Paula Marques


 Paula Marques
 Departament of Mechanical Engineering
 Universidade de Aveiro
 Campus Universitário de Santiago
 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Tel: +351234370830
Fax: +351234370953

1.What are your personal perspectives as a researcher?
My expectations aim to develop high quality research in the area of nanoscience and nanotechnology. As this is a transversal field of research, an interdisciplinary environment is essential. Original, ground-breaking ideas often arise from the contact between people working in different areas. So, it is crucial to have collaborations with researchers from various fields and partnerships with busyness companies, as well. This will enhance the possibility to move forward the fundamental research domain to applied science, which is my main objective.
During the last years, as a research of TEMA, I have been focusing my work in the development and application of new graphene based nanocomposites, with numerous potentials for several fields, particularly for biomedical applications. It takes time to establish contacts, joint collaborations, and mutual trust relations; I consider that presently I have very interesting collaborations with national and international research groups, who are allowing the advance of innovative research. It is my expectation, that this work will be recognized and rewarded in the next funding opportunities at National and European level.
Also, I expect that my involvement as a member of the “Graphene Flagship” and as a follower of the organization of “Graphene and other 2D materials: A roadmap for Portugal” will bring concrete opportunities for the funding of my investigation.
In fact, nowadays, funding is an imperative factor to proceed with research and ultimately to keep our academic/researcher career. The instability arising from fixed-term job contract creates a “constant pressure on my head”. Even so, every day I am committed to do my best at all levels by really “dressing the UA shirt”. Further, I have the confidence that with the recognition of my work, the compensations will come.

2.In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges in your area of research?
One of the biggest challenges is to keep me competitive in a demanding research area where the competition is extreme, particularly with countries like the USA and China. Conversely, there is the positive side of this competition: we can better design projects that will be inventive, unique and original; definitely its contribution will lead to outcomes resulting in innovative products that somehow will contribute to improving the quality of life of citizens.
Nevertheless, working particularly on the synthesis of nanomaterials requires constant access to specific characterization equipment, such as high resolution scanning and transmission microscopes, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, amongst others, to characterize and evaluate the success of the design methods. Although the UA campus is very well equipped, the large number of researchers demanding for those equipment, makes access very restricted, which hamper a lot the progress of our work, then sometimes we lose the opportunity to publish new results because others can do faster.

3.Where are the strengths of the UA in your opinion?
The University of Aveiro is my university; I enrolled at this university in 1988, when I started my graduation in Chemistry. Since then, I have been able to watch the growth of the UA that has been exceptional, not only for infrastructures, but also for the academics and scientific fields’ research. The organization of the UA in departments, which in turn are organized into units and research laboratories, is very functional and inclusive. The national and international recognition of the UA is well known and says it all. I have, in specific, many expectations for the newly created Aveiro Institute of Nanotechnology (AIN) which will reinforce a number of synergies between CICECO, TEMA and I3N, and it will make us more powerful and internationally more competitive in the NANO area.
The dynamism of the successive rectoral teams has contributed for the UA research success.

4.Could you give one idea to improve research in the UA?
There are three fundamental aspects to develop good research: researchers, infrastructures and funding.
The researchers are the major key players. In this perspective the research career should be more stable. It takes time to gather all the necessary resources to implement the research environment leading to good results and subsequent recognition. Most often this is not feasible in the time of the contracts which puts into question the entire investment made during that period. In my opinion there must be a policy of continuity in research. The mobility of researchers, particularly at an early stage of their career is important to exchange experiences and personal growth but the scientific career requires continuity and stability to favour the implementation of outstanding quality contribution and recognition of the research groups in the institution. The researchers must cooperate with efficiency, proactivity and promoting ethics and responsibility when submitting results. To this respect, it might be interesting to create a commission at UA for the reception and instruction of new researchers who arrive to the UA, in order to promote the best practice in research at all levels.
The infrastructures and funding, being both related, should be managed in a rational and balanced way to serve researchers and to promote their work. I trust UA is in a good direction for scientific and educational progress.


última atualização a 14-07-2014
This web site uses cookies without storing personal information that allows the identification of its users. By navigating in this web site you are consenting to the use of these cookies.more information
Para que esta página funcione corretamente deve ativar a execução de Javascript. Se tal não for possível, algumas funcionalidades poderão estar limitadas.