Sergio Mascarenhas de Oliveira (1928 – 2021).

[Text by Professor Roberto Mendonça Faria (IFSC-USP), former president of B-MRS.]

Prof Sergio Mascarenhas in 2012.
Prof Sergio Mascarenhas in 2012.

The Brazilian Materials Research Society (B-MRS) invited me to write about an event that no one would like to read: the demise of professor and scientist Sérgio Mascarenhas de Oliveira.

Sérgio Mascarenhas was born on May 2, 1928 in the city of Rio de Janeiro, where he graduated in chemistry from the National Faculty of Philosophy, University of Brazil, in 1951, and in physics from the University of Rio de Janeiro, in 1952.

In 1956, he, together with his wife, Professor Yvonne Primerano Mascarenhas, decided to face the great challenge of introducing research far from the big centers, such as São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. They began their brilliant careers as professors and scientists in São Carlos, at the São Carlos School of Engineering – the University of São Paulo. With competency and hard work, Professor Mascarenhas created the first laboratories in the area of Condensed Matter Physics, an important segment of Materials Science, following the knowledge he brought from Rio de Janeiro, where he worked with the masters Joaquim Costa Ribeiro and Armando Dias Tavares, under the inspiration of Professor Bernhard Gross.

He created the Institute of Physics and Chemistry of São Carlos (where he was professor emeritus), the Embrapa Instrumentation (CNPDIA) unit in São Carlos, and was one of those responsible for founding the Federal University of São Carlos. He was visiting professor at the Universities of Princeton, Harvard, MIT (USA), the National Autonomous University and the Center for Advanced Studies (Mexico), the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (Japan), the London University (England), the International Center for Theoretical Physics of Trieste and University of Rome (Italy). He was director of the Adib Jatene Research Foundation (Institute of Cardiology Dante Pazzanese SP), he also coordinated projects at the Institute of Advanced Studies at USP, and was a member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Sciences of the State of São Paulo. Professor Mascarenhas was decorated CNPq Researcher Emeritus, and received numerous awards: Commander of the National Order of Scientific Merit of the Presidency of the Republic, Guggenheim Award (USA), Fulbright Award (USA), Yamada Foundation Award (Japan), the National Order of Scientific Merit award – Grand Cross, among other honorary distinctions.

Professor Mascarenhas leaves a legion of students and former students who continue his work supporting the scientific development of Brazil.

Prof. Roberto Mendonça Faria.


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