Mário Berberan e Santos, professor at IST Department of Chemical Engineering (DEQ) and researcher at Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences (iBB), won the 2020 Ferreira da Silva Prize, awarded by the Portuguese Society of Chemistry (SPQ). The jury unanimously decided to award the prize to the IST Professor.
According to professor Mário Berberan e Santos, “this prize is the recognition of my contribution to the development of Chemistry, either by scientific research or by academic activities. I am honoured, happy and grateful for being awarded by my peers, and because this prize is the Portuguese highest distinction in Chemistry”.
The prize was created in memory of professor António Ferreira da Silva, a Portuguese chemist, and is awarded every two years to the Portuguese chemist who had the greatest contribution to the development of chemistry in Portugal. “Ferreira da Silva was the founder of the Portuguese Society of Chemistry, a scientific organisation that will celebrate its 110th anniversary next December”, highlighted professor Mário Berberan e Santos.
Professor Mário Berberan e Santos received a PhD in Chemistry from Instituto Superior Técnico in 1989. He was a post-doctoral Fellow at Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (Paris, France), and at Laboratoire pour l’Utilisation du Rayonnement Electromagnétique (LURE, Univ. Paris-Sud, Orsay, France) in 1990-91.
He is Full Professor at DEQ, President of the College of Chemistry of ULisboa and Coordinator of the PhD Chemistry programme at Técnico. He is member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the International Academy of Mathematical Chemistry, the Editorial Advisory Boards of MATCH – Communications in Mathematical and in Computer Chemistry, Methods and Applications in Fluorescence (Institute of Physics, UK), and Molecules (MDPI). Last year he was named Chemistry Europe Fellow by Chemistry Europe. He was President of SPQ from 2010 to 2013.
Professor Mário Berberan e Santos received the Prize “Estímulo à Excelência” (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Portugal) in 2006-07 and two honourable mentions of Scientific Award Universidade Técnica de Lisboa/Santander Totta in 2008 and 2009.
He is the coordinator of BSIRG (Biospectroscopy and Interfaces Research Group) at iBB. His current scientific interests focus on the luminescence of fullerenes and related nanostructured systems, as well as luminescence relaxation and other kinetic processes, including applications such as optical sensing and OLEDs.
He is the author/editor of three books – including “Molecular Fluorescence”, with Bernard Valeur – over 200 articles and 3 patents.
Professor Mário Berberan e Santos is among the most influential scientists in the world, according to a recent study released by Standford University.
The Ferreira da Silva Prize was established by the Portuguese Society of Chemistry in 1981 and will be awarded for the 17th time this year. The ceremony will take place during the 27th National Meeting of SPQ, from 14th to 16th July, in Braga.
In previous years, the Ferreira da Silva Prize was awarded to the Técnico professors Armando Pombeiro (2012), Sílvia de Brito Costa (2008), João Fraústo da Silva (2000), Alberto Romão Dias (1998), and Jorge Calado (1982).
“Chemistry has an old tradition at Técnico. The important contribution of Alfredo Bensaude to the creation of the first national higher education course centered on Chemistry in 1911, and Charles Lepierre, one of the first Chemistry professors at Técnico, who has left his mark”, says professor Mário Berberan e Santos, who also recalls that there was always an active participation of IST Chemistry professors at SPQ, “as is the case of Alberto Romão Dias, one of the creators of the Ferreira da Silva Prize, in 1981, who, later on won the prize ”.
The iBB researcher also stresses “although this old tradition, which has contributed to new and emerging research areas in chemistry, there are scarce research funds and many young researchers find themselves in difficult or precarious situations”.