LEPABE – Laboratory for Process Engineering, Environment, Biotechnology and Energy, formerly LEPAE, was created in 1998, as an interdisciplinary group, to operate within the Faculty of Engineering of university of Porto (mainly Chemical Engineering Department) and the research developed is based on Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. It has been consistently avaluated as Excellent by the international juri appointed by FCT.
LEPABE’s motto, “From Science to Innovation”, is fuelled by the combination of basic science with applied engineering and innovation. A more systematic understanding of the fundamental principles beyond the chemical engineering and biotechnology is a prerequisite for many innovations such solar cells, biomaterials and drug delivery systems. Such a deeper understanding can only arise from an interdisciplinary approach that combines chemistry, biology and biomimetic material science with technology.
LEPABE has provided, along the years, the skills, the resources, the results, the expertise and international recognition, as well as the industrial trust and partnership, which are the foundations for the success. The R&D&I results of the team members are of extreme merit and prove a sound expertise in advanced training. Regarding the technological applications and innovative products, besides the registered patents, spin-off companies have also been launched, resulting from the research performed at LEPABE: ACS - Advanced Cyclone Systems, in 2008, led by R. Salcedo, BioMode, in 2010, where N. Azevedo was co-promoter.
LEPABE emphasizes the cross-feeding of different fields and the integrated members are stimulated to cooperate with colleagues from different specialized subjects, in this and other research units, increasing synergies and seeking advances in interfacial areas. Such progress in technological expertise founded on sound science explains the attainment of higher levels of cooperation with industry and governmental bodies in recent years. The background of LEPABE’s staff is multidisciplinary, with fundamental knowledge in reaction engineering, separation and surface science, advanced mathematical modelling and simulation tools, process control, transport phenomena, environmental and food sciences and technology, biotechnology and molecular biology. This approach is crucial to maintain a high level of motivation and the group spreads naturally into new areas, including emerging subjects such as nanoscience and new energy technologies.
LEPABE’s vision for 2015-2020 is to reach a top-level international position and be recognized as an “outstanding” research laboratory in the chemical engineering and biotechnology field. Our mission is to develop innovative processes and products to respond effectively to society challenges, accelerating significant improvement in the wealth and well-being of European society. We will keep on using the basis of chemical and biological engineering to fabric products and improve the quality of life, in a sustainable and safe way for environment and people.
To support our mission, LEPABE is structured into 3 research groups: (a) Chemical Processes Engineering and Energy, (b) Biotechnology and Interfaces and (c) Environment, which cross-feed with 5 thematic lines that are our research priorities: (1) Processes, Products and Energy; (2) Process Systems Engineering; (3) Biotechnology; (4) Supramolecular Assemblies and (5) Environmental Sciences and Technologies.
The consistency of the unit stems from the common matrix - analysis of chemical and biological processes - applied to the development of innovative processes and products with high economic potential. Synergies resulting from the complementary research groups surely contribute to the sustainable socio-economical and industrial development of the country.
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