My name is Elías Gudiño, I’m from Venezuela and I completed my PhD in Mathematics in February of 2014 at the Mathematics Department of the University of Coimbra. I was part of the joint PhD program in Mathematics of the University of Porto and the University of Coimbra.
In the Centre for Mathematics of the University of Coimbra (CMUC), I belonged to the Numerical Analysis and Optimization research group. The group is very academically active, with monthly seminars, collaboration between its members and organization of international scientific meetings. Under the supervision of Professors José A. Ferreira and Paula de Oliveira, I defended the thesis entitled “Recent developments in non-Fickian diffusion: a new look at viscoelastic materials”. The main motivation for this work was the prediction of drug release kinetics, which is one of the most important problems in controlled drug release technology. As the drug release from a polymeric matrix is mainly controlled by penetrant uptake, drug dissolution and drug diffusion through the swelling polymeric network, the modeling of these processes have proven to be reliable tools in the design of new and/or the optimization of
existing drug delivery systems without the need of animal testing in laboratories and costly in vitro experiments.
The University of Coimbra is the oldest university of Portugal and one of the oldest in the world, on 2013 UNESCO added the university to its World Heritage List. It has five campuses in different parts of the city and a beautiful botanical garden right next to the mathematics department. The University has many colorful academic traditions and the students are very friendly.
My experience at the University of Coimbra was very excellent both personally and academically, Coimbra is a magic city full of lovely people that will make you fell very welcome. I definitely recommend the University of Coimbra to anyone who is thinking of doing a PhD in Portugal.