The Institute for Sustainability and Innovation in Structural Engineering (ISISE) is a R&D Research Centre created in 2007 involving the Civil Engineering Departments of University of Coimbra and University of Minho. The vision of ISISE is to increase the structural and functional performance of Civil Engineering Works, from a perspective of advanced technology, innovation and a knowledge based economy with a wide focus that ranges from materials to integral systems with a life cycle approach. ISISE currently comprises about 160 researchers, including a large number of PhD students. In 2014, ISISE was evaluated by FCT - the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology and graded EXCELLENT.
ISISE possesses full expertise to address the seven basic requirements needed to bring building products to the market such as Mechanical resistance and stability; Safety in the case of fire; Hygiene, health and the environment; Safety in use; Protection against noise; Energy economy and heat retention. The research activities carried out in the institute are mainly divided into four research groups: Steel and mixed construction technologies (SMCT) and Functional Performance (FP) at University of Coimbra and Historical and masonry structures (HMS) and Structural concrete (SC) at University of Minho.
In the period 2014-2016, ISISE secured important funding (about 10 M€) for the construction and equipment of additional laboratory facilities in its two major campi (Coimbra and Minho). The new facilities have been completed and include a state-of-the-art Fire Safety Experimental Laboratory (FireLAB), in Coimbra, and the Institute for Bio-Sustainability (IBS), in Minho, joining engineering and biological sciences to address integrative and complex problems in the natural and built environment.
The Institute is involved in several Advanced Educational Programs, including two Erasmus Mundus International Masters, funded by the European Commission, four PhD programs, as well as 5 advanced MSc programs.