Hugo Gonçalves Silva
Professor Auxiliar (Departamento de Física)
From 2015 to 2019, I was Assistant/Principal Researcher at the Renewable Energy Chair, University of Évora, working on Solar Energy along two streams of activities: 1) Executive management of the Evora Molten Salt Platform (EMSP) in collaboration with German Aerospace Centre (Deutsches Zenrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, DLR). EMSP is a 3.6 MW experimental Solar Thermal Parabolic Through Plant using molten salts as the fluid converting solar energy into heat. The completion and operation of this platform brings together key industrial players: Eltherm, innogy SE, Grupo TSK, Rioglass, Yara and Steinmüller. The overall investment in this plant to that date stood at over 15 million; 2) Research leadership of the Solar Irradiance and System Operation group, which focused on instrumentation test and implementation, elaboration of performance tests, solar resource assessment, electrical production forecasts and development of soiling assessment and mitigation tools, all towards a more efficient operation of solar thermal power plants.
Both activities involved a team that had, besides me, 10 people and from which key publications were published in well rated journals such as: Solar Energy, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells and Renewable Energy.
From 2010 to 2014, I was a Post-Doc at the former Geophysical Centre of University of Évora (now integrated to the Institute of Earth Sciences) where I focused my work on Atmospheric Electricity. In the first year, I won a prestigious award for early career researchers from Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation to study electromagnetic earthquake precursors; perturbations on the atmospheric electric field were detected around 3 days before an earthquake happened. Moreover, the electric properties of rocks were examined revealing a known confined water phase transition, at low temperatures, but unknown to occur in rocks. The last two years were dedicated to the creation of a Laboratory of Atmospheric Electricity that engaged 5 researchers including me. This was a very intensive period of scientific production in which we were able to explore: 1) urban pollution phenomena - during the 80s pollution levels at Lisbon were inferred from atmospheric electric field data of that period; 2) solar-earth interactions - similarities between sunspot number, neutron counts and atmospheric electric field time-series were found supporting solar magnetic activity influence on Earths climate, a factor disregarded in climate models. Over the same period, I was also a visiting researcher at the University of Bristol, and worked closely with the University of Reading, both from the UK.
I published papers in this field in high impact journals including: Geophysics, The Astrophysical Journal, Environmental Research Letters and Boundary-layer Meteorology.
From 2006 to 2009, I was a PhD student at the Institute of Physics for Materials of University of Porto, Portugal studying spin-dependent electronic transport in nanostructures - Spintronics - the technology behind hard disk drives reading heads. The work engaged two aspects: 1) Theoretical description of spin-dependent coherent electronic transport in perfect magnetic junctions with different geometries (from simple magnetic tunnel junctions to highly complex structures. The study revealed that shallow band materials (transition metals, semiconductors, or semimetals) have the potential to attain data storage densities well above the 1 Tb/in2 limit that industry was seeking at that; 2) Experimental characterization (magnetic, electric and magnetoresistance) of disordered magnetic nanolayered granular materials. Such experiments led to the discovery of electrical resistive switching on disordered Co80Fe20 magnetic grains imbedded in an Al2O3 matrix; these materials can thus be used on the development of non-volatile random-access memories.
This work led to publications in reputed international journals including: Applied Physics Letters, Physical Review B and Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics.
For what lies ahead, I am looking for fruitful collaborations with multidisciplinary teams that share the same concern over the adverse effects of present excessive levels of artificial electromagnetism have on environmental health. The contribution that I consider my work can give to the field is: the analysis of database information to retrieve statistically meaningfully results; develop physical models aiming to explain the observed results; actively engage into information campaigns; help in developing proper regulation based on which adequate jurisprudence can be elaborated.
Teaching as invited collaborator in the second-year Laboratories of Electronics I in the Physics Department of the School of Sciences and Technology of the University of Évora. (academic year 2011/2012).
Two invited lectures on the master course: Environmental Sensors, Physics Department of the School of Sciences and Technology of the University of Évora. (academic year 2012/2013).
