Plenary Speakers

João Tasso de Figueiredo Borges de Sousa

João Tasso de Figueiredo Borges de Sousa is with the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department from Porto University in Portugal. He holds a PhD and an MSc in Electrical Engineering, both awarded by Porto University. His research interests include autonomous underwater, surface and air vehicles, planning and execution control for networked vehicle systems, optimization and control, cyber-physical systems, and applications of networked vehicle systems to the ocean sciences, security and defense.

He is the head of the Laboratório de Sistemas e Tecnologias Subaquáticas – LSTS (Underwater Systems and Technologies Laboratory). The LSTS ( has pioneered the design, construction and deployment of networked underwater, surface and air vehicles for applications in ocean sciences, security and defense. Major accomplishments include the design of the award-winning Light Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (LAUV), the LSTS open source software tool chain for networked vehicle systems (, and the annual Rapid Environmental Picture Atlantic exercise, organized in cooperation with the Portuguese Navy since 2010, and with the Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation since 2014. The LSTS received the Arca second Prize for the best technological realizations Respectful to Environment in 2003 and the national BES Innovation National Award for the design of the Light Autonomous Underwater Vehicle in 2006.

He was awarded the Luso-American Foundation Fellowship by the Portuguese Studies Program from the University of California at Berkeley in 2002. He received an outstanding teaching award from Porto University in 2008.

He has been involved in fostering and growing a world-wide research community in this field with yearly conferences and workshops in the areas of Hybrid Systems, Networked Vehicle Systems and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles. He has been lecturing on networked vehicle systems in renowned universities in the United States of America and Europe. He is a member of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Multi-robots Systems Technical Committee and of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) Marine Systems Technical Committee. He was the chair of the 2013 edition of the IFAC Navigation, Guidance and Control Workshop and is the chair of the 2018 IEEE AUV Symposium. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Swedish Marine Robotics Center. He is in the editorial board of several scientific journals. He is a member of several NATO committees. He has authored over 300 publications, including 30 journal papers.