Campus and Community

Professor Fátima Guedes da Silva elected Fellow of the European Academy of Sciences

The professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering (DEQ) is the third Técnico professor to join the prestigious experts’ panel.

Fátima Guedes da Silva, professor at IST Department of Chemical Engineering (DEQ) and researcher at Centro de Química Estutural (CQE), was recently elected a fellow of the European Academy of Sciences (EurASc). “It is a distinction that made me feel very happy and honored, as it resulted from a peer review of an internationally recognized institution, it was not the result of an application from my side and I was totally unaware of what was being drawn, which also left me pleasantly surprised”, the professor said.

Professor Fátima Guedes da Silva joins two other Técnico professors who are also part of this prestigious experts’ panel: Armando Pombeiro, professor at DEQ and researcher at CQE, and Luís Oliveira e Silva, professor at the Department of Physics (DF) and researcher at the Institute for Plasmas and Nuclear Fusion (IPFN). However, professor Fátima Guedes da Silva becomes ULisboa’ s first female professor to receive this prestigious title, which obviously makes her very proud. “In general, the work of women is less recognized and accordingly the number of women awarded is commonly smaller than that of men, except when specifically addressed to the former. It is gratifying to see that EURASC is not a closed institution in this sense. Furthermore, the recognition is addressed to a woman from this University and the Instituto Superior Técnico, institutions where I am proud to carry out my activities”.

EURASC is completely independent of any national entity, in its membership, election processes, deliberations and actions. The election of EurASc fellows begins with a proposal by the Scientific Committees, which is duly subject to the approval of the General Board – composed of Presidium Members and Heads of Divisions.

“In addition to the relevance, actuality and diversity of the themes I have worked on (involving the synthesis and characterization of new metallic compounds and their challenging applications in catalysis with industrial or biological significance), international collaborations, namely with France, Russia, Italy, Finland and India, among other countries, should also have been appreciated and, obviously, the scientific publications (articles in journals, book contributions, patents, etc.) and their originality and the interest they generated in the scientific community. The edition of international books and the organization of relevant international conferences possibly were also weighed for the election”, said the Técnico professor.

The European Academy of Sciences is a fully independent international association of distinguished scholars that aims to recognise and elect to its membership the best European scientists with a vision for Europe as a whole, transcending national borders, and with the aims of strengthening European science and scientific cooperation. Another objective is to take advantage of the expertise of its members in advising other European bodies for the betterment of European research, technological application and social development.

Professor Fátima Guedes da Silva will join the EURASC’s Chemistry Division. “Being a Fellow of the EURASC’s Chemistry Division, I believe I may be involved in initiatives where this Science contributes to sustainability and well-being in pursuit of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, namely those referring to guidelines 4 (Quality Education) and 12 (Responsible Production and Consumption). For example, on topics involving the best chemical use of carbon dioxide and fossil feedstocks, which also have a high impact on preserving the environment and even the climate”.

Professor Fátima Guedes da Silva got her PhD in Chemical Engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico in 1993, and has been an associate professor at DEQ since 2014. She is co-coordinator of the Chemical and Catalysis Coordination Group at CQE. Her main research interests include: structural determination, by X-ray diffraction analysis, of metallic complexes and organic compounds, metal polynuclear assemblies and supramolecular structures; activation, by transition metal centers, of small molecules with biological, pharmacological, environmental or industrial significance; metal mediated synthesis and catalysis; molecular electrochemistry and electrocatalysis; mechanistic investigation of fast reactions mainly by digital simulation of cyclic voltammetry. She co-authored over 350 research publications and 13 patents.

In 2014, professor Fátima Guedes da Silva was awarded the “Prémio Sociedade Portuguesa de Electroquímica” in recognition of her research in Electrochemistry and the relevance of her activities to the development of the Portuguese Electrochemical Society. In 2017, she won the ULisboa/CGD Scientific Award. Now she joins the restricted group of Fellows of the European Academy of Sciences which includes 10 Portuguese scientists.