Founded in 1963, by Prof. Alberto Luiz Coimbra, the Chemical Engineering Program (PEQ) was the first program of COPPE and served as an embryo for the Institution. Pioneer in graduate studies programs in Engineering in Brazil, PEQ has been an institutional model for many other Master’s and Doctoral programs. 

Its basic mission is to form highly capacitated human resources, who are able to work in various segments of society, in order to collaborate in teaching, research, identification of problems and proposal of solutions for the innumerous challenges present in the modern world. PEQ has always kept the quest for excellence in the works it develops as its main goal. The masters and doctors graduated here have solid majoring in Chemical Engineering Sciences, with focus on solution of problems related to several socioeconomic impact areas, allowing the performance of activities in the industrial, academic and governmental sectors.

PEQ offers two levels of graduate studies, with opportunities of research development in several areas. The Master’s Course is offered to all students who have an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering or in areas related to Basic and Engineering Sciences, who are interested in developing researches in the field of Chemical Engineering. The Doctorate Course targets students in a more advanced level and experienced professionals, with research themes involving theoretical or innovative practical issues. In both cases, an academic program and a thesis (either experimental or theoretical) are required, with full deadlines of up to 24 months for the Master’s and 48 months for the Doctorate. Master’s students with excellent performance in the courses phase might be invited for the “Straight Doctorate”, an option which releases the student from presenting the master’s thesis. More information can be obtained at the Secretary’s Office at PEQ. 

Until December 2012, PEQ graduated 1000 students (688 Master’s and 312 Doctoral students) and kept the highest grade in the Engineering fields according to CAPES evaluation. While the A to D- letter grade system prevailed - between 1975 and 1995 - PEQ always achieved the maximum grade A. Afterwards we received grade 6+, the highest among Engineering courses, according to the partial evaluation using a new triennium based system which started in 1998, but initially applied to the biennium 95/96. On the first systematic evaluation referring to the triennium 1998-2000 (released in July 2001), PEQ achieved grade 7 (maximum grade), the only one among the 18 Graduate Chemical Engineering Courses in the country. On the following evaluation, referring to the 2001/2003 period, we kept the maximum grade 7, still exclusive, in the national Chemical Engineering graduate programs. On the last two triennial evaluations, referring to the periods of 2004/2006 and 2007/2009, PEQ had the maximum grade 7 confirmed according to the CAPES evaluation!

Currently there are nearly 200 graduate students regularly enrolled in the Master’s and Doctoral courses. PEQ’s research activities are supervised by a faculty of 18 professors, 2 research associates, 82 technicians and 12 administrative employees.


Joint Researches and Exchange

The quest for greater competitiveness by the Brazilian industry has also reflected on the increase in the number of companies interested in the works developed at PEQ, which has triggered initiatives of joint researches. Such initiatives, besides generating complementary resources, provide opportunities for the practical application of the knowledge generated at PEQ. Companies such as Petrobras, Braskem, Petroflex, Copesul, PQU, White Martins, Polibrasil, Suzano, Cia. Vale do Rio Doce, Deten, Nitrofértil, Oxiteno, Monsanto, Klabin and Liquid Carbonic, among others, have been interacting with PEQ, through service rendering or research contracts executed with COPPETEC Foundation. In an joint effort with Finep, CNPq, CAPES and industrial groups such as Petrobras/Petroquisa, Oxiteno, Grupo Ultra, among others, PEQ implemented and has kept, since 1991, the Interdisciplinary Nucleus of Catalysis  (NUCAT) – involving the participation of the Chemistry and Physics Institutes from UFRJ and other research and education institutions in Rio de Janeiro. 

The institutional exchanges have been a feature of PEQ since its foundation and have been permanently encouraged, with both national and international partners. Some of them have a more permanent character, as they are transformed into thematic “networks”. The most practiced ways of exchange in the last years have occurred through joint research projects which also involve advanced training (courses and seminars), sandwich PhD and researcher internships.

In terms of national exchanges, the ones which involve PEQ’s faculty members in joint projects such as Pronex, Recope, Recar, Faperj/thematic and NUCAT, should be highlighted. In international terms, PEQ’s faculty members have used official mechanisms from CNPq and CAPES to promote academic exchanges with foreign universities. In some cases, research projects sponsored by international agencies have been carried out (such as the Alfa or European Economic Community Research projects). In the past three years, the institutions below have interacted with at least one of PEQ’s research areas:

  • Universities of British Columbia and Waterloo, and Queen’s University (Canada); Institut des Recherches sur la Catalyse, Université Lyon, Université de Caen, École Supérieure de Chimie Physique Elétronique de Lyon (France); Universidade Nacional del Litoral, Univ. Nacional de Tucumán and Univ. Santa Fe, Universidade Nacional de La Plata and Universidad del Litoral (Argentina); GKSS e GBF (Germany); Universidade Politécnica de Valencia, Universidad del Pais Basco and Universidade da Catalunha (Spain); Instituto de Catálisis y Petroleoquímica, Universidade de Santiago de Chile, Universidade de Concepcion, Valparaíso Concepción  (Chile); South Carolina University, Penn State University, University of Texas, University of Wisconsin, University Notre Dame (USA); Universidade de Twente, Delft and UvA (the Netherlands), Kyoto (Japan); Centro de Inmunología Molecular (Cuba); Universidade de Linköping (Sweden); National University (Australia)


Undergraduate, Continuing and Distance Studies

Besides its graduate activities, all faculty members at PEQ take part in undergraduate education in several academic units at UFRJ, such as the Chemistry School, the Polytechnic School and the Chemistry Institute. Special attention is directed to the training of undergraduate students, exemplified in more than 40 students with scientific initiation scholarships who work as interns at PEQ’s labs, which also receives foreign students, from international exchange programs.

It is also important  to highlight the permanent initiatives in order to spread new knowledge in courses offered to the general external technical community, through updating or specialization courses in all knowledge areas covered by the Program.

The Chemical Engineering Pilot School deserves special highlight, as it was established in 1992 with the aim of offering courses of short duration, twice a year, in an introductory level, about current themes which have not yet been incorporated to the undergraduate university curriculum, having undergraduate students of universities located in Rio de Janeiro as the main target public.

Broadening its public, in a pioneer initiative, its internet version – Chemical Engineering Online Pilot School – was released in 1997, offering courses to all the technical and scientific community in Brazil. From its beginning until today, 31 internet courses were offered, with an effective participation of nearly 500 students, besides the 34 courses offered in the traditional way. The “Chemical Engineering Frontiers” course, in 2003 and 2004, counted with more than 250 students from all over Brazil, a Record for the Virtual Pilot School. The last two internet courses “Heterogeneous Catalysis” and “Advanced Biological Processes for Water Treatment” counted with the effective participation of 100 students. In 2009 and 2011, respectively, were released the itinerant versions, national and international, that offer intensive courses to students of partner institutions and facilitate a better interaction between PEQ and these institutions. From its beginning until today, the National Itinerant Pilot School has offered 15 courses and the International Pilot School has offered 3 courses.