Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto

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The Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto (ISEP) or Porto Superior Institute of Engineering is a public polytechnic higher learning and research institute of engineering, located in the city of Porto, Portugal. ISEP has eight departments and one section, with an emphasis on applied science and technology.

ISEP was founded by the minister Fontes Pereira de Melo in 1852 as Escola Industrial do Porto (Porto School of Industry) to support the industrialization of Portugal, and some time later upgraded to Instituto Industrial do Porto (Porto Institute of Industry). Since 1989, was grouped with other schools in the Polytechnic Institute of Porto. Its motto is Saber Fazer — "Knowing how to do".

Today, ISEP is one of the biggest and most known engineering schools of Portugal, with around 6,000 students and 500 faculty members. It has research facilities for real-time systems, artificial intelligence, knowledge based systems, and decision support systems, some of them internationally recognized as leading R&D centers (e.g. GECAD and CISTER) as accredited by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia of the Portuguese Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education.


The institution had several names and roles since its foundation in 1852:

  • 1852 The Escola Industrial do Porto (School of Industry) is founded by the minister Fontes Pereira de Melo, during the reign of King Pedro V of Portugal.
  • 1864 The school was transformed into an Institute, as Instituto Industrial do Porto (Institute of Industry), and was integrated into the new Industrial sector on the frame of the Instituto Industrial de Lisboa established in Lisbon.
  • 1905 It was allowed to provide higher education (ensino superior).
  • 1918 The institute was reorganized and transformed again into a non-higher education technical institute of intermediate education (ensino médio) by the minister Azevedo Neves reforms. It started coferring the titles of engenheiro auxiliar (auxiliary engineer) by law Lei 1 638 de 23 de Julho de 1924 in 1924, and agente técnico de engenharia (technical agent of engineering) from 1926 onwards.
  • 1975 After the Carnation Revolution of 1974, the institute was upgraded to higher education status and started to award 4-year bacharelato degrees conferring the title of technical engineer (engenheiro técnico). Integrated into the university sector and renamed ISEP - Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto (Superior Institute of Engineering), it coferred short cycle technical engineering degrees while the universities awarded 5-year engineer degrees.
  • 1989 By force of decree law Decreto-Lei n.º 389/88, de 25 de Outubro (1988), ISEP was integrated into the newly created polytechnic sector and made part of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto. It started to award exclusively 3-year bacharelato degrees conferring the title of technical engineer (engenheiro técnico) and CESE (Curso de Estudos Superiores Especializados) courses conferring the DESE (Diploma de Estudos Superiores Especializados) diploma, a complementary diploma to the bacharelato degree.
  • 1998 ISEP started to award licenciatura bietápica degrees (3-year bacharelato plus 2 extra years conferring the licenciatura, equivalent to the licenciatura (licentiate) degree which until then had been awarded only by the universities).
  • 2004 ISEP seen its first engineering licenciatura courses accredited by the Ordem dos Engenheiros, the Portuguese engineering association. The first accredited courses were in chemical engineering and electronic engineering. Beyond the public universities, only Lisbon (ISEL) and Porto (ISEP) state-run polytechnic engineering institutions had accredited courses in the Ordem dos Engenheiros in 2006.
  • 2007 Like the other Portuguese polytechnic institutions, on the frame of the Bologna process, ISEP was allowed to start awarding independent masters' degrees as a second cycle of study after the initial 3-year first cycle which grant a licenciatura. Previously, since 2002, it only awarded masters' degrees in some fields with the support of Instituto Superior Técnico a university engineering institution from Lisbon.


ISEP's campus spans approximately 50,000 square meters in Pólo Universitário, near São João Hospital. Dormitories and some of student life facilities are located outside the campus, but almost all classes are held on campus. ISEP campus was initially located in the central Porto and moved to current one in the 1960s.


ISEP is divided into different schools within its campus:

  • DEC - Civil engineering
  • DEG - Geotechnical engineering
  • DEQ - Chemical engineering
  • DEE - Electrical and Computer engineering
  • DEM - Mechanical engineering
  • DEI - Software engineering
  • DMA - Mathematics
  • DFI - Physics
  • DOG - Management


The main studies are Software engineering, Civil engineering, Chemical engineering, Electrical engineering - Energy Systems, Electrical engineering - Electronics and Computers (Computer Engineering), Instrumentation engineering and Metrology, Mechanical engineering, and Geotechnical engineering.

See also

  • list of colleges and universities in Portugal
  • Higher education in Portugal




External links