Friends, family, colleagues and admirers of professors António Falcão, Carlos Mota Soares and José Sucena Paiva met this Monday, March 19, at Técnico, to attend the ceremony that conferred the title of Emeritus Professor of Universidade de Lisboa to the three professors.
The president of Técnico, professor Arlindo Oliveira, opened the ceremony and highlighted the legacy of the three professionals. “These professors are a good example of what an engineer from Técnico should be like: someone who knows and knows how to teach”, said professor Arlindo Oliveira. Thinking back to “the difficult times for science”, when the three professors developed their careers, the president of Técnico stressed several times their contribution for “the development of Técnico”. “Your enormous legacy will help us to be a driver for change in Portugal”, he concluded.
The first words of praise were addressed to professor José Sucena Paiva. Professors Leon Freris, Luís Mira Amaral and Isabel Trancoso referred to professor José Sucena Paiva as someone with “a brilliant career as an engineer, professor and politician”, a “professional of excellence”, author of “the bible of power grids“ and a person with “the ability to remain calm under pressure“. “I have been really moved by these words”, said professor José Sucena Paiva, who thanked everyone who supported him throughout his career, saying that he receives “this title with humility”. Professor José Sucena Paiva ended his speech saying that Energy “is what makes the world move”.
Professores António Sarmento, Luís Gato and Luiz Braga Campos addressed their words of praise to professor António Falcão: a person with “a subtle sense of humour”, a “long and successful career” namely in the field of “wave power”, which made of him “a world’s leading expert”. His influence on the project of the wave power plant on the island of Pico (Azores) was also highlighted: “the first plant of its kind that keeps operating after 18 years”, recalled professor Luís Gato. During his speech, professor António Falcão recalled the “rewarding memories of my classes and my students” and referred to wave power as “an absorbing and fascinating” area.
According to professor Maria da Graça Carvalho, former Member of the European Parliament, professor Carlos Mota Soares, was “a man before his time”. Also professors Hélder Rodrigues, António Augusto Fernandes and Eduardo Arantes de Oliveira shared some memories and their profound admiration for IDMEC’s founder. “Obsession for scientific quality”, “a promotor of the internationalisation of research carried out at Técnico” and “a professor who made significant contributions to the modernisation of mechanical engineering in Portugal” were some of the words of praise addressed to professor Carlos Mota Soares. Visibly happy, professor Carlos Mota Soares confessed that he was living “one of the most important days of my academic life”. The new Emeritus Professor of ULisboa spoke about Técnico´s position in world university rankings, namely in the area of mechanical engineering, and concluded his speech highlighting that, in his opinion, research always meant cooperation and not competition.
The diplomas and medals were handed out at the end of the ceremony by professor José Pinto Paixão, Vice-rector of ULisboa.