Innovating Prodigies: The Student Experience at Critical’s Summer Camp

August 23, 2023

Summer Camp continues to energise our offices every summer. It’s when we open our doors to the most curious university students with a desire to change the world and invest in their professional growth. Today we’ll share testimonials of five students who spent a week at our headquarters in Coimbra.

Students in front of Critical Software's headquarters with their summer camp certificates

Critical Software has been hosting its annual Summer Camp, driven by a clear mission: to empower young minds and open doors to the limitless world of IT. Available in two formats, the event comprises an internship program and an engaging Innovation Experience. Let's take a look at the last event and see how things went!

A group of 13 talented engineering students from across the country gathered at our innovation hub, Fikalab, to spend a week with our senior engineers who shared their expert advice in the following areas: 

  • Robotics 
  • Internet of Things 
  • Artificial Intelligence 
  • Machine learning 
  • Drones 
  • Electronics, and more. 

Filipe Simões, our Innovation Director, says that ‘through the ambitious Innovation Experience projects, Critical aims to contribute to the training of the engineers of the future by exposing university students to complex and real-world engineering challenges. In this initiative, selected young people work side by side with senior Critical Software engineers to develop their creativity and ability to design innovative solutions. It's a win-win situation, as each year we receive fresh insight into the challenges we set, as well as great energy from these students’

This edition was not only a success but also had a new twist. This year's projects are designed to last, so if that is their wish, students will be able to continue to be involved in their project development after the end of the Innovation Experience. This not only adds value to the experience but also promotes creative problem-solving solutions among the future leaders – and we love having them around! 

During the event, we sat down with some of the students to find out how the hands-on experience was going. Let’s see what they had to say!  

  • What prototypes did you create and what’s their purpose? 

Alexandre Almeida, Electronics and Computing Engineering student: We’re developing a model in Virtual Reality of an aeroplane cabin and the objective is to simulate it, reproduce the safety control in VR, and create a model that could be used for flight attendants or even the passengers themselves. The goal is to model all of this in Virtual Reality.  

Maria Pais, Data Science student: Our project creates a machine learning model to identify sign language symbols in videos. The model analyses video content, capturing small frames, and then accurately identifies these symbols. It then links them to the appropriate phrases. The goal is to make a video where the model identifies sign language symbols and connects them with their meanings. 

  • Did the Innovation Experience spark any interest in projects that you want to pursue? 

João Marinho, Informatics Engineering student: Yes, I feel like I’m a problem solver, if I can say that! And Critical is exactly like that. They have projects that matter to people as we’ve seen from previous presentations. This changes people’s lives, humanity itself, it creates a very huge impact. Having that in my professional life would be incredible.  

Bruno Rosendo, Informatics and Computer Engineering student: I’ve always had an interest in space and seeing that Critical has a division that works with space and aviation sparked my interest! 

  • How do you think your participation in the Innovation Experience will contribute to your future career in engineering? 

Alexandre Almeida: I think it gives me more openings of what engineering can be. Of what other routes it can take rather than the classic programming and computer route that we usually think about.  

João Matias, Engineering student: I think in a very positive way. We're rolling up our sleeves here and we're doing it with people with the same academic experience, and at a much higher academic level, which is the case with our mentors. I think that's spectacular; it gives us a much more realistic view of what we're expecting in a company. 

Critical Software's Innovation Experience at the Summer Camp has proven to be a transformative journey for these future engineers. And you too can be part of the transformation. 

Your next big opportunity awaits at Critical Software – where innovation knows no bounds. Discover here how you can join us.