starting productivity boosts and universal usability of the container as the cornerstone of world trade and globalization.

Keith Tantlinger died today and there are many publications recalling his achievements and contributions. Here is Marine Insight’s one, which I’ve chosen for you.

news from the western front

Another day that I tried too much and no relevant work appears to be done. Which is not that unexpected, given that working plus studying plus all-family-gathered-and-my-brother’s-in-town is not the way things work more efficiently.

Nevertheless, I evolved in some ‘soft issues’ and hope that can help with the writing. The clock is ticking.

poster boy

In order to enrich my thesis proposal, I’m already sketching an initial research proposal poster. It should come with the objectives, the work plan, and the expected results, but that is something still moving inside the pipeline. Updates will follow soon. I hope.

IAME Conference 2011

The website of the IAME Conference 2011 in already on the air.  The conference will be hosted at UNECLAC Headquarters in Santiago de Chile, from October 25, 2011 to October 28, 2011.

The theme is “Shipping markets, port devolution and a changing geography of world maritime transport” and, despite the call for papers is already closed, registrations are still accepted.

I was at last year’s conference, right here in Portugal (in Carcavelos and Estoril), and it was an excellent event. This time I don’t believe I can make it, unfortunately.

summer break

Unfortunately, I was forced to do a Summer break in the Algarve, due to health reasons involving my father. All appears to be getting back on tracks, but it has been some anxious days these ones.

Although a side of my family is originally from the Algarve, I don’t come here that often.

These days I don’t feel like working for my thesis at the end of the day, not after spending most of it at the hospital, so I usually stroll in places I used to play at during my childhood.

Data & Stats

A new menu was added to the site. I felt the need to do it after finding myself, for several times, looking around for ‘that link’, ‘that database, ‘those stats’ and never remembering the right link (or not being able to find it in my bookmarks).

In the ‘Data & Stats’ menu, you will find several interesting stuff, from general purpose stats and databases to transport-specific indices and indicators. I tried to group them in meaningful, yet simple sections, which I’ll try to improve over time. Enjoy.

coursework: check!

Stop the press! I’ve just received my last grade and coursework is DO-NE!!!

It has been a long and demanding path, lasting from September 2010 until late last month, constantly travelling, commuting, studying – and working at my regular job. At the same time, I really enjoyed it and learnt a lot in all five courses I was enrolled: Research Methodologies, Risk and Decision Making, Optimization of Transport Infrastructures and Operations, Business Models and Contracts, and Transport Policy and Institutions.

Now it’s time to take a big breath and focusing on the thesis proposal I need to prepare and present for the Thesis Project curricular unit, due later this year. It’s the only thing left to finish my first year at the program and to enter in the long and big immersion of research  and… thesing.

morning walk

While doing coursework, my life spanned the area between Sines, Cascais, and Lisbon, which I had to cover several times a week. For the morning classes, I’d usually travel the day before from Sines to Cascais, then take a morning train from Cascais to Lisbon, hop on the metro at Cais do Sodré and do a morning walk between the stop at Alameda and IST.

This image bring me back – bring us, I’m expecting to be read – to one of those busy, but enjoyable days. It was October 19, 2010, at 08h41, and I was doing my final leg in direction to IST. Here is the sunny version of IST’s South Tower.