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ISA Former Students Testimonials

Joana Maçanita

Joana Maçanita

Agriscience Engineering BSc (ISA 2007)
WineID Consultant – Manager/CEO
Manager/CEO – Fitapreta Winery
Jury member at the “International Wine Challenge, London (2005-2007) and at Wine Master Challenge”, Estoril, (2005 -2007)

I've joined ISA in 2000 motivated by my father that spoke proudly, and with high esteem, about the school. Didn't know at the time that it was what I wanted for my future. In 2004 I carried out my first harvest, and guided by the teachers at ISA, I decided to enrol in viticulture and oenology. With the particular tuition concept at ISA and its scientific methodology, I was able to establish, in 2006 and with two fellow students, my own business in Oenology Consultancy - WineID, which at this particular moment supports 8 national wine producers.

It's important to refer that ISA taught me the fundamental principles that allowed me to make decisions, and that ISA is like a second home that encourages you to stand up all the time.

In this place I was given the necessary tools to be a successful professional; ISA bestowed on me a degree and I'm proud of it.

Joana Vicente

Joana Vicente

Agricultural Engineer
Researcher at the Horticulture Research International/University of Warwick (since 1999)

I've joined ISA in 1987/88 following my parents’ footsteps. By the end of the first year I had to make a choice from the pool of various fields, from
Landscape Architecture to Livestock Breeding. Didn't succeed that year in Plant Improvements, so I decided to engage in the more generic field of Plant
Production. The 60 or so syllabuses in the course make us ready for anything, from Maths to Horticulture through Tractors and Economics, including syllabuses with individual and group projects. During the course final period I gathered some expertise in a lab where work on tissue culture and brassicas (brassicaceae) diseases was done. At that time I was faced with successes and setbacks in my experiments, and for the first time I took part in an International Congress. Before finalizing my end project I was granted a Praxis XXI scholarship to proceed my doctorate in a brassica bacterial disease. I began my doctorate at ISA and later spent three years at the Horticulture Research International (HRI), Wellesbourne, Warwick, UK. It was with great pride that I returned to ISA to present my thesis. Meanwhile I started to improve my skills at HRI and engage in bacteriological projects, and was offered a permanent position. Since then I've been working in plant improvement, molecular bacteriology and biology. I made many friends and acquaintances at ISA, and it is with great pleasure that I keep on collaborating with some colleagues and pay ISA regular visits.

Jorge Granate Rosa Santos

Jorge Granate Rosa Santos

It was in the 99/00 school year that I joined Agricultural Engineering at ISA, and later choose to enrol in viticulture and oenology.

The fact that the bachelor degree that I've tried to achieve has a high level of requirements and being multidisciplinary during the common course of lectures, ensured not only the particularity and perception required to my performance as a professional oenologist, but also a wide knowledge in other fields such as Agronomy, Mathematics, Physics/Chemistry, Ecology, etc). No doubt that the common Curricular Program, modern and demanding, gave me the fundamentals for my academic

However, coinciding with a well-defined curricular program, the panel of lecturers is the biggest asset at ISA.
Experienced and with great academic capacity, it offers a solid base for the acquired theoretical knowledge.

Only when I joined the workforce I was aware of the influence and recognition, among the professional sector, that ISA engineering courses have, built on the mutual efforts of the institution, its teachers and students.

Of course I can't forget as well the special relationship at the campus, with fellows and teachers with whom I still interact.

Leonel Fadigas

Leonel Fadigas

Landscape Architect (1971)
Agricultural Engineer (1978)
Associated Teacher at the Architectural School/Lisbon Technical University

A way of life is done at several places and circumstances, different schools and backgrounds. Forty years after presenting my thesis in landscape architecture (1971),
I recall not only the juvenile excitement when I joined ISA, back in 1964, but primarily what I've learned and how I've grown up. With extraordinary teachers (Caldeira Cabral, Ário de Azevedo, Pais de Azevedo, Monteiro Alves) and fellows that today are my friends still, I've gained knowledge of the world and people, and the 'wings' that take me to many places. In the classrooms, at the Students Fellowship, I've learned that besides agronomy, accomplished by 1978 and the main reason to join ISA, responsibility, social values and commitment, the scientific and individual demands were the best that I could profit from an institution that was, above all, a home far from home.

Today, with a doctorate in Town Planning, and lecturing town and land planning at a close-by school (UTL School of Architecture), I recognize that what I am today I owe to ISA. And my daily squint at Tapada, so close by, is my way to be grateful for the privilege to proudly say: I've studied at ISA.

Leonor Leandro

Leonor Leandro

Agricultural Engineer (Specialized in Plant Protection)

I have good recollections of my time at ISA, and it is always with great pride that I talk about this institution. It was at ISA that I've gained solid foundations and an in-depth knowledge framework that allowed me to follow an investigation career in vegetarian pathology.

