With an eye on research

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In October, research groups from three Brazilian universities were given the unique opportunity to expand the horizons of their research. Between days 2 and 5, professor Ragnar Larsson, a leader in the field of computational material mechanics at the Chalmers University of Technology and owner of one of the chairs of the program Swedish Endowed Professor Chair at ITA in the Honor of Peter Wallenberg Sr, attended the teaching institutions to discuss research topics related to graphene: a form of carbon considered the most resistant material ever tested.

The visits were part of CISB 7th Annual Meeting, a platform for innovation that holds an annual meeting to connect actors, create bridges, foster collaboration, catalyze initiatives, and strengthen the innovation and research network between countries.

Professor Larsson’s schedule was very busy. On day 2, he visited the CTNano laboratory of the Federal University of Minas Gerais, in Belo Horizonte (MG), headed by professor Glaura George Silva. Two days later, he visited the Centre for Computational Engineering and Sciences at Unicamp, in Campinas (SP), headed by professor Munir Skaf. On day 5, it was time to visit MackGraphe, the Graphene and Nanomaterials Research Center at Mackenzie University in São Paulo, where Mr. Larsson synergistically interacted with some researchers. 

The Swedish professor does not hide his satisfaction with what he saw. "It was great to meet all the people involved and I think we had a lot of ideas for the continuation of joint research related to modeling, simulation, and experimental work," he says. Larsson says he believes his role, and that of all other chairs, is to strengthen the network between Brazilian and Swedish researchers. In his specific case, he explains, the main objective is to establish a long-term cooperation with a focus on aeronautical compounds.

Professor Skaf, of Unicamp, accurately exemplifies the importance of the visit. "We had a very productive 4-hour conversation," he says. During the conversation, the Brazilian professor did a general presentation of the university and discussed research in the areas of engineering and computational sciences, especially the topics being analysed at Chalmers University. "We were able to identify some very important research from the standpoint of complementarity for both universities," he says.

Skaf was optimistic about the next steps. Based on the conversation, he says he learned more about the proximity of Chalmers University with the industrial sector, which he considers incipient in Brazilian universities. “The proximity between both countries can help us find mechanisms to boost this interaction,” he concludes.