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.

those useless trees

‘Yeah, the trees, those useless trees produce the air that I am breathing,
Yeah, the trees, those useless trees; they never said that you were leaving.’
Pulp, ‘The Trees’

It’s a place I always come back, I always went back, I always stop by. And I always remember too much of these trees. But they’re there. They’re gone again. And I don’t feel like doing like Jarvis sings at the end. I won’t go & tell it to the trees. Yeah.

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.

in memoriam

Something terrible happened last Saturday, May 28, 2011. We gather today to honour our friend’s memory, someone we had the privilege to share our day-to-day life with.

You set the example, A. We will follow it today and everyday.

benelux

I haven’t mentioned how things went in my Benelux trip. Here it goes: business-wise, it went all according to planned, which helps but not necessarily means reaching the ultimate objective (probably more to follow about that). Leisure-wise, it couldn’t be better, with a wonderful mix of short encounters, sightseeing, relaxed moments and good conversation with friends I havent’t seen for a while.

Now let’s see when I will see them again…

over & out (of the country)

The end of a very long day. I had today my last exam, Transport Policy and Institutions they call it, and I’m now free from coursework, so grades allow it. Cross your fingers, will you?

I departed directly from IST to the Lisbon Airport, for an extended weekend in Brussels and Rotterdam ‘per lavoro e per piacere’. Brussels for business, Rotterdam for memories and to see some friends.

Please wish me luck – and a sound health and physical condition (it’s for the business part of the trip).

1st post (after the previous one)

OK, now that we know each other, let’s go for a quick recap of the story so far. I started my PhD program in September 2010. It comprises coursework during the first year, including the curricular unit Thesis Project, plus two years of research, at the end of which I am supposed to submit and defend my thesis. Of course it would be handy if I managed to start research while doing coursework, but given the usual lack of time for doing that plus the fact I’m studying part-time and squeezing my time between academic activities and job responsabilities, I’m finding that just a little bit difficult…

I had to enroll in five courses I chose with the help of my designated tutor: Research Methodologies, Risk and Decision Making, and Optimization of Transport Infrastructures and Operations in the Fall semester; and Business Models and Contracts, and Transport Policy and Institutions in the Spring semester. At some point during the year, I’ll have to find an academic that, based on a draft thesis proposal (I’ve already finished), will be designated as my official supervisor.

The moment I’m writing, I’m done with most of my coursework (reason why I found the time – and thought it would make sense – to start the blog) and I have only one exam left.

I think this is it. And now it’s time to go back studying. But not without wishing a Happy Easter for those who celebrate it.

editorial prospectus

I’m a transportation professional pursuing a PhD in Transportation Systems at IST – Technical University of Lisbon and currently working for APS – Port of Sines Authority, Portugal.

In 2007, I was granted a three-month internship at UNCTAD – United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, in Geneva, during which I should write my master’s thesis. In order to help me keeping track of time and sharing my days with friends & strangers, I decided to start a blog. Now that I’m beginning my PhD research, I thought about commiting the same mistake.

At this point, I’m still working on my research proposal and no definitive topic is set. Nevertheless, the thrust area will be ports and maritime transport, and the starting point is “Port Competition: Drivers and Boundaries of Integration for Shipping Lines and Terminal Operators”. Let’s see how this develops.

This blog is intended to serve as a diary of my research and day-to-day life during the forthcoming months. I’ll try to update it regularly and to post information about the progresses, doubts, and questions of my work. I will also post the nitty-gritty of living, working and looking at the Atlantic from the westernmost country of mainland Europe (and hopefully, from some other countries I’ll visit along the way). I don’t intend to lie.

My e-mail address is somewhere at the top-right corner of the blog and all messages are most welcome. Have fun.