Mechanical Engineering Department attracts secondary school students with Energy and Sustainability

On April 19, the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the School of Engineering collaborated in the UPA – University of Open Doors program with a lecture dedicated to Energy and Sustainability. Professors Luís Barreiros Martins and Francisco Brito spoke to an audience of primary and secondary school students, enlightening them on energy conversion processes, energy efficiency and sustainability in areas such as electricity production, mobility and air conditioning. This presentation was illustrated with some small demonstrators and everyday examples, such as what weighs most on the electricity bill, how it is produced and reaches our homes and the potential and challenges of sustainable energy sources.

Some particularly vibrant moments were the live demonstration of a steam engine connected to a small electric generator, a bottle of water cooled by a Peltier device, the generation of electricity from heat with these same devices, a pump and hydraulic turbine, a photovoltaic panel generating electricity from a high-intensity light and an electric vehicle kit with a reversible fuel cell that produced its own hydrogen for propulsion using electricity from a photovoltaic panel. The topics covered correspond to the teaching and research areas of the two DEM professors, who are very much focused on the analysis and development of energy conversion processes in areas such as electricity production, vehicle propulsion, waste-to-energy, air conditioning and cooling processes for high-performance electronic components.

With these actions, we hope to attract students to this area of engineering, which has a significant weight in EEUM’s educational offer and is so relevant to the sustainability and energy efficiency objectives that are the order of the day.


Images / videos of the activity can be seen here