I gained the bachelor's degree in Agricultural Engineering at ISA in 1996, with specialization in Plant Protection. It was during my final work on the Cylindorcarpon destructans in grapevines that I found that I wanted to engage in an investigation career. I owe much of my enthusiasm to Cecilia Rego (BSc) and Prof. Ganhão, my mentors, for providing me with enriched know-how and taught me the background knowledge for experimental methodology, scientific strictness and service to the agrarian society.

It was Ana Carla Madeira (DSc), from Agrometeorology, that later led me to a master's in Environmental Science at the University of Nottingham, being my outer mentor, and helped with my first contacts with researchers from US. In 1998 I was accepted at the Iowa State University for a doctorate, doing a research in the strawberry plant anthracnose, with Praxis XXI scholarship funds from the Foundation for Science and Technology.

After a post-doctorate at the North Carolina State University, I returned to the Iowa State University where since 2006 I do work as an assistant professor and research in pathogenic fungus in the soy plant, and lecture in microbiology.

Macário Correia

Macário Correia

Mayor of Faro
Former Assistant Teacher, General Manager, Member of Government's Cabinet, Member of Parliament, and member of both Council of European Municipalities and Regions and EU Committee of the Regions

In the two decades of my professional life and great public exposure, confronting the tasks entrusted upon me, the ideas and beliefs from motherschool were essential to my discovery and insight of the world. We learned history, economics, hydraulics, mechanics, sociology, biology, as well as art and chemistry, which gave us grounds to understand all kinds of dossiers and decisions. This openness that ISA instilled in me, and the abundance and versatility of what I was taught there, gave me a valuable preparedness tool, that made me deal with the most intricate and varied issues that I've bumped in real life as a public leader.

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Sem Fotografia

Mário António Ernesto

Agriscience Engineer, Poet and Angola citizen


Manhã fria do Inverno
era Janeiro
janela abriu-se sete anos depois
sem carteira nem leitura.
Numa paisagem esverdeada da Tapada da Ajuda
encontrei o ISA
como um incebergue do saber
atirado na floresta da felicidade.
Folhas e flores caiam sobre mim
com ares de felicitação em esperança agronómica
meu espírito recapitulava o sonho de ser eu
como eu.
Éramos três
trilhando com interrogações e determinação
a ânsia de vencer e convencer
a ânsia de criar
criar amizades, camaradas e colegas
O sol, dia pôs dia
trazia à nós novas amizades, e solidariedade
entre colegas
e assim sentimo-nos em casa.
Repartimo-nos em grupos
de trabalho e estudos
dificuldades as vezes tínhamos
mas facilmente ultrapassáveis
porque sozinhos não estávamos
com amigos, colegas e nossos ilustres professores
sentimo-nos em casa.
Casa hospitaleira
onde os ventos da irmandade cultural
e não só, elevam o éco até bem mais, para além
do pulmão da majestosa Lisboa
com o ISA, a guisar, culturas de vários quadrantes
ali convergidos como uma só
a da igualdade de direitos
como estudante
felicitações …
Ainda me lembro
quando pedia mais
aos meus professores
repita para mim
alimenta-me mais outra vez
do teu saber
quer aprender e saber fazer
como tu
tudo, tudo, tudo.
não me canso por repetir
a explicar-te
a despejar-te
o meu saber
é o sabor da tua felicidade e prosperidade
o vereda da verdade da reconstrução
e desenvolvimento do teu país.
Sentir-me-ei orgulhoso e realizado
ao saber que meu saber em ti
vale à um país por descobrir
como é Angola.

Luanda, Outubro de 2006

Rui Pereira

Rui Pereira

Agrisciences Engineer (Specialized in Plants Protection, 1991)
Entomologist, FAO/IAEA Joint Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, Vienna, Austria

My entry in ISA comes from a childhood and youth of country life, amidst a family with strong ties to farming, and being involved, since my early years, in several farming chores during my free time.

At ISA I amassed the primary and lasting background that allowed me to face with confidence various periods of time in my life, either in the later achievement of academic degrees or during my professional activity.

It was during my bachelor's years, while undertaking the course final work that I got involved with the learning of insects (with cochineals in citrus). Ending my bachelor's in 1991, right away and at ISA too, began a master’s degree in Integrated Protection, where I started to consolidate my education as Entomologist, with the work developed around the Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata).

After my master's I started my professional life in the field of Entomology, to be more precise, in an autocidal pest control against the Mediterranean fruit fly through a sterile insect technique and, once again, the knowledge gathered at ISA was decisive during the approach to the professional challenges.

Eight years later, when I decided to have my entomology doctorate's in the United States, in the University of Florida, in touch with students from other countries, realized, and be thankful, how strong my education at ISA was.
In 2007 I took the challenge of working for an international body (International Atomic Energy Agency), though in a “Joint Division” with the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), where I have the opportunity to participate in applied research and technical collaboration with developing countries around the world.

