Manuel Heitor was Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education in the Portuguese Government between November 2015 and March 2022. From March 2005 to June 2011 he served as Secretary of State for Science, Technology and Higher Education.
He is a Full Professor at the Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon, having a PhD from the Imperial College of London in Mechanical Engineering (Experimental Combustion, 1985). He did a post-doctorate at the University of California at San Diego, 1986, having subsequently pursued an academic career at the Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon, where he started to develop his research activity in the area of energy and environment, with an emphasis on Fluid Mechanics and Experimental Combustion.
He served as Deputy President of the Instituto Superior Técnico between 1993 and 1998, and since early 1990s has been committing to the study of science, technology and innovation policies, including higher education policies and management. In 1998 he founded the Center for Studies in Innovation, Technology and Development Policies, IN +, from IST, which was named in 2005 as one of the Top 50 global centers of research on Management of Technology, by the International Association for the Management of Technology, IAMOT. He coordinated, among others, the IST PhD programs in Engineering and Public Policies and in Design Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Systems.
He was a Research Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin, at the IC2 Institute, Innovation, Creativity and Capital, and during the 2011/12 academic year he was a Visiting Professor at Harvard University.