Teaching as invited assistant professor in the Physics Department of the School of Sciences and Technology of University of Évora of the Solar Energy Engineering Master course: Technologies of Photovoltaic Solar Energy. (academic years 2016/2017 to 2018/2019).
Teaching as invited assistant professor in the Physics Department of the School of Sciences and Technology of University of Évora of the Solar Energy Engineering Master course: Technologies of Solar Thermal Energy. (academic years 2018/2019).
Teaching as assistant professor in the Physics Department of the School of Sciences and Technology of University of Évora of the Solar Energy Engineering Master course: Energy and Project Management and Planning. (academic years 2019/2020).
Teaching as assistant professor in the Physics Department of the School of Sciences and Technology of University of Évora of the Solar Energy Engineering Master course: Technologies of Photovoltaic Solar Energy. (academic years 2019/2020).
Teaching as assistant professor in the Physics Department of the School of Sciences and Technology of University of Évora of the Mechatronics Engineering Graduation course: Condition Control of Mechatronic Systems. (academic years 2019/2020).
Teaching as assistant professor in the Physics Department of the School of Sciences and Technology of University of Évora of the Renewable Energy Engineering Graduation course: Energy, Environment and Sustainability. (academic years 2019/2020).
Departamento de Física, ICT, Instituto de Ciências da Terra, Universidade de Évora, Rua Romão Ramalho 59, 7002-554 Évora, Portugal.
INEGI Alentejo: non-for-profit association with private rights, this initiative results from a collaboration between the University of Évora and Instituto de Ciência e Inovação em Engenharia Mecânica e Engenharia Industrial, INEGI (Porto), for the creation of a joint association. Function: founding member.
Internship in Observational Astronomy, Astronomical Observatory of Lisbon, Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon. (01-08-2004 to 30-08-2004)
Initiation grant for scientific research at the Physics Department, University of Aveiro, under the guidance of Professor Alexandre Correia dedicated to computational study of the Dynamic evolution by tidal Effects of Mars and its moons. (01-09-2004 to 30-09-2005)
Ph.D. candidate in Condensed Matter Physics and Nanotechnologies, Physics Department, Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, holding a grant from the national Foundation for Science and Tecnology (FCT) with the reference: SFRH/BD/24190/2005. The work developed in the IFIMUP, Institute of Material Physics of University of Porto, that is part from the national laboratory Institute of Nanotechnologies. (01-01-2006 to 30-01-2009)
Collaboration with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Algarve, under the guidance of Professor Henrique Leonel Gomes. (01-08-2006 to 31-12-2008)
Post-doctoral fellowship in Geophysics (6 years grant) at Geophysics Centre of Évora (CGE) funded by the grant from FCT with the reference: SFRH/BPD/63880/2009. CGE is now part of the Portuguese Institute of Earth Science (ICT) and develops scientific research in two areas: Physics and Dynamics of the Atmosphere and Climate; Seismo-tectonics and Processes of Lithospheric Deformation. ICT a leading institution in both national and international geophysics. The project was dedicated to: Seismo-electromagnetic Phenomena in Tectonically Active Regions (01-01-2010 to 31-12-2015).
Responsible for the Laboratory of Atmospheric Electricity from the Geophysics Centre of Évora, University of Évora. (01-01-2014 to 31-12-2015)
Visiting researcher in the Atmospheric Chemistry Research Group, School of Chemistry, University of Bristol, in the under the guidance of Professor Dudley Shallcross dedicated to Atmospheric Electricity in Urban Environments. (01-10-2014 to 31-12-2014)
Assistant/Principal researcher in the Renewable Energy Chair, University of Évora, involved in the executive management of the Evora Molten Salt Platform and research leadership of the Solar Irradiance and System Operation group (01-03-2015 to 31-05-2019)
Assistant Professor in the Physics Department, School of Sciences and Technology, University of Évora (01-06-2019 to present).