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Instituto Superior Técnico
IST Logo.png
Established 1911
Type Public school
President António Manuel da Cruz Serra
Faculty 1,029 [1]
Students 9,900 (2008/2009) [1]
Undergraduates 8,968 [1]
Postgraduates 932 [1]
Location Lisbon and Oeiras, Portugal
Campus Urban
Colours Blue and White         
Nickname Técnico
North Tower of Instituto Superior Técnico

The Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) is a Portuguese faculty of engineering and part of the Universidade Técnica de Lisboa (Technical University of Lisbon). It is a public institution of university higher education with great scientific and financial autonomy, founded in 1911.

The IST, since its foundation, has been the largest and the most reputed schools of engineering, science and technology in Portugal, at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It develops strong research and development activities in accordance with the highest international standards.

It has two campi, both located in Greater Lisbon area (Alameda in Lisbon and Taguspark in Oeiras), and consists of ten Departments and one Autonomous Section that are responsible for teaching the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Each Department is organised in sections, which group together specific subjects within its scientific area. In addition, the laboratories of the several Departments are an important source of support to the teaching and research activities carried out at IST.

Today, IST offers 21 undergraduate programmes attended by more than 8,500 students, covering a wide range of areas of knowledge, including not only all the traditional engineering specializations, but also other modern areas such as Biomedical Engineering, Aerospace and Physics Engineering.

Postgraduate training is also very important with over 1,500 students enrolled in 28 master's degree programmes, 21 doctoral courses and various specialized courses. Its highly-qualified teaching staff includes 670 Ph.D. holders.

The IST benefits from an IBM supercomputer built in 2007, which is one of the most powerful in Portugal (1.6 TFLOPS as of 2007).[2]



The Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) was created in 1911 from the division of the Industrial and Commercial Institute of Lisbon. Alfredo Bensaúde, an Engineer, was the first Director of IST (1911-1922) and promoter of a wide-rang reform in the Portuguese higher technical education, responsible for the first Engineering courses at IST: Mining, Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, and Chemical-Industrial. The second Director of IST was Duarte Pacheco (1927-1932), also an Engineer, who was responsible for the construction of the university campus at Alameda. Meanwhile IST became part of the recently created Technical University of Lisbon. Throughout the following decade, the image of engineers from IST was projected into major engineering works, promoted by Duarte Pacheco, who was by the time Minister of Public Works.

Between 1952 and 1972, 12 study centres were established in Portugal, three of them at IST, in the fields of Chemistry, Geology and Mineralogy, and Electronics. These centres were responsible for promoting faculty staff training and scientific qualification through doctoral studies in universities and research centres abroad. In 1970, the minimum period for obtaining a Bachelor degree decreased from six to five years, and IST denotes a remarkable increasing of the number of students. During this period, scientific research at IST showed a major increase, through the creation of the Complexo Interdisciplinar which fasten together various autonomous research units, and contributes to transform IST in a reference school at European level.

In the 1990s, new courses were created in cutting-edge engineering areas, including Master and Doctoral programmes. In 2001, IST inaugurated a new campus in Oeiras, located in a Science and Technology Park, the TagusPark, which involves more than 120 technology-based companies. Recently, in the academic year of 2006-2007, the Declaration of Bolonha was successfully implemented in all IST courses, aiming the establishment of a European Education Space to make Europe the most competitive knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010.

Today’s IST is recognised as a Great School of Engineering, Architecture, Science & Technology, in Portugal and worldwide. IST is involved in some of the most prestigious RD&I and technology transfer institutions in Portugal, with remarkable impact internationally at many scientific and technological domains. A vast number of courses in cutting-edge engineering areas, at undergraduate, Master and Doctoral levels, are nowadays offer at IST. IST is also actively involved in several networks and international programmes to promote student mobility, both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Through a large number of agreements with other institutions worldwide, IST participates in more than 20 Dual Master programmes, and joint PhD programmes with MIT, CMU, UT-Austin and EPFL.


  • Instituto Superior Técnico is a member of TIME association (Top Industrial Managers for Europe) for researchers and student exchanges and double-degree in Europe. T.I.M.E. Coordinator is Prof. José SANTOS-VICTOR
  • It also belongs to CLUSTER (Consortium Linking Universities of Science and Technology for Education and Research), which is a network of leading European Universities of Technology; their fundamental missions are advanced research and higher education of engineers, scientists and architects. See Cluster


IST has two campi:

Notable alumni

See also


External links

Coordinates: 38°44′12″N 9°08′20″W / 38.73667°N 9.13889°W / 38.73667; -9.13889



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