As of March, with the incorporation of a University Chapter (UC) unit at the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul (UFMS), Brazil’s five regions are present in the map of the B-MRS’s UCs. In addition, the map of the program gains a new spot in the state of São Paulo, through the participation of a team in the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP), campus of São José dos Campos.
The UCs program, which now has 11 units, brings together undergraduate and graduate student teams from Brazilian universities around complementary activities for academic education.
According to the president of UFMS UC, Gustavo Sander Larios, M.S., the creation of the UC was motivated by the desire to increase interaction among students from different laboratories, departments and research groups. Thus, the team, which is made up of undergraduate, masters and PhD students from the areas of Materials Science, Physics and Chemistry, will stimulate the organization of seminars and scientific meetings involving members of the UC and researchers from B-MRS. “We intend to promote activities that stimulate the development of scientific knowledge, given the national and international research trends, provided through the interaction among the UC members,”adds Larios. The supervisor of this unit is Professor Cícero Rafael Cena da Silva.
At the UC of the University of São José dos Campos, UNIFESP, the main objective is to disseminate Materials Engineering and Science among university students from all over the Vale do Paraíba region and also in society as a whole, says the master’s Verônica Ribeiro dos Santos, president of the unit, and Professor Manuel Henrique Lente, the supervisor of the UC. The team intends to “divulge the concept of Materials Engineering, since for many it is still unknown, given the great diversity of areas of expertise that the professional in this field is capable of carrying out.” According to Verônica Ribeiro dos Santos and professor Manuel Henrique Lente, the group aspires, in the future, to make their UC an extracurricular source of scientific and technological knowledge and to increase the number of members. Some of the activities the team intends to promote are: seminar cycles involving students and researchers from UNIFESP and other institutions; lectures by representatives of S&T support agencies, class entities, industrial sectors, etc.; technical visits to R&D institutes, companies and incubators; summer courses; dissemination lectures in high schools. In order to carry out the activities, the UC has a comprehensive team of 24 undergraduate students (Bachelor’s degree in Science and Technology, and Materials Engineering), three master’s and one doctoral students (Post-graduation in Materials Science and Engineering, PPGECM), all from UNIFESP.
The University Chapters (UCs) program of B-MRS begins 2019 with a new member, the UC of the Brazilian Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE). With the creation of this unit, the program will have nine UCs distributed in the south, southeast, northeast and north of the country.
The interdisciplinary team of the new UC brings together 15 students (three undergraduate, five masters and seven doctoral students) from courses in Chemistry, Biological Sciences and Materials Science at UFPE. The tutor of the unit is Professor Petrus d’Amorim Santa Cruz Oliveira.
“What motivated us to create our UC was the need to explore the world of Materials Science, reinventing new ways to broaden and bring people from all parts, thus diversifying and strengthening our education more and more,” says Karolyne Santos da Silva, president of the UC. “Our highest expectation is to awaken young people to science, showing that there are possibilities to be innovative and have the opportunity to undergo new experiences with other researchers,” adds the doctoral student in Materials Science.
In the context of B-MRS’s UCs program, the team initially plans to hold a series of events: a holiday course, the 1st Meeting of Materials Science and Engineering of Pernambuco and annual workshops.
Professor Newton Martins Barbosa Neto of the Brazilian Federal University of Pará (UFPA) is the new coordinator of the University Chapters (UCs) Program of B-MRS. He follows in this role Professor Rodrigo F. Bianchi, who has coordinated the program since its foundation in 2014.
The objective of the UCs program is to bring together graduate and undergraduate students in Materials Science and Technology and related areas, and to encourage and support these teams to carry out activities that complement university education, such as the organization of events and interaction with similar groups from Brazil and abroad. Eight units of UCs have been created within B-MRS to date.
The board of B-MRS wishes Professor Barbosa Neto a good job and thanks Professor Bianchi for his work.
Words by the new coordinator (Newton Martins Barbosa Neto)
“I believe that assuming the coordination of B-MRS’s University Chapters program (UCs) is a major task. UCs are necessary and strategic bridges between today’s and tomorrow’s materials community as they provide students, in the spirit of learning by doing, the opportunity to evolve through the exchange of experience and discussion of problems related to materials research. Another important aspect of UCs is that they give students the opportunity to develop teamwork skills, which are more than necessary for the leaders of tomorrow, especially in a multidisciplinary area such as materials. It is in this spirit, and with the participation of our community, in Brazil and around the world, that I believe in the development of good work in the coming years that should continue to do what has already been done.