And because my recollection of the time as student are pleasant, when I travel to Lisbon, still pay a brief visit to ISA, to get in touch with friends, fellows ant teachers that left a mark in my academic education.

Susana Feitor

Susana Feitor

High Level Competition Athlete
The highest Portuguese achiever in Race Walk
Gold Medal at 1990 World Championship, 1993 Junior European Championship, 1996 EC Race Walk Championship, 13th at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996. 10 Km track and field Portuguese Champion, 3000 metres indoor and outdoor race walk record, 5000 metres indoor, 30 mins track race walk, and 10 Km track and field race walk
1991 Athlete of the Year

(...) across the board ISA had such a great leap forward (in all fields) in this last decade, that makes difficult to other institutions to go along... would be better! (mostly for students).

Teresa Andresen

Teresa Andresen

Landscape Architect
Cathedratic Professor at the University of Oporto - Faculty of Science

I was an ISA student from 1976 to 1982, when I finished my bachelor's in agrisciences engineering and landscape architecture free course. I regard my university education as being in depth, qualified and adjusted to our knowhow. What I am and do today, I owe mostly to my education at ISA.

Both courses that I've attended were captivating, and the surroundings at Tapada, Botanical Garden and the city of Lisbon were an important factor. And the participation in the students association AEISA was kind of a companion school.

Around 600 students were enrolled at ISA in the year 1976 and the premises burst at the seams. The ambience was influenced by people of the southern provinces of Ribatejo and Alentejo, very politicized, and that made us to take sides and options. Learn agronomics was to gain the skill of farming in a country faced with the loss of African colonies... Paradigms were quickly modified!

Landscape Architecture was 'extremely politicized'. Fascinating classes that educate our insight and stimulate our thinking. Classes in the evenings and Saturdays. Unforgettable study visits which were so constructive. It was a never-ending inspiration!

I was lucky to be taught, at ISA, by outstanding teachers. The bad things – always present in those institutions – are already forgotten.

Tiago Van Zeller

Tiago Van Zeller

Production Manager - Nacional (Cerealis Moagens)
Bachelor in Food Engineering

In a climate of anticipation and novelty I joined ISA for the 1998/1999 school year. Found tradition and knowledge, surroundings and people that saw me go along my bachelor's in Agro-Industrial Engineering (food products branch), lately redeveloped as Alimentary Engineering. It was an intensive period of individual and academic education, next to an adulthood maturity that led to the discovery of a complex and multidisciplinary professional context - Food Industry.
With a strong elementary education in alimentary sciences, my introduction was be means of working on several subjects like Quality Control, Industrial Maintenance and Projects in the industry of dairy products. These last two subjects arouse in me the will and need for complementary training.

Although only with one year of professional experience, the versatility of technical duties in the industry environment prompted for the discovery and deepening of the complementary and elementary areas in any industrial production setting; all aspects of mechanics, electronics, thermodynamics. For this I took a post-graduation in Maintenance Management, and several technical courses and seminars in those areas. It was a time of intensive and thorough learning and professional accomplishment.

Ended this stage in my life, a new one began, now in cereals milling industry. A very different industrial experience, with similar areas and others totally distinctive, defined this new path that I'm taking now. Production management, as well as industrial project management (cereals acceptance and milling industrial plant improvement) fill my daily routine. Once more the need to improve my basic training appeared early, and I've already finished a 1 year foreign technical specialization in Milling Technology, followed by a master's degree, at ISA, in Alimentary Engineering and around produce technology (currently preparing my thesis). The circle has come to a closure in this return to I.S.A., after all, the place I had left from only four years ago.



Lead singer of Xutos e Pontapés rock band

I've attended ISA from 1979 till 1986, and graduated in Agricultural Engineering, in the field of Improvements.
Always found that the buildings, gardens and farmland (right in the middle of Lisbon), the library and the labs where a whole, suitable for learning something with many options, many perspectives, many possible outcomes, with students being prepared to evaluate and decide in a responsible manner. It was a breakthrough to have this kind of freedom in learning, and took me a while to depart from the canonical way of teaching at secondary school and really understand to what I was braced with. With wise scholars and attentive deputies, and the teaching being set towards the understanding of related issues, I've produced several individual and team projects, exchanging life and cognitive experiences with people of different fields and status, from teacher to blacksmith. Not being on the bright side of the learning process, and at the same time developing a musical career, naturally I did not pass some terms and had to redo some syllabuses, making me get acquainted to more people and that, ultimately, added more friends in my life. At the end, in my last school year, and during my internship, I had the privilege of doing some field work integrated in a multi-disciplinary team that I miss today, apart from my humble graduation work being quoted by American researchers with whom my supervisor had partnerships. In the end my simultaneous career prevailed and I became a professional musician. From the days spent at ISA I've kept the work done with other students, to value other's standpoints, a wider insight of life and its intricacy and a mental attitude that coached me to face other kind of situations that, ultimately and with no doubt, helped my band to achieve what is today. To all of you I offer my gratitude.

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