João Tedim
Research Assistant
CICECO - Department of Materials and Ceramic Engineering
Universidade de Aveiro
Campus Universitário de Santiago
 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Tel: +351 234378146


1. What are your personal perspectives as a researcher?
As a researcher working on the Surface Engineering and Corrosion Protection group, SECOP (CICECO-DEMaC) one of my main goals is to continue well-established activities in the field of smart coatings for high performance applications, a field of high interest among materials scientists as well as industry, for which I have been contributing in recent years as a researcher of UA. Currently, our group is internationally recognized by the work in self-healing coatings for corrosion protection, as well as impact- and corrosion-sensitive coatings for vehicle applications. Furthermore, the development of nanostructured materials for controlled release of active substances is a topic transversal to different areas of science and engineering. As a result, I am leading activities in collaborative projects (FP7, QREN) within fields that go from sensors for food packaging to development of multifunctional paper. Personally, my aim is to strengthen networking with groups, nationally and internationally, through participation in several H2020 and industrial-based projects so that these recent R&D activities find a sustainable growth in the forthcoming years. Together with “materials-based” objectives I find of the utmost importance that design of new materials takes into account the use sustainable resources, and at the same time the toxicity of generated nanomaterials when released in the environment is investigated. This integrative vision is already being applied in our activities in collaboration with other groups from UA as well as in the frame of international partnerships.
Within our group, one of my goals is to assist the formation of highly motivated MSc, PhD and Post-Doc researchers to work in this challenging area, retaining enough critical mass to keep high-level research in the group. Ultimately, this generated knowledge will be accessible to students that would like to take a post-graduate degree in our university.

2. In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges in your area of research?
In the field of smart coatings for protective applications the main challenge is to be able to adapt lab-designed systems for industrial testing and validation. There are hundreds of works reporting remarkable responses under controlled conditions but in the majority of cases serious validation cannot be done because several points are not considered, namely:
-lack of integrated vision on the conditions that a coating must withstand under service life;
-correlation between (lab) electrochemical testing and accelerated standard tests;
-feasibility of the upscaling of promising nanomaterials;
-compatibility between new functional nanoadditives and conventional coating technologies;

3. Where are the strengths of the UA in your opinion?
UA combines high level scientific staff with young and motivated researchers. These are, in my opinion, the main ingredients to achieve a balanced and sustainable growth of the institution on its main objectives: education and research.

4. Could you give one idea to improve research in the UA?
Researchers and professors are quite often overloaded with financial and administrative issues, in addition to their scientific and academic responsibilities. One simple suggestion is to consider hours of managerial/administrative staff in the budget of projects. That would allow the hiring of people to closely monitor a set of projects, in order to increase the level of support to researchers and facilitate the role of administrative personnel in the central services. In some cases this could maximize the level of project execution (and income), without significantly compromising the budget of the institution. 

última atualização a 02-09-2014
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