These are some of the main challenges we face: 1) Continue with the policy of creating new UCs, 2) Promote increasing interaction, and 3) Effectively organize the fields of action of UCs. The UCs have great action potential in activities such as: scientific dissemination, promotion of events, training of future researchers, among others. All of these things need to be done in an increasingly efficient and synergistic way, drawing the greatest number of results with the least amount of resources available. In other words, we need to do what we already do as materials scientists in our laboratories”.
In the month when the SBPMat University Chapters program completes two years of existence, we interviewed its coordinator, Professor Rodrigo Fernando Bianchi of the Federal University of Ouro Preto (UFOP), scientific director of SBPMat.
Curious since his childhood to understand the phenomena of nature, Rodrigo Bianchi chose Physics as his undergraduate major, which he studied between 1992 and 1995 in his native city, at the São Carlos Institute of Physics of the University of São Paulo (IFSC-USP). Research opportunities appeared and later he earned a master’s and doctoral degree in the area of Materials, also in the IFSC-USP, under the guidance of Professor Roberto Mendonça Faria. He received his master’s degree in 1997. In 2000, during the doctorate program, he spent six months doing research in United States, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, (a research stage known as a “doctoral sandwich” program). In 2002, he received the degree of Doctor of Science at IFSC-USP.
During his undergraduate studies, Bianchi complemented his academic activities with tutoring at USP, until he became a teacher at the Electronic Systems Engineering Department in 2004. In 2006, he became a professor in the Physics Department of UFOP. That same year he created the Laboratory of Polymers and Electronic Properties of Materials (LAPPEM). From 2011 to 2013 he was a visiting researcher at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley, USA. Between 2013 and 2014, he was the coordinator of the Center for Technological Innovation and Entrepreneurship of UFOP.
Since the creation of LAPPEM, the research and development work carried out by the research group and collaborators of the laboratory have produced scientific papers, patents and enterprises, and have received national-level awards. For example, in 2008, the group was awarded 3rd place in the Werner von Siemens Technology Innovation Award in the “Health” modality and the Incentive Award in Science and Technology for SUS, given by the Ministry of Health for the development of neostickers. Designed for blue light phototherapy to treat neonatal jaundice, the neostickers are organic light-emitting diode sensors that indicate the optimum point of blue light accumulation for the treatment.
Another one, among the several recognitions that took place earlier this year, was a project created by LAPPEM members to introduce to the market a development conducted in the laboratory, which was classified in fourth place among 1.500 startups in Brasil in the ranking “100 Open Startups”. In this case, the product was an adhesive, also based on organic luminescent material, which allows to monitor the level of ultraviolet (UV) radiation absorbed by human skin.
Currently, and since 2014, Rodrigo Bianchi is scientific director of SBPMat. When he took over the direction, he received the assignment to create and lead the SBPMat University Chapters (UCs) program, which currently has eight participating groups based in universities of five Brazilian states. Bianchi is also dean of Planning and Development of UFOP and permanent professor of the postgraduate programs in Materials Engineering and Science: Physics of Materials.
Awarded a level 2 CNPq productivity scholarship, Bianchi is the author of 7 filed patents and more than 40 articles published in international indexed journals. He has supervised 19 master dissertations and six doctoral theses.
The following is an interview with the researcher.
SBPMat Newsletter: – Tell us why you became a scientist and what led you to work in the Materials area.
Rodrigo Bianchi: – I was always a curious child trying to understand the phenomena of nature. This “curiosity” has accompanied me throughout my journey as a scientist, from the basic and secondary cycles, through my studies in Physics in the Institute of Physics of São Carlos, USP, and postgraduate studies in Materials Science and Engineering, also at USP, up to the research lines that I coordinate at UFOP, in polymeric electronic devices applied to healthcare. The research opportunities in polymers I had since my undergraduate years led me to work closer in the applied area. As a result, from Physics I went to Materials Science and Engineering, and today I consider myself a “physicist – materials engineer” with research lines focused on both the fundamental study of charge transport phenomena in organic electronic devices, as well as the idealization of sensors applied to neonatology, to the food area and to the monitoring and control of radiation.
