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Cheers to Manuel Nunes da Ponte

Former ITQB Director honoured by colleagues and students

Oeiras, 04.10.2015

Former ITQB Director, Manuel Nunes da Ponte, is honoured today for his personal and scientific contribution to Portuguese science, during a ceremony preceding the 2nd EuCheMS Congress on Green and Sustainable Chemistry, taking place at FCT-UNL.

Prior to the opening plenary talk by Manuel Nunes da Ponte (entitled “Carbon dioxide: from supercritical to circular") the session will gather the testimonials of colleagues, students, and friends, who will share their impression of Manuel Nunes da Ponte’s contribution to many areas throughout his career. Unable to attend in person, current ITQB Director Cláudio M. Soares sent a video testimony to be broadcasted during the honouring ceremony. “Manuel is a good and active friend of ITQB still today” says Cláudio M. Soares.

Manuel Nunes da Ponte, currently a Professor at FCT, was the first formal Dean of ITQB, succeeding the founder and president the Installation Committee, António Xavier. He served as ITQB Director between 1999 and 2002. “Manuel Nunes da Ponte played a key role in the foundation of the Associated Laboratory” recalls Cláudio Soares, “placing ITQB, and its partners, at the forefront of the Portuguese Science arena, with a scientific and institutional impact that still continues today”.  From his times at ITQB, researchers and staff remember a warm cheerful person, who would even join students in the weekly football matches.

Cláudio Soares concludes “we regard Manuel Nunes da Ponte much like a Senator of Universidade NOVA, someone whose wisdom we can trust and whom we can count with to take this University even further”.


Born in Goa, India, Manuel Nunes da Ponte graduated in Chemical Engineering at the Instituto Superior Técnico (1971), where he obtained his PhD in 1977. After a two-year stay at Oxford University, UK, he was a Visiting Associate Professor at Cornell University, USA.

He was Director of the Chemistry Department of University Nova (1994-97); Director of Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica, (1999-2002); one of the Directors of IBET, from 1993 to 2006, and is currently one of the Directors of REQUIMTE, the Portuguese Centre of Excellence for Green Chemistry.

His research interests started in Chemical Thermodynamics and mixtures of liquids under pressure, and they evolved to the study of supercritical carbon dioxide and its applications in extraction, and as a solvent for chemical reaction. More recently, he has studied misturers of ionic liquids and high pressure carbon dioxide, and he has now focused his research on chemical and electrochemical reduction of CO2. He published more than one hundred and twenty papers in refereed scientific journals (with over 2300 citations), and dozens of papers in scientific proceedings and book chapters. He is the inventor of six patents and he presented several plenary and invited communications in international scientific symposia. He supervised 19 doctoral theses. He was the founder, with two University colleagues, of the start-up Zeyton Nutraceuticals. Among other recognitions, he received the Gulbenkian Prize of Science and Technology (1992) and the Ferreira da Silva Prize of the Portuguese Chemical Society (1995).

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