Joana Mendonça is an assistant professor at IST since January 2017. Her research focuses on processes of new technology commercialization, industrial development and in the role of skills and human capital in these processes, and she has published in peer-reviewed journals, such as Research Policy, Small Business Economics and Technological Forecasting and Social Change. She has been promoting cooperation with companies, and has followed and helped technology commercialization projects.

During 2016, she was an assistant to the Minister for Economy for issues related to Innovation, Technology and Science. She is a Scientific Director of the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Partnership since 2014, for the Engineering and Public Policy (EPP) and Technological Change and Entrepreneurship (TCE) areas. She also maintains regular scientific collaboration with the EPP department at Carnegie Mellon University.

She was a guest lecturer at IST in 2013/14 and 2014/15, during which she lectured Technology Based Entrepreneurship, Practice and Analysis of Public Policy and Advanced Topics in Public Policy Analysis. She won the Best Paper Award at IECER in 2015 with the paper Business Owners' Educational Skills and Entrepreneurial Teams on Workers Wages: The Role of Business Owners Gender, co-authored with Filipa Madeira and Miguel Torres. In 2012, she integrated the International Risk Governance Council (IRGC) network and contributed with research on technology adoption and industrial development, with a particular focus on aeronautics.

Between 2010 and 2012, she was a Deputy Director at the Directorate for Education and Science Statistics (DGEEC). In 2009-2010, she was an assistant to the Secretary of State for Science, Technology and Higher Education. She obtained her PhD in Engineering and Industrial Management at IST, University of Lisbon, in 2009. In 2008, she was an invited research at ZEW (Centre for European Economic Research), maintaining this collaboration since. Before her PhD she did a Master in Engineering Policy and Management of Technology, and obtained her Diploma in Chemistry from Lisbon University. She was a researcher at Instituto Tecnológico e Nuclear, focusing on Solid State Chemistry, and made her diploma thesis at Bern University on Vitamin B12 Derivatives.