SBPMat Newsletter: – In your assessment, what are the main contributions to the Materials area? Please also tell us of the cases in which you participated to transform scientific knowledge into products.
Rodrigo Bianchi: – Without a doubt I believe that the main contribution was to use the phenomena that made organic electronic devices not feasible for the market, such as photodegradation, that led to low durability and poor performance of organic light emitting diodes (OLEDS), to develop innovative sensors. Something like knowing the principles of operation and limitation of devices that were still in the maturation phase to create new sensors with different applications. An example of this strategy was the use of color change of the OLEDs, generated by the exposure of oxygen and light, which precluded many of the commercial applications of these systems, to develop colorimetric radiation sensing in the form of nanofibers, films and gels. In other words, develop 1, 2 and 3D scale sensors to use in different health areas: from phototherapy control for neonatal jaundice to monitoring UV radiation for sunbathers and construction and rural workers, up to the monitoring of cobalt processes, radiotherapy and food irradiation. So, encouraged by such research, partnerships and guidelines, besides our group in UFOP, there are currently other research groups working in the area in Brazil and abroad. Furthermore, our group is currently composed of physicists, chemists, food engineers, pharmacists and many students and professionals focused on developing multidisciplinary research in the field of organic electronics. The group has generated dozens of articles, patents and guidelines, with a focus to always understand the fundamental phenomena in order to develop innovative organic devices. Due to this characteristic, our team members have been awarded important innovation awards, as for instance by the Ministry of Health, Siemens and the Government of the State of Minas Gerais.
From a technological point of view, the As31 startup, created by students to market these products, was recently in fourth place in the ranking of the 100 Open Brazilian Startups, and regularly meets with major companies to establish B2B partnerships (business-to-business) to launch products into the market. This was the second startup created by members of our research group. The lesson we learned is that there are many difficulties related to creating technological and innovative products. Therefore, the first step to launch a startup involves having a well-trained and competent scientific and technological team. However, having the courage to change and modify the direction of the company is fundamental. For example, today the As31 has two Smart Tags as driving-force products: one to indicate to the consumer possible raw meat contamination processes, caused by temperature variations during its shelf-life, and another to indicate when bathers, especially children, should reapply sunscreen. two applications that emerged from the observation of the problems of OLEDs for more than ten years and which are currently very up to date.
SBPMat Newsletter: – The SBPMat University Chapters (UCs) program, which you have coordinated from the beginning, celebrates its two year anniversary this month. Give us your personal assessment of the results achieved to date and tell us about your plans for the program going forward.
Rodrigo Bianchi: – About the SBPMat UC program, I have to say it has been a great pleasure to participate in this creation and in the work done. It’s a challenge and not an easy task setting up a work routine and the involvement of students who are the future of the materials area in the country. We now have materials groups spread out and concentrated in all regions of the country, from north to south, from east to west. Then, it is very important to unite these students in a single cause, and as a result provide them their value in society. How to do this? Our strategy was to encourage students to form their groups, and this included numerous lectures and disseminations of UCs across the country. Once the UC program were created, most important thing was to encourage students to organize a symposium at the annual SBPMat meeting, in which students had a leading role in society by getting involved in establishing the program and also in organizing the event. An innovation, because I don’t know of any other materials entity that has provided such an opportunity until now. This happened in Rio de Janeiro in 2015 and the involvement and success of the students was clearly seen. These were high-level scientific lectures involving not only materials science themes, but also ethics and scientific writing, for example. In other words, themes that interest directly the students, who are the future of the Materials area in the country. For the next meeting in Campinas, the students are organized to again coordinate this symposium. Regarding the future? The answer is to encourage the formation of new groups, interaction among students and consolidate the participation of everybody in SBPMat.
SBPMat Newsletter: – We always ask the person interviewed in this section of the newsletter to leave a message for those who are beginning their scientific careers. Would you like to say something in particular to these future scientists / junior scientists?
Rodrigo Bianchi: – As a final message to the readers, especially the younger ones: “the Materials area is extremely rich and gives us the opportunity to interact with various themes and professionals from many fields of knowledge. So, enjoy this significant feature. Get involved with competent and motivating people, and have the courage to innovate and bring your ideas into the market. Brazil needs this and you can make a difference!”
