Works of B-MRS member awarded in a conference of refractory materials.

Prof. Victor Carlos Pandolfelli (UFSCar).
Prof. Victor Carlos Pandolfelli (UFSCar).

Professor Victor Carlos Pandolfelli (DEMa – UFSCar), a B-MRS member, is co-author of two papers awarded at the 41st Congress of the Latin American Association of Refractory Manufacturers (“41 Congreso ALAFAR 2018“) held in Medellín, Colombia from September 30 to October 3, 2018.

These works received the first and second prize for the best works of the conference. According to Professor Pandolfelli, “they address the issue of energy conservation in processes using high temperatures, which is the most direct and practical way to help the environment”.

Prof. Victor Pandolfelli reelected for the advisory board of the World Academy of Ceramics.

Prof. Victor Carlos Pandolfelli (UFSCar).
Prof. Victor Carlos Pandolfelli (UFSCar).

B-MRS member Victor Carlos Pandolfelli, professor in the Department of Materials Engineering at the Federal University of São Carlos (DEMa-UFSCar), was reelected as a member of the advisory board of the World Academy of Ceramics (WAC) to fulfill his second 4-year term (2018 to 2022). The board will include the Brazilian researcher, along with Professor Gary Messing (Penn State) and Dr. M. Singh (NASA), as representatives of the Americas.

In order to be part of the WAC advisory board, it is necessary to be a member of the Academy and be elected by vote of the members of the same region of the planet (in this case, the American continent). The names of the most voted must be endorsed by the presidency of the Academy. To be a member of the WAC, one must undergo a selection process that includes nomination by two effective members, evaluation of the application by a peer committee selected by the Academy, and final approval by at least ten of the twelve members of the advisory board.

According to Professor Pandolfelli, some of the activities he will hold in the council over the next four years are: reviewing the WAC admission rules, defining the members who will participate in the new candidate selection processes, defining the topic and speakers for technical presentations and awards in the scientific forum for members of the Academy.

The inauguration and first meeting of the new council will be held next June in Perugia (Italy).

Victor C. Pandolfelli receives for the third time the ACerS award for the best paper on refractory ceramics.

Prof. Victor Carlos Pandolfelli (UFSCar).
Prof. Victor Carlos Pandolfelli (UFSCar).

Since the 1980s, The American Ceramic Society (ACerS) has selected and awarded publications on high temperature ceramics that have most contributed knowledge to the field and has honored them with the Alfred Allen Award.

There is no submission for this award, since the choice is based on queries in the journals indexed in the Web of Science, which are analyzed by a team of experts.

This year, in its 18th edition, the award was bestowed to an article published in the journal Ceramics International, authored by three researchers from the Brazilian Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar), Professor Victor Carlos Pandolfelli and the researchers Ana Paula da Luz and Mariana Braulio, besides Analía Tomba Martinez, a researcher from the Research Institute of Materials Science and Technology (INTEMA), in Argentina. Victor C. Pandolfelli and Mariana Braulio had already received this award in two previous editions, and thus far they have been the only researchers to have been honored three times with the ACERS Alfred Allen Award since it has been created.

The award was received by the authors during the 53rd Annual Symposium on Ceramic Refractories, held in late March in St Louis (United States).

On this occasion, Professor Pandolfelli presented an invited lecture on high temperature ceramics inspired by nature.

  • See the list of award-winning papers in all editions of the Alfred Allen Award, here.
  • See the award-winning paper in the 2017 issue, here.
  • See the article on the ACerS website about the symposium, with an account of Professor Pandolfelli’s lecture, here.

Professor Victor Carlos Pandolfelli (DEMa-UFSCar) was chosen to serve as one of the editors-in-chief of the journal Ceramics International (Elsevier).

Victor Carlos Pandolfelli.
Victor Carlos Pandolfelli.

Professor Victor Carlos Pandolfelli, of the Department of Materials Engineering, Federal University of São Carlos (DEMa-UFSCar) was chosen to serve as one of the editors-in-chief of the journal Ceramics International.  The international journal with 41 years of history is published by Elsevier. It currently has an acceptance rate of 25% of the articles submitted.

