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UTAD | Our ongoing partnership

“The University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Duro is a public university located in Vila Real, Portugal. The UTAD is renowned for its degrees in natural sciences, such as veterinary medicine, forestry (Forest Engineering) and winemaking (Oenology)”

– Wikipedia online

Our secret weapon

The key to the success of our projects in Brazil is the Research and Development (R&D) performed by our in-house forestry experts in conjunction with UTAD. GWD’s partnership with UTAD has been, and continues to be, instrumental in this area. Our partnership with UTAD is designed to be mutually beneficial – having links to respected forestry research centres such as UTAD provides access to forestry data, studies and market trends which are invaluable tools for long-term planning.


Exchange student program

In return, each year GWD funds a post-graduate student from UTAD to gain work experience at our plantations in Brazil. The student receives free travel, accommodation, food and a small bursary for his/her three-month placement – but more importantly the student gains invaluable ‘hands-on’ knowledge and expert advice from GWD Forestry’s Forest Engineer and student mentor, Ricardo Gonçalves, and Nuno Paris, our Head of Operations (Brazil).

After gathering data about the trees from our sites in Barreiras, the student collates the information into an independent and comprehensive analysis report, which, once approved and translated from Portuguese into English, is published to our clients annually.

Our latest student

This year’s student is 20-year old Sara Alexandra Salgado Fernandes, from Famalicäo, Braga, Portugal. She is in her final year of a three year Forest Engineering course at UTAD and has previously studied Agronomics at Viana do Castelo Polytechnic Institute (IPVC); her family owns a wood and construction materials sales business in Portugal, where she had some work experience. Described as ‘ambitious, dynamic, eager to learn and confident in her natural ability’, Sara has recently spent some time in the United Kingdom learning to speak English, whilst earning a little money from part-time work. She has also spent some of her spare time doing some volunteer work.