Science and Technology

Five Técnico researchers win ULisboa / Caixa Geral de Depósitos Scientific Awards

These awards aim to reward scientific research activities and encourage submission of papers in renowned international journals.

Five Técnico researchers won ULisboa / Caixa Geral de Depósitos Scientific Awards.

Professor Carla Carvalho, Department of Bioengineering (DBE) and researcher at iBB, won the award in Biology, Biological Engineering and Biotechnology scientific area. Professor Susana Freitas, Department of Physics (DF) and researcher at INESC-MN, won the award in Electrical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering (Avionics). Katharina Lorenz, researcher at DECN won the award in Physics and Materials scientific area. These awards consist of a € 6,500 research grant.

Professor Luísa Martins, Department of Chemical Engineering (DEQ) and researcher at CQE, and Patrícia Baptista, researcher at IN +, won honourable mentions, in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering scientific area, and Energy and Environmental Engineering scientific area, respectively.

Professor Susana Freitas is happy to receive this award: “I have already competed for his award several times. I ranked 2nd three times. Now, I finally got 1st place”. This award will give visibility to INESC-MN research group in spintronic sensors, which is coordinated by the award winner. “Spintronic sensors have been developed to meet the requirements of various areas: for example, detection of Pico-Tesla magnetic fields for biomedical applications, or precision instrumentation for robotics and industrial actuators”.

“This award recognizes the quality of my research work and that of my colleagues and collaborators”, says Katharina Lorenz. Her research work focuses on the characterisation and modification of semiconductors with ion beams. “These modified materials can be applied in very diverse areas: high-performance light emitters, radiation hardened electronics for space, and biological, chemical and radiation sensors,” she explains.

In 2016 and 2018, professor Carla Carvalho had already been awarded honourable mentions. “In 2008, I received the UTL/Deloite Young Researcher Award, in Biotechnology scientific area. In 2011, I received an honourable mention of UTL / Santander Totta Scientific Awards 2011, in Biological Engineering scientific area”, she recalls.

The research work carried out by the DBE professor “aims to study the role of lipids in bacterial adaptation and in biofilm formation, using adaptive mechanisms to improve biotechnological processes, including biocatalytic systems and bioremediation approaches for hydrocarbon”, the professor explains. “In addition, I have been developing bioprocesses with marine bacteria, and their enzyme systems, for the production of new compounds”.

Patrícia Baptista’s research activities awarded by ULisboa and CGD focus on sustainable mobility. “The primary aim of my work is to contribute to the development and adoption of more sustainable mobility solutions, such as electric mobility, shared mobility solutions, promoting behavioural changes, developing new transport policies, etc.,” says the IN + researcher.

In 2018, professor Patrícia Baptista had already won an honourable mention of ULisboa-Santander Scientific Awards. “I feel very proud to have received this honourable mention. It is a recognition of the research developed in recent years,” she says.

“This distinction comes at a particularly difficult time, so I am very happy”, says professor Luísa Martins. “I want to share it with my colleagues, students, scholarship holders, etc., whom I also thank”.

The work developed by the CQE researcher that was distinguished by this award focuses on the design of new catalysts for efficient industrial catalytic processes. “We try to overcome these scientific and technological challenges so that the chemical industry products used in all economic sectors, are sustainable and guarantee the well-being of future generations”, says the DEQ professor.

The importance of being recognised by Universidade de Lisboa

“Researchers are highly motivated to understand and to solve the challenges of our society”, says Katharina Lorenz, who also considers that these awards give visibility to research works.

Professor Carla Carvalho agrees. “These awards are an incentive for producing and publishing high-quality research in high impact and highly cited journals. Being recognised by the university we represent is undoubtedly a motivation and joy”.

According to professor Luísa Martins “this award encourages the production and publication of high-quality research in high impact and highly cited journals”.

Professor Susana Freitas highlights “Técnico research centres bring together talented and pro-active researchers, and the presence of women is very visible: more than 50% of INESC-MN researchers are women”.

These awards reward scientific research activities and encourage submission of papers in renowned international journals. The jury selected 15 awards and 15 honourable mentions in the above mentioned scientific areas and many others, namely: Culture and Literature; Human Motricity; Psychology; Veterinary Sciences; Architecture; Education sciences; Economics and Management; Agronomy; Physics and Materials; Geography and Territory; Computer Science and Engineering; Social Sciences.

The ULisboa / Caixa Geral de Depósitos 2019 Scientific Awards ceremony was scheduled for 20th of October, at ULisboa rectory building, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony has been postponed.