Pandolfelli completed his doctorate in Leeds (UK) in 1989 and in 1996 and 1997 he completed his postdoctoral studies at the École Polytechnique in Montreal (Canada). He is full professor at DEMa-UFSCar, member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, full member of the World Academy of Ceramics, a fellow of the American Ceramic Society, full member of the Brazilian National Academy of Engineering and guest professor at Wuhan University of Science and Technology (China). He is a member of the board of the World Academy of Ceramics (2014-2018), member of the International Technical Board of Morgan International (England) and Latin American coordinator of the FIRE (Federation for International Refractories Research and Education), which involves 10 universities in different countries and 17 leading companies in the refractory area. He is the author of 480 articles published in scientific journals and two books. He has received 12 international awards.

Professor Victor Pandolfelli appointed Associate Editor of the Journal of the American Ceramic Society.

The researcher Victor Carlos Pandolfelli, full professor of the Materials Engineering Department at the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar) was appointed associate editor of the Journal of the American Ceramic Society. The scientific magazine has occupied the first ranks in the area of Material Science – Ceramics in the Journal Citation Reports by Thomson Reuters.

According to Pandolfelli, in the 98 years of existence of the journal, it is the second time a Brazilian scientist is chosen for such position. Professor José Arana Varela, current CEO at the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), was, until the appointment of Pandolfelli, the only Latin-American to belong to the group of associate editors.

Pandolfelli is full member of Brazilian Sciences Academy, of the World Academy of Ceramics and of the Brazilian National Engineering Academy, fellow of the American Ceramic Society, and guest professor of Wuhan University of Science and Technology (China). Pandolfelli is member of the editorial committee of 12 technical magazines in the area of ceramic materials. He is member of the advisory board of the World Academy of Ceramics (2014-2018) and Latin-American coordinator of the Federation for International Refractories Research and Education (FIRE), which comprehends 11 universities in different countries, and 16 global companies in the area of refractories. He published 459 articles in scientific journals with peer review and received 12 international awards. He has one published book and 8 registered patents.

SBPMat´s community people: interview with Victor Carlos Pandolfelli.

Victor Carlos Pandolfelli, full Professor at the Materials Engineering Department of the Federal University of São Carlos (DEMa – UFSCar), assumed his position as a member of the advisory board of the World Academy of Ceramics (WAC) in a ceremony held on June 11, in Montecatini Termi (Italy), during the International Conference on Modern Materials and Technologies (CIMTEC). In that occasion, there was also the first meeting of the advisory board. Elected for the 2014-2018 term, Pandolfelli is one of the two representatives of the Americas for this period, jointly with a researcher from the United States.

Graduated in Materials Engineering at the DEMa – UFSCar (1979), Victor Carlos Pandolfelli has been researching subjects in the field of ceramic materials since the time of for his master’s thesis, defended in 1984, at DEMa-UFSCar. It was also in that field that he conducted the research for his doctorate, at the University of Leeds (United Kingdom), concluded in 1989, and his postdoctoral scholarship, held from 1996 to 1997 at the Polytechnique Montreal, in Canada.

Pandolfelli is a full member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC) and fellow of the American Ceramic Society (ACerS), as well as a member of the WAC. He is or was part of the editorial boards of the journals  InterceramRefractories Manual and Refractories World Forum (Germany), Materials Research, Revista Cerâmica and Journal of Materials Research and Technology (Brazil), China’s Refractories (China),  Cerámica y Vidrio (Spain), Refractory ApplicationsRefractories Applications Transactions  and American Ceramic Society Bulletin (USA), and Ceramics International (Italy).

He is a visiting Professor at the Wuhan University of Science and Technology (China) and Latin American Coordinator of the Federation for International Refractories Research and Education (FIRE), an organization comprising universities in different countries and major companies in the field of refractories. Since 1993, he coordinates the ALCOA (Aluminum Company of America) laboratory at UFSCar.

Holder of a 1A-level fellowship for research productivity in the Brazilian Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), Professor Pandolfelli is the coauthor of more than 400 peer-reviewed papers, a book and eight deposited patents. He advised 50 master’s theses and 16 doctoral dissertations. Many studies developed or advised by him were awarded by entities such as the German Ceramic Society (Germany), Technical Association of Refractories of Japan, American Ceramic Society, Petrobras, Alcoa Alumínio S.A., Magnesita S.A, Brazilian Industrial Federation, and the Brazilian Associations of Aluminium, Ceramics and Metallurgy, Materials and Mining, among others. In his professional activities, he has interacted with 380 collaborators, coauthoring scientific papers.

