The Mechanical Engineering Institute (IDMEC – Instituto de Engenharia Mecânica) was established in April 10th 1992 as a private rights association between IST (Instituto Superior Técnico), and FEUP (Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto), and in April 11th 1997 the IDMEC non-profit research institute was granted the title of Public Useful Entity (Entidade de Utilidade Pública). IDMEC resulted from a joint application from the departments of mechanical engineering (DEM) from IST and Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Management (DEMGI) from FEUP to the Ciência program.
The mission of IDMEC is three fold:
- to develop both fundamental and applied research,
- to provide education and disseminate knowledge and
- to engage in the industrial development and provide know-how to the community in the fields of mechanical engineering.
Specifically, the role of IDMEC is to create new scientific knowledge using fundamental research and to develop know-how and competences in applied research in order to engage in the advanced education of young researchers and engineers, and in the scientific dissemination of knowledge and know-how (through publications, conferences, workshops and scientific meetings), thereby promoting exchanges between individuals and institutions and to foster both research, engineering and education.
IDMEC is made up from 2 financially and administrative independent divisions. Each division is organized into the following centres:
- Group of Mechanical Design
- Group of Intelligent Systems
- Group of Manufacturing and Industrial
- Group of Renewable and Sustainable Energy Systems
- Group of Design and Experimental Validation
- Group of System Integration and Process Automation
- Group of Advanced studies on Energy in the Built Environment
In July 2008 the Portuguese Minister of Science, Technology and high education, approved the creation of a new associate laboratory LAETA (Laboratório Associado em Energia, Transportes e Aeronáutica), which gathers around 230 PhD holders working in several areas of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. 4 units of IDMEC lead the new entity and its mission is the creation of a network of research and development encompassing all the domains of Aerospace, Energy, and Transportation science. Specifically, LAETA promotes partnerships with companies, European consortiums, national and international entities (both public and private) to foster R&D with the aim to implement and improve engineering processes e.g. conception, design, fabrication, testing, regulation, as well as in the dissemination of knowledge, and in the education of technicians and engineers in Aerospace, Energy and Transportation sciences.