2021 Nov – InnoDC loses valued colleague & friend, Prof Helder Leite

All InnoDC colleagues were devastated to learn the news of Uporto‘s Prof Helder Leite dying unexpectedly earlier this month.  Helder was a power systems specialist known for his kindness, warmth and humour.  He was an InnoDC supervisor and Work Package lead, and had been a member of InnoDC’s precursor project, MEDOW (multi-terminal DC grid for offshore wind).  He had recently contributed to the preparation for a 3rd project proposal submission under the European Commission’s Horizon Europe funding programme.  InnoDC’s lead, Prof Jun Liang said “we lost a long-term collaborator, colleague and friend. We will remember him as a our consortium member for ever“.  

Vestas‘ Global Engineering & Technology Director, Dr Ata Mokhberdoran (with Helder in photo above left), had been a MEDOW researcher, based at Efacec.  He was fortunate to have Helder as his academic PhD supervisor.  He recalled, “Helder welcomed me in person at the airport when I arrived in Portugal for the first time to start working for MEDOW. His integrity, passion for helping people and his continuous demand in maintaining high professional standards have always inspired me. He will be missed, not only at our faculty, but also within our international academic and industrial community.”  

InnoDC’s Motaz Ayiad completed his PhD at Uporto under Prof Leite’s supervision, while employed and conducting research at Efacec.  Motaz described Helder not only as a professor, “he was a friend, colleague and a kind-hearted person. He was, still, and will always be my supervisor. I am very proud to have his name on my thesis. He will be remembered for his extraordinary kindness, smile and wonderful soul.”   

Motaz now works in Efacec’s Protection & Control department as a Research & Development engineer, working on frequency and phase estimation algorithms for Intelligent Electronic Devices. The line-up photo above was taken after he and InnoDC’s Emily Maggioli defended their research plan in 2019 – from left to right: Dr Hugo Martins (Motaz’s Efacec PhD supervisor and colleague, and friend to Helder), defence jury member, Dr Haiyu Li (University of Manchester), Prof Helder Leite, Motaz Ayiad and Emily Maggioli.

Helder’s naturally collaborative personality and expertise are a great loss to all.

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