Below is our interview with the researcher.

Tell us a little about your history: what led you to become a scientist and work in the field of ceramic materials?

The first aspect I would like to highlight is that life is made of choices that many times are not very logical or well planned. Actually, I studied Materials Engineering and, in the beginning, used to think about working with metals, but throughout the time I held a curricular traineeship in a company, still during my undergraduate studies, I had to meet a demand in ceramic materials. Then, I graduated specializing both in metals and in ceramic materials. In a time when the industry offered more jobs and better wages, I disregarded this scenario and chose to start my master’s studies in ceramics in the recently founded Materials Engineering program offered by UFSCar. Very soon after I enrolled for the master’s, there was a call for an selection to be a lecturer at UFSCar. I applied, was approved, and only then my life was truly dedicated to ceramic materials.

The professional turning point happened in my doctoral and postdoctoral studies abroad, when my network of contacts was tremendously expanded, just as the visibility of the work I was coordinating. Another aspect that collaborated a lot is that, even from the start, I endeavored to establish projects with companies, which taught me how to conduct the research that I consider “use-oriented basic research”. Then, I could really conciliate the fundaments acquired and developed at the university with the needs of the industry, while also creating opportunities so the students could take traineeships, as well as providing jobs.

This “use-oriented basic research” is a road with two ways that constantly interact to build a firm bridge between the university and the industry. We, as researchers, must comprehend the needs of the industry, and use the research and foundation tools we have at the university to help companies solve real issues. Many times, it is through an actual problem that we are motivated to understand the fundaments and use them to perceive new opportunities for applying and creating technologies.

Today, the path I chose enables me to take part in the Federation for International Refractories Research and Education, FIRE, which is a non-profit organization that gathers eleven universities around the world and seventeen companies. FIRE’s goal is to invest in the education of students in their master’s or doctoral years, providing them with a financial aid so they may spend six months to a year in affiliated universities or companies, have an international experience and apply or expand their knowledge in the field.

Therefore, my life as a researcher in the field of ceramic materials started more as an accident, and now, actually, it is focused on Complex System Engineering, considering that, at this moment, there are no materials defined only by a single field of expertise.

What do you consider to be your main contributions to the field of Materials?

Since I became a Professor, my project in the professional field always consisted of establishing three pillars, which feed one another and are the foundations to everything I do: teaching, research and industrial partnerships. This cycle is vital because, through teaching, I can meet good students, have the opportunity to invite them to conduct researches, which may subsequently serve the national and international industry, or the academia. Only by means of a good partnership we detect the needs of the industry and are able to illustrate our lectures, applying those foundations so they don´t become sterile, but may be filled by said needs.

Concerning teaching, it is certain that training people who are now developing great projects in the academic and industrial communities would be the main point of my contribution to education. As the tradition says, good teachers are measured by the number of people they taught, who now are better than them. Fortunately, today I have very well employed students, whether in research, teaching or companies, what proves my contribution.

The main aspect in regard to research, according to my self evaluation, was selecting a complex field to develop, with great opportunities to deepen and test my knowledge.  Once I returned to Brazil, after obtaining my doctoral degree in advanced ceramics, I felt it was very difficult to establish this subject as a research field here; however, the capacities I had acquired could be easily applied to other necessities of the country.  It was then that I realized how what I learned could be useful for the steel, metallurgy, aluminum and refractories industry. So, I adapted my expertise to the local reality, instead of trying to bring the international study to Brazil for a direct application of the advanced ceramics, which still is, up to this date, an incipient market. Within this scenario, my research tried to comprehend the different stages of the production cycle of the refractories. I defined a strategy to commit myself, every four or five years, to one topic related to the cycle of producing and understanding such materials. Throughout the more than 20 years I spent working in this field, it allowed me to know the complete cycle, not just the data collected by the literature.  As a result, we are writing a book to be released until the end of the year, in English, by a German publisher, filled with the product of the research we conducted involving from raw materials and processing to properties and simulations, providing a very clear and deep perspective on the microstructure engineering in refractory ceramic materials.