Between April 6 and 10 of the present year, professor Roberto Mendonça Faria, president of our SBPMat (the Brazil materials research society), was in San Francisco (California, USA), participating in the “2015 MRS Spring Meeting“, one of the two annual meetings of the Materials Research Society (MRS). In such occasion, representing SBPMat, professor Faria held a series of meetings.
The president, vice-president, and the executive officer of MRS, respectively, Oliver Kraft, Kristi S. Anseth, and Tood M. Osman, took part in one of them. In such meeting, the directors of both societies agreed upon the continuity of the contract that makes the MRS’ publications available to SBPMat’s members, and discussed ways of establishing collaborations between the University Chapters programs of both societies. Additionally, SBPMat’s president invited the three directors of MRS to participate in the fourteenth meeting of the Brazilian MRS.
Another meeting congregated professor Robert Chang, general secretary of International Union of Materials Research Societies (IUMRS), and professor José Alberto Giacometti, member of SBPMat Board of Counselors, in addition to professor Faria. The three professors defined that they will be co-organizers of the “Symposium U” at the XIV SBPMat Meeting, intitled “Importance of social implications of nanotechnologies in Science popularization”. The symposium already counts on two invited speakers: Guillermo Foladori, from Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas (Mexico) and Noela Invernizzi, from Universidade Federal do Paraná (Brazil). In the meeting, professor Chang, who was plenary speaker at the XIII SBPMat Meeting, confirmed his presence in the meeting of this year.
In a third meeting, the president of SBPMat talked to representatives of Institute of Physics (IOP), and both parties manifested the desire of continuing the project of “Science Impact“, publication which, according to professor Faria, has been having an excellent repercussion.
The University Chapter (UC) program of the Brazilian Materials Research Society (SBPMat) now has a unit in northern Brazil, more precisely in the city of Belém, capital of state of Pará, in the Federal University of Pará (UFPA). Seventeen undergraduate and graduate students engaged in research on Materials Science, as well as two tutors, take part in this UC.
“When we learned what the University Chapter program was, we realized that participating would provide us with a unique opportunity to have contact with other students in the field and thereby increase our exchange of experiences with pupils from other institutions which, just as us, work in Materials research”, says the president of the UC, doctoral student Gregório Barbosa Corrêa Júnior. According to him, as from this year, the UC will hold events such as workshops and courses. “We also expect to acquire a global perspective on what is our branch of scientific research and, with that, have a firm grasp of the opportunities and professional prospects offered by the field”, he concludes.
The University Chapter Biomaterials (UCB), headquartered in Bauru (city in the state of Sao Paulo) held its seventh monthly meeting in the morning of November 19th, in the São Paulo State University (UNESP). In that occasion, two foreign researchers who were in Bauru delivered seminars in the meeting.
Professor Ana Maria Pires Pinto from Universidade de Minho (Portugal) lectured about new concepts for biomedical applications of metallic matrix composites. Next, nanomedicine in situ was the topic of the seminar given by professor Tolou Shokuhfar, from Michigan Technological University (U.S.A.).
“The researchers were in contact with our group and we were highly complimented by them”, says Diego Rafael Nespeque Correa, president of UCB and PhD Researcher in the UNESP Post-graduate program in Materials Science and Technology. “We managed to maintain an environment of substantial scientific discussions and promotion of our group”, he adds.
UCB is of the five current units of the SBPMat University Chapters Program.
The SBPMat University Chapters program has its first unit in Rio Grande do Sul, since the end of October 2014. Headquartered in the University of Caxias do Sul (UCS), this UC has 14 participants, who are connected to UCS, the Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM), and the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS).
“What motivated me and all who are part of our UC was the possibility to generate other partnerships and add valuable knowledge”, says Bruna Louise Perotti, president of the UC, Mechanical Engineering student and scientific initiation fellow connected to the UCS Post-graduate program in Engineering and Materials Science. The group has plans for the next semester: organize lectures and seminars (initially with local lecturers and afterwards with visiting lecturers) and carry out scientific events to promote the interaction and collaboration between contributing research groups, generating innovation in the assignments, andfinally contribute to promote them.
“I want you to realize the importance of your work to the development of our country,” said the president of SBPMat, Professor Roberto Mendonça Faria (IFSC – USP), to about 30 undergraduate and graduate students present at the João Pessoa Convention Center to attend the first meeting of the SBPMat University Chapters Program (UCs). Held on the afternoon of September 29, 2014, the meeting was attended by representatives of already created UCs and individuals interested in being part of the program.
