Best global thesis on Quality is from the School of Engineering of UMinho

International Academy for Quality awarded innovative doctoral study of André Carvalho

The International Academy for Quality (IAQ) has distinguished the researcher André M. Carvalho, from the Center ALGORITMI of the School of Engineering of the University of Minho, for having the best doctoral thesis in this area, worldwide, in 2020. The prize, called Riccardo Dell’Anna Doctoral Dissertation Prize, is awarded for the first time to a Portuguese and will be presented in September, at the IAQ conference.

André M. Carvalho’s research is the first to prove in practice that organizations focused on quality and continuous improvement can resist and thrive in increasingly uncertain and complex environments. The study analyzed ten organizations from two countries (Portugal and the United States) and took place at the School of Engineering of UMinho, in Guimarães, as part of the PhD in Leaders for Technological Industries of the MIT Portugal Program.

The researcher had already been honored at conferences of the MIT Portugal Program (Portugal, 2016), the IEOM Society International (USA, 2018) and the European Organization for Quality (Portugal, 2019). “There is a recognition that has been obtained as the work has progressed, and this time I have the great honor of receiving the IAQ award,” says André Carvalho. The IAQ was born 50 years ago in the USA and brings together professionals, researchers, and executives from all over the world, being unique in the area.

Many studies prove that quality initiatives and continuous improvement in organizations tend to lead to success in stable environments. André M. Carvalho wanted to apply this to unstable environments, that is, to current times, which have multiple and global challenges. “I confirmed that companies can achieve success in these environments if they use the focus on quality to promote a cultural transformation, and thereby combine the search for quality with the principles of agility,” he justifies. For the researcher, quality is “aligning the organization with customer requirements and the needs of society.

Reference Academy in the area

André M. Carvalho was born 32 years ago in Braga and lives in Lisbon. He did his MSc in Industrial Engineering and Management at UMinho, with an Erasmus period at VIA University College (Denmark), his PhD in Leaders for Technological Industries at UMinho and MIT (USA) and a post-doctorate at the Technical University of Denmark. He also had training at the University of Ioannina (Greece) and at the Military Academy. He was a visiting researcher at Northeastern University (USA), founder of ASQ UMinho Student Branch (first and only ASQ Student Branch in Europe) and chaired the UMinho’s Industrial Engineering and Management Alumni Center. In addition, he collaborated in the companies Bosch Car Multimedia, Logoplaste do Brasil, and FOSS, working on quality in areas from logistics to digital transformation. He is co-founder of Acesas Cultura and Free Walking Tour Braga.

Today he is a researcher at the Algoritmi Center and a professor at Universidade Lusófona de Lisboa. His time at UMinho “made the difference,” he admits. “I have worked in some of the best institutions in the world and I never felt I was less prepared than other colleagues,” he says. UMinho has become a reference in teaching and research in Quality and Organizational Excellence. It is the only academy in the country with an international conference in the area (ICQEM), with a Student Branch and a Portuguese advisor (Paulo Sampaio) on the Board of the American Society for Quality (ASQ), and among other projects, has produced a world ranking of Quality. The scientists working at Algoritmi have accumulated awards (such as the Feigenbaum medal), projects, publications and participation in events, strengthening the connection to business and society.