On the subject of industrial partnerships, which is the third pillar, I would say there is no way to do engineering only in a laboratory. We need to know how the market goes, as well as to learn to work with deadlines, to expose the data to industrial testing, to understand that the material is just one item within the whole. This I really owe to my industrial partnerships, which have always accompanied me, since I concluded my doctorate. We have partnerships that have been lasting for 24 straight years, as is the case with Alcoa Alumínio, where several people earned their master’s and doctoral degrees, and some of them work for the company. Many other companies, in Brazil and abroad, also contributed for the creation of this use-oriented basic research environment. We have solid partnerships with Petrobras, with Magnesita, a refractories company, with FIRE, etc. Thus, a large portion of the resources and opportunities of the group come from industrial partnerships, or federations working on this company-university bridge.

In your opinion, what are the main challenges to Science and Materials Engineering today?

I would highlight two major challenges. The first one would be the “materials genome” initiative. Due to the need to save time and costs with research, it is increasingly necessary to create a database and apply simulations in order to minimize the time spent in laboratorial experiments, reaching the expected result in the fastest way possible. Said “materials genome” consists of detecting their DNA and, by the association of computer tools, trying to conceptualize new materials still unimagined by the current technology, each time sooner. So I predict that the materials laboratory of the future will have less equipment, multidisciplinary teams and more computers with high processing speed, which will provide a more objective idea on what to do in the laboratory to produce new materials.

The other great challenge is 3D printing, comprising the class known as additive manufacturing, which has emerged with a tremendous force, considering that companies have been noticing how labor costs in developing countries are already high. In a first moment, the industries in developed countries started to realize that the manufactured products would be more competitive if produced abroad. So, as a first wave, they brought the manufacturing process to the developing countries, but this environment changed with time, and in countries such as China and Brazil, labor is starting to become very expensive. In addition to that, the legislation ruling exports and taxes only makes the scenario worse. So, countries such as Germany and the United States are once again manufacturing at home, using an entirely automated system, based on 3D printing, which is similar to regular printing, but, instead of printing X Y, prints X Y Z, and, instead of toner, uses materials. 3D printing is simply revolutionizing the whole market, keeping in mind that today it is possible to own a materials printer at home and do the build yourself for jewelry, toys, etc. Furthermore, it is already making implants, using stem cells as a component to create organs in 3D printers.

With this technique, associated with the first item I mentioned, simulation, we will have new materials that we are not able to obtain with the traditional processing methods. The idea I propose to you now was the same I presented in my first meeting of the WAC advisory board. It was so well received by the committee that it became the theme of the forum for members of the academy to be held in two years, which is going to bring together the best researchers and companies in the world dedicated to this field.

Another interesting point to elaborate is that we are experiencing the age of Complex Systems Engineering. No one speaks about specialization fields anymore. What we need, more than ever, is the sum of the knowledge of the different fields. For example, as to materials printed in three dimensions, having the equipment is not enough. We require computer programmers, mechanical engineers, production engineers, materials engineers, chemists, physicists, biologists, managers, all working closely, because we are no longer dealing with knowledge that a single person is able to hold.

In your opinion, how did you build the recognition of the international ceramic research community, attested, for example, by your election as a member of the advisory board of the WAC?

In addition to all that was already said, I would add that every victory is a collective effort. There were 34 years of intense work in national and international partnerships with industries and supporting agencies. I believe that the standard formula to achieve anything is: teamwork, persistence, associating yourself to the best and promoting your name nationally and internationally.

Leave a message for our readers who are starting their careers as scientists.

My answer is going to have some traditional elements, others not so much. The traditional suggestion is widely known: energy and commitment, work and sweat. The part that is not so traditional is about not confusing the opportunities we have today with a convenient life. Living is not easy. The professional life is full of challenges and the current opportunities are here to make competition even more intense. Now, competition is set in a global scale. In any place around the world someone may be doing the same thing I am developing in my laboratory. Because of that, every young scientist must be really aware that companies and financing agencies will seek who can do it in the best, fastest and cheapest way, producing the highest possible amount of return to the society.

One point that I would really like to stress is that the real world is not Facebook, victories are reached after many battles, and many defeats. This virtual universe where we are always surrounded by famous people, enjoying accomplishments and partying does not exist.