The UC program’s main objective is to bring together students working in the area of Materials in organized teams formally linked to SBPMat, and to support these groups to perform activities complementary to their academic education. Launched in early 2014, the program has already started drawing the map aimed at connecting groups of different and distant regions of Brazil – the 5th largest country in the world, a detail worth remembering. Up to the time of the event, four chapters had been established in the states of Minas Gerais, Piauí and São Paulo.
In charge of opening the meeting, Professor Faria said that Brazil is a country rich in raw materials, but cannot add much knowledge onto it. “However, it is the economic, social and intellectual value that raises the society’s standard of living,” he said, further noting the great impact that the area of materials, in particular, can have on the development of a nation. Finally, the president of SBPMat said that by acting in university chapters, the youth will feel more active and participatory, not only in SBPMat but in the Brazilian society as a whole.
Then, Professor Rodrigo Bianchi (UFOP), scientific director at SBPMat in charge of the UC Program, provided some examples of activities that could be undertaken by chapters: a course in scientific writing for students of Materials, a lecture by a scientist of international repute in a Brazilian university, an trainnee program with a company, visits to other program units, exchanges with members of UCs from other countries, symposia to promote scientific collaborations among the UCs … among many other initiatives.
Bianchi also commented with those present some interactions initiated with the university chapters program from materials research societies in Mexico, where the program is still in its infancy, like in Brazil, and the United States (MRS), which, 15 years after the creation of the program, has more than 80 chapters. “Several former members of university chapters are now leaders in the field of materials in the United States”, said the coordinator.
The Brazilian chapters
In the second part of the meeting, each of the SBPMat UCs was presented by the president or by a representative. Larissa Arruda, secretary of the Biomaterials UC, which brings together postgraduate students in materials from UNESP – Bauru and from the School of Dentistry at USP, both in São Paulo State, presented a very active group, which has held monthly meetings since its creation in April this year.
President of the Ouro Preto UC, Minas Gerais State, Mariane Murase highlighted the multidisciplinary composition of her group, composed of undergraduate and postgraduate students in Physics, Chemistry and Engineering. “I see the program as an opportunity to grow personally and professionally and to interact with society,” said Mariane, who expressed interest in undertaking scientific dissemination actions in schools.
Another town in Minas Gerais, Juiz de Fora, already has its SBPMat UC, chaired by Jefferson Martins. The group is interested in conducting lectures, seminars and workshops at the university. Jefferson believes that the experience of UC will mature its members and allow them to better understand how processes work within institutions.
Coming from the city of Teresina (Piauí State), Layane de Almeida said the UC she chairs, called UNICHAPI, has already held its first meeting and has a website under construction. Layane sees in the UC a chance to strengthen relations between industry and the university – a mission she considers crucial in the region she lives. Among the strengths of the program, she emphasized the autonomy students gain to undertake activities upon receiving funds directly from SBPMat.
Foi aprovada por unanimidade pela Diretoria e o Conselho da SBPMat a criação do Programa de Seções Universitárias da sociedade. As seções universitárias, usualmente chamadas de “university chapters” em idioma inglês, são organizações criadas e administradas por estudantes universitários e vinculadas, tipicamente, a sociedades de pesquisa. Um exemplo é o programa da Materials Research Society (MRS).
Na SBPMat, estudantes de programas de pós-graduação vinculados a institutos e departamentos de Materiais, Engenharias, Física ou Química poderão fazer parte do programa. “Por iniciativa própria, os estudantes podem criar organizações com presidente, secretário, tesoureiro etc. e designar um professor tutor”, explica o professor Roberto Mendonça Faria, presidente da nossa SBPMat. Essas organizações ficariam vinculadas à SBPMat e receberiam um orçamento da sociedade para promover eventos na área de Materiais, como palestras e workshops. Os estudantes ligados às seções universitárias da SBPMat teriam acesso a facilidades adicionais para participar dos eventos da SBPMat.
O programa conta com a parceria da MRS. Assim, estudantes das seções universitárias da MRS poderiam receber auxílios para participar dos eventos da SBPMat e vice-versa.
De acordo com o professor Faria, o programa deve ter início no final deste ano ou no início de 2014.
As novidades do programa serão divulgadas em nosso boletim, Twitter e Facebook. Interessados em receber mais informações também podem contatar a secretaria da SBPMat, pelo e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.