B-MRS’s Board of Directors created, in October of this year, the José Arana Varela Award. This new honor from B-MRS pays tribute to Professor José Arana Varela, a prominent Brazilian materials scientist and former president of B-MRS, who passed away in 2016.
This is an annual award that will be bestowed to a leading researcher in Brazil, who will deliver one of the plenary lectures at B-MRS Meeting. In 2020, the recipient will be Edson Roberto Leite, full professor at UFSCar and scientific director of the Brazilian Nanotechnology National Laboratory (LNNano).
About Professor José Arana Varela
Born in Martinópolis, São Paulo State (Brazil), on April 11, 1944, José Arana Varela graduated in Physics from the University of São Paulo (USP) in 1968. In 1975, he obtained his Master’s degree in Physics from the Technological Institute of Aeronautics (ITA). He completed his doctorate in ceramic materials (1977 to 1981) at the University of Washington (United States).
Arana Varela was a Full Professor at the Paulista State University Júlio de Mesquita Filho (Unesp), where he began his academic career in 1969. He was also a Professor at the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar), where he worked since 1985, mainly in the graduate programs in Chemistry and Materials Science and Engineering.
As a researcher, Arana Varela worked in the field of ceramic materials, making important international contributions to electroceramics and ceramic thin films, and their applications in varistors, ferroelectric memories and chemical sensors.
In Brazil, he led the development of these research lines, beginning in 1988 with the founding, together with other professors of UFSCar, of the Interdisciplinary Laboratory of Electrochemistry and Ceramics (LIEC), which was the seed of the Multidisciplinary Center for the Development of Ceramic Materials (CMDMC), which created the Center for the Development of Functional Materials (CDMF).
Professor Varela supervised or co-supervised at least 30 master’s and over 40 doctoral works. He co-authored more than 600 articles published in international journals, with more than 20,000 citations. He also authored patents and participated in various projects interacting with the industry.
A strong supporter of international collaboration as a driver of scientific and technological advancement, Arana Varela maintained such cooperation throughout his career with research groups from the United States, France, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia and Italy, as well as Brazil.
In parallel to his distinguished career as a researcher and professor, José Arana Varela had a broad performance in management or advisory positions. At the São Paulo State Research Foundation (Fapesp), he was the director-president of the Technical-Administrative Council from 2012 to 2016 and vice-president of the Superior Council from 2007 to 2010. At Unesp, he was the first Pro-Rector of Research (2005-2009), as well as founder and director of the Unesp Innovation Agency (2009-2012). He was also a member of the Superior Council for Innovation and Competitiveness of the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (Fiesp), member of advisory committees of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) and director at the Brazilian Association of Metallurgy and Materials (ABM) and the Brazilian Ceramic Association (ABCeram). Finally, starting in 2015, he was a board member of the Ceramic and Glass Industry Foundation, the arm of ACerS (The American Ceramic Society), dedicated to developing professionals for the global ceramic and glass industry.
Arana Varela was a fellow of ACerS and a member of The World Academy of Ceramics and the Materials Research Society (MRS). Professor Varela was also a member of several Brazilian scientific societies, such as the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC), the São Paulo State Academy of Sciences and the Brazilian Society of Physics (SBF).
At B-MRS, the scientist was a founding member, part of the founding board, and served as chief financial director from 2004 to 2005, and as president from 2010 to 2011.
Arana Varela was a member of the editorial board of the journals Ceramics International, Science of Sintering, Cerâmica, and Materials Research. He received more than twenty national and international awards and distinctions, such as the Premio Épsilon de Oro (2003) of the Sociedad Española de Cerámica y Vidrio, the Scopus Capes-Elsevier Award (2006) for his scientific production, and two awards from the American Ceramic Society, the Global Star Award (2013) and the Bridge Builder Award (2014).
José Arana Varela passed away on May 17, 2016, at the age of 72, after battling cancer for three years.