Another issue is that, due to the many opportunities we have today, young people take one already looking for another, fulfilling neither. Instead of firmly grabbing a branch, they are always thinking about leaping for the next one. They must be very careful. Do at least one task competently, at a time. If you are studying for your master’s, develop a good productivity rate, establish a network, then you may change your subject, if it is the case. The scientific communities are not as big as we think they are. We need to do a very good job from the very start, with high quality and great respect for the group in which we work.  The world spins quickly, and in a not so distant future, the same people may open or close doors to you. In our professional life, to a certain degree, we may rise based on our own capacities, but then we are seriously going to need to be inserted by the national and international community. It is at that point that I may need those people to whom I gave a bad impression.

Gente da nossa comunidade: pesquisadores do DEMa-UFSCar ganham dois prêmios da Petrobrás na área de materiais refratários.

Os pesquisadores da Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCar), Dra. Mariana de Albuquerque Lima Braulio e Dr. Eduardo Prestes, ambos orientados pelo Prof. Dr. Victor Carlos Pandolfelli, do Departamento de Engenharia de Materiais (DEMa -UFSCar), foram contemplados com premiações concedidas pela empresa Petrobras.

O primeiro deles foi o “Prêmio Inventor 2013”, em decorrência do depósito de patente realizado no INPI (BR 10 2012 030520-8), intitulada “Sistema refratário nanoestruturado de elevada resistência a erosão e ao choque térmico”, de autoria de Eduardo Prestes, Mariana A. L. Braulio, Victor C. Pandolfelli (UFSCar) e Jorivaldo Medeiros, Daniel Telhado, Jordana Veiga (Petrobras). A solenidade de entrega ocorreu no Cenpes da Petrobras.

Já a segunda premiação se trata do “Prêmio Petrobras de Tecnologia 2013”, concedido à Mariana A. L. Braulio e Victor C. Pandolfelli, pelo trabalho “Macromercado para nanomateriais: aumentando o desempenho operacional das unidades de craqueamento catalítico (UFCC)”. O trabalho foi selecionado como o melhor na categoria doutorado no tema de tecnologia de refino e petroquímica.

Ambos os trabalhos envolveram o desenvolvimento de cerâmicas refratárias nanoestruturadas, cuja finalidade principal é o aumento de disponibilidade operacional das UFCCs. Como o lucro cessante associado a uma parada de produção pode alcançar valores próximos a US$ 500.000/dia por UFCC, esforços para se maximizar o tempo de campanha e minimizar as paradas destas unidades são essenciais. Uma vez que um dos aspectos que limitam as campanhas é a baixa vida útil dos refratários, materiais nanoestruturados de elevado desempenho foram desenvolvidos e estão em teste em escala piloto desde 2011 na Revap (Refinaria Henrique Lage da Petrobras), visando a extensão da vida útil dos equipamentos e maior segurança operacional.

Gente da nossa comunidade: prof. Pandolfelli (UFSCar) é “guest professor” em universidade da China.

Victor Pandolfelli junto a equipe da WUST.

O  professor Victor. C. Pandolfelli, do Departamento de Engenharia de Materiais (DEMa) da Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCar), foi eleito guest professor da Wuhan University of Science and Technology (WUST), da China.

De acordo com Pandolfelli, a WUST é a instituição que possui o maior curso de materiais cerâmicos para alta temperatura, formando cerca de 500 alunos por ano nessa área de especialização. Esses materiais são principalmente usados na indústria siderúrgica, de alumínio, petroquímica e para produção de cimento para a construção civil. Como referência, Pandolfelli comenta que a produção de aço na China é de aproximadamente 700 milhões de toneladas por ano enquanto que no Brasil é 20 vezes inferior (35 milhões por ano).

Entre as atividades a serem desenvolvidas em conjunto após esta eleição, será estabelecido um acordo formal de cooperação entre as instituições, intercâmbio de estudantes de pós-graduação, cursos técnicos, projetos conjuntos, publicações e visitas técnicas. Um dos professores da WUST já esta desenvolvendo pesquisas no laboratório coordenado pelo professor Pandolfelli na UFSCar, onde permanecerá por um ano.

Pandolfelli é membro titular da Academia Brasileira de Ciências e da World Academy of Ceramics.