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Five individuals distinguished with the Medal of Scientific Merit

The Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor, has recently distinguished five more personalities with the Medal of Scientific Merit. The winners were Luís Magalhães, Paulo Ferrão, Helena Pereira, Emília Moura and Isabel Vitorino. This distinction aims at rewarding national or foreign individuals who, due to their high professional qualities and performance of duty, have distinguished themselves for their valuable and exceptional contribution to the development of science or scientific culture in Portugal.

The following is a brief biographical note on the academic, scientific, and/or professional careers of the most recent award winners.

Luís Magalhães, PhD in Applied Mathematics from Brown University (USA), is currently a full professor of Mathematics at the Instituto Superior Técnico, an institution in which he co-founded two research centers, the Center for Mathematical Analysis and the Institute for Systems and Robotics. He was president of FCT between 1997 and 2002 and of the Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC), whose functions would be integrated into FCT, between 2005 and 2012. He is also, since 2017, vice-president of the Committee on Digital Economy Policy (CDEP) of the OECD.

Medals of Scientific Merit

Paulo Ferrão, PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico, is the current president of COST, an EU program for scientific and technological cooperation, and a full professor at IST. His scientific production has focused mainly on urban sustainability and smart cities, and he is also president of the Center for Studies in Innovation, Technology and Development Policies of IST. He was also director of the MIT-Portugal Program between 1996 and 2016, and president of FCT between 2016 and 2019.

Helena Pereira, full professor at the Instituto Superior de Agronomia (Higher Institute of Agronomy), has held management and academic and scientific coordination positions at several universities, polytechnic institutes and research units. Her research has focused mainly on the area of forests and forest products. Since 2019 he holds the position of President of the Board of Directors of FCT.

Emília Moura, graduated in Economics from the Higher Institute of Economics and Management (ISEG) of the University of Lisbon, is currently a member of the FCT Board of Directors. Her career in Public Administration has involved her in the direction, management and coordination of Ministerial Offices in the area of Science, Technology and Higher Education, of the Coordination Commission of the European Social Fund, and of the Foundation for National Scientific Computing (FCCN), highlighting the positions of Director of the Department of Management and Administration of FCT, between 2009 and 2015, and Head of the Office of Science, Technology and Higher Education of the XXI Government of Portugal, between 2016 and 2019.

Isabel Vitorino is, since 2008, head of the Department of Support to FCT Institutions. She has held various positions in the area of management of national science and technology, highlighting her membership of the National Board of Scientific and Technological Research (JNICT), which she joined in 1987, with management functions in the area of allocation and monitoring of Studentships research of the S&T Mobilizer Program, and where she was also coordinator of the area of financial management and budgetary control of programs and projects, and the coordination of the evaluation process of R&D Units in 2007.

To learn more about previous recipients of the Medal of Scientific Merit, see the awards page.