|José Pereira Salgado
Doctor and chemist, University Professor and 7th Rector of the University of Porto
José Pereira Salgado was born in Porto on 1 April 1873.
There, he attended the Medicine course at the Medical-Surgical School of Porto and took a PhD in Physical-Chemical Sciences (1924) at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto, and in Engineering (1927) at the Faculty of Engineering of the same University.
While he was still a student, he was called to work in the Municipal Laboratory then headed by Professor Ferreira da Silva. Afterwards, he was transferred to the Chemistry Laboratory of the Polytechnic Academy of Porto, where he was nominated demonstrator of the Chemistry subjects by decree of 29 November 1901.
From 12 May 1911, he took over as first assistant of Chemistry in the FSUP. Later, on 27 June 1919, he was hired as a Professor of Industrial Chemistry at the Technical Faculty (the future Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto).
On 18 November 1922, he was appointed Visiting Professor of the FEUP, though keeping his place at the Faculty of Sciences. In 1923, after the death of Ferreira da Silva, he took charge as the director of the Chemistry Laboratory of the FSUP and as a Professor of the subjects Ferreira da Silva had taught. In 1942 he was forced to choose between the Faculty of Sciences and the Faculty of Engineering. He chose the former. A tribute made to him when he left the Faculty of Engineering stressed his qualities as a Professor and a Scientist, and the fact that the pavilion where the 7th Group would be taught and where the adjacent Industrial Chemistry Laboratory would be established was remembered as his initiative.
Meanwhile, in 1934, the Government nominated José Pereira Salgado as Rector of the University of Porto. During his tenure, which lasted eight years (1935-1943), the Academy went through a difficult period. Nevertheless, this instability didn’t prevent the organization of scientific conferences or the celebration of the centenaries of the Polytechnic Academy of Porto (10 April 1937) and of the Medical-Surgical School of Porto (18 April 1937), in whose committees José Pereira Salgado and other exceptional personalities from the Portuguese cultural and scientific scene were members. It was also during his tenure that the new facilities of the Faculty of Engineering in Rua dos Bragas were inaugurated (14 April 1937).
When he retired, in 1943, Pereira Salgado received the title of “Honorary Rector” and was honoured by the Academy.
On a service commission, Pereira Salgado held the positions of vice-president of the Technical Commission of the Chemical-Analytical Methods of the Ministry of Agriculture, member of Porto’s Medical-Legal Board and director of the Climatology and Hydrology Institute of the University of Porto.
In 1905 he was the co-founder, with Alberto de Aguiar and Ferreira da Silva, of the “Journal of Pure and Applied Chemistry” which prompted the creation of the Portuguese Chemistry Society in 1911. He was the author of works such as “Chemistry and Physics in Portugal” (Lisbon, 1929) and “Chemistry in the Polytechnic Academy of Porto” (Porto, 1937).
He participated in international conferences, representing the Faculties of Sciences and of Engineering of the University of Porto, and as Rector of the University he attended the ceremonies that distinguished the activity of the Portuguese World Conference in 1940.
Pereira Salgado was a member and one of the founders of the Portuguese Chemistry Society and a corresponding member of the Brazilian Chemistry Society. He received several distinctions, such as the Grand-Cross of the Order of Education awarded in the celebration of the centenaries of the Polytechnic Academy and of the Medical-Surgical School. He was Commander of the Order of Sant’Iago of the Sword, Grand Officer of the Order of the Crown in Belgium, and Commander of the Order of the Crown in Italy.
He died on 16 December 1946, in his house in Travessa da Bessa in Porto, leaving his widow, D. Cornélia Furtado Dantas Pereira Salgado. The funeral took place in the Church of Santíssimo Sacramento and he was buried at Agramonte cemetery.
Since 1 April 1952, the anniversary of his birth, the Industrial Chemistry Laboratory of the Faculty of Engineering has taken his name. At the ceremony which was then held, the widow of José Pereira Salgado was invited to unveil a bronze medallion commemorative of the event.
(Universidade Digital / Gestão de